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Guideline 8 to be Deleted

Good news if you're worried about the possibility of your visa renewal being denied due to your lack of national health insurance coverage:

The Immigration Bureau is planning to change a new guideline for foreign residents to ease concerns that those without social insurance will be forced to choose between losing their visa and entering the insurance system, a bureau official said Monday.

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A Closer Look at Free Choice

I'm late talking about this, but it's worth noting given Hoofin's recent comments on freechoice.jp and health insurance in Japan. After I was asked to take down a letter from a private insurance provider that I posted here, Hoofin went out and did some digging, and came up with a lot of interesting stuff.

Letter from an Insurance Company Regarding Guideline 8

An LJ reader sent me this letter from his insurance company regarding the new immigration guideline which appears to confirm that the stance on the guideline has been softened. As the letter points out, not being enrolled in a public health plan is insufficient grounds for declining a visa renewal application. It looks like a lot of instructors can breathe a sigh of relief.

Changes to Immigration Guideline to be put on Hold

As you are aware, immigration guidelines are set to be changed next April so that you will have to show proof of enrollment in shakai hoken or kokumin kenko hoken when you apply to renew your visa. This is a huge issue for eikaiwa instructors as most are not enrolled in either health plan and are faced with the possibility of having to make hefty back payments upon enrollment.

The Coming Spring Shock

The Japan Times ran a couple of articles last week on the coming changes in health insurance for foreigners in Japan.

As you are probably already aware, starting next April, you will have to show proof of enrollment in shakai hoken (SH) or kokumin kenko hoken (KKH) when you apply to renew your visa. Jenny Uechi reminds us of the law:

In Search of Answers

Old news is fun! The Japan Times reports on Yano Research's survey on the foreign language learning market in Japan, which I wrote about this at the beginning of August and touched on again earlier this month. The only difference with today's article is that the JT spoke with somebody at GEOS.

More Details on the Coming Change in Visa Renewals

The Japan Times has a good summary of the issues surrounding the changes to the visa renewal process starting in April 2010. I blogged about this a while back, but the Japan Times column covers some of the implications of having to enroll in an insurance scheme in order for foreigners to renew their work visas.

New Immigration Law Passes

While I'm on the subject of immigration, the Lower House passed a bill on new residency rules last Friday.

The big changes:

Berlitz Drags its Feet

When we last saw Berlitz, it was suing five of its instructors and two officials of the National Union of General Workers (NUGW) Tokyo Nambu for ¥110 million in damages each on the grounds that their strike was illegal and that the union was trying to damage the company.

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