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February 18, 2009

New ID cards for foreigners

japa_flag.jpgThe Yomiuri Shimbun reports that the government plans to get rid of the alien registration cards that are issued by local authorities and replace them with new ID cards that will be issued by the Immigration Bureau. The aim is to submit a bill to revise the Immigration Control Law during the current session of the Diet.

Foreign residents will be required to report changes such as to their place of employment, school or address to the Immigration Bureau, and the bureau will also be able to investigate organisations that bring foreigners into Japan. The aim is to improve the system for tracking foreigners.

The new system will create extra work for local immigration offices so the time periods for some visas may be extended. For example, the plan is for those on three-year visas to be able to have five-year visas.

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