The Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act provides that when a foreigner seeks to land in Japan with a status of residence other than "Temporary Visitor", the Minister of Justice shall examine the conformity of the landing conditions regarding the status of residence in advance based on the application, and if the conditions are met, a certificate to that effect may be issued (application for issuance of a certificate of eligibility ).
The document issued is called a certificate of eligibility. The purpose of the Certificate of Eligibility system is to simplify, expedite, and improve the efficiency of immigration procedures.
A certificate of eligibility is issued to a foreign national who intends to land in Japan after the Minister of Justice conducts a preliminary examination to determine whether or not his/her activities in Japan meet the conditions for landing (eligibility for the status of residence and compliance with landing standards).
Even if the activity that the foreign national intends to engage in is found to fall within the scope of the status of residence and conform to the landing criteria, if it is found that the foreign national does not conform to the other landing conditions, such as falling under the grounds for denial of landing, the Certificate of Eligibility will not be issued.
When a foreign national applies for a visa by presenting a certificate of eligibility to a Japanese consulate, etc., it is treated as if the Minister of Justice has completed a preliminary examination of the conditions for landing related to the status of residence, and the examination regarding the issuance of a visa will be expedited.
In addition, foreigners who present the same certificate at the port of entry/departure will be treated by the immigration inspector as those who meet the landing requirements for the status of residence, and thus the landing examination will be simplified and expedited.