The Immigration Bureau controls all matters regarding entry and residency for foreigners in Japan. Its website contains information on immigration matters, procedures, sample forms and contact information for immigration centers throughout Japan.
It should be noted that the immigration system has undergone many changes especially in the area of Residence Management. The changes went into full effect beginning July 9, 2012. All the changes are explained in a special section of the Immigration Bureau of Japan website.
For further information on the new immigration system, please refer to:
03-5796-7111, 5-5-30 Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo
045-769-1720, 10-7 Torihama-cho, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa
As a basic rule, all foreigners (or “aliens”) entering Japan should have a visa. If you are here for a short stay; for sightseeing or business, and have a valid passport from one of the countries with which Japan has a visa waiver arrangement, then you do not need a visa. Find a full list of these 61 countries (as of August 2012) on the MOFA website, or contact the Japanese Embassy in your home country for details.
When entering Japan for other purposes, you should apply for the appropriate visa from a Japanese Embassy or Consulate overseas before leaving for Japan. There are 7 categories of visa and 26 statuses of residence, all with different application requirements.
Changing Status of Residency
If you are leaving Japan temporarily; for example on a short break or business trip, a qualifying foreign national with a valid passport and a resident card will most likely be exempt from applying for a re-entry permit in cases where he/she re-enters Japan within one year from his/her departure. Exceptional cases which require a re-entry permit will be stipulated by a Ministry of Justice ordinance. In cases of possessing a re-entry permit, the maximum term of validity for the re-entry permit shall be extended from 3 years to 5 years.
Required documents for the applications as of August, 2012:
*1 Available for download from the Immigration Bureau website.
*2 Depending on the type of residency you are applying for.
*3 Available at the Immigration Bureau.
For full details, see the Immigration Bureau website or inquire directly at your local Immigration Bureau.
A “Resident Card” is required for any foreigner. Foreign nationals residing legally in Japan for a medium to long term are subject to be issued a resident card in addition to landing permission, permission for change of status of residence, and permission for extension of the residence period, etc. The card is equipped with an IC chip to prevent forgery and alteration, and the chip records all or part of the information included on the card.
Mid- to long-term residents still possessing the alien registration card (received during the former residency management system) will be asked to exchange their alien registration cards for a resident card when filing an application or notifications involving the issue of a new resident card at a Regional Immigration Office, or can exchange the alien registration card for a card at their own request at a Regional Immigration Office.
The period in which an alien registration card is deemed to be equivalent to the resident card depends on the resident status and age of the foreign national as of July 9, 2012. Please take note that the period may end before the next confirmation date written in your alien registration certificate.
Before getting married in Japan, contact your embassy or consulate to find out how to register your marriage in your home country, and check whether any additional procedures are required. Marriage itself only requires a visit to your local municipal office together with 2 witnesses. You will also need to update your resident card, so it will save you a trip if you do it on the same day.
03-5320-7744, Mon-Fri: 9:30am-5:00pm
TELL offers anonymous telephone counseling in English for the international and Japanese community. Trained telephone counselors provide support on a wide range of issues.
03-5774-0992, Daily 9:00am-11:00pm
|Visas & Residency||Eating Out||Featured Articles|
|Taking Root||Culture & Sports||Seasonal Highlights|
|Accommodations||Travel & Sightseeing||Railway Maps||Cars||Medical Care||Current Events|