Special re-entry permission (Immigration Control Act, Article 26-2)

Special re-entry permission refers to the case where a foreign national residing in Japan with a status of residence who has a valid passport does not need to obtain normal re-entry permission if re-entering the country within one year from the date of departure. This excludes the case where the foreign national’s period of stay is less than "three months," or when they have a "Temporary Visitor" status of residence (see the re-entry permission page).

In addition, mid to long-term residents must have a residence card as well as a valid passport.

The validity period for special re-entry permission will be one year from the date of departure. However, if the period of stay expires before one year has passed from the date of departure, the validity period will be until that expiration date.

Individuals for whom the following applies are not eligible for special re-entry permission and must instead obtain normal re-entry permission.

  1. Those in the process of having their status of residence revoked;
  2. Those subject to the deferment of departure verification;
  3. Those who have been issued a written detention order;
  4. Those who are applying for refugee status with the "Designated Activities" status of residence; and
  5. Those recognized by the Minister of Justice as being at risk of committing acts that may harm the interests or public security of Japan, or for whom it is deemed reasonable for other reasons to require re-entry permission to control immigration equitably.

When intending to depart Japan with special re-entry permission, the individual must have a valid passport (for mid to long-term residents, a passport and a residence card) and, at the time of departure, indicate to the immigration officer an intention to depart the country with special re-entry permission. Specifically, the record of re-entry/departure (re-entry embarkation and disembarkation card) has a checkbox indicating temporary departure with intent to re-enter the country. The individual is to check this box and bring it to the attention of the immigration officer, indicating a desire to depart with special re-entry permission.

Special permanent residents who have a valid passport and a special permanent resident certificate (if not in possession of a special permanent resident certificate, a certificate of alien registration) are also eligible for special re-entry permission. Special re-entry permission for special permanent residents is valid for two years from the date of departure.

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