When Non-Japanese Committed Crime – Resident Status-
I. Deportation Issue
According to the Supreme Court’s Judgement on McLean of 4 October 1978, basic human rights guaranteed in the Constitution don’t include the right of foreigners to reside in Japan. Though foreigners can enjoy human rights guaranteed in the Constitution, the right to reside in Japan and to re-entry to Japan are to be at the discretion of the Minister of Justice as human rights are the right as the citizens as premise for the state. Moreover, the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act establishes the system of deportation procedure. When a foreigner commits a crime in Japan, the Act applies to the foreigner and he or she might be ordered to leave Japan. In other word, the right of foreigners to reside in Japan is granted as long as they meet compliance requirement in the Act. The Act provides that “a person who has been sentenced on or after November 1, 1951, to imprisonment with or without work or imprisonment for life or for a period of not less than 1 year. However, this shall not apply to those who have been found guilty with suspension of execution of sentence.” as a ground of deportation (Art. 24(ⅳ)(i) of the Act).
The Act also separately provides the grounds of deportation for foreigners with a status of residence listed in the left-hand column of Appended Table I (Art. 24(ⅳ)-2 of the Act). A foreigner with this status of residence who has been sentenced to imprisonment with or without work on the charge of a crime: braking into a residence; counterfeiting of a document; injury; theft; robbery; fraud; breach of trust; extortion, etc. might be deported. For example, the statutory penalty of injury is imprisonment with work for not more than 15 years or a fine of not more than 500,000 yen, so you might not be deported if you sentenced to a fine; however, you are likely to be subject to deportation if you faced conviction even on probation.
Besides, deportation procedure may be initiated against even a permanent resident foreigner in accordance with Art.
24(ⅳ)(i) of the Act when he or she got a prison sentence for more than 1 year.
As seen above, foreigners could be subject to deportation in case where they got involved in a criminal case. Therefore, it is of considerable significance to increase a possibility to gain non-prosecution, summary order, and suspended sentence by asking a lawyer to speak defense of them from the early stage of arrest.
II. Extension of Period of Stay
Foreign residents with a status of residence may stay in Japan as long as the period of stay is valid. The Act sets the procedure to extend the period that the Minister of Justice may grant permission only when he/she finds that there are reasonable grounds to grant the extension of the period on the strength of the documents submitted by the foreigner. In the procedure, there are elements to be considered such as eligibility for status of residence, conformity with standard for verification for landing, and “behavior and conduct must be good”. This element includes if a foreigner received criminal punishment, faced imprisonment with or without work or fine, and other violations. In extending the period, the content of criminal record, the types of status of residence and circumstances of the last extension of status of residence are to be considered comprehensively. The standard based on the grounds of deportation under the Act is applied to the extension of status of residence; however, there is a precedent that the extension was not permitted even in a case of fine.
III. Revocation of Status of Residence
The procedure for revocation is set in Art. 22-4 of the Act. Basically, the status is revoked when a foreigner made fake entry in applying for visa or failed to submit notification of residence. Criminal conducts committed in Japan don’t trigger revocation.
IV. Application for Permanent Resident Status and Naturalization
One of the requirement of application for permanent resident status and naturalization is “behavior and conduct must be good”. This means that it is required that an applicant should comply with the laws in Japan and make a life not socially criticized as a resident in Japan. While this requirement includes not only with or without criminal records but various factors, the fact that the applicant had committed a crime could affect the requirement. For that reason, if you are considering an application for permanent resident status and naturalization, it’s very important to minimize the criminal punishment.
AICHI Criminal Cases Law Firm has lots of criminal lawyers. Our lawyers get involved in your case right after arrest and conduct the defense considering an issue of resident status.