Japan to allow expats trapped overseas to return in August

Published:  13 Jul at 6 PM
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Expats and students trapped outside Japan will be allowed to re-enter in August.

Expat residents and students who left Japan before April 3 and are now stranded overseas will be allowed to re-enter in August. In a majority of world countries, sudden governmental reactions to the grim reality of the coronavirus have left literally millions of travellers, expats and students locked out of their countries of residence and unable to get back to their home countries. Japan is no exception, with some 90,000 still stranded all over the world.

Recognising the problem and finding a solution is tough for governments attempting to control the virus, and worldwide flight cancellations have prevented those desperate to get back from taking the do-it-yourself option. In order to ensure no infected residents bring the virus back in, Japan is working on introducing new regulations and specific requirements due to be announced at a later date. Numbers of those allowed back will depend on the country’s covid-19 testing capability, as was done when spouses of Japanese nationals and permanent residents were allowed to re-enter.

Expats living and working in Japan are either employees of foreign companies, technical interns or students studying for post-graduate qualifications at Japanese universities, but even highly-qualified expat professionals aren’t allowed in as yet. Japan is now in talks with Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand and Thailand as regards resuming business travel, with the same negotiations expected to begin shortly with China, Taiwan, New Zealand, South Korea and Australia. Expat residents from these countries are expected to be first in line to be allowed back into Japan.
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