When a foreigner married with Japanese and given the status of residence “Spouse of Japanese” divorces from or is bereaved of the Japanese spouse, he/she will lose the status of “spouse”, and therefore, in Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, they will lose the eligibility for the “Spouse of Japanese” status, too.
As to this, there are two important rules.
Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act
Article 19-16 Any mid to long resident who is residing in Japan with a status of residence listed in the following items shall, (snip) notify the Minister of Justice to such effect and of the matters provided for in an Ordinance of the Ministry of Justice in accordance with the procedures provided for in the Ordinance of the Ministry of Justice within 14 days of the date of the occurrence of such cause.
“Dependent” (limited to those pertaining to persons who are able to engage in daily activities as a spouse),
“Spouse or Child of Japanese National” (limited to those pertaining to persons with the status of the spouse of a Japanese national) or
“Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident” (limited to those pertaining to persons with the status of the spouse of a person residing with the status of residence of “Permanent Resident” or
“Special Permanent Resident” (hereinafter referred to as “Permanent Resident, etc.”):
Death of or Divorce from the spouse.
Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition
(snip), the Minister of Justice may revoke the foreign national’s status of residence in accordance with the procedures provided for by Ordinance of the Ministry of Justice.
Any person residing with the status of residence of “Spouse (snip) of Japanese National (snip) or the status of residence of “Spouse (snip) of Permanent Resident” (snip), who has been residing for six months or more without continuously engaging in activities as a person with the status of a spouse (except where there is a justifiable reason for residing without engaging in the activities).
Even if you divorce or lose your spouse, you will not lose your status of residence immediately, instead, for the time being, you can stay here as it is until you get the permit of changing of status of residence.
However, judging from the aim of Immigration Law, you had better apply for changing of status of residence without delay.
If you can’t get the permit, you will not be able to stay here, so you have to leave.
Solicitor & Immigration Lawyer Hitoshi Oishi
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