【Case Study】When receiving a Notice of Material Submission (request for additional materials)
Ms. B is Chinese and has a spouse visa, as she is married to Mr. A, a Japanese. She has an elderly father in China, who has no one to rely on in China since Ms. B’s mother passed away a few years ago. One day, Ms. B got a call from a friend of her father and was informed that her father had collapsed and been hospitalized. Ms. B hurriedly returned to China and decided to stay in China for a while to take care of her father. Since her Japanese visa became close to the expiration while she was in China, she returned to Japan and applied for permission to extend the period of stay.
Then, from the immigration office, a “Notice of Material Submission (資料提出通知書)” (i.e. request for additional materials) stating “Please submit a written explanation of the reason for the absence from Japan for a long period” was sent to her home.
Ms. B received such notice, but she did not know how to write such written explanation at all. So, she was worried that her spouse visa extension would be rejected and came to us for consultation.
After applying for a visa at an immigration office, you might receive a document called “Notice of Material Submission.”
After receiving a Notice of Material Submission (request for additional materials) from an immigration office, many people becomes worried, not knowing what kind of documents to prepare and how to write explanations. So, in this article, we will explain the Notice of Material Submission.
2. What is a Notice of Material Submission?
The Notice of Material Submission is sent by immigration offices for clarification of any unclear points occurred in the process of examination. For example, it is requested when submitted documents are incomplete; when there are matters that are not explained in submitted documents; and when there are doubts about submitted documents.
When receiving a Notice of Material Submission, many people may think, “My application will be rejected,” “I don’t know what to submit,” or “I cannot prepare a written explanation as requested.” Thus, people may get confused even if they haven’t done anything wrong.
There is a good chance to obtain permission if appropriate measures are taken, so it is important to calm down and handle it carefully.
3. What should be done after receiving a Notice of Material Submission?
The additional materials and explanations required by the Notice of Material Submission are important as they divide permission and non-permission of visa application. If you ignore such requests for additional materials/explanations from an immigration office, or if you give an inappropriate or irrelevant answer, the risk of rejection will greatly increase. It is very wasteful to be denied permission due to such dishonest reaction while you may have obtained permission if you have handled it seriously.
We often receive inquiries from those who got rejection due to their mistake in handling the Notice of Material Submission. Many of such cases seem to be a case where applicants could have gotten permission if they responded appropriately. Even if you try applying again after rejection due to such inappropriate handling, reapplication will be affected negatively as the immigration office keeps the previous application materials.
To prevent such an unfortunate situation, please do not panic when you receive a Notice of Material Submission and try to understand why the immigration office is asking for specific documents. This process requires a very high level of knowledge, so if you find it difficult to analyze the intention of the immigration office by yourself, we recommend that you consult with someone specializing in visa application as soon as possible.
4. Deadline for submitting additional materials
In addition, there is a deadline for submitting materials. Usually, the deadline is about 2 weeks later, so it will be a battle against time. In the Notice, it is stated that if additional materials are not submitted by the deadline, the examination will be completed only with the documents already submitted. Therefore, it is necessary to meet the deadline.
If you need to get materials from a foreign country, or if you cannot prepare the requested materials by the deadline, you should contact the immigration office to explain the circumstances and request for an extension. You should not exceed the deadline designated in the Notice of Material Submission without contacting the immigration office in advance.
5. Importance of responding to a Notice of Material Submission
When a Notice of Material Submission is sent from an immigration office, the examination at the immigration office is usually suspended until the submission of additional materials. The examination will start again only after the submission of additional documents and written explanations specified by the Notice of Material Submission. If there are any unclear or missing points in the submitted documents or explanations, you may receive another Notice of Material Submission. Therefore, it is very important to respond to the first Notice of Material Submission carefully.
Nevertheless, if you are not an expert in immigration application, it is difficult to understand the intention of the immigration examiner who sent the Notice and to give a detailed explanation in line with the intention and submit evidence that matches the explanation. In such cases, the quickest way to resolve the issue without being worried alone is to consult with an administrative scrivener who specializes in visa application.
6. How to deal with the case of Ms. B
According to the official guideline on spouse visa examination procedures, it is necessary that a couple live together unless there is a special reason in order to assert that the couple has a communal life in terms of conventional wisdom.
Whether the couple is living together or not is an important factor for the determination concerning the substance of a communal life as a couple, but each couple have different reasons and circumstances for living apart, like Ms. B.
Ms. B had no siblings or relatives in China, and Ms. B was the only one who could take care of her father. Also, while Ms. B was in China, her husband, Mr. A, traveled to China once every few weeks to take care of Ms. B’s father with Ms. B.
Therefore, we submitted a written explanation stating the specific reason, along with the hospitalization record of Ms. B’s father and the records of travel history of her husband. The examination period was longer than regular examination on extension of period of stay, but as a result, extension was permitted.
In this article, we explained the Notice of Material Submission.
The documents and explanations required by the Notice of Material Submission are important watersheds which divide permission and non-permission of visa application.
In some cases, administrative negotiations with immigration authorities may be required, so if you are uncertain about the Notice of Material Submission, please contact an administrative scrivener specialized in visas as soon as possible. Administrative scriveners who are specialized in immigration application will listen to clients’ situations and support the submission of documents in accordance with the Notice of Material Submission.