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July 29, 2009

Foreign residents who do not have government health insurance will not be able to renew their visas

japa_flag.jpgThe Japanese Diet has passed a new law requiring foreign residents to show proof of being enrolled with the government social or national insurance before their visas can be renewed. A high percentage of foreign teachers currently use private insurance schemes that are often cheaper and cover a higher percentage of health costs than government insurance does.

An additional problem is that those who join one of the government insurance schemes in order to renew their visas may have to pay a penalty of up to two years' of back payments. The new law takes effect in April 2010, and there is likely to be a lot of anxiety about this issue between now and then.

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