Question from Koy, Can I Apply for a Visa After an Overstay and Marriage in Japan?
Answer from AI:
If you have overstayed your visa in Japan and subsequently married a Japanese national who was underage at the time, there are several legal considerations to take into account when thinking about re-entering Japan. It’s important to understand the implications of the overstay, the departure order system, and the process of applying for a visa to live with your spouse.
Understanding the Departure Order System
In Japan, the departure order system is an alternative to deportation for those who have overstayed their visa for a short period of time. If you voluntarily report to the immigration authorities and leave the country promptly, you may be subject to a shorter re-entry ban, typically for one year, as opposed to a re-entry ban of up to ten years that can be imposed in cases of deportation.
Legal Implications of Marrying a Minor
Marriage to a Japanese individual who is 17 years old carries its own legal complexities. In Japan, the legal age of marriage is 18 for males and 16 for females, with parental consent required for individuals under 20. If you married a 17-year-old, it is assumed that parental consent was obtained. However, this does not automatically grant you any immigration benefits.
Applying for a Spouse Visa After the Entry Ban
Once your one-year entry ban is lifted, you can apply for a visa to return to Japan. However, the process is not necessarily “easy” and will require you to meet specific criteria. Here are the typical steps you might take:
- Gather all necessary documents, including proof of your marriage and evidence of your spouse’s ability to support you financially.
- Apply for a spouse visa (also known as a Spouse of a Japanese National visa) at a Japanese embassy or consulate in your home country.
- Undergo an interview and provide a reasonable explanation for your previous overstay.
- Wait for the visa application to be processed, which can take several months.
It’s important to note that having a Japanese spouse does not guarantee visa approval, especially if you have a history of immigration violations. The immigration authorities will consider your entire history, including the overstay and the circumstances of your marriage.
When to Seek Legal Advice
Given the complexities of immigration law and the potential for complications due to your overstay and marriage to a minor, it is highly recommended that you consult with an immigration lawyer who is well-versed in Japanese law. A legal professional can provide personalized advice and assist you in preparing a strong visa application.
For more information on the spouse visa application process and the departure order system, you can visit the official website of the Immigration Services Agency of Japan. It is also advisable to review the Japanese Law Translation website for English translations of relevant laws and regulations.
Remember, while general guidelines can be helpful, they cannot replace the tailored advice of a legal professional. If you are unsure about any aspect of your situation, seeking legal advice is the best course of action.