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Japan grants visa extensions to stranded foreign residents

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Cambodians living in Japan are eligible to request visa extensions for up to three months, according to a notification released by the Cambodian Embassy in Japan. Hun Sen’s Facebook Page

Japan grants visa extensions to stranded foreign residents

The Cambodian Embassy in Japan has confirmed that the Japanese Immigration Office will extend stay permits for up to three months for foreigners, including Cambodians, who have expiring residence permits to reduce congestion at the office as flights become scarce during the Covid-19 epidemic.

According to the notification released on Sunday, the Cambodian Embassy said: “The Japanese Immigration Office will receive requests of residence permits and extended residence permits for three months for foreigners whose permits expire in March, April, May or June.”

The Cambodian Embassy confirmed that the permit extensions also apply to temporary residents and individuals applying for residence between March and June, such as newborns in Japan.

But the extensions are not valid for foreigners who use a specific work visa and are in the process of preparing to leave Japan.

On Friday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation issued measures to assist foreigners who arrived in Cambodia since January 1 and were unable to return home due to airspace restrictions caused by the Covid-19 epidemic.

Two of the measures were to extend type T tourist visas and void penalties for foreigners who overstay their visas until they can leave Cambodia. The measures took effect on Friday.

The Cambodian Embassy officer in Japan, who asked not to be named, told The Post on Monday that the Japanese Ministry of Justice allowed up to three-month visa extensions because of the high number of foreign residents and tourists who couldn’t return home after flight restrictions were imposed.

He said there were more than 16,000 Cambodians in Japan who have residential permits set to expire, but he doesn’t know how many of those permits will expire in March, April and May.

Ambassador of Cambodia in Japan Ung Rachana told National Television of Kampuchea (TVK) in an interview on Friday that Japan had issued a favourable measure for Cambodians returning to the Kingdom.

However, Cambodians can’t return home because of the difficulties in obtaining air tickets.

“So they can ask for a one-month extension until the situation returns to normal and they can return home,” he said.

According to Rachana, among the 16,000 Cambodians living in Japan, there are 913 students, 10,800 trainees and workers and 4,900 Cambodian citizens who hold permanent residency but haven’t been granted Japanese citizenship.

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