Frequently asked questions

1. Procedures for requesting disclosure

2. Regarding alien registration cards

3. Regarding entry/exit master records

1. Procedures for requesting disclosure

Q1. Is it possible to receive a decision regarding a request for disclosure on the same day the request is made? Alternatively, how long will it take to receive a decision after submitting a request?

A1. Same-day requests (even simply to view the information) are not possible. In practice, a decision regarding a request for disclosure will be made within 30 days of its reception, though it may take longer for certain cases.

 

Q2. How can I request disclosure?

A2. Requests can be made either in person (at the counter) or by mail.
For requests submitted by mail, a residence certificate (without one's MY Number/personal identification number recorded) issued within the last 30 days is required in addition to personal ID.

Q3. Can someone else go to the counter on my behalf, as my representative?

A3. Only the person in question or their legal representative may submit a disclosure request, which means that neither your relatives nor a lawyer may submit a disclosure request (unless they are your legal representative). This excludes requests for their own personal information.

Q4. Which documents does a representative need to submit to prove their eligibility?

A4-1. For those acting on behalf of a child as their legal guardian:
For Japanese citizens, a copy of their residence certificate showing their relationship to the person in question and a copy of their family register (or an abstract) proving their parental authority (all issued within the last 30 days) is required. For foreign nationals, a copy of their residence certificate which includes one’s familial relationship (issued within the last 30 days) is required.
Documents (such as a birth certificate or a certificate stating the relationship to the child) that have been issued by your home (foreign) country in a language other than Japanese cannot be used to confirm familial relationships/guardianship, so please bring a copy of your residence certificate.

 

A4-2. For those acting on behalf of an adult as their legal representative:
A certificate proving the registration of adult guardianship (issued within the last 30 days) or a family court certificate is required. Neither document may be a copy.

 

Q5. I would like to make a disclosure request at the Immigration Services Agency counter. When is it open? Do I need an appointment to enter the Immigration Services Agency or any ID?

A5. The Immigration Services counter which handles requests related to the retention and protection of personal information is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays, and over the New Year's periods). While an appointment is not necessary to visit the counter, it will take some time to process the request, so please arrive with plenty of time to spare.

Q6. How long does it take to process a request for disclosure made at the Immigration Services counter? What information do I need to bring with me to help the process go smoothly?

A6. Generally speaking, it should take around 20 minutes to submit a request once the paperwork has been filled out. Completing the request form and purchasing your 300 yen revenue stamp in advance, as well as preparing your self-addressed and stamped return envelope ahead of time, will help to expedite the process.

Q7. What kind of documents will I need to bring as ID?

A7. Your driver's license, health insurance card (that has your address on it), residence card, or My Number card are all acceptable forms of ID.
The My Number notification card (通知カード) is not a valid form of ID.

Q8. I have heard that there is a handling fee required for requests that needs to be paid with a revenue stamp (one 300-yen stamp). Are they sold at the Immigration Services Agency counter?

A8. Revenue stamps are not sold at the counter. Please purchase one in advance from either a post office or a convenience store.
A revenue stamp is not required for disclosure requests being made for deceased foreign nationals.

Q9. Will the documents I submit be returned?

A9. If such a request is made, copies will be made and your documents returned.

Q10. Does the address on the return envelope have to be the same as the one listed on the residence certificate or the other documents I submitted?

A10. For requests made in person, the return address may be different to the one on the documents submitted. Requests made by mail may not be sent to a different address.

Q11. Does the person picking up the decision (at the counter) have to be the same as the one who made the request?

A11. Only the person who submitted the request or their legal representative (if the request was made by the legal representative) may do so. If you are not able to come in person, delivery by mail is also an option (though you will need to pay the postage fees).

2. Regarding Alien Registration Cards

Q1. Who is eligible to make a request? Can I request other people’s information (e.g., family members who were legal adults when they possessed an alien registration card)?

A1. As the request is for personal information, only the person whose information is recorded on the alien registration card may request its disclosure. Exceptions are made for those requesting information on behalf of a minor or as a legal representative. Requests from voluntary representatives will be denied. Therefore, being related to the person in question does not necessarily make one eligible to view their personal information.
You may, however, request your own personal information that has been recorded on other people’s files.

Q2. I need a record of my address history. How can I get that?

A2. If you registered as a foreign resident with a ward office or city hall before July 8, 2012, that information should be recorded with your alien identification card. However, it is possible that such information was not retained during certain periods of time, so please take care to date your request slightly earlier than the period you resided at the address you require a record of.
For records later than July 9, 2012, a residence certificate may have the information you require, which may be requested at your local ward office or city hall.

Q3. What kind of information is kept on file?

Answer: (1) Name (2) Sex (3) Date of birth (4) Nationality (5) Occupation (6) Passport No. (7) Passport date of issue (8) Alien Registration date of issue (9) Alien Registration No. (10) Date of landing permission (11) Residence status (12) Period of stay (13) Birthplace (14) Residential address or other relevant location in one’s country of origin (15) Residential address (16) Name of the head of the household (17) Relationship to the head of the household (18) Name and address of one’s workplace or office (19) If head of the household, then the other members of said household (their relationship to the head of the household, names, dates of birth, and nationalities) (20) One’s father/mother/spouse who is located in Japan (if they were not listed in (19), along with their names, dates of birth, and nationalities) (21) Signatures (22) Photographs (23) Changes to registered information (24) Revisions and amendments
Please note that it is not possible to confirm in advance if all of the information listed above has been retained, so you will have to confirm it yourself by making a request to view the information.

Q4. How should I fill out the request period?

A4. Please check with the institution who will be fulfilling your request for disclosure. If you are unsure of the specific period of time that you require, it is possible to submit a request for a longer period of time (e.g., from 1999 if the period is around the year 2000).
Keep in mind that alien registration card records do not go beyond July 8, 2012.

Q5. How much are the handling fees for a copy of my own records as well as copies of any other records (belonging to family members, etc.) which also contain my information?

A5. Requests for your own personal information cost 300 yen apiece.

Q6. How much postage should I place on the return envelope for my copies of the information that I requested?

A6. For standard mail, prices are determined by weight (see note). Expedited or registered mail will incur extra fees. The estimated postage rates are as follows:

(Note) Postage approximations (for one disclosure request of an alien registration card)
If the start of the request period is from 1960 or later, usually 94 yen of postage is required.
If the start of the request period is from 1959 or earlier, 140 yen or 210 yen in postage may be required because of the larger amount of records.

  • In addition to the stamp attached to the reply envelope when sending the request, we recommend you include a spare stamp that can be used if postage is not sufficient. If postage is sufficient, the spare stamp will be returned unused, so please send extra postage just in case.
  • The Agency recommends using a letter pack if requesting multiple copies or wishes for procedures to go smoothly without any postage issues.
  • Because the number of sheets varies depending on the request details and individual cases, the amounts above are simply an approximation.
  • Please understand that additional postage may be requested depending on the number of sheets.
  • Please clarify the return address on the reply envelope, etc.
  • The return address is limited to the address or location listed on the copy of the residence certificate submitted.

3. Regarding entry/exit master records

Q1. I am a naturalized citizen. Should I request records for a foreign resident or a Japanese citizen?

A1. If you require records from a period of time during which you were registered as a foreign resident, then please apply as a foreign resident (and vice versa). If you require records from both periods, it will cost 600 yen for two separate requests.

Q2. I have dual citizenship (e.g., Canada and Spain). Which nationality should I use to complete my paperwork?

A2. Please use the nationality listed on the passport you used to enter Japan.

Q3. I have changed my nationality twice (e.g., People’s Republic of China to United States of America to Japan). How many disclosure requests should I make?

A3. This would require two requests (e.g., one for the People’s Republic of China to United States of America, and another for Japan), which would cost 600 yen in handling fees.

Q4. How much postage should I place on the return envelope for the copies of the information that I requested?

A4. For standard mail, prices are determined by weight (see note). Expedited or registered mail will incur extra fees. The estimated postage rates are as follows:

(Note) Postage approximations (for one disclosure request for entry/exit records)

  • Departure of Japanese nationals
    For disclosure requests made for periods starting on or after January 1, 2002, if the trips made to and from Japan total less than 140, then 94 yen in postage will be required. For a higher volume of trips, either 140 or 210 yen in postage will be required.
    For disclosure requests made for periods before December 31, 2001, due to the changes in formatting, ten years’ worth of records would require 94 yen in postage. For longer periods of time, either 140 or 210 yen in postage will be required.
  • Departure of foreign nationals
    If only the entry/exit records have been requested and you have left/returned less than 60 times under a re-entry permit or special re-entry permission, then 94 yen in postage will be required.
    If you are requesting other records in addition to your entry/exit records (e.g., changes to period of stay or residence cards), or if you have left the country more than seven times for a short stay without a re-entry permit or special re-entry permission, then either 140 yen or 210 yen will be required due to the higher volume of documents.
  • In addition to the stamp attached to the reply envelope when sending the request, we recommend you include a spare stamp that can be used if postage is not sufficient. If postage is sufficient, the spare stamp will be returned unused, so please send extra postage just in case.
  • The Agency recommends using a letter pack if requesting multiple copies or wishes for procedures to go smoothly without any postage issues.
  • Because the number of sheets varies depending on the request details and individual cases, the amounts above are simply an approximation.
  • Please understand that additional postage may be requested depending on the number of sheets.
  • Please clarify the return address on the reply envelope, etc.
  • The return address is limited to the address or location listed on the copy of the residence certificate submitted.
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