Enforcement of written deportation orders, deportation, and voluntary departure at one's own expense

1. Enforcement of written deportation orders

Upon the issuance of a written deportation order, an immigration control officer will present said document to the foreign national, who must begin the deportation procedure immediately.

Should the foreign national receiving the deportation notice (hereinafter referred to as the "deportee") be unable to leave Japan, they may be detained at an immigration detention center, a Regional Immigration Services Bureau, or another suitable location (as designated by the Minister of Justice or a Ministry Auditor) until it is possible for them to be repatriated.

2. Deportation

  1. Destination

    In principle, a deportee will be returned to the country in which they hold citizenship. If this is not possible, they must elect to be sent to one of the following countries:

    1. The country in which they resided immediately prior to entering Japan
    2. Another country in which they have resided prior to entering Japan
    3. The country that served as their port of departure
    4. The country in which they were born
    5. The country/region to which their birthplace once belonged (at the time of their birth)
    6. Any other country not specified above


    However, deportees will only be sent to a country that agrees to accept them.

    Deportees also cannot be sent to countries where it has been determined by the Minister of Justice that doing so would be harmful or pose a risk to either national interests/safety or to the deportee's personal safety, as stated in Article 33-1 of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act (otherwise known as the "principle of non-refoulement").

  2. Deportation method

    There are three main forms of deportation: voluntary departure at one's own expense, departure at the carrier's expense, and departure at the country's expense. Due to the fact that the repatriation costs are borne by the taxpayers (when the departure is at the country's expense), it is necessary to prevent violations to the Immigration Control Act and discourage illegal entry, overstaying, unauthorized employment, etc. If a deportee is capable of departing at their own expense, they will be highly encouraged to do so. However, if a deportee is unable to secure the means to leave the country (airline tickets, funds, etc.) or requires an expedited return for humanitarian reasons, then the government will step in to assist with the procedure.

    Those who may be subject to "departure at the carrier's expense" include:

    1. Those who were denied landing permissions during the initial inspection process; or
    2. Those who fall under any of the Articles from 24-5 through 24-6 (2) of the Immigration Control Act.


    This also applies to deportees who are being deported on the grounds of Article 24 of the Immigration Control Act (within five years of their landing) whose carrier was aware that they would be denied entry upon arrival.

3. Voluntary departure at one's own expense

  1. Obtaining permission

    In order to obtain permission to depart voluntarily, it must be confirmed by either an Immigration Detention Center Director or a Ministry Auditor that the deportee not only intends to leave Japan as soon as possible, but has the means to do so at their own expense (based on their travel documents, airline tickets, bank balances, etc).

  2. Items required

    An individual wishing to depart voluntarily at their own expense must possess a valid passport and an airline ticket leading to their destination (or the means to purchase one).

Top of page