Living Q & A: My status of residence allows me to stay until 2023, but I lost my job. What happens to my status of residence?
I currently have the status of residence of Engineer / Specialist in Humanities / International Services, with a period of stay expiring in 2023. I lost my job at the end of June. I intend to find another job, but I heard that if you haven't been working for three months, your status of residence will be revoked. What happens to one's status of residence after one becomes unemployed? My spouse is also in Japan on a work visa, so perhaps I can change my status of residence to Dependent?
Given that you have currently been granted the status of residence (zairyū shikaku / 在留資格) of Engineer / Specialist in Humanities / International Services, and your period of stay (zairyū kikan / 在留期間) is until 2023, your status of residence should remain valid until the expiration date, provided that you do not meet grounds for deportation or for revocation of your status of residence by the Immigration Services Agency (shutsunyūkoku zairyū kanri kyoku / 出入国在留管理局, hereafter "Immigration").
Article 22-4 of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act (出入国管理及び難民認定法) stipulates the facts by which the Minister of Justice can revoke a foreign national's status of residence. One of the grounds specified is when 'any person residing with a status of residence... has been residing for three months or more without continuously engaging in the activities... corresponding to the status of residence,' although exceptions are made where there is a justifiable reason for not having engaged in the corresponding activities. An example of a justifiable reason might be not currently being engaged in the relevant activities due to the loss of one's employment, and being engaged in looking for new work with the expectation that one will be able to resume said activities in the near future.
Also, should Immigration seek to revoke the status of residence of a foreign national, the law stipulates that the opinion of the foreign national concerned is to be heard in principle, and that the foreign national must be served with a written notice in advance of the hearing, providing the date and place of the hearing and the facts constituting the grounds for the revocation.
As to whether to persevere with looking for new employment, or to change your status of residence to that of Dependent (kazoku taizai / 家族滞在) if the prospect of new employment proves elusive, be sure to give careful consideration to all of your possible options. Please consult a legal specialist or administrative procedures specialist familiar with immigration procedures regarding the legal details of your situation.
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