The current support from Immigration Bureau for Ukrainians
More and more initiatives are built for Ukrainians, and finally the clear and concrete support programs are announced from Immigration Bureau.
As of April 19th, 2022, 664 Ukrainians arrived in Japan.
1. While staying in a temporary housing
- ¥1,000 cash per day for those older than 12 years old
- ¥500 cash per day for those younger than 11 years old
— aside from food cost.
2. Lump-sum payment
Mainly for buying furtinture and home appliances to start settling in Japan.
- ¥160,000 for those older than 16 years old
- ¥80,000 for those younger than 15 years old
3. Covering living cost “after” leaving temporary housing
After leaving temporary housing, the following amount will be paid based on public assistance system.
- ¥2,400 for those older than 12 years old (¥1,600 for family member)
- ¥1,200 for those younger than 11 years old
As of now, the government announced that these financial support will last for the first 6 months. Hoping more support initiatives will be announced before the 7th month.
Japan is famous for not accepting refugees, but this time Immigration Bureau announced a specific residential status type for Ukraininans fleeing their home country.
Most likely Ukrainians will land in Japan with temporary short-term visa (3-month), and they can change the status to 1-year Designated Activity within Japan.
Designated Activity (1 year)
Disignated Activity status is categorized into over 46 types. Each designated activity visa status has different criteria, but for Ukrainians coming to Japan
- they can work
- they can enroll national health insurance (70% of medication fee will be covered)
Ukrainian people newly entering Japan under Designated Activity status (1-year) are eligible to enroll national health insurance as soon as they become residents in Japan. Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare notified all municipalities as of April 20th, 2022 to comply with this control.
Reference : https://ajhc.or.jp/siryo/20220420.pdf
While waiting for your residence card — a special ID certificate
Acquiring a residence card could take a bit (1–3 months), and without having a residence card, financial institution usually reject applications to open a bank account in Japan.
However, the government is planning to provide the financial support via a bank account based in Japan, and is deciding to provide a special ID certificate.
The information listed on the special ID certificate will be
- date of birth
- date of entry
and this certificate will be used for supplementing residence card.
Bank Account — Japan Post Bank changing rules
Opening a bank account is the headache for all international people, and banks are very reluctant to open a personal bank account for those who recently arrived in Japan. For the past few years, the majority of financial institutions have been accepting the application for opening a personal bank account for those who
- live in Japan for over 6 months with a residencial status
- have a residence card and its expiry date must be 3 months later than the date you submit the appilcation to a bank
Japan Post Bank application
When I visited Japan Post Bank 2 years ago, they could not accept the application to open a personal bank account to my friend without having a record of residing in Japan for over 6 months, but it is changing.
A good news is — Japan Post Banks are easing the bank account opening process nation wide nowadays.
What you need:
- residence card*
*expiry date must be 3 months later than the date you submit the appilcation to a bank
- copy of passport
[application — English page]
You can prepare your applications online (in total of 20 pages), and process will be mostly via mails.
There will most likely be red tapes between the process of offering financial support and transferring the cash to those who need, and I am hoping Japan Post Bank can flexibly adjust their rule and collaborate with those who really need the accounts.
More supports :
ウクライナ避難民受け入れ 自治体の相談窓口は？【一覧あり】 | NHK | News Up
NHK is always updating the latest news about contact information and government / municipal level of support for Ukrainians, so let’s keep our eyes on this.
This is a bit surprising and considerable that Immigration Bureau did not use a scheme for refugee status to deal with Ukrainian people fleeing from their country, but that may secure safer status for them given how many of refugees could actually get their residential status.
Hope this movement will push for a positive change for transforming the current scheme of handling refugee status applications.
What each of us can do is so little, but together we can accumulate information and support to build a support community.