Dakshini Siriwardena never expected that the failure of her father's business in Japan would leave her with no choice but to live here as an exchange student — despite having resided in the country for more than 16 years.

"It's ridiculous that I had the same education as a Japanese and have grown up in Japanese society, but suddenly I've become a foreign student," the 21-year-old Sri Lankan said.

The legal status of the children of immigrants in the nation is highly dependent on the economic stability of their parents. No matter how long they have lived here, if this stability is threatened, their legal status, too, can be in danger.