Can a foreign national choose to leave Japan voluntarily even after being detained at an immigration detention center?

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February 24, 2016
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Choosing to leave Japan voluntarily during deportation proceedings can be very beneficial for the foreign national. Instead of being barred from reentering Japan for 5 years, the foreign national can return to Japan in only one year. While 1 year may seem like a long time, it is still greatly preferable to the alternative 5 year ban.

However, once a foreign national has been detained in an immigration detention center, normally he or she is not allowed to leave. Therefore, the foreign national must make it clear that he or she wishes to leave Japan through voluntary departure.

When a foreign national chooses voluntary departure, but he or she has already been detained by the immigration department, he or she is given provisional release to allow the settling of affairs in Japan. This could include selling personal belongings, closing a business and/or selling a house, among other things. The amount of time granted for these activities is limited, so the foreign national may have to arrange for someone to help or follow up with these tasks once the foreign national leaves.

If you have any questions about deportation from Japan, please contact our office for a legal consultation.