Breaking the Law: 10 Points
Not knowing is no excuse.
If you break the law, you could find yourself in serious trouble, so be careful!
You can be fined up to 200,000 yen if you do not keep your residence card in your possession. Always be sure you have your residence card with you. If your visa renewal is pending, you must keep the "Proof of Passport and Residence card Entrument" together with a copy of your residence card on your person at all times. The police regularly perform residence card checks in Beppu City, so always be sure to have it with you.
Students with a work permit cannot work more than 28 hours in a week (or if 8 hours in a day during long breaks). Many people think "as long as they don't catch me, I'll be okay"), but people who work illegally like this will be found. Especially with the introduction of the "My Number" (tax ID number) system in 2016, checking for people working illegally will become very severe. If you are caught working more than the allowed number of hours, you may not be able to renew your visa, or you may face fines, imprisonment, or deportation.
Student visas are issued with the prerequisite that you will graduate from University within four years, so in order to renew your visa it is very important that you have been acquiring credits. At a minimum, you should aim for completing at least 75% of the maximum number of credits. If you do not have enough credits, you will not be able to renew your visa and you will not be able to continue your studies at APU, resulting in withdrawal from the University.
Intentionally failing to complete enough credits to graduate on time in order to stay longer is strictly prohibited. If you do this, you will not be allowed to renew your visa.
If you want to look for a job after graduation, you will need to convert your visa to a "Designated Activities" visa.
If you submit any documents with false information to the University or the Immigration Bureau (including faked medical or hospital records, falsified documents, forged documents, or altered documents), your visa renewal application will be denied.
At APU we have experienced a case where someone included false hospital records with their visa renewal application, and in their investigation the Immigration Bureau not only denied the application, they also deported the person.
Your visa becomes invalid regardless of its expiration date once you are no longer pursuing the activity permitted by your (student) visa. Because of this, you need to promptly leave Japan once you start a leave of absence, withdraw, or graduate from the University. You cannot remain in Japan for an extended period on your student visa except for childbirth or other special circumstances. Of course, this also means you cannot work.
Additionally, as you are leaving Japan for after graduating, withdrawing, or starting your leave of absence, you need to be sure to cancel your student visa when you go through the immigration inspection. If you depart Japan without cancelling your student visa, you must not go through immigration in Japan using this student visa. If you do, you will be subject to punishment under the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, and the next time you attempt to get a visa you may face serious trouble and may even receive punishment under the law.
If you are not involved in the activity permitted by your visa for a set period of time (3 months or more), your visa will be cancelled. According to the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, if you are going to be away from Japan for 3 months or longer, you must cancel your student visa when you leave Japan. However, because you can only be issued a student visa one time while at APU (except for leave of absence, withdrawal, or study abroad), you need to consult in advance with the Student Office about leave of absence or other procedures.
Because of an agreement between the University and the Immigration Bureau, individual students are unable to go directly to immigration to renew their visas or apply for work permits. Everyone must apply through the University. (Students may deal directly with Immigration when reissuing a residence card or applying to change or update information on their residence card.)
If you write anything on the back of your residence card your card will be rendered invalid. If you have written something on the back of your residence card and your card has become invalid, you will need to go the Immigration Bureau to apply to have your card reissued. If your address changes, you must go to Beppu City Hall within 14 days to report your change of address. You can be fined up to 200,000 yen if you fail to do so.
If your residence card is lost, stolen, or destroyed and you no longer have it, you must go to Immigration to apply to reissue your card within 14 days of when you realize you no longer have it.
You can be imprisoned up to 1 year and/or fined up to 200,000 yen if you fail to do so. See ■ What to do when you lose your residence card for information on what to do.