A revision to the Immigration Law has been passed in the upper house of the Diet, enabling foreigners with special work skills to stay permanently in Japan.
The Revised Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law says that foreigners with advanced skills will be eligible for permanent residency after staying in Japan for three years instead of the current 10 years for most foreigners (or five in some cases where certain conditions have been fulfilled), Sankei Shimbun reported.
The revised law, which was passed on Wednesday, is aimed at attracting IT workers, engineers, company managers, medical technicians, scientists and researchers. An applicant's annual income and academic background will be taken into account and if successful, they will be given special status. Spouses of successful applicants will be allowed to work, and they will be allowed to bring their parents and housekeepers into Japan with them, Sankei reported.
The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is hoping the revised law will bring more highly skilled foreigners to Japan to reinvigorate the economy in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The government and private sector are currently redeveloping the Shinagawa and the Toranomon areas with the aim of turning them into IT hubs that will attract hundreds of foreign companies.
The revised law also simplifies immigration procedures for tourists from abroad. Repeat visitors, whose fingerprints have already been registered, will be able to pass through automatic gates, without having to have an immigration officer stamp their passport. The gates will be set up at international airports and ports where cruise ships dock.© Japan Today