The influence of Covid-19 hits foreign students’ living directly in Japan. The number of part-time jobs, which they are permitted to do with their visa status, tends to be reduced unexpectedly and there seem to be a lot of foreign students who are terminated employment contract and are forced to take unwilling days off because of stores and restaurants closing down due to coronavirus.

In this situation, the number of foreign students who fall behind in payments of rent and school expenses is increasing more and more.

Foreign students tends to fall into information deficiency even though they are really in trouble because of language barrier.

If you were told unexpectedly to take unwilling days off from your job, what should you do?

First thing first, the office in a broad sense, including restaurants and factories, where you work at, has responsibility for compensation for absence from work and you need to claim compensation for your unwilling days off.

Regarding the above, Article 26th of Labor Standards Act says,

In the event of an absence from work for reasons attributable to the employer, the employer shall pay an allowance equal to at least 60 percent of the worker’s average wage to each worker concerned during the period of absence from work.

Reference: Japanese law translation

The place where you can consult about your distress

If you really face living difficulties and other toubles, you just contact to POSSE Foreign Labor Support Center,which is a NGO supporting foreign workers living in Japan.


Types of benefits that foreigner can also receive except for special benefit, 100,000

And also, you check out two public supports which foreign students can receive.

Housing benefit (住居確保給付金) This benefit is subject to people who face diffiluty of living and are in danger of losing the place to live in. The government will pay a benefit to cover the cost of rent. You apply for this benefit at the window of the municipality where you receive the resident certificate
Emergency small loan (緊急小口資金) This small fund system is managed by the council of social welfare of each municipality. If you clear the screening, you can borrow maximam 200,000 yen without interest.

Details of housing benefits (住居確保給付金)

If you leave your job or your business closes down

  • Condition 1: You are distressed financially because you left your job or something and you’ve already lost or are in danger of losing home
  • Condition 2: The application date should be within 2 years from the day your business closed down or you left your job<
  • Condition 3: You, “the applicant”, must be the head of the household

If income reduction because of absense from work leads you not really to leave your job and close your business but to be still in extremely distressed situation.

  • Condition 1: You are distressed financially because of unavoidable absense from work and you have lost your home or are in danger of losing your home.
  • Condition 2: You are in the equivalent situation as closing business or absense from work because the chances you receive income reduce due to grounds not attributable to yourself and your convenience.
  • Condition 3: You, “the applicant”, must be the head of the household

You must correspond to all the following conditions

  • Total income amount of the the household in the month that belongs to the application date shall be less than the the total amount of rent and reference amount. The reference is one twelve of income amount which municipal inhabitant tax per capital basis is exempted.
  • Total amount of financial assets possessed by an applicant and applicant’s family members in the same household must be less than sixfold of reference amount (However, maximum is 1 million yen).
  • You go to public employment security office and look for a job earnestly to find a full-time position.
  • An applicant and applicant’s family in the same household don’t receive the job training benefits based on the government’s employment policy or the similar benefits managed by the municipality with the aim of securing home for displaced workers.
  • An applicant and applicant’s family in the same household are not a memeber of a gang group

How much you receive

Mothly rent will be paid on regular basis (The limitation of housing assistance based on the Public Assistance Act is the upper limit of payment). However, if the total income of the household exceeds the reference amount, housing benefits shall be paid pertially.

How long you receive the beneifit

In principle, you can receive it for 3 months. However, if you satisfy a certain requirement like you look for job seriously and earnestly, The payment period can be extendable 2 times up to maximum 3 months from the day you apply for this payment.

How to be paid

The housing benefit will be transferred directly to apartment or house owner’s bank account.

About job hunting during payment

You must do job hunting to get full-time position by taking advantage of the public employment seccurity office and employment spport from an idenpedent consultation support organization.

  • You shall receive employment support from an idenpedent consultation support organization more than 4 times a month
  • You shall receive an advice from the public employment security office 2 times a month.
  • You shall apply for job or have an interview with a company you apply for more than once a week

However, If your income reduction because of absense from work leads you not really to leave your job and close your business but to be still in extremely distressed situation, you are not required to satisfy the second and the third conditions.

Reference: About Housing Benefit (Kanagawa Prefcture)

If you apply for this benefit, you just contanct to the municipal office that belongs to the city where you live

Emergency small koan (緊急小口資金)

If low income households face the difficulty of living emergently and temporarily with the following reasons, small loan can be lent


  • If you need temporary money for the payment of medical care and nursing care
  • If you need money for a living beause you are visited by a fire
  • If you need money for a living by the time that pension, insurance and other benefits start to be paid
  • If you need money for a living because your income reduces because of unemployment or absence from work.
  • If you need money because your expenses increase due to some taxes, the national health insurance and the pention insurance which you fall behind in paying
  • If you face difficulty of living because you fall behind in public utilities expenses
  • If you need money to receive successive support based on a law from a specific organization
  • If you need money because your salary is stolen
  • If you need money with unavoidable reasons which is equivalent with the above situations and has high urgency.

Loan value, inerest, pay-back period,

Loan Value Necessary amount within 100,000yen
Interest No Interest
Deferment period within 2 months
Pay-back period within 12 months
Guarantor No need

Ncessesary documents and certificates

  • Applicant’s residence certificate
  • Applicant’s identification document (Japanese dirver’s lisence, National health insurance, etc…)
  • Income certificate (of applicant’s household)
  • A copy of applicant’s savings account
  • Documents that can prove you face financial difficulty (receipt of medical bills, theft report, employment certificate, etc…)

Things to be noted

  • You are required to pay loan back two month later. You should have prospect of repayment.
  • If you can’t pay back the principal within the planning period, 5 percent of interest will be added on the principal when you pay back.
  • After you apply for this small loan, screening will be done. If your screening passed, loan would be transferred to your designated savings account. It takes around a week until transfer is completed.
  • If you receive loan by false declaration and improper means, you must pay loan back immediately.

Reference: The council of social welfare in Kanagawa

If you apply for this loan, you just contanct to the council of social welfare that belongs to the city where you live

Life consulation counter for foreign student in Japan

Consulation of life in general, including studing environment is taken charge of by international associations installed in each municiaplity.

In the counsultation counter for foreigners installed in Osaka International House Foundation, Staff will support foreigners in 5 different languages by email and phone.

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