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Japan is tightening rules on student residences to combat illegal work and missing foreign students

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Immigration Services Office

The Immigration Services Agency on Friday amended a Justice Ministry regulation on the residency status of foreign students at universities and vocational schools in Japan by tightening the criteria for granting the status.

The measure was taken following several incidents that have come to light since around 2019, in which some foreign students reported missing by their universities were later found to be working illegally. The revision of the regulation aims to strengthen measures against such issues.

Measures include halting the acceptance of foreign students at universities with inadequate management of foreign students. The required duration of study at a Japanese language school for foreign students enrolled in vocational schools, for example for informal care, will be increased from the current minimum of six months to just over a year.

Furthermore, due to the high number of missing persons among research and audit students learning Japanese for the purpose of enrolling in undergraduate programs, they are not granted student residency status.

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