A residence card is issued to foreign nationals who will reside in Japan mid to long-term (mid to long-term residents) as a result of permission granted to them related to their status of residence, such as landing permission, permission to change status of residence, or permission to extend period of stay. Therefore, the residence card issued by the Minister of Justice serves as a "certificate" certifying that the individual legally resides in Japan with a status of residence and period of stay that allows a mid to long-term stay in Japan. Moreover, a residence card issued when permission related to their status of residence other than landing permission is granted is characterized as a "permit" because it is the formal act of granting permission that replaces the various permits and stamps affixed to conventional passports.
The residence card contains important information that the Minister of Justice needs to keep tabs on, such as name, date of birth, sex, nationality/region, address, status of residence, period of stay, and eligibility for employment. If there is a change in this information, the individual is obligated to provide notification of this change to reflect the latest information. A photograph of their face will be displayed if they are 16 years or older.
The certificate of alien registration carried until now by mid to long-term residents will be considered a residence card for purposes of departing the country with special re-entry permission for a given period of time and for various application procedures performed by the Immigration Services Agency, as well as for address notification procedures carried out at local municipalities.