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Free Consultations for Foreign Residents

The “Free Consultations for Foreign Residents” leaflet is shown above (2014 version).  This document has been translated into 12 different languages. ©TICC

The "Free Consultations for Foreign Residents" leaflet is shown above (2014 version). This document has been translated into 12 different languages.

When confronted with issues in the course of everyday life, have you ever wished that you could consult with a professional expert using your own language? Were you aware that here in Tokyo there are "Free Consultations for Foreign Residents" that are held in response to such desires? Such events are conducted throughout the metropolitan area by groups that have joined the "Tokyo Supporting Network for Foreign Residents," an organization comprised of local municipality and city international exchange associations, foreign resident support organizations, lawyer groups and universities, etc. Since commencement of "Free Consultations for Foreign Residents" in 2002, more than 3,500 foreign nationals have sought advice.

Regarding topics for which consultations may be sought; there are a wide range of issues covered. These include legal problems such as visa and resident status issues, as well as marriage and divorce matters, etc.; labor issues; insurance, pension and taxation issues; housing and contractual trouble, etc. At the venues where consultations are held, professional experts such as lawyers, legal scriveners, and labor and social security attorneys are on hand to respond to inquiries. Where deemed necessary, referrals to psychological counselors and education advisers, etc., can also be arranged. Furthermore, in addition to the English, Chinese and Korean languages, support in other languages is offered by volunteer interpreters.

Concerning the dates, times and venues of "Free Consultations for Foreign Residents," information is published on the Tokyo International Communication Committee (TICC) website. Please note that advanced bookings for consultations are not necessary, however, depending on the organization hosting specific events, the types of professional expert on-hand to respond to inquiries may vary, as well as the languages for which interpretation services are offered. Thus, parties interested in attending a specific event are advised to contact the hosting organization in advance in order to confirm such matters. Furthermore, please note that consultations are offered free of charge, and that the privacy of individuals shall be respected. It is hoped that foreign residents who don't understand Japanese law, or those experiencing anxieties with respect to living in Japan, will seek to attend these events rather than struggling with their problems alone. Furthermore, it is also hoped that Japanese people will tell any foreign residents they know to be experiencing such difficulties about these "Free Consultations for Foreign Residents."

Free Consultations for Foreign Residents Schedule
*For more information about dates, times, and venues, as well as the organizations hosting specific events, please refer to the following links.