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Guideline 8 Officially Deleted

If you haven't heard by now, the Immigration Bureau has officially deleted Guideline 8 and replaced it with:

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:

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.

Revised Visa Renewal Procedures Starting in 2010

According to the Ministry of Justice, effective April 1, 2010, you will have to show your health insurance card--either kenko kokumin hoken (National Health Insurance) or shakai hoken (Company Health Insurance)--when you apply to renew your visa or change your visa status. If you do not belong to one of these plans, you will be encouraged (forced?) to join or your visa could possibly be revoked.

New System to Help Protect Consumers

The Sankei shimbun has a story describing a new insurance scheme for consumers that partially insures should the language school or beauty salons they are using goes bankrupt. The system started this month and is expected to see a growing number of participants.

InterGlobal Medical Insurance

InterGlobal has contacted me with information regarding private medical insurance. Here's the message:

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