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日本で生活するための情報 / Information for living in Japan

Social Security Service

Revised: March 29th, 2013

Social Security Service for Refugees

政府によるサービス
NGOなどの民間団体によるサービス

Visa status

The type of social security services available differ depending on the kind of your visa. Below is some information about different visa status.

  Refugee Applicant If you are a Convention Refugee, or permitted to reside in Japan based on humanitarian consideration
Did you apply for refugee status while your visa was still valid? Did you apply for refugee status after your visa expired?
Visa status You will be granted a visa called "designated activities (6 months)". You can renew it until the result of your appeal for refugee status is decided. If you do not have a valid visa, either you have a permit called provisional release/stay, or you are overstaying. You will not have a valid visa until you are granted refugee status or special permission of residence based on humanitarian consideration. Usually, you will be granted a visa of either “long-term resident” or "designated activities (1 year /3 year)".

Medical System

  Refugee Applicant If you are either “long-term resident” or have a visa of "designated activities (1 year/3year)"
Have a visa of designated activities (6 months)? Under provisional stay Under provisional release or overstaying
National Health Insurance May be eligible May be eligible Not available Qualified
Medical Checkups You can use free medical checkups provided by NGOs
Financial assistance for childbirth in a hospital
(service by which you can give birth to your baby in a hospital for free or low fee)
Your can receive the assistance whether you have a valid visa or not, only if the local government acknowledges that you are in a very difficult economic situation.

Education

  Refugee Applicant Are you a "long-term resident” or have a status of “designated activities” (1 year/3 year)"?
Have a status of designated activities (6 months)? Under provisional release/stay, or overstaying?
Education of Japanese Language Japanese Language schools run by volunteers are available.
Nightly Junior High Schools You can enter a nightly junior high school on the condition that you have not received the same level of education before. The school is available whether you have a valid visa or not.
Education of Children
(Public elementary and junior high schools)
Although foreign nationals do not fall within the scope of compulsory education, they can enter Japanese elementary/junior high schools as Japanese do.

Job

  Refugee Applicant Are you a "long-term resident” or have a status of “designated activities” (1 year/3 year)"?
Have a status of designated activities (6 months)? Under provisional release/stay, or overstaying?
Work Permit In case you have been waiting for more than 6 months for the result of your refugee application, you can work until you receive the application (appeal) result if you submit “application for change of status of residence”. Legally speaking, you cannot work You can work
To use public job-placement service like "Hello Work" Available if you have a work permit Not Available Available

Housing

  Refugee Applicant Are you a "long-term resident” or have a status of “designated activities” (1 year/3 year)"?
Have a status of designated activities (6 months)? Under provisional release/stay, or overstaying?
Shelters for Refugee Applicant Available (However, there are only several such shelters and they restrict the number of residents and the staying period). n/a
Guest House Available Available (Some guest houses require you to have a valid passport and visa) Available
Rented Apartment Available (However, many rented apartments do not rent a room to foreign people. Also, a rented apartment is very expensive for the first contract.)
Public Housing Criteria for availability are different depending on the public housing, but generally speaking, it is difficult to use a public housing without a visa of “long-term resident”.

Financial Assistance

  Refugee Applicant Are you a "long-term resident” or have a status of “designated activities” (1 year/3 year)"?
Have a status of designated activities (6 months)? Under provisional release/stay, or overstaying?
Emergency Assistance from JAR Possible (depending on your financial status)
Assistance from Foreign Ministry (RHQ) Possible (if Foreign Ministry agrees that the support is necessary) Not Possible
Public Assistance Depends on the case Possible