Connecticut, US

Jun 29 2020

Tuberculosis Screening to be Required for Some Applicants

Japan

At a Glance

  • Likely starting July 1, 2020, tuberculosis screening will be mandatory for foreign nationals with passports from the Philippines, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, Nepal and Myanmar who are applying for a Certificate of Eligibility and Japanese visa.
  • Foreign nationals who fail to provide a tuberculosis certificate will not be approved for their Certificate of Eligibility or Japanese visa application.
  • Foreign nationals from the above-mentioned countries whose place of residence is outside of their country of nationality are exempt from this requirement.

The situation

Foreign nationals with passports from the Philippines, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, Nepal and Myanmar seeking to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) or Japanese visa will soon need to obtain a tuberculosis (TB) clearance certificate as part of their application process. The requirement is likely to be effective July 1, 2020, subject to confirmation by the Japan Immigration Services Agency (ISA).

A closer look

  • Application process. Depending on their nationality and other circumstances, some applicants may need to provide the TB clearance certificate as part of their COE application submitted to the ISA in Japan, or during the visa application process at a Japanese consular post.
  • Certificate requirements. The certificate must be issued by a specially-designated medical facility. The ISA is expected to release further information on these facilities after July 1.
  • Exemption. Foreign nationals whose place of residence is outside of their country of nationality are exempt from this requirement.

 

Impact for employers

Employers should be prepared for a longer document gathering time during the COE or the Japanese visa application process, which may affect assignment start dates. The exact amount of processing time for the TB certificate will depend on appointment availability and processing speed of the medical facility testing and consular post/ISA (whichever is applicable).

Impact for foreign nationals

Foreign nationals who fail to provide this certificate will not be approved for the COE or Japanese visa application.

Background

Prior to this rule, Japan did not require a medical exam or any medical tests as part of the general immigration process, with the exception of the relatively new requirement of a COVID-19 test for entrants as part of the Japanese government’s COVID-19 containment efforts.

Currently, the only countries in the Asia Pacific region that test for TB during the immigration process are South Korea and Sri Lanka.

Looking ahead

COVID-19 has spurred the Japanese government to implement more medical testing requirements for immigration purposes, with more requirements expected in the future to ensure the health and safety of its local and foreign national population. Fragomen will report on further developments.

Check Fragomen’s dedicated COVID-19 website for up-to-date information on Japan and other countries’ travel, health and entry rules.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected].