There are different types of residence status for refugees and asylum seekers. Social services they can access vary depending on their legal status. For providing social support, it is important to check available resources such as health insurance or resident registration, and develop a new resource for the person when necessary.
Residence Status and Social Services
Residence / Legal Status
|Residence / Legal Status||Resident Registration||ID Card||Work Permission|
(Not yet reported to Immigration Bureau)
|Provisional Release (Karihomen)||Not available||Permit of provisional Release, Receipt of refugee application, etc.||Not available|
|Provisional Stay（Karitaizai）||Available||Permit of Provisional Stay, Health insurance card, My-Number (Individual number)||Not available|
|Temporary Visitor: Designated Activities (2 months / 3 months)||Not Available||―
(Visa on passports)
|Family Stay||Available||Residence card (Mid to long term resident), Health insurance card, My-Number (Individual number)||Available (restriction on work-activities as appointed in the specified document)|
|Designated Activities (6 months)||Available||Residence card, Health insurance card, My-Number (Individual number)||Available (restriction on work-activities as appointed in the specified document)|
|Humanitarian grounds||Designated Activities (1 year)
|Available||Residence card, Health insurance card, My-Number (Individual number)||Available (restriction on work-activities as appointed in the specified document)|
|Refugees||Permanent Resident (1 year / 3 years / 5 years)||Available||Residence card, Health insurance card, My-Number (Individual number)||Available|
- Asylum seekers: Those who made application for refugee status and await a decision on it.
- Refugees: Those who are granted as refugees by government.
- Humanitarian Status Holder: Those who have permission to stay on humanitarian grounds even when their application for refugee status is negative.
The system of provisional release provides a temporary relief from detention in considering certain reasons such as diseases while it imposes several restrictions.
Requirements for provisional release:
- Guarantee deposits
- Stable home address
- Restrictions of traveling (within the prefecture where s/he resides. S/he can obtain permission of temporary travel to go outside of the prefecture, when necessary.)
- Regular reporting at the Immigration Bureau
●Residence Status and Nationality of Children
- Children who were born in Japan should be registered to local municipal office within 14 days from the date of birth. Application for their residence status should be made at the Immigration bureau within 30 days from the date of birth.
- Children’s residence status is equivalent to their parent status in principle.
- Their nationality conforms to the laws of their parent’s country of origin.
- If either of the parents is Japanese, they can acquire Japanese nationality (Japanese by descent).
- Many of asylum seekers’ children are left stateless since their parent tends to refrain from birth registration at the embassy.
Available Resources without Resident Registration
● Medical Treatment
- Consultation at hospital providing free or low-cost medical treatment service
- Attending psychiatric hospital
- Application for the system of services and supports for persons with disabilities (Psychiatric rehabilitation) In this system, patients pay 10% of medical cost. (Consultation with the municipal office or prefectural mental health and welfare centre is necessary)
- When the spouse is enlisted in employee’s health insurance, enrollment of the insurance as an insured person is possible. (Consultation with employer and additional paper-work are required)
- Act on Treatment of Persons Who Contracted Disease or Died on Journey
- Public expenditure system based on the infectious diseases law (TB), Medical payment for services and supports for persons with disabilities (Medical rehabilitation including HIV), etc.
- Compensation of unpaid medical expenses for foreigners
● Mother and Child Health
- Mother and child notebook, Coupons for maternity checkup, routine immunisation
- Consultation with municipal office (Availability different by municipalities, Prior confirmation of actual residence is necessary at the health centre)
- Hospitalisation assistance system
- Reception condition and capacity at designated hospitals are different by municipalities
- Compulsory education is available regardless of the status of residence
- Education of foreign children is not compulsory
- Financial assistance system is available regardless of the status of residence (Consultation with schools or boards of education is necessary)
Available Resources for Asylum Seekers
● Finance Assistance
- Provided by Refugee Assistance Headquarters (RHQ)
- Asylum seekers who are in the first application process for recognition of refugee status (including administrative review stage)
- Asylum seekers who are in the second application (reapplication) process for recognition of refugee status and have filed a lawsuit against the decision in the first application
- Living expenses: 1,600 yen/day (children: 800 yen/day)
- Rent: 40,000 yen/month (for single person)
- Medical expenses: reimbursement system (there is limitation of coverage)