Japan to end special visa extension for foreigners in June

Tokyo, May 31 (EFE).- Japan will stop extending visas for foreigners that let them prolong their stays during the pandemic because they could not return home due to coronavirus border restrictions.

The Japanese government has decided to rescind the measure at the end of June as countries eased restrictions and border controls amid the improving covid situation, Justice Minister Yoshihisa Furukawa told reporters Tuesday.

The government adopted the measure in March 2020 after some countries closed their borders to their residents and tourists to contain the virus outbreak.

It happened in some countries, whose citizens frequently participate in Japan’s technical internship or study programs, leaving them stranded in Japan with their documents about to expire.

The Japanese authorities allowed the periodical renewal of their visas on an exceptional basis to let them stay in the country legally.

Individuals whose residence permits expire on June 30 or later under the six-month “designated activities” visas can stay in Japan for four more months but will not be able to extend their stays beyond that, Japanese news agency Kyodo reported.

Those in Japan on 90-day short-stay visas, many of them visiting relatives or traveling on business, will not be able to extend their stays beyond June 30, the agency added.

Furukawa said the government would analyze each individual’s situation and do its best to help them return smoothly.

At the April end, some 79,600 foreigners were in Japan under this measure.

The number has been declining since the start of the year with the easing of border controls. EFE


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