Aim is to ease foreigners’ concerns
The Immigration Bureau is planning to change a new guideline for foreign residents to ease concerns that those without social insurance will be forced to choose between losing their visa and entering the insurance system, a bureau official said Monday.
But some foreigners warn the move won’t be enough to entirely free them of the risk of being forced to enter the insurance system.
The wording of the guideline, which is to be enforced April 1, currently stipulates that foreign residents must present their health insurance card when reporting changes to or renewing their residential status. It is the last of the guideline’s eight items.
“The bureau will delete item No. 8 by the end of March, and ‘lightly mention’ the need to present a health insurance card in the introductory passage of the guideline,” Immigration Bureau spokesman Yoshikazu Iimura told The Japan Times. “The wording will be in a manner to eliminate foreign residents’ concerns that their visas won’t be renewed if they don’t have insurance.”
The bureau will try to persuade foreigners who don’t have the card to enter the social insurance system by giving out brochures, but not having the insurance won’t affect the bureau’s decision whether to grant a visa, he said.