Q&A - Residency Management System frequently asked questions

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

Q&AResidency Management System
Frequently Asked Questions

Updated on October 21, 2020

General questions

* In this Q&A, "Regional Immigration Services Bureau" includes the district immigration offices and branch offices.

Q1:
What kind of system is the Residency Management System?
Q2:
What has changed with the introduction of the Residency Management System?
Q3:
When will the new Residency Management System start?
Q4:
Who are the mid to long-term residents who will be subject to the new Residency Management System?
Q5:
For the children of foreign nationals, at what point are they subject to the new Residency Management System? How about people who lost their Japanese citizenship?
Q6:
What will become easier to do under the Residency Management System?
Q7:
The residence card can be used for "the adequate provision of various administrative services." What exactly are these various administrative services? How is it different from the previous Alien Registration System?
Q8:
What kind of measures are taken to prevent forgery and alteration of residence cards?
Q9:
How are foreign residents and Japanese nationals differentiated on residence certificates?
Detailed questions

General introduction to the residence card

Q10:
What is a residence card?
Q11:
What is the main difference between the "certificate of alien registration" and the new "residence card?"
Q12:
Is the residence card a form of official identification like a driver's license?
Q13:
Like the PASMO and Suica smart cards for public transport, can I use my residence card to pass through automated gates when re-entering Japan?
Q14:
What is the validity period of the residence card?
Q15:
When can I get a residence card?
Q16:
Will there be a stamp in my passport?
Q17:
I understand that seals of permission for extension of period of stay, etc., as a mid to long-term resident are not affixed to my passport, but I am not sure if my employer (or place of study) will trust me when I present my passport and/or residence card. Is it possible to have a seal stamped if I wish?
Q18:
I lost my residence card. What should I do? What should I do if it gets defaced or damaged?
Q19:
What should I do if, for example, my residence card is bent and the IC chip is broken?
Q20:
Where can I obtain a certificate to replace the "certificate of information recorded on foreign resident registration file," which was previously used for various procedures to the same effect as a residence certificate copy (or a certificate of items in resident register)?
Q21:
Is there any penalty for the unauthorized use of a residence card? What measures are in place against such unauthorized use?
Q22:
Is there any penalty for noncompliance with a residence card reissuance order?
Q23:
I lost my residence card and am worried that my personal information on the IC chip will be seen by others.
Q24:
What are the dimensions of the residence card?

People eligible for a residence card

Q25:
In the previous Alien Registration System, registration as an alien was possible even if you were staying in Japan for less than 90 days, for example, to register a personal seal, sign a civil contract, register real estate to establish a company, or open a bank account. Will a residence card be issued to short-term residents under the new system?
Q26:
Why are short-term residents not eligible for the issuance of a residence card?
Q27:
Will a residence card be issued when "Temporary Visitor" (90 days) landing permission is granted and they renew their period of stay for another 90 days?
Q28:
I understand that residence cards are not issued to short-term visitors. Is there any plan to issue a certificate at the Immigration Services Agency to prove one's place of residence?
Q29:
If a foreign national who does not possess a residence card wishes to make use of administrative services available in Japan, should they go directly to the municipal office where the services are offered?
Q30:
Is it possible for mid to long-term residents under the age of 16 to obtain a residence card?
Q31:
If someone is granted special permission to stay in Japan, will a residence card be issued at the same time?
Q32:
Is it possible for illegal residents to possess residence cards?
Q33:
If a residence card is not issued to an illegal resident, it is likely that they will go underground, causing public order and security to deteriorate even more. Do you have any measures to resolve this?

Obligation to carry residence card

Q34:
Do I have to carry my residence card on my person at all times? Is there any problem (penalty) if I am not carrying it?
Q35:
If I am carrying my passport, do I need to have my residence card on my person?
Q36:
Do children also have to carry their residence cards at all times?
Q37:
Why do I have to carry my residence card at all times when special permanent residents are not required to carry their special permanent resident certificate at all times?
Q38:
If I leave my residence card with an administrative scrivener in order to submit an application for extension of period of stay, will I violate my obligation to carry my residence card?
Q39:
There is a risk of identity theft for special permanent residents if there is no obligation for them to always carry their special permanent resident certificate. How will the Immigration Services Agency deal with this?

Items listed on residence cards

Q40:
What kind of information is listed on residence cards?
Q41:
Will the name on the residence card be written using the Latin alphabet only? Is it possible to use kanji as well?
Q42:
How will information be entered or removed from the "application for extension of period of stay, etc." section of the residence card?
Q43:
If the period of stay for a residence card has passed, but an application for permission to extend the period of stay is still pending, is the person considered an illegal resident (overstaying their authorized period of stay)?
Q44:
If the date of landing permission is not stated on the residence card and the foreign national renewed the passport that had the landing permission seal, wouldn't it be difficult for the foreign national to know whether enough time has passed to allow submission of an application for permanent residence?
Q45:
If the period of stay for a residence card has passed but an application for permission to extend the period of stay is still pending, is the person considered an illegal resident (overstaying their authorized period of stay)?
Q46:
Why was it decided to embed IC chips in residence cards? Where will the information recorded in the IC chip be used outside of the Immigration Services Agency?
Q47:
What kind of information is recorded in the IC chip?
Q48:
Are fingerprints recorded in residence card IC chips?
Q49:
Is there any plan to add functions (such as e-money) to residence card IC chips besides the information recorded by the Immigration Services Agency?
Q50:
Is it possible to check the information recorded in my residence card IC chip outside of the Immigration Services Agency if I have a reader?
Q51:
I can place a donor seal on my driver's license or health insurance card, but is it possible to put a donor seal on my residence card, which I carry at all times?

Residence card issuance

Q52:
Where is the residence card issued? What documents and fees are required?
Q53:
Are residence cards issued at all ports of entry when landing permission is given?
Q54:
Will a certificate of designation be attached to my passport?
Q55:
What is the estimated time per person required for the issuance of a residence card at an airport?
Q56:
As it takes time to have a residence card issued at an airport, is it possible to get the residence card at the municipal office of my place of residence or at my company/school after I enter Japan? If I refuse the issuance at the airport, will I not be allowed to enter Japan?
Q57:
I always have to wait at the airport. I understand that the procedures for issuance of a residence card are carried out on top of the immigration examination, but I am worried that it will considerably prolong waiting time. What measures, such as additional staff or improvement of the system, have been implemented?
Q58:
I understand that residence cards not issued at ports of entry will be sent by mail to my place of residence. How and when will it be delivered?
Q59:
In the case that the residence card is sent by mail, are there handling fees (postage, etc.)?
Q60:
Regarding my current residence card, if I receive permission to extend my period of stay or change my status of residence, or if my card is re-issued or the information is changed, am I able to receive my new residence card on the same day?

Residence card renewal, reissuance, revocation, and return

Q61:
I forgot to file an application for residence card validity period extension and my validity period has expired. What procedures are necessary?
Q62:
I was trying to apply for an extension of the validity period of my residence card, but I was admitted to a hospital and was unable to apply. What should I do?
Q63:
I am an adult with a "Permanent Resident" or "Highly Skilled Professional (ii)" status of residence, and the validity period of my residence card has expired. What should I do? Does this mean that my resident registration will be deleted from the Basic Resident Register?
Q64:
Can applications for residence card validity period extension be submitted at an airport?
Q65:
If I lose my residence card, how long do I have to complete re-issuance procedures? Is there a penalty for losing it?
Q66:
What is the handling fee in case of loss or reissuance of a residence card?
Q67:
Is it possible to apply by mail for reissuance of a residence card in the case of loss?
Q68:
In case of reissuance of a residence card on the grounds of loss or theft, will I need a certificate issued by the police when applying?
Q69:
I departed Japan with the intention of re-entering, but I have decided not to return. What should I do with my residence card? If I am supposed to return it, where should I send it?
Q70:
Will penalties be applied if I do not fulfill my obligation to return my residence card while out of Japan with re-entry permission?
Q71:
If someone with a residence card is undergoing deportation procedures, when should they return their residence card?
Q72:
If a residence card holder dies, what should be done with their residence card?
Q73:
If I return to my home country, is it possible to bring my residence card back with me as a keepsake?

Residence card photograph

Q74:
From what age must a photograph be displayed on a person's residence card? Will a photograph be displayed on children's residence cards, too?
Q75:
Is it necessary to prepare the photograph for my residence card beforehand? Is a photograph taken a few months before necessary?
Q76:
When submitting an application for validity period extension of residence card or reissuance, is it possible to send a photo later if I forget to bring a photograph or submit a photo that does not satisfy the requirements (such as a photo with a background)?
Q77:
I have entered and left Japan many times as a "Temporary Visitor" and have had my photo taken during immigration procedures. Is that photograph acceptable?
Q78:
If I don't like the photograph taken at the airport, can I have it re-taken? Is it possible to use an ID photo that I prepared beforehand?
Q79:
If submission of a photograph is not necessary for issuance of a residence card at a port of entry, shouldn't the photo taken at the port of entry be used, or shouldn't the Immigration Services Agency take the photo during residency procedures?

Notifications

Q80:
In what situations should I submit notifications? Where should I submit the notifications to?
Q81:
What sort of documents need to be submitted for notifications? Can notifications be submitted orally?
Q82:
Will a new residence card be issued when a notification of change in items is submitted?
Q83:
By when should I submit a notification of address after entering Japan?
Q84:
Is it possible to submit a notification of address at the nearest Regional Immigration Services Bureau?
Q85:
Please tell me the procedure for a change in address after moving to a new address, including how it relates to the moving-in and moving-out notifications established by the Residential Basic Book Act.
Q86:
Is there a place where procedures for residence cards can be completed on weekends, like municipal offices?
Q87:
The location for notifications and applications is divided between municipal offices and Regional Immigration Services Bureaus. Isn't it possible to consolidate these? Even if it isn't possible to do so immediately, is there any plan to do so in the future?
Q88:
I did not submit a notification (or falsified details in my notification). What kind of penalties or punishments will I be subject to?
Q89:
In order to live overseas long-term, I moved out from my Japanese address. I am unable to submit a notification of address. What should I do? If I am unable to, will I be subject to revocation of status of residence?
Q90:
Do mid to long-term residents have to submit notifications themselves?
Q91:
There is no Regional Immigration Services Bureau near me. Do I have to make an appearance at one in the case of a change in my workplace or other changes?
Q92:
What will happen if there is a delay in the submission of a notification of change in affiliated organization or divorce with a spouse?
Q93:
Isn't it unfair that foreign nationals whose "Long-Term Resident" status of residence is based on being the spouse of a second-generation Japanese descendant, etc., don't have to submit a notification in the event of divorce, etc., even though the spouses ("Spouse or Child of a Japanese National" status of residence) of Japanese nationals do?
Q94:
For affiliated organization notifications, if I resign from my job (or am dismissed) and become unemployed, do I need to notify the Immigration Services Agency? If so, how should I make the notification?
Q95:
When submitting a notification of change in workplace, will the activities at the new workplace be subject to examination to see if they qualify? Have any changes been made to the Certificate of Authorized Employment system?
Q96:
The basis of my status of residence (with the goal of working) is the organization to which I belong. If the company I work for is subject to a merger and acquisition and the company's name changes, do I have to submit a notification? What if there has been a merger, but there are no changes to the company's name or its location?
Q97:
I heard that if I divorce my Japanese national spouse, I have to report this to the Immigration Services Agency, but what information do I need to submit?
Q98:
If I divorce my Japanese spouse and submit a notification to the Commissioner of the Immigration Services Agency within 14 days, is it possible to reside in Japan until the expiration date of my period of stay? Do I need to apply for permission to change my status of residence at the same time as the notification? In the event that my Japanese spouse submitted a notification of divorce to the Commissioner of the Immigration Services Agency without my consent, is it possible to withdraw the notification afterwards?
Q99:
In the event that a foreign national who is residing in Japan as the spouse of a Japanese national gets divorced and does not submit a notification to the Commissioner of the Immigration Services Agency, but then gets married to another Japanese national, and this information becomes clear during the application for extension of period of stay, will the application be rejected?
Q100:
Why must the foreign national spouse of a Japanese national submit a notification of divorce to a Regional Immigration Services Bureau when notifications of address can be submitted at municipal offices? Can a system that allows forwarding of divorce notifications submitted at municipal offices to the Immigration Services Agency be established?
Q101:
I have moved after graduating from university in order to work. Can I submit the application for changing my status of residence and my notification of address at the same time at a Regional Immigration Services Bureau? Does the change of address have to be completed at a municipal office?
Q102:
In the event that a mid to long-term resident gives birth to a child, what should be done first: an application of acquisition of status of residence, or the submission of notification of birth?
Q103:
Is it necessary to submit a photo every time I apply for renewal of period of stay or change of status of residence?

Procedures for notifications from the organization of affiliation

Q104:
Do educational institutions or other affiliated organizations that accept foreign nationals need to submit information about the foreign nationals to the Immigration Services Agency?
Q105:
In addition to submitting a list once a month of students who have withdrawn, Japanese language institutions must also periodically submit a list of students. Did this system of reporting change with the Residency Management System? Will double reports be necessary?
Q106:
What kind of information do affiliated organizations need to submit? Are there any penalties for failing to send such notifications?
Q107:
There is no Regional Immigration Services Bureau near me. Is it necessary to go to a Regional Immigration Services Bureau to submit a notification?
Q108:
If the school or other affiliated organization that the foreign national belongs to does not submit a notification to the Immigration Services Agency, will the foreign national be disadvantaged, will their application for extension of period of stay not be properly examined, or will the examination be prolonged?

Procedures done by a representative

Q109:
Can a representative receive a residence card in place of a foreign national? If so, who can receive it as the foreign national's representative?
Q110:
Can a notification of change in affiliated organization or address be submitted by someone other than the applicant, such as one of their family members or a staff member of their workplace?

Employment

Q111:
I understand that work restrictions and permission to engage in an activity other than those permitted by the status of residence previously granted are listed on the residence card. Are the contents of these listed on the card?
Q112:
How long does it take to receive permission to engage in an activity other than those permitted by the status of residence previously granted after a student receives landing permission at an airport that issues residence cards?
Q113:
When companies or factories employ a foreign national, is it acceptable to only check their residence card? As a business owner, what information on the residence card should be taken into consideration? Does possession of a residence card mean there is no issue with employing the foreign national?
Q114:
We would like to properly hire foreign nationals. Will you provide me with a way to clearly determine whether or not the foreigner who wants to work is allowed to work?
Q115:
If the foreign national seeking employment has a residence card that might have been forged, or if they might be a different person than they claim to be, is there a simple way to confirm the card's validity?
Q116:
If a foreign national seeking employment is found to have submitted a forged residence card, what procedure should be taken?
Q117:
If the employer does not know that a foreign national who they hired is an illegal resident, will the employer also be subject to deportation or penalties?

Revocation of status of residence

Q118:
In what cases will status of residence not be revoked, such as cases where it is recognized that there is a justifiable reason for someone to stay in Japan without engaging in the activities of someone with the spouse status of residence?
Q119:
In what cases is an application for change of status of residence permitted when the person is not engaged in activities as a person with the spouse status of residence?
Q120:
In what cases, such as having legitimate reason for not submitting a notification of address, will status of residence not be revoked?
Q121:
Are permanent residents also subject to revocation of status of residence?
Q122:
What is the system of service of public notice in the procedures for revocation of status of residence?
Q123:
Is revocation of status of residence carried out even without the person appearing at an immigration office?

Grounds for deportation

Q124:
What are the grounds for deportation related to residence cards and the Residency Management System?

Penalties

Q125:
What sort of penalties are set under the Residency Management System?
Q126:
If a mid to long-term resident forgets their residence card, is it possible to leave Japan with special re-entry permission?
Q127:
Is it possible to depart Japan with special re-entry permission when the validity period of a residence card has expired? If I have an expired residence card when I re-enter Japan, will I be able to enter? Do I need to apply for renewal of my validity period at the airport?
Q128:
What should I do if I lose my residence card while overseas after leaving Japan with special re-entry permission?
Q129:
When entering Japan, some airports issue a residence card at a later date. In this case, can I leave Japan with special re-entry permission even if I have not yet received my residence card?
Q130:
I left my residence card at home when I was meant to depart Japan with re-entry permission (for travel, etc.). Will I be able to depart?

Disclosure requests

Q131:
I heard that the Alien Registration System will be abolished. Is it possible to request information concerning the certificate of alien registration? Where should I submit the disclosure request to?
Q132:
Is it possible to request disclosure of the certificate of alien registration of a deceased family member?
Q133:
Is it possible to submit a disclosure request to the Immigration Services Agency to confirm changes in name and address after the abolition of the Alien Registration System?

Kanji public notices

Q134:
In the Residency Management System, if a foreign national's name is written in Simplified Chinese characters, etc., why must it be replaced with Japanese orthographic characters?
Q135:
What is the legal basis for the use of kanji characters for names on residence cards, etc. (including their replacement with Japanese orthographic characters)?
Q136:
What are Japanese orthographic characters in the residence card kanji public notice? Is the scope different from the correct characters of the census? Also, what does "Simplified Chinese, etc." mean?
Q137:
What kind of consideration has been given to the use of kanji for names on residence cards, etc. (including the replacement with Japanese orthographic characters)?
Has the history of these considerations thus far been made public? Have the opinions of foreign nationals and involved citizens been given consideration as well?
Q138:
I would like to know in advance whether or not the kanji in my name are Simplified Chinese characters, or what Japanese orthographic characters they will be replaced with. What should I do?
Q139:
I checked the website of the Immigration Services Agency of the Ministry of Justice regarding the kanji in my name, but I do not like the characters that my kanji will be replaced with.
Q140:
The form of the kanji used on my residence card has changed from those used on my certificate of alien registration. How do I prove the Simplified Chinese characters used on my certificate of alien registration?
Q141:
Are embassies, financial institutions, etc., informed of the kanji notation of names on residence cards, etc. (including replacement with Japanese orthographic characters)?
Q142:
How can I change the kanji name on my personal seal registration to the kanji name listed on my residence card?
Is it possible to use my original kanji characters for the common name (nickname/通称名) on the residence certificate or the personal seal of the personal seal registration?
Q143:
When I obtain my residence card at the airport upon receiving landing permission, will my name not be written in kanji?
Q144:
Will I have to pay a reissuance handling fee if I want to add my name in kanji to my residence card, etc., if it currently only has it written in the Latin alphabet?
Q145:
I have been told that my name in kanji will be written in its original form on my residence card, etc. However, the characters have a different meaning in China, so I want to replace them with different Japanese orthographic characters in accordance with Chinese rules.
E.g., 芸, 沈, and 叶 are the characters in Japanese.
In China, these characters are Simplified Chinese, and the Traditional Chinese equivalents are 蕓, 藩, and 葉 respectively.
Therefore, instead of writing 芸, 沈, and 叶 (in accordance with Japanese rules, JIS X0213, and other official standards for kanji) on my residence card, etc., I would like them replaced with 蕓, 藩, and 葉 in accordance with Chinese rules (simplified character table).
Q146:
The font on my passport is slightly different from the font on my residence card, etc. Is it possible to adjust the font to the font on my passport?
E.g., 鄭 (passport) to 鄭 (residence card, etc.)
Q147:
The tables of supported Japanese orthographic characters are established, and changing to characters not included in these is not allowed. However, in some cases, is it possible to allow a foreign national to choose the Japanese orthographic characters they want?
Q148:
I understand the purpose of replacing Simplified Chinese characters with Japanese orthographic characters (variant characters), but the Simplified Chinese character list does not recognize the variant relationship between the Simplified Chinese characters and the Japanese orthographic characters. I believe that the Japanese orthographic character (variant character) table is incorrect.

Other

Q149:
False landing application and violation of application obligations related to the Residency Management System are grounds for deportation. If I unknowingly submit incorrect documents or if the application period has passed, will deportation procedures be taken immediately?
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