On October 25th, Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has released statistics of new immigrants for the first half, April – September, of fiscal year 2019. Excluding Temporary Visitor, Technical Intern Training (i), Student, Engineer / Specialist in Humanity / International Services, Official and Entertainment are top 5 statues, in total occupying 73%, approximately three fourth of the total of 276,563 new immigrants (See for details a table and a pie chart below).
Number of new immigrants (excluding Temporary Visitor) has increased by 19%. And the top 5 statues also increased significantly, except Student which declined by 6.9% approx. from 66,000 down to 61,500. This decline is remarkable because the number of new immigrants with Student visa has been increased in a row for the last seven years since 2011, when it was decreased due to the Great East Japan Earthquake.
It is speculated that the followings should have led to the decline as immigration policies of Japanese government. Though there is no official statement about it, I see that these are close to what the office would have as undisclosed policies in place. It should be re-emphasized that Student visa should not be illegally abused for immigration for work, and that a work permit type of visa like Designated Skilled Labor or Engineer / Specialist in Humanities / International Services should be applied instead.
- Immigration Office becomes more strict in review of an application for Student when they suspect motivation for work in Japan. The office should want to navigate such applications to a more appropriate status, Designated Skilled Labor, newly started in April 2019.
- The office appears to focus on financial status of an applicant or his/her parents for Student visa. The financial status would be a key indicator to judge risks of an applicant falling into illegal overwork beyond the limit of 28 hours a week, in case the finance is deemed weak and insufficient to support tuition and living expenses in Japan.
Link: MOJ Press Released dated Oct 25, 2019 (Japanese)