Japan will move some visa application procedures online in July as it gears up to implement a new government scheme that will see an influx of foreign workers to the country, the Justice Ministry said Tuesday.
The service will not be immediately available for people applying for visas under the new government program that begins next month, but Justice Minister Takashi Yamashita told reporters that the government plans to extend the online access to such applicants in future.
The types of visas able to be processed online from July include those for highly skilled professionals, researchers and technical interns who have clean immigration control law records and who have no recorded violations of labor laws over the past five years.
Applications to extend visas, to ease restrictions on the types of jobs able to be worked and to obtain re-entry permission can be lodged online under the new system, the ministry said.
Foreign residents are not permitted to independently lodge their applications via the new system, according to the ministry, rather they must request a legal representative or someone at their workplace do so on their behalf.
People seeking to use the online visa portal must apply in advance, and the ministry will accept requests from Friday.
From April, Japan will introduce two new resident visa statuses as the country looks to address its serious labor shortage issues born from demographic changes such as an aging population.