Living in Japan

How foreigners can receive their COVID19 Stimulus check too

Under a lot of pressure, the Japanese government will be giving  checks of 100,000 JPY to support everyone affected by COVID19… and that means everyone!

After some heated discussions about a stimulus package to support families struggling with the effects of COVID19 on the economy, a package was approved in the Japanese Diet (parliament) to provide ¥100,000 to every eligible member of society.

We were told that foreigners who have a valid MyNumber card would also be able to claim their part of the stimulus, and we posted this on our Facebook page a little while ago. While we won’t exactly receive a check in the mail, here are a few ways that you can get your ¥100,000.

Remember that you must have a My Number card to claim this money. This means that you have a valid visa for Japan and either pay taxes or have a tax code associated with you. This could apply if you are on a work visa, a spouse visa or even a student visa. However if you somehow got stuck here on a short term visa or if you are here illegally (obviously) you won’t be eligible. The Japanese government provided this useful PDF in English to explain who is eligible to apply.

Getting your COVID19 Stimulus Check

Paper applications should be sent round by the end of May, but if you can’t wait then it is possible to apply online already. You can go to kyufukin.soumu.go.jp to fill in the form, but as you might expect it is only available in Japanese. It requires you to have your MyNumber card ready plus a phone or device that can read IC cards (not every device, but they have a list of compatible smartphones here). A few people have mentioned on public forums that there are some issues with the form timing out as you reach the end, but this isn’t a widespread issue as far as we know.

The official Japanese government website where you can apply for your relief package (in Japanese)

Be careful of fake links or scams

It might seem obvious but as with everything in our digitally connected world, you should be careful where you are getting your information and only give information to sources you trust. Look for the .go.jp on any websites you go to for this issue as I’m, sure there will be links on other public forums designed to steal identities or something nefarious.

Be prepared for this to last a while

While we are all hoping to get back to normal soon, this stimulus check represents a recognition from the government that things have changed and people need to be supported. A lot of people have lost their jobs already and many local businesses are looking at the prospect of being unable to keep the lights on. If you are able, try to support local businesses in any way you can so they will still be there when this is all over.

And you’re entitled to this money regardless of whether your job has been affected by Covid19. We’re all hoping that things can start to go back to normal as soon as possible. There’s no doubt that there will be long lasting effects in Japan, but don’t feel like you need to put up with bad or even dangerous working conditions with your company. Many companies have adapted to the virus by putting everything online or establishing remote teams, so if you’re in the market for work, be sure to check on the board.

Array

I'm Charlie and I've been based in Tokyo since 2015. I started Live Work Play Japan to help foreigners in Japan to find their own version of success. I also wrote "The Smart Guide to Teaching English in Japan" which you can get on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle book.


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