Extension of Visa: Difference between Involuntary and Voluntary Leave

Japanese Version

 Same world talents in Japan, of course, leave his or her job from time to time as Japanese do. Reasons for job leave can be broadly classified as involuntary or voluntary. Unemployment benefits of Employment Insurance are more generous for involuntary leave (dismissal) than voluntary one, which sounds reasonable and is applied to Japanese and world talents alike.

 The same principle is applied to residential status (visa) of a world talent in Japan. Like unemployment benefits, a world talent, who leaves job involuntarily, can apply for loner extension of his or her current visa than those who leave job voluntarily. Please see below for more details.

  • For both involuntary and voluntary leave:
    • Notification of change of contracting organization has to be made to Immigration Office within 14 days after the change.
    • This is the first step for extending the current visa. This can be done over Internet. Please visit this Immigration Office site for details.
  • For involuntary leave (dismissal):
    • To continue job search: a world talent can apply for extension of 6 months at maximum beyond expiration of the current visa.
      1. A world talent can stay until expiration date of the current visa without any change.
        • ”Permission to engage activities other than what permitted” can be also applied under the current visa.
        • It is recommended to register your job search at the Hello Work government office, because it can be used to justify application for the 6 month extension, which comes as the next step.
      2. Towards expiration of the current visa, a world talent can then apply for changing it to another visa of “Designated Activities (Job Search)” for 6 months.
        • Note however that this extension is once off, which can not be re-extended beyond the 6 months.
    • To return back to home country:
      1. A world talent can change the current visa to Temporary Visitor visa with 90 days period.
  • For voluntary leave:
    • A world talent can stay in Japan for 3 months after the leave or until expiration of the current visa, whichever comes earlier.
      1. A world talent has to start a new job or return back to home country within this period.
      2. ”Permission to engage activities other than what permitted” can NOT be applied under the current visa.
      3. Changing the current visa to a 30 day Designated Activities (Preparation for Departure) can be applied, in case little time left before the expiration of the current visa.

 The difference explained above is generic and applied to most of visa types. Additional differences exist for a certain visa type. An involuntary leave happened to a world talent with Specialized Skilled Labor (SSW) visa, for example, has negative impact, not only to the talent but also to, his or her company. The company is no longer eligible to hire new world talents with SSW visa nor to extend visa period of existing world talents with SSW visa. So that the company has to start supporting the existing talents to find jobs elsewhere.