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Director of Immigration Lawyer Office SAKURA International Legal Office
in Minami-aoyma, Tokyo.

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Materials for the first meeting with a company
<01/31 (Thu) /2008 23:31>
When I visit a company for the first time, I will bring our office brochure and a presentation document. Especially when I have no idea what kind of trouble they are in, or what they need, I will bring a proposal, or more exactly a reference material.

For your info., I uploaded them to our office Web site. I made PDF files out of powerpoint files, which caused small conversion troubles on pictures. But still the contents can be understood. (Sorry, they are all in Japanese.) On second thought, this materila was made for a certain corporation, so I have to revise it for others.

“Office Brochure”

“VISA for employees in Japan”

Table of Contents:
    1. Discussion on Immigration Policy in Japan :
          Population Decreasing Society
          and Permanent Resident Based Immigration Policy
    2. VISA appropriate for various employment cases
    3. VISA for the employee’s family
    4. Permanent Resident or Naturalization of the employee
    Reference: List of Status of Residence

The contents of the reference material is made for a company which has not yet employed foreign nationals. But such know-hows as how to read an alien registration card is not explained yet.

First of all, for the owners of the company, the document explains “Population Decreasing Society and Permanent Resident Based Immigration Policy.” This is a background info. and summary of the immigration policy proposed by Mr. Sakanaka Hidenori, Director of Japan Immigration Policy Institute. The document is made for a presentation which will have additional explanations in the meeting. So, it does not explain the details. When you get interested in the immigration policy proposal, please read his newly published book “Immigrant Nation NIPPON” (NIHON KAJO PUBLISHER.)

Next, the document shows various VISA appropriate for different employment cases: a case that a foreign national is employed by a foreign corporation or a case that a foreign national is employed by a Japanese corporation. Also, VISA can be different for what kind of job they are doing. Illustrations of each case were made for the presentation. So, the details are not explained. When you want to know the details, please see our office Web site.

Then, the document explains VISA for the family of the employee. It’s because company owners always care for their employees’ families and they always have strong interest in this issue. So, it explains VISA for parents, spouses and children, etc.

Finally, the document explains how the employees can get Permanent Resident Permission or Naturalization Permission. The main topic is about resident term requirement.

* However, it depends on our actual discussion in the meeting, whether or not this document is explained. It could happen that this document is just briefly browsed, instead, I hear more from the company owners or staffs.

To Japanese Blog

Naturalization after "College Student" VISA 4 years + Working VISA 1 year
<01/30 (Wed) /2008 23:40>
4 years of “College Student” VISA plus one year Working VISA apparently satisfies one of naturalization requirements, or residence requirement that an applicant must live in Japan more than 5 years consecutively.

However, actually it might be required that the applicant have worked for a certain period as a taxpayer. As a result, 4 years of “College Student” VISA plus one year Working VISA may not be long enough for naturalization permission.

It is recommended to consult with Legal Affairs Bureau or District Legal Affairs Bureau which is in charge of your residence area. Here is the list of them ( in Japanese ) on the web of the Ministry of Justice. You may have an impression that it is hard to consult with them, but they will answer you kindly. Probably they cannot simply answer “how many years of working VISA is needed.” But you should talk about details on your own situation.

Nationality Law Article 5 stipulates the following six requirements for Naturalization. But even though all of them are satisfied, it does not mean that the permission is automatically granted. Still the Minister of Justice has the authority to decide whether or not to grant the permission.

1) The person domiciled (lived) in Japan for five years or more consecutively.

2) The person is twenty years of age or more and of full legal capacity to act according to the law of his or her home country.

3) The person is of good conduct.

4) The person is able to secure a livelihood by one's own property or ability, or those of one's spouse or other relatives with whom one lives on common living expenses.

5) The person has no nationality, or the acquisition of Japanese nationality will result in the loss of foreign nationality.

6) The person has never plotted or advocated the overthrow of the Government of Japan.

And some of the above requirements can be exempted as simplified naturalization, typically when a foreign national get married with a Japanese.

Case 1 : After getting married with a Japanese, the applicant has lived in Japan for more than three years


Case 2: Three years have passed after their marriage, and the applicant has lived in Japan for more than one year.

In both cases, the above requirement 1) and 2) will be exempted.

* Reference Book (in Japanese)

“KIKA TETSUDUKI NO TEBIKI (A guidebook for naturalization procedures)”

     This book explains the details.

“KIKA SHINSEI MANUAL (A manual for naturalization application)”

     This book is easy to understand.

Related Links : Naturalization, Exemptions of Legal Conditions

To Japanese Blog

Now, it's indispensable, inevitable and the best time.
<01/29 (Tue) /2008 23:51>
When you hear "now, it's indispensable, inevitable and the best time," and if you can find out what it means, you already knew what I'm trying to say.

For those who say, “now it’s the worst time…” it must be hard to think, “Yes, now it’s the best time!” However, by thinking in that way, I can feel more relaxed and do something better.

Originally, the title words were what a certain president said when we met for the first time in two years. I always think in that way, so I said promptly “That’s quite right.” My understanding on those words is as follows:

Everything as it is, is indispensable because it won’t be linked to the next thing without them.

Everything as it is, is inevitable because it will be linked to the next thing with them.

Everything as it is, is the best.
If everything is fine, indeed it is the best time in our life.
Otherwise, still it is the best time because it is the best path, which will be linked to the best time.

*** This entry is being translated from Japanese Blog ***

To Japanese Blog

VISA to work as an accountant or an interpreter
<01/28 (Mon) /2008 23:47>
When a foreigner graduated from a college or has 10 years or more of job experiences and if he/she plans to work as an accountant, Status of Residence "Specialist in Humanities / International Services" could be granted. However, his/her salary must be no less than that of Japanese programmers.

When a foreigner has Status of Residence "College Student," he/she needs to file an Application for Change of Status of Residence. If the change of status to "Engineer" is permitted, a new period of stay is three years or one year.

* There are four points to be proved for the application

1) Major in college or job experiences of the applicant
2) Connectedness between the major / job experiences
and the job which he/she will do in the company
3) Job description
4) Stability and Sustainability of the company

points to be proved

* Documents prepared by the applicant

a) Passport
b) Alien Registration card
c) Application for Change of Status of Residence
( download from the Immigration Bureau HP )
d) Resume
e) College Diploma or Certificate of Prospective Graduation
( After graduation, college diploma should be
submitted additionally.)
f) Academic Transcript
g) Letter of Reasons
(This is not legally required, but generally submitted so that
the Immigration Bureau can easily understand the proof
points 1) to 3) mentioned-above.)

* Documents prepared by the company

a) Copy of Employment Contract
b) Certificate Copy of Commercial Registration
(within 3 months of issuance)
c) Report on Final Accounts (of the latest fiscal year)
d) Corporate Profile
e) Foreign Employee List
( if any foreigners are presently employed )
f) Letter of Reasons
(This is not legally required, but generally submitted so that
the Immigration Bureau can easily understand the proof
points 1) to 3) and 4)

For a new employee to start working from April 1st, Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau usually accepts an application for Change of Status of Residence from December 1st. However, the permission requires "College Diploma" even though the initial application can be filed with Certificate of Prospective Graduation. College Diploma will be issued after the graduation ceremony. So, permission will be granted around the end of March anyway. However, to avoid peak-season, it is recommended to file the application as early as possible.

Related Link : Status of Residence "Specialist in Humanities / International Services"

To Japanese Blog

Immigration Lawyer NAKAYAMA KAZUMI sensei (Part 2)
<01/27 (Sun) /2008 12:43>
* This entry is continued from this one.

Professionals such as Immigration Lawyers could be working by themselves independently. But experienced Immigration Lawyers will have minds to share knowledge and educate beginners. There are countless number of such organizations of Immigration Lawyers other than SJK or SANMOKUKAI.

NAKAYAMA SENSEI said, “When I began to work as an Immigration Lawyer, there was no one to teach me. Now, we share knowledge and educate beginners. We hope those activities lift up the standard of all the Immigration Lawyers as a whole.”

On the other hand, when NAKAYAMA SENSEI got to know a book titled “Immigration Procedures Q&A for those who help a foreign national’s immigration procedures” Published by “Immigration Association,” he immediately read through it. It seems easy book for experienced persons. But he does not forget to try updating knowledge and organizing them.

Of course, it is not only NAKAYAMA SENSEI who is doing the same thing, not to mention HAYASHI SENSEI or all the other SENSEI’s. And that’s why they respect one another and have been sharing knowledge more than 10 years.

Even more, NAKAYAMA SENSEI introduced me my first client. The client himself knew I was a beginner and made a contract with me. NAKAYAMA SENSEI not only educates me, but also gives me a job. I can’t appreciate him enough. Someday, I will do the same thing to other beginners; that’s the best thing I can do and I should do.

* This is the way that I got to know new people, starting from HAYASHI SENSEI, then SJK, then NAKAYAMA SENSEI, then SNAMOKUKAI and to my client.

To Japanese Blog

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I carefully pay attention to the correctness of this blog.
However, I do not guarantee the result of your own deed referring to this blog.
For proper application, I am pleased if you consult with our office.

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