Thanks to the introduction of online visa application in Japan, my workload for visa application service has been considerably lightened.
Before the introduction, I visited immigration office almost once a week. But I don’t need to visit there anymore (Although I still visit there for some pro bono cases to help people detained there).
And the number of inquiries from the areas outside Kansai region increased. Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyushu and Tohoku. It no longer matters where clients live.
Online application has benefits for clients, too.
Applicants don’t need to pay transportation costs of lawyers, which would be very expensive if they hire a lawyer from outside their region.
Besides, they no longer are required to leave their residence cards with their lawyers twice. They only need to submit it once when the examination has been completed.
As explained above, there are many advantages for online visa application, but I think some points should be improved.
Firstly, Online application cannot be used for PR (Permanent Residence) application as of April 2023. It would be more convenient if we could apply online for PR.
Secondly, the format is not very user friendly. Some items require unusual input formats. For example, a comma must be typed between the first name, middle name, and last name, instead of a space. And formats for some residential status require users to input many irrelevant information in order to proceed to the end.
More importantly, the immigration office should increase its ability to respond to the telephone inquiries.
I sometimes call the immigration office to ask about how to input an online application format because as I said, it’s not very user-friendly.
But no matter how many times I call, the line is busy!
Other lawyers and administrative scriveners may be trying to ask the same questions.
I eventually start considering about visiting the immigration office to ask about how to fill out the online application.
Attorney at Law ATSURO TSUJINO