Japan clamps down on apparent job seekers applying for refugee status
Japan Today -- Feb 28
Japan clamped down on hundreds of immigration law violators late last year, including those applying for refugee status to seek employment rather than protection in the country, the Justice Ministry said Tuesday.

Immigration authorities in Tokyo and Nagoya took action against a total of 341 foreign nationals for immigration violations, including overstays, between Nov 6 and Dec 1, according to the ministry.

They included 94 asylum seekers, with 80 of them withdrawing by the end of January their applications or appeals against decisions not recognizing them as refugees.

"Most of the 94 people applied (for refugee status) with the aim of seeking employment," said a ministry official.

From 2010 until mid-January, Japan had been granting work permits to all asylum seekers six months after they filed for refugee status to assist their lives during the screening process, which takes 9.9 months on average.

But in the face of a surge in the number of applicants believed to be seeking jobs, the country stopped offering the blanket work permit and introduced a stricter screening system.

News source: Japan Today
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