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Immigration authorities have resumed processing of visa applications, in a move expected to speed up entry clearance for foreign nationals with applications stuck in pending. But the change will only benefit a limited number of visa applicants, as the nation’s strict travel restrictions continue to keep foreign nationals waiting.

Last Friday, the Immigration Services Agency (ISA) resumed issuing certificates of eligibility for resident status that are delivered to foreign nationals before they travel to Japan and used in exchange for newly issued visas. The procedure had been halted since the coronavirus outbreak, and had remained in that state alongside Japan’s gradually imposed, strict entry restrictions on foreign travelers.

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