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Visa violators face severe penalties in Japan

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The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) warned Filipino workers who are planning to work illegally in Japan against pursuing their plan or they may face severe penalties once caught.

POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia recently said that foreigners involved in unqualified activities are in violation of Japan’s law on the proper use of visa or residence status.

Among the penalties illegal workers may face are detention and deportation, including prison term and a ban from re-entering Japan, depending on the gravity of the violation of the residency status, forfeiting their right to pursue other employment opportunities in Japan.

Olalia issued a reminder after the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Tokyo reported that some Filipinos were involved in unqualified activities in violation of the Immigration and Refugee Control Act of Japan.

“Unqualified activity includes taking up a job or work which is beyond the limitation of the visa or the permitted work under the category of residence status of a foreigner in Japan,” he added.

Labor Attache Marie Rose Escalada said there are engineers with engineering/ humanities/international services visa who worked as laborers, factory workers, machine operators or kitchen helpers.

Some teachers or instructors went to Japan but end up as babysitters or nannies in school or household of the supposed employer.

Filipinos holding a visa of an interpreter were also found working as care workers in facilities for the handicapped or elderly while international salespersons supposedly to market the products of the Japanese employer were working as hotel cleaners or kitchen staff.

Those recruited as household service workers under a special program for such work at the National Strategic Zones and overseas performing artists were caught moonlighting as club workers or hostesses.

On the other hand, Olalia reminded anew Filipinos who are seeking employment in Japan to only transact with licensed recruitment agencies with job orders approved by the POEA.

“For their own protection, applicants for overseas jobs should have the appropriate work permit or visa or employment contract approved by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) and processed by the POEA before leaving the country,” he said.

The POEA chief also enjoined applicants to be vigilant against illegal recruiters and to report any suspected illegal recruitment activities to the POEA Anti-Illegal Recruitment Branch at 722-11-92 or at POEA Hotline numbers 722-11-44 or 722- 11-55.

For those who are in Japan they may also contact POLO Tokyo at its email address polotokyo@gmail.com or Facebook page facebook.com/poloowwatokyo. (Ferdinand Patinio, PNA)

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