Foreigners in Japan losing jobs

As the spread of COVID-19 infections hits the Japan’s economy hard, foreigners with working visa at tourism and service industries have lost their jobs and are in trouble to renew their visa.
As of the end of June 2020, the number of foreigners living in Japan reached 2.89 million.
The recent labor force survey released by the Ministry of Public Affairs found that 80% of foreigners’ jobs were affected by the epidemic.
Starting in 2020, foreign workers are facing a severe job search environment. Tourism-related recruitment has basically stopped, and not only foreigners, but Japanese job seekers are also increasing rapidly, and competition is becoming increasingly fierce.
Our company’s business has always been to provide jobs for IT technicians, but starting from 2020, foreigners working in the tourism and service industries also come to inquire about jobs and visas.
The usual situation is that 5 people apply for a job, but now there are 20 people. If it is not that the Japanese language skills are particularly high or extremely highly skilled , it is difficult for foreigners to find a job.

Today, I will briefly summarize the things that foreigners who hold a 「Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services」 (refers to as working visa) visa in Japan should pay attention to after they lost their jobs.
For “Japanese spouse”, “permanent resident”, “permanent resident spouse, etc.” visas, there is no need to worry about visas even if they lose their jobs.
However, if a foreigner whose residence status is a 「Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services」 visa loses his job, his visa may be revoked.

■If a foreigner holding a “working visa” lost his job, he must notify the Immigration Bureau within 14 days.
This is easy to do. Please refer to one of the following methods.
●Directly submit (or mail) the notice to the Immigration Bureau
Immigration Bureau Procedures Homepage
●Online submission
Immigration Bureau online procedures
According to Japanese law, foreigners must report to the Immigration Bureau within 14 days after losing their jobs!

■Foreigners with a “working visa” may be revoked if they are unemployed for more than 3 months.
If the foreigner does not find a job within three months after being unemployed, the Immigration Bureau will suddenly call to inform you that your Japanese residence status will be revoked.
In other words, you cannot apply for a visa renewal without a job.

■In principle, Japanese law prohibits foreigners with a “working visa” from looking for part-time jobs after losing their jobs.
Foreigners holding a “working visa” are not allowed to engage in formal or part-time jobs without too many technical requirements, such as restaurants, convenience stores, and factory production lines.
If you work beyond the scope of the status of residence, your visa will be cancelled.

In exceptional circumstances, if you lose your job due to company reasons, you can go to the Immigration Bureau to apply for a “special permit to work outside of Status of Residence” to earn living expenses by working part-time until you find your next job.
In addition, the Immigration Bureau began to formulate a new policy in 2020, which allows foreigners who are unable to work due to the impact of the epidemic to apply for visas for part-time work.
【visa valid period】
・6 months or the period of stay stated on the current visa
【required materials】
①Written documents that can prove you lost job due to the impact of the epidemic (usually provided by the original company)
②Fill in the application form
④Residence card
For more information, please download and view this file.

■When a new job is determined, please inform the Immigration Bureau in time
After finding a new job, first notify the Immigration Bureau. The method of operation is the same as the method of submitting a report when unemployed.

■About unemployment insurance
Japanese companies must pay various insurances including unemployment insurance for their employees in accordance with the law. Whether you are a Japanese or a foreigner, as long as you meet the prescribed conditions, you can apply for unemployment insurance after you lose your job.

・The period for which you can apply is different.
In the case of “resignation for personal reasons”: 4 months after resignation
In the case of “unemployed due to company reasons”: one month after you become unemployed

・The number of days that you can receive insurance money is also different.
In the case of “resignation for personal reasons”: 90 days of insurance can be obtained (any age group)
In the case of “unemployed due to company reasons”: 120 days (between 30 and 35 years old)
For unemployment insurance, please contact your nearest Hello Work office (Occupational Security Office).

The above is a summary of the precautions for foreigners after becoming unemployed in Japan.
If you are looking for a job or need to consult about visa issue, we are happy to help you.