Application for recognition of refugee status

Name of procedure Application for recognition of refugee status
Procedural basis The Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (hereinafter referred to as the "1951 Refugee Convention") and the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees (hereinafter referred to as the "Refugee Protocol")
Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, Article 61-2
Individuals subject to procedure Foreign nationals residing in Japan
Submission period  
How to submit As a general rule, applicants must fill in the application form with the required information, prepare the attached documents, and submit these to the Regional Immigration Services Bureau themselves. If the applicant is under the age of 16 or is unable to submit these documents due to illness or for other reasons, a relative may apply on behalf of the applicant.
Handling fee There is no handling fee
Attached documents and number of copies
  • Document certifying that the applicant is a refugee (or a document claiming that the applicant is a refugee) - 1 copy
  • Two photographs (4 cm high × 3 cm wide upper body photos of the subject facing the camera hatless taken within three months of submission date; name written on back) (three photographs for applicants without a status of residence)
  • Presentation of the following documents is required
    1. Passport or Certificate of Eligibility (foreign nationals unable to present a passport or Certificate of Eligibility are to submit one copy of a document explaining the reason)
    2. Residence card (if applicable)
    3. For a foreign national being granted permission for provisional landing, landing permission for crew members, permission for emergency landing, landing permission due to distress, or landing permission for temporary refuge, the permission

    (Note) For a foreign national with a provisional release, the provisional release permit

Application format
Procedures and examples for filling out forms Please contact a Regional Immigration Services Bureau .
Where to apply The Regional Immigration Services Bureau with jurisdiction over your place of residence (Please contact either a Regional Immigration Services Bureau or an Immigration Information Center (Tel: 0570-013904).)
Hours Weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
(The day or time may vary depending on the procedure, so contact the relevant Regional Immigration Services Bureau .)
Consultation counter Regional Immigration Services Bureaus
Examination criteria That the applicant is a refugee to whom the 1951 Refugee Convention applies according to Article 1 of the 1951 Refugee Convention or Article 1 of the Refugee Protocol.
Standard processing period Six months
How to appeal Information about requesting administrative review will be made available at the time of notification of the disposition for the application for recognition of refugee status.

A guide to recognition of refugee status procedures (multilingual version)

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