A Myanmar family who overstayed their visas and whose application for resident status was rejected filed a suit Wednesday demanding the justice minister withdraw the rejection so they can continue to stay in Japan.

The family is among 21 people who overstayed their visas who publicly approached immigration authorities in September for residential status. They claimed they have settled in Japan but were unable to receive medical insurance and other benefits because of their illegal status.

In February, 16 of the 21 were permitted to stay.

It was the first time the government had issued permits to those who have overstayed their visa and who do not have Japanese relatives. The Justice Ministry reportedly took into account that the kids are too old to return to their home countries.

But Maung Myint Swe 44, and his wife, Ma San Yu Tun 35, and daughter, Ma Yu Yu Swe, 2, did not receive the permission and were ordered to leave Japan. The couple have lived in Japan for nearly 10 years. Sources said the ministry considered the child young enough to adjust to the couple’s home country.

Maung Myint Swe is being detained at Higashi-nihon Immigration Center in Ibaraki Prefecture, and lawyers are asking for his provisional release so the family can proceed with the trial with him present in court.

Lawyers of the family said they hope to clarify why the family was unable to receive permission to stay in Japan.