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My Instructor residence status for Japan is valid until 2022. I left Japan two months ago to visit my country of citizenship, the US, with the intention of returning and starting a new job before 90 days had elapsed. Due to unforseen circumstances, I'm having to postpone my return to and employment in Japan until August or September.

I notified Immigration using the required form within several days of finishing my last employment, and got a "Special Re-entry Permit", valid for 1 year, stapled in my passport at the airport when I left the country (I have my zairyu card). However, my understanding is that my residence status can be revoked after 90 days of not engaging in my "designated activity".

If I accept an offer for a job in Japan starting in August or September, what should I do about my residence status? Do I assume it will be cancelled when I pass the 90-day mark? Do I need to request that Immigration cancel it before an employer applies for a new COE on my behalf? Or is there a way to keep it valid until my return?

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According to item 2-vi in the following link about Revocation of Status of Residence, your residence status is not automatically revoked at the 90 days mark.

http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/tetuduki/zairyuu/torikeshi.html

Where a foreign national staying in Japan with the status of residence listed in the left-hand column of Appended Table I of the Immigration Control Act(Note) has failed to continue to engage in the activity corresponding to that status for three months or more (excluding the case where the foreign national has a justifiable reason for not engaging in the said activity);

The list of status of residence in the left-hand column of Appended Table I is as follow.

(Note) The status of residence listed in the left-hand column of Appended Table I of the Immigration Control Act

Diplomat; Official; Professor; Artist; Religious Activities; Journalist; Business Manager and Administrator; Legal/Accounting Services; Medical Services; Researcher; Instructor; Engineer and Specialist in Humanities/International Services; Intra-company Transferee; Entertainer; Skilled Labor; Technical Intern Training; Cultural Activities; Temporary Visitor; Student; Trainee; Dependent; Designated Activities

Which reason qualifies as justifiable is up to the immigration bureau. However, assuming that you cannot return to Japan because of the current Covid-19 pandemic, I think you have a good case to justify your absent.

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  • Thank you for the answer. I am curious if I can assume being out of the country on valid 1-year re-entry permit is itself a "justifiable reason for not engaging in said activity". – Chalcosoma Apr 11 at 21:39
  • @Chalcosoma sorry but I don't know. – tsukumogami Apr 12 at 15:13

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