For example, we often receive questions about whether it is possible to change a student visa or a work visa to a “Dependent” visa, rather than applying for the same visa again, if the renewal of the student visa or work visa was not approved, or if the application for change from a student visa to a work visa was not approved.
There are cases in which a foreign national may or may not be able to reapply for a Dependent visa, including cases in which the application for a Dependent visa was denied. In this part, we will explain what to do when a foreigner residing in Japan is denied permission.
Can I reapply if I am not approved?
Answer: You may or may not be able to reapply.
In order to reapply and be approved, you will need to resolve the “reason for disapproval”.
In case of disapproval, you will be summoned to the Immigration Office.
In case of disapproval, you will receive a “Notice” from the Immigration Service Agency. If the “Notice” says that you cannot receive it by proxy, such as an administrative scrivener(行政書士), and that you should come in person, there is a high possibility that the application will be disapproved.
It is often said that a notice sent by “postcard” has a high possibility of being “approved”, while a notice sent by “envelope” or a notice specifying the date and time to appear at the Immigration Service Agency has a high possibility of being “not approved”.
When you receive the following notice, you will be told the reason for your disapproval at the immigration office
If your period of stay remains at the time of disapproval
It is basically possible to stay in Japan and to reapply for permission as long as you are still within the period of stay.
If you apply within the period of stay and then the period of stay expires, you will automatically be placed in a special two-month period. The result of the application will always be issued within this special exception period.
If the period of stay has expired at the time of disapproval
If your application is denied during the special exception period, you are required to change your status to “Designated Activities (Preparation for Departure)(特定活動（出国準備）)” on the spot after hearing the reason for the denial. In the case of “Designated Activities (Preparation for Departure)”, you may or may not be able to apply within the period of stay. If you cannot apply, you will have no choice but to return to your country.
If you apply while on “Designated Activities (Preparation for Departure)”, you may or may not automatically be placed in the 2-month exception period after your period of stay expires (the response differs depending on the case).If your application is granted during the special period, you will receive the result of your application within this period. If the reasons for the denial have been eliminated, there is a possibility that the application will be approved. If you are not approved again, you will be required to apply again for “Designated Activities (Preparation for Departure)” (this also depends on the case. Please be sure to follow the instructions of the immigration office).
If you have to return to your country here, you can apply for a “Application for Certificate of Eligibility(在留資格認定証明書交付申請)”.There have been many cases where a foreigner was denied twice, returned to his/her country once, and then applied for certification a third time and was granted permission.
Points to keep in mind when listening to an explanation of a denial of a visa application
The possibility of reapplying depends on whether or not the reasons for the denial can be resolved. In other words, no matter how many times you have been denied, if the reasons for the denial are no longer present, you may still be able to obtain a permit.
The important opportunity to determine whether or not it is possible to reapply for a permit is “when the disapproval is handed down“. This is a valuable opportunity to hear the reasons for the denial and to ask questions.
The key to reapplying and obtaining a permit lies in this disapproval hearing. There are three points that must be asked at the disapproval hearing
In particular, if you ask whether it is possible to reapply, the examiner will tell you whether it is better to return to your country once and then apply, or whether there is a possibility of being approved if you reapply within the period of stay. Depending on the reason for the denial, you may have to return to your home country once.
If the application is disapproved, you will check the areas that were not good or not explained well enough, and basically, if you can improve those areas, you will be able to obtain a permit. Therefore, when listening to the reasons for the denial, ask carefully about the “areas that were not good and areas that were not explained well enough”, and what you can do to improve them.
Points to consider when applying for a Dependent visa at the time of reapplication
When reapplying for a Dependent, it is important to be able to resolve the reasons for the denial. If you can resolve the issue, you are likely to be approved. If you cannot resolve the issue (e.g., if you were denied because of your past residency status), you may be allowed to apply by adding a letter of remorse.
The main principle when reapplying
If you are re-applying for permission after having been denied once, you must remove the “reason for the denial” in order to obtain permission. For this reason, it is very important to ask the reason for the denial and confirm “whether it is possible to reapply and what kind of explanation is required to be given in order to be approved.
Again, whether you are reapplying for the same status of residence (visa) or changing the status of residence (visa) to Dependent, you will have to resolve the “reason for denial”.
In the case of changing the status of residence from “College Student” or “Work Visa” to “Dependent”, the “purpose of activity” is different, so changing the status of residence may solve the cause of the problem. (However, please note that if “Dependent” is approved, you will be engaged in a different activity than before.)
The problem is when the reason for non-permission is “you”. For example, if you are an international student who has overworked, or if you are not considered to be living seriously in Japan, there may be no other way to resolve the “reason for non-permission” other than to “leave Japan once”.
In other words, if the “reason for denial” can be resolved, the applicant can reapply and receive approval; if not, the application is likely to be denied no matter how many times the applicant applies.
Re-apply for Dependent visa after the change to Dependent visa is not approved.
When “Dependent” is disapproved, the reason is either “you” (the applicant) or “your dependents” (family members working on a work visa).
If the reason is “you”, then in many cases there is a problem with your previous residency status (have you been overworked, etc.)
In this case, if you show remorse (write a letter of remorse) and reapply but your application is still disapproved, you will have no choice but to return to your country once. If the case is too malicious, you may not even get a chance to reapply.
When the reason is on the “dependents” (family members working on a work visa), for example, when the job is not appropriate or when the income is deemed too low for the family to live in Japan. This is also difficult to resolve immediately, but there is a way to reapply if it can be resolved.
If the renewal of your college student visa is not approved, then apply for a Dependent visa.
There are many reasons why a student visa may be disapproved, but in many cases it may be due to “overwork” or “not attending school (low attendance)”. Since this happened in the past, it is not possible to resolve the “reason for inadmissibility”.
In this case, if you applied under “Dependent”, you may be able to get permission by taking measures such as attaching a letter of remorse after you have made a thorough reflection, etc. In malicious cases, you may not be able to get permission unless you leave the country and re-enter the country.
*It is normal to be asked to leave the country once if you are found to be “overworked” or otherwise inadequately residing in the country.
*It is not my intention to recommend that you “marry” and apply for a Dependent stay in order to remain in Japan
Change to a work visa is disapproved, and now apply for a Dependent visa.
When a work visa is denied, the cause may be on you (the applicant) or it may not be on you (the applicant), such as the company or the nature of your work.
If the purpose of your stay in Japan has changed (e.g., you have given up your job and started married life), such as if you were denied permission because of the nature of your work and your job offer was rescinded, there is room to apply for a “Dependent” status.
If the reason for the denial is “you” (the applicant), as we have explained, you may be able to obtain permission by showing remorse (by writing a letter of remorse). However, there may still be cases where you will not be permitted unless you leave the country once.
*It is not my intention to recommend that you “marry” and apply for a Dependent stay in order to remain in Japan
What should I write in my letter of remorse?
A letter of remorse is not just a simple apology. In addition to your remorse, you should carefully summarize your explanation of the situation at the time, why you did what you did, and what you can do to prevent such behavior from repeating itself in the future. If the truth is not stated here (i.e., there is a discrepancy between the immigration office’s understanding of the situation and the content of the written statement), permission will not be granted even if you reapply.
This is the same even if you left Japan once. If you left Japan after it was pointed out to you that your status of residence was not good enough, you must attach a statement of remorse including an explanation of the circumstances when you reapply, or you will not be granted permission .
Is it easier to get a permit for a Dependent?
We are often asked if it is easier to obtain a Dependent visa compared to a work visa, but it is difficult to make a general comparison because basically any visa status will grant permission as long as the requirements are met.
It is true that there is an aspect of “consideration” if the family wishes to live together, even if their application for other statuses of residence has been denied. For example, we have had cases where a student’s status of residence was changed to “Designated Activities (Preparation for Departure)” after being denied renewal of a student visa or change to a work visa due to overwork, but was subsequently granted permission after applying for a “Dependent” visa. However, it may have just happened that they were “allowed” at that time. It may not always be possible to obtain permission, but depending on the circumstances, it is possible to obtain permission even if you have been denied once.
Again, in any case, a sham marriage in order to remain in Japan is not acceptable and will not be granted reapplication.
The above explains how to apply for a Dependent after being denied permission.
Basically, in any case, reapplication is to be made after resolving the “reasons for disapproval”. This is true whether you are reapplying for a Dependent visa after it has been denied the first time, or if you are reapplying for another visa status after it has been denied the first time. However, it is not possible to change what happened in the past. In such cases, if the visa status you are applying for is Dependent, you may be allowed to apply for the visa if you show remorse.