What kind of card is a "residence card?"

For residence card holders: things to know about the Residency Management System

Q1. What kind of card is a "residence card?"

A residence card is issued to mid to long-term residents when they are granted permission to stay in Japan, such as when given landing permission, permission to change their status of residence, permission to extend their period of stay, and so on.

*Residence cards contain IC chips to prevent forgery. The data inscribed on the surface of the card is either entirely or partially recorded in the IC chip.

(Front of card)
Residence card

Applicants must submit a photograph meeting the criteria below when submitting an application for a residence card.

Photograph size
  • The photograph must contain only the applicant.
  • The dimensions of the photograph, excluding the edges, must meet all of the requirements for the sizes indicated in the diagram. (The size of the face must be measured from the top of the head (including hair) to the tip of the chin.)
  • You must face the camera and cannot wear a hat.
  • There must be no background (including no shadow).
  • It must be a clear photograph.
  • It must be taken within three months of the date of submission.
Married couple
(Back of card)
Residence card
  1. This space is used to enter the new address after moving.
  2. This space is used to indicate when an application for extension of period of stay or an application for change of status of residence is currently being processed.
    * After applying, a new residence card will be issued when the extension or change is approved.
  3. This space is used to indicate the details of the permission when receiving permission to engage in an activity other than those permitted by the status of residence previously granted.
The residence card has a "validity period" listed on it.

The validity period of the residence card is as follows:

Permanent residents & Highly Skilled Professionals (ii)

Over the age of 16

7 years from the date of issuance

Under 16 years old

Until the person's 16th birthday


Persons other than permanent residents & Highly Skilled Professionals (ii)

Above 16 years old

Until the expiration date of the period of stay

Under 16 years old

Until the expiration date of the period of stay or the person's 16th birthday; whichever is earlier

Q2. Can my name be written in kanji on my residence card?

As a general rule, the name on the resident card is written in the Latin alphabet. Those who use kanji in their names, such as Chinese and Korean people, may write their names in kanji in addition to alphabet on their residence card.

Those who want their name to also be written as kanji on their residence card must submit the documents verifying their name in kanji, such as their passport, and carry out the necessary procedure at the Regional Immigration Services Bureau. Upon doing so, they will receive a new residence card that includes their name in both alphabet and kanji.


Q3. I am returning to my home country. What should I do with my residence card?

When a mid to long-term resident leaves Japan (excluding cases of departing through re-entry permission), is no longer a mid to long-term resident, or dies, the residence card must be returned.


Q4. I am hiring a foreign national. What information should I check on their residence card?

* Watch out for fake residence cards that use real card numbers!

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