Visa violators face severe penalties in Japan

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration yesterday warned Filipino workers of the severe penalties foreigners may face for violating Japan’s law on the proper use of visa or residence status.

Administrator Bernard P. Olalia said the consequences, other than detention and deportation, may include prison term and a ban to re-enter Japan depending on the gravity of the violation of the residency status thereby forfeiting their right to pursue other employment opportunities in Japan.

Olalia said the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Tokyo reported on some Filipino nationals who were involved in unqualified activities in violation of the Immigration and Refugee Control Act of Japan.

Unqualified activity includes taking up a job or work which is beyond the limitation of the visa or the permitted work under the category of residence status of a foreigner in Japan.

Labor Attache Marie Rose C. Escalada said there are engineers with engineering/humanities/international services visa who worked as laborers, factory workers, machine operators or kitchen helpers. Some went to Japan as teachers or instructors but end up as babysitters or nannies in school or household of the supposed employer. Other Filipinos holding a visa of an interpreter were found working as care workers in facilities for the handicapped or elderly.

International sales persons supposedly to market the products of the Japanese employer ended up as hotel cleaners or kitchen staff. Household service workers recruited under a special program for domestic work at the National Strategic Zones, and overseas performing artists were caught moonlighting as club workers or hostesses.

Olalia reminded Filipinos seeking jobs in Japan to only transact with licensed recruitment agencies with job orders approved by the Administration.

“For their own protection, applicants for overseas jobs should have the appropriate work permit or visa or employment contract approved by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) and processed by the POEA before leaving the country,” Olalia said.

He also enjoined applicants to be vigilant against illegal recruiters and to report any suspected illegal recruitment activities to the POEA Anti-Illegal Recruitment Branch at 722-11-92 or at POEA Hotline numbers 722-11-44 or 722- 11-55.

Filipino workers in Japan may also contact POLO Tokyo at its email address polotokyo@gmail.com or Facebook page facebook.com/poloowwatokyo.

Credits to: POEA 

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