Answers (Q78 ~ Q147)

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

Notifications

Q80:
In what situations should I submit notifications? Where should I submit the notifications to?
A.

When you are required to submit a notification to a Regional Immigration Services Bureau:

You are required to submit a notification to the nearest Regional Immigration Services Bureau that conducts residence examinations within 14 days of any of the following situations.

  • If there is a change to your name, nationality/region, date of birth, or sex
  • If there is a change in your affiliated organization

    For those whose status of residence is "Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services," "Student," etc., you must notify a Regional Immigration Services Bureau of any changes related to the affiliated organization that is sponsoring your visa. However, those under the "Artist," "Journalist," or "Religious Activities" status of residence are excluded from this, as their affiliated organization is not necessarily the source of their visa and there are no issues in terms of immigration control. Similarly, those whose status of residence is "Spouse or Child of a Japanese National" do not need to submit notifications regarding changes to their affiliated organizations.

    * Please refer to "Notifications regarding affiliated organizations (Article 19, Paragraph 16, Item 1-2 of the Immigration Control Act) - PDF (in Japanese)PDF."

  • If divorcing from spouse

    A notification must be submitted to a Regional Immigration Services Bureau by those who are living in Japan under a "Spouse or Child of a Japanese National," "Spouse or Child of a Permanent Resident," or "Dependent" status of residence (only for those where their status as a spouse is the basis for their visa) when they divorce their spouse, or when their spouse passes away.

    * Those living in Japan with the "Long-Term Resident" status of residence who divorce their spouse do not need to submit a notification.

When you are required to submit a notification to your local municipal office:

You are required to submit a notification to your local municipal office in the following circumstances.

  • When you decide on a new address or when there are changes to your address

    After mid to long-term residents newly enter Japan, they are required to submit a notification of their address to the local municipality where they live within 14 days from the date of establishing their place of residence. This is also the case when changing addresses later.

    * Foreign nationals who have obtained a residence certificate by way of submitting a notification of birth do not need to submit a notification of their address to their municipal government, as the copy of their residence certificate submitted to the Commissioner of the Immigration Services Agency when applying for permission to acquire a status of residence is sufficient.

Q81:
What sort of documents need to be submitted for notifications? Can notifications be submitted orally?
A.

When submitting a notification of address based on the provisions of the Immigration Control Act, please submit your residence card and notification form to the local municipal office of your address.

If notifying changes to items other than address, present your residence card and passport at the Regional Immigration Services Bureau and submit the notification form, one photograph (persons 16 or younger are exempt), and documents verifying the change.

When submitting a notification of change in relationship with spouse, please submit a document including your name, date of birth, sex, nationality/region, address, residence card number, the reason for the notification, and the date that the change occurred to a Regional Immigration Services Bureau. Notifications of change in relationship with spouse can be submitted to the address below by postal mail. If using the Immigration Services Agency's e-Notification System, you need to access the system and register your user information beforehand.

(By mail)

〒108-8255
5-5-30 Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo
東京出入国在留管理局 在留管理情報部門 届出受付担当 (written in Japanese)

(Immigration Services Agency's e-Notification System)

https://www.ens-immi.moj.go.jp/NA01/NAA01SAction.do(You will be taken to an external page.)

Q82:
Will a new residence card be issued when a notification of change in items is submitted?
A.

If a notification of change in items besides address is submitted, a new residence card will be issued.

If there is a notification of a change in address, the new address will be added to the residence card and a new residence card will not be issued.

Q83:
By when should I submit a notification of address after entering Japan?
A.

After newly landing in Japan, mid to long-term residents are required to submit a notification to their local municipal office within 14 days of establishing their address. If they do not submit a notification within 14 days of establishing their address, they may be penalized with up to one year of imprisonment or a fine of up to 200,000 yen.

Their status of residence may be revoked if they do not submit a notification of address within 90 days of newly landing in Japan without a justifiable reason.

Q84:
Is it possible to submit a notification of address at a nearby Regional Immigration Services Bureau?
A.

Notifications related to addresses must be submitted to the applicant's local municipal office, not to a Regional Immigration Services Bureau.

Q85:
Please tell me the procedure in case of 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.
A.

If a mid to long-term resident changes addresses, they are required to submit a notification of address to the Commissioner of the Immigration Services Agency at the local municipal office of their new address within 14 days from the date of moving to the new address (Article 19, Paragraph 9, Item 1 of the Immigration Control Act).

Regarding this notification of change of address, there is a provision that when a mid to long-term resident submits their residence card and submits a moving-in/moving-out notification established by the Residential Basic Book Act, it is deemed to be a submission of a notification of address to the Commissioner of the Immigration Services Agency (Article 19, Paragraph 9, Item 3 of the Immigration Control Act).

Therefore, if mid to long-term residents submit their residence card and a moving-in/moving-out notification established by the Residential Basic Book Act, they will be considered to have fulfilled their obligations to submit a notification under the Immigration Control Act.

If one forgets to bring their residence card when submitting a moving-in/moving-out notification established by the Residential Basic Book Act and the moving-in/moving-out notification is accepted first, the rules set in the above paragraph do no apply and they will be required to submit a notification of address.

If this notification is not conducted properly, it is possible that the mid to long-term resident will be subject to fines or have their status of residence revoked. Therefore, please bring your residence card when submitting a moving-in/moving-out notification so that this does not occur.

Q86:
Is there a place where procedures for residence cards can be completed on weekends, such as municipal offices?
A.

Applications and notifications regarding residence cards must be conducted at a Regional Immigration Services Bureau that performs residence examinations. Procedures cannot be conducted on weekends or national holidays.

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?
A.

The cooperation of local governments and other related organizations is essential to establish a one-stop system for receiving applications related to status of residence, notifications for address changes, and other applications at a single location. We believe that it is possible to enhance these services by working with these organizations, but there are no specific plans to consolidate functions at this point in time.

Q88:
I did not submit a notification (or falsified details in my notification). What kind of penalties or punishments will I be subject to?
A.

For not submitting a notification, you may be penalized with up to one year of imprisonment or a fine of up to 200,000 yen. In addition, your status of residence may be revoked if you did not submit notification of address or submitted a fabricated notification. Those who have been caught falsifying details and sentenced to imprisonment may also be subject to deportation.

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?
A.

A foreign national's address refers to their main location of residence in Japan. If this main address in Japan exists, the address will be written on their residence card. If you lose your address due to living overseas for a long period of time, you are not required to submit a notification to the Commissioner of the Immigration Services Agency. However, please submit a moving-out notification to your local municipal office through the Basic Resident Register system.

If a mid to long-term resident does not submit a notification for their new address within 90 days of departing from their old address, this may be grounds for revocation of their status of residence. However, if they have a justifiable reason for not submitting a notification, they may not face revocation of status of residence.

Q90:
Do mid to long-term residents have to submit notifications themselves?
A.

In principle, foreign nationals themselves are required to appear at an immigration office to submit notifications related to their residence cards in the Residency Management System.

Certain exemptions have been established depending on the type of notification. For example, a person requested by a foreign national may submit a notification related to the foreign national's address to the local municipal office. In addition, family members residing with a foreign national may submit a notification of change of name, etc. to a Regional Immigration Services Bureau if requested by the foreign national.

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?
A.

For a notification of change in affiliated organization or divorce with a spouse, you must submit documents detailing the content of the notification to the Regional Immigration Services Bureau. However, it is possible to submit them through a proxy or by postal mail. Notifications made by mail should be sent to the address below.

It is also possible to submit notifications via the internet, by using the Immigration Services Agency's e-Notification System. Furthermore, if using the Immigration Services Agency's e-Notification System, you are required to access the it beforehand and register your user information.

* For notifications regarding affiliated organizations, please download the appropriate notification reference form using the links below.

  • Status of residence: Professor, Highly Skilled Professional (i) (c), Highly Skilled Professional (ii) (if performing activities listed in Item 2 (c) of the Highly Skilled Professional section of the Immigration Control Act, Appended Table 1-2), Business Manager, Legal/Accounting Services, Medical Services, Instructor, Intra-Company Transferee, Technical Intern Training, Student, Trainee - https://www.moj.go.jp/en/applications/procedures/nyuukokukanri10_00014.html
  • Status of residence: Highly Skilled Professional (i) (a), Highly Skilled Professional (i) (b), Highly Skilled Professional (ii) (if performing activities listed in Item 2 (a) or (b) of the Highly Skilled Professional section of the Immigration Control Act, Appended Table 1-2), Researcher, Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services, Nursing Care, Entertainer, Skilled Labor - https://www.moj.go.jp/en/applications/procedures/nyuukokukanri10_00015.html

* For notification reference forms related to spouses, they can be downloaded from the link below.

https://www.moj.go.jp/en/applications/procedures/nyuukokukanri10_00016.html

(By mail)

〒108-8255
5-5-30 Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo
東京出入国在留管理局 在留管理情報部門 届出受付担当 (written in Japanese)

(Immigration Services Agency's e-Notification System)

https://www.ens-immi.moj.go.jp/NA01/NAA01SAction.doYou will be brought to an external page

Q92:
What will happen if there is a delay in the submission of a notification of change in affiliated organization or divorce from spouse?
A.

Foreign nationals who are required to submit notifications related to changes in their affiliated organization or divorce from their spouse may be penalized with a fine of up to 200,000 yen if they do not submit a notification within 14 days of the occurrence of the change.

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?
A.

There are long-term residents who are spouses, but their status of residence was not recognized solely based on their status as a spouse. As a result of considering various other factors, they were granted residence in Japan based on the provision of "someone who is allowed to reside in Japan for a certain period of time by the Minister of Justice in consideration of special circumstances," which is different from "someone who has the status of spouse;" hence, they are not required to submit the same notifications.

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?
 
A.

In accordance with Article 19-16, Items 1 and 2 of the Immigration Control Act, mid to long-term residents who have resigned from their job (or been dismissed) have 14 days after these changes come into effect to submit their name, date of birth, sex, nationality/region, address, and residence card number, along with the date of their resignation/dismissal and the name and location of their previous employer to a Regional Immigration Services Bureau in person or by mailing it to the address below.
It is also possible to submit notifications via the internet, by using the Immigration Services Agency's e-Notification System. Furthermore, if using the Immigration Services Agency's e-Notification System, you are required to access the it beforehand and register your user information.
* Notification reference forms can be downloaded from the link below.
- Status of residence: Professor, Highly Skilled Professional (i) (c), Highly Skilled Professional (ii) (if performing activities listed in Item 2 (c) of the Highly Skilled Professional section of the Immigration Control Act, Appended Table 1-2), Business Manager, Legal/Accounting Services, Medical Services, Instructor, Intra-Company Transferee, Technical Intern Training, Student, Trainee

https://www.moj.go.jp/nyuukokukanri/kouhou/nyuukokukanri10_00014.html

- Status of residence: Persons with status of Highly Skilled Professional (i) (a), Highly Skilled Professional (i) (b), Highly Skilled Professional (ii) (if performing activities listed in Item 2 (a) or (b) of the Highly Skilled Professional section of the Immigration Control Act, Appended Table 1-2), Researcher, Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services, Nursing Care, Entertainer, Skilled Labor

https://www.moj.go.jp/nyuukokukanri/kouhou/nyuukokukanri10_00015.html

* For notification reference forms related to spouses, they can be downloaded from the link below.

https://www.moj.go.jp/en/applications/procedures/nyuukokukanri10_00016.html

(By mail)
〒108-8255
5-5-30 Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo
東京出入国在留管理局在留管理情報部門届出受付担当 (written in Japanese)

(Immigration Services Agency's e-Notification System)

https://www.ens-immi.moj.go.jp/NA01/NAA01SAction.doYou will be brought to an external page

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?
A.

It is possible that someone at the Immigration Services Agency will verify the details of the applicant's activities at the new affiliated organization, to ensure that they fall within the scope of their current status of residence.
Alternatively, applying for a Certificate of Authorized Employment will enable an applicant to verify the limits of their status of residence themselves.

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?
A.

Those who must submit a notification regarding their affiliated organization due to a merger where the affiliated organization's name has changed must submit it within 14 days of the name change. In cases where there has been a merger, but no changes to the company's name or location, then a notification is not necessary.

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?
A.

Those with the "Spouse or Child of a Japanese National" status of residence who divorce their spouse must notify the Commissioner of the Immigration Services Agency of the change and apply for a change in status of residence as soon as possible. Otherwise, they could have their status of residence revoked if they are found to not be engaged in the related activities (in this case, marriage) for longer than six months without a valid reason.
In cases where the Japanese spouse was the one who submitted the divorce notification, the process to revoke said status of residence will commence. However, individual circumstances will be taken into consideration (where necessary), and it is possible that one's status of residence will remain unchanged. In short, simply because the process to revoke one's status of residence has started does not mean that will be the final result. Decisions will be made based on the information presented on a case-by-case basis.

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?
A.

Should such an event occur, a ruling will be made after taking the individual circumstances related to the lack of a notification concerning the divorce into consideration.
That being said, those who fail to notify the Commissioner of the Immigration Services Agency of their divorce may be subject to a 200,000 yen fine, in accordance with Article 71-5, Item 3 of the Immigration Control Act.

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?
A.

Notifications for changes of address may not be made at Regional Immigration Services Bureaus. Please inform your local municipal office of the change within 14 days of moving to the new address.

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?
A.

Notifications of birth must be submitted within 14 days of the birth, while applications for the acquisition of a status of residence must be submitted within 30 days. Although there is no rule stating that one must be submitted before the other, applications for acquisition of status of residence do require the submission of a certificate which proves the birth of the child (a birth certificate, etc.). Moreover, submitting either a copy of a residence certificate or a certificate of entry items in resident register when applying for the acquisition of a status of residence will be considered as having fulfilled the obligation to submit a notification of address after permission is granted. As a result, most applicants tend to submit a notification of birth first.

Q103:
Is it necessary to submit a photo every time I apply for renewal of period of stay or change of status of residence?
A.

A photo must be included with any applications for extension of period of stay, etc. The only exceptions are applicants who are under 16 years old, or those who are applying for permissions which do not grant residence cards.

Procedures for notification 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?
A.

We believe that being able to compare the information being submitted by foreign nationals and the affiliated organizations who are accepting them results in immigration procedures which are both accurate and fair. As such, the Immigration Services Agency hopes that affiliated organizations will lend their assistance.

Q106:
What kind of information do affiliated organizations need to submit? Are there any penalties for failing to send such notifications?
A.

Affiliated organizations which accept mid to long-term residents with the following statuses of residence should be submitting notifications: "Professor," "Highly Skilled Professional," "Business Manager," "Legal/Accounting Services," "Medical Services," "Researcher," "Instructor," "Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services," "Intra-Company Transferee," "Nursing Care," "Entertainer," "Skilled Labor," "Student," or "Trainee." (This excludes business owners who are required to report the status of any foreign nationals they employ, as per the Act on Comprehensive Promotion of Labor Policies.) The notification must include the acceptance status of and names of the mid to long-term residents which have been accepted. For example, language schools and universities which accept and instruct foreign nationals as students should strive to report on the entry, graduation, enrollment and/or expulsion status of these mid to long-term residents.
Organizations that do not provide such notifications will not face any punishment. However, when applications for permission to renew the period of stay are made for foreign nationals belonging to such organizations, we may carefully examine all the facts and the application itself when carrying out the review.

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?
A.

Since schools and other affiliated organizations are encouraged (but not required) to submit notifications, a foreign national will not be at a disadvantage if such a notification was not submitted, nor will their application be refused. However, prior notification of a foreign national's acceptance by an affiliated organization will help expedite the renewal process.

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?
A.

Mid to long-term residents who are under the age of 16 and those who are unable to submit notifications regarding their address (etc.) on their own (due to hospitalization, etc.) must have a relative (spouse, parent, child) who is over the age of 16 submit the paperwork and pick up the residence card on their behalf.
The Ministry of Justice has also established the following guidelines: (1) notifications of address may be submitted by the head of the household, or those listed in the Basic Resident Register; (2) notifications aside from those related to addresses may be submitted by persons who have been approved by the Director-General of a Regional Immigration Services Bureau, such as employees of accepting organizations, lawyers, and notaries; (3) those mentioned in (2) may also submit applications for various permissions and collect the residence card issued therein.

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?
A.

Should the holder not be permitted to work, "就労不可" (work not permitted) will be written on their residence card. Those who are permitted to work will have the permission listed according to their status of residence. Generally speaking, statuses of residence which are listed in either Appended Table 1-1 or 1-2 of the Immigration Control Act will specify that "在留資格に基づく就労活動のみ可" (only activities specified by the status of residence are permitted). Those with the "Designated Activities" status of residence will state "指定書により指定された就労活動のみ可" (only specific work-related activities are permitted), while statuses listed in Appended Table 2 will display "就労制限なし" (no restrictions on work).
In cases where permission to engage in an activity other than those permitted by the status of residence previously granted has been granted, this will be recorded on the residence card. These permissions are generally divided between "許可 (原則週28時間以内・風俗営業等の従事を除く)" (Granted (less than 28 hours a week; excludes the adult entertainment industry)) and "許可 (資格外活動許可書に記載された範囲内の活動)" (Granted (only for activities within the recorded scope)).

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?
A.

While it varies from case to case, most mid to long-term residents who are being issued a residence card will find that it takes a couple of minutes, in addition to the time it takes to complete the necessary landing procedures.

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?
A.

While possessing a residence card means that the holder has permission to legally reside in Japan, it does not necessarily mean that they are allowed to work.
Aside from checking to make sure that the picture on the residence card matches the person presenting it, please also be sure to verify their status of residence, the expiry date for their period of stay, and the presence/absence of working permissions (including those to engage in an activity other than those permitted by the status of residence previously granted).

Q116:
If a foreign national seeking employment is found to have submitted a forged residence card, what procedure should be taken?
A.

Please inform the nearest Regional Immigration Services Bureau or police station of the infraction, either in person or in writing.

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?
A.

As the residence card system has made it even easier to verify an employee's status of residence and working permissions, employers will not be exempt from punishment if they do not do their due diligence.
Employers who are, themselves, foreign nationals should also be aware that enabling illegal employment is grounds for deportation.

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?
A.

Judgement on whether or not there is a justifiable reason for a person to stay in Japan without engaging their activities will be made on a case by case basis. Some examples where one's status would not be revoked include ongoing divorce mediations regarding the custody of children, or during a lawsuit alleging that their Japanese national spouse is at fault.

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?
A.

Judgement on whether or not there is a justifiable reason for a person to stay in Japan without engaging their activities will be made on a case by case basis. Some examples where one's status would not be revoked include ongoing divorce mediations regarding the custody of children, or during a lawsuit alleging that their Japanese national spouse is at fault.

Q120:
In what cases, such as having legitimate reason for not submitting a notification of address, will status of residence not be revoked?
A.

Some examples where a lack of notification would be forgiven include sudden loss of residence due to one's company going bankrupt, changes of address during extended hospitalizations, and victims of domestic violence who must keep their location private.

Q121:
Are permanent residents also subject to revocation of status of residence?
A.

Permanent residents are not exempt from revocations of status of residence.

Q122:
What is the system of service of public notice in the procedures for revocation of status of residence?
A.

Public announcements are used to serve orders to the intended recipient when their address is unknown (and therefore may not be sent through a regular notice).
In general, the process works by posting the titles of the items to be served, the name of their intended recipient and directions to serve the items to their intended recipient, should they make an appearance. This is put on a notice which is made public by the Ministry of Justice. Once two weeks have elapsed from the date of the posting, the orders will then be considered to have been served.

Q123:
Is the revocation of status of residence carried out even without the person appearing at an immigration office?
A.

Should the revocation of status of residence require the use of the system of service of public notice (in the even that the recipient's address is not known), once two weeks have elapsed, the revocation of status of residence will be carried out, regardless of whether or not the person being affected has made an appearance at an immigration office.

Grounds for deportation

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

The following apply:

・Any acts related to forged and/or altered residence cards and/or special permanent resident certificates

・The falsification of notifications or applications related to the Residency Management System, where the accused was sentenced to imprisonment with work

Penalties

Q125:
What sort of penalties are set under the Residency Management System?
A.

The following will incur penalties:

・Any acts which encourage illegal employment (employers who were unaware that they had employed someone for activities which were outside of their permitted scope will not be exempt from punishment)

・Any acts related to forged and/or altered residence cards

・Mid to long-term residents who have falsified items on their notifications, or otherwise violated their obligations to be issued, carry, and present a residence card (as per the reconstructed penalties under the Alien Registration Act)

Q126:
If a mid to long-term resident forgets their residence card, is it possible to leave Japan with special re-entry permission?
A.

Residence cards must be carried at all times. This includes instances where the card holder is departing the country.
Under the law, those who are eligible for special re-entry permission are mid to long-term residents who possess both a valid passport and residence card. To that end, the Ministry of Justice requires that both of these items be presented upon re-entry.
(Note) Please remember to check the "1. I am leaving Japan temporarily, and will return." box on the embarkation card for re-entrants at the time of departure.

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?
A.

The law states that special re-entry permission is granted only to those with a valid residence card. Residence cards whose validity periods have expired are no longer considered "valid," and therefore ineligible for special re-entry permission.
That being said, there are no restrictions related to residence cards for regular entry into Japan. As such, those whose validity period has expired while they were abroad may still be able to re-enter the country using special re-entry permissions.
It should also be noted that applications and notifications are not handled at ports of entry, so those who must apply for a validity period extension of their residence card will not be able to do so upon re-entry. Instead, please submit the application to the nearest Regional Immigration Services Bureau (to one's residence) as soon as possible.

Q128:
What should I do if I lose my residence card while overseas after leaving Japan with special re-entry permission?
A.

As there are no restrictions related to residence cards for regular entry into Japan, those who lost their residence card while abroad may still be able to re-enter the country using special re-entry permission. Please submit an application for a replacement card with the nearest Regional Immigration Services Bureau (to one's residence) as soon as possible.
In the event that one must provide proof of their residency in Japan in order to board their flight after losing their passport or their residence card abroad, the Regional Immigration Services Bureau with jurisdiction over one's area of residence is able to issue a document confirming one's status of residence to the person the foreign national selects as their representative.

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?
A.

Mid to long-term residents who are entering the country through an airport which does not distribute residence cards will receive a stamp in their passport which states that their card will be issued at a later date (near their landing permission). If a resident has yet to receive their card, they may still exit and re-enter the country on a special re-entry permission, provided they present the passport with the aforementioned stamp upon their return.

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?
A.

It is possible to depart Japan with re-entry permission upon confirmation of departure, as residence cards are not considered as necessary documents. However, because foreign nationals who possess residence cards are obligated to carry their residence cards at all times and to present their card to immigration officers, and violating these obligations may result in penalties, please ensure to carry your residence card at all times. Additionally, when mid to long-term residents are permitted for an extension of their period of stay, the status of residence, the period of stay, and the type of permission will be recorded in the newly issued residence card, meaning there will be no permission seal stamp in your passport. As such, please note that you may face difficulty when departing Japan without carrying your residence card if you try to prove that you have a legal status of residence in Japan while overseas.

Disclosure requests

Q132:
Is it possible to request disclosure of the certificate of alien registration of a deceased family member?
A.

The following persons can make a request for the issuance of a copy of the Alien Registration Card of a deceased foreign resident:

(1) A relative who lived with the deceased foreign national subject of the request at the time of their death

(2) The spouse who lived with the deceased foreign national subject of the request at the time of their death (including relationships in which the partners had not submitted a marriage license but who were in a marital relationship for all intents and purposes), direct descendants, siblings, parents, and grandparents

(3) Their legal representative (a person with parental authority or a guardian of an adult), if the person specified in (1) or (2) is a minor or an adult ward

This request for issuance is not part of disclosure requests as established in the Act on the Protection of Personal Information Held by Administrative Organs, Article 12, but is part of the official service for provision of information.
*For the request of issuance of registration card pertaining to the deceased person, please refer to "Request for the Issuance of a Copy of the Alien Registration Card of a Deceased Foreign Resident" (https://www.moj.go.jp/en/applications/disclosure/foreigner_death.html) on the Immigration Services Agency website.

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?
A.

If you have been issued a residence card or a special permanent resident certificate and have changed the information on it, it is possible to confirm your name, address, etc. by requesting the disclosure of the records related to the residence card when making a disclosure request pertaining to the foreign national immigration master records.

The counter for disclosure requests will be at the Immigration Services Agency's personal information protection counter.

It is possible to make a disclosure request for a certificate of alien registration and confirm the name or address recorded before the abolition of the Alien Registration System. For more details, please refer to Q129.

Kanji public notice

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?
A.

If writing the name on residence cards and special permanent resident certificates ("residence cards" hereinafter) in kanji, Simplified Chinese characters will not be written in their Simplified Chinese form. Instead, they will be replaced with characters within the Japanese orthographic character scope and written onto the front of the residence cards.

These ideas were organized based on the opinions from various municipalities. (Opinions that it is necessary to coordinate with name notations that are expected to be used in future municipal work (systems such as residence certificates, national health insurance, and national pension).)

Regarding foreign nationals names in kanji on residence certificates, we understand that they are to be written using Japanese orthographic characters, copying the characters used on the residence cards in accordance with the Basic Resident Registration Act. As such, the scope of the kanji written on residence cards is restricted to Japanese orthographic characters to ensure compatibility with the characters (unified Juuki characters) used in the current Basic Resident Register system, while giving as much consideration as possible to the original form of the characters in the foreign national's name.

Please refer to pages 2 to 4 in the below "Basic concepts on substituting Simplified Chinese characters with Japanese orthographic characters for the details on the opinions previously received from the municipalities regarding this topic.

(Reference URL)

http://search.e-gov.go.jp/servlet/Public?CLASSNAME=PCMMSTDETAIL&id=300130050&Mode=2You will be taken to an external page

Q135:
What is the legal basis for the use of kanji characters for names on residence cards (including their replacement with Japanese orthographic characters)?
A.

Ground rules are set for writing names in kanji (including names using kanji or kana; the same shall apply hereinafter) on residence cards within the Regulation for Enforcement of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, Article 19-7, Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 4, along with the Special Act on the Immigration Control of, Inter Alia, Those Who Have Lost Japanese Nationality Pursuant to the Peace Treaty with Japan Article 5, Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 4.

Additionally, a Ministry of Justice Public Notice (a public notice on the writing of names in kanji for residence cards, hereinafter referred to as "kanji public notice on residence cards, etc.") has been established in accordance with the provisions of these laws.

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?
A.

Japanese orthographic characters in the kanji public notice on residence cards, etc. are kanji as listed in (1) to (3) below. Please note that the scope of these characters will differ from those used in other areas, such as in family registries.

(1) JIS-1 to JIS-4 (JIS X 0208 and JIS X 0213)

(2) JIS Supplementary kanji (Kanji determined under JIS X 0212, excluding the above point (1))

(3) Kanji determined under Appendix 1 of the kanji public notice on residence cards, etc.

In the kanji public notice on residence cards, etc., "Simplified Chinese" refers to kanji that are not accepted as Japanese orthographic characters and specifically refers to Simplified Chinese characters (中国簡体字), Traditional Chinese characters (台湾繁体字), and other characters which do not have the same character form as Japanese orthographic characters.

Q137:
What kind of consideration has been given to the use of kanji for names on residence cards (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?
A.

For this case, a study (Fourth Meeting, Material 2; and Sixth Meeting, Material 1) was conducted in the "Research group on the transition to the Basic Resident Register System for foreign residents," organized by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications on December 2009 and March 2010 to discuss this matter. Based on this study, in June 2010, the Ministry of Justice collected opinions from the public on the basic policies of this matter (regarding the specifications of residence cards and special permanent resident certificates).

Additionally, opinions from the public were collected on October 2011 regarding comments and opinions (on the use of kanji for names on residence cards and special permanent resident certificates), regarding the basic concept of substituting Simplified Chinese characters with Japanese orthographic characters for kanji name notations on residence cards.

Based on these studies and opinions, the kanji public notice on residence cards was enacted and announced in December 2011.

(Reference URL)

Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications "Research group on the transition to the Basic Resident Register System for foreign residents"

http://www.soumu.go.jp/main_sosiki/kenkyu/daityo_ikou/index.htmlYou will be taken to an external page

Specifications of residence cards and special permanent resident certificates (public consultation)

http://search.e-gov.go.jp/servlet/Public?CLASSNAME=PCMMSTDETAIL&id=300130040&Mode=0You will be taken to an external page

Results of the public consultation regarding specifications of residence cards and special permanent resident certificates

http://search.e-gov.go.jp/servlet/Public?CLASSNAME=PCMMSTDETAIL&id=300130040&Mode=2You will be taken to an external page

Use of kanji characters for names in residence cards and special permanent resident certificates (public consultation)

http://search.e-gov.go.jp/servlet/Public?CLASSNAME=PCMMSTDETAIL&id=300130050&Mode=0You will be taken to an external page

Results of the public consultation regarding "use of kanji characters for names in residence cards and special permanent resident certificates"

http://search.e-gov.go.jp/servlet/Public?CLASSNAME=PCMMSTDETAIL&id=300130050&Mode=2You will be taken to an external page

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.
A.

As a general principle, the Latin alphabet is used to write foreign nationals' names on residence cards, and it can be written in kanji characters if the foreign national requests it.

Therefore, if the foreign national does not wish for their name to be written in kanji characters and does not apply for it, the name on the residence cards will only be written in the Latin alphabet and not in kanji characters.

It is not possible to replace characters with the characters a foreign national prefers.

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?
A.

Your name in Simplified Chinese characters on the certificate of alien registration can be proven with official documents issued by foreign governments such as passports, etc., or by the certificate of alien registration itself if the certificate of alien registration was returned when a residence card was issued.

(Note) In principle, if the foreign national with a certificate of alien registration receives a newly issued residence card (in the case that a special permanent resident certificate is issued by the municipality, only upon request), the certificate of alien registration will be returned after a hole has been punched in the card.

If you do not possess a certificate of alien registration due to loss, etc., it is possible to confirm the information on the certificate by making a disclosure request for an alien registration card. For more details, please refer to Q129.

Additionally, a Character Search System has been set up on the Immigration Services Agency's website. By using this system, it is possible to input Simplified Chinese characters, etc., to see the converted Japanese orthographic characters. The correspondence between the Simplified Chinese, etc., characters and Japanese orthographic characters can be seen by printing out the search result page.

The printed page will have the Immigration Services Agency's name on it to demonstrate that it was a result from the Immigration Services Agency system. By using this, it should be possible to prove the correspondence between the Simplified Chinese characters, etc., on the certificate of alien registration and the kanji used for the name on the residence card.

(Reference URL)

Notation of names on residence cards and special permanent resident certificates (public consultation)

https://www.moj.go.jp/isa/content/930001749.pdfPDF

Character Search System

http://lapse-immi.moj.go.jp:50122You will be taken to an external page

Q141:
Are embassies, financial institutions, etc., informed of the kanji notation of names on residence cards (including replacement with Japanese orthographic characters)?
A.

The kanji notation of names on residence cards has been published on the website of the Immigration Services Agency, and organizations that conduct identity verification are informed through related ministries and agencies. Moving forward, we will continue to make efforts to further disseminate this information.

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 the original kanji characters for the common name (nickname/通称名) on the residence certificate or the personal seal of the personal seal registration?
A.

Because this matter is not within the Immigration Services Agency's jurisdiction, please contact the municipality with jurisdiction over these matters.

Q144:
Will I have to pay a reissuance handling fee if I want to add my name in kanji to my residence card if it currently only has it written in the Latin alphabet?
A.

There are no handling fees for a new request to have your name written in kanji when submitted along with other notifications or applications (such as an application for extension of period of stay or other applications related to permission for residence, notification of change in information other than address, application for extension of validity period, or application for reissuance due to loss).

On the other hand, if the foreign national wishes to exchange their residence card but it has not been significantly damaged or destroyed, a handling fee (1,600 yen) will be charged when they request to have their name written in kanji.

Q145:
I have been told that my name in kanji will be written in its original form on my residence card. 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 correct characters in Japan. 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, I would like them replaced with 蕓, 藩, and 葉 in accordance with Chinese rules (simplified character table).
A.

The kanji in question (芸, 沈, 叶) are Japanese kanji (the Japanese orthographic characters based on kanji public notice on residence cards, etc.) that have been determined to fit in the Japanese kanji standards (Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS X0213 or JIS X0212)). We also understand that these kanji are accepted in current residence certificates.

In such cases, instead of following the foreign standards for Chinese characters, such as the Simplified Chinese character list (簡化字総表), the Japanese kanji standards (Japanese Industrial Standards) (Note) will be followed and the name will be written as it is on the residence card, etc.
National and local government agencies are obligated to respect the Japanese Industrial Standards as determined by the Industrial Standardization Act, Article 67.

(Note) In JIS X0213, it is defined that kanji characters with different origins but few differences in its graphical appearance (such as 芸, 沈, or 叶) are to be treated as the same kanji without distinguishing them (JIS X0213 4. w), and the same definition is followed in the kanji public notice on residence cards, etc.

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)
A.

Even if it is the same kanji, the printing font may be different in each country. Residence cards will be printed in the standard Japanese font as specified by the JIS X0213.

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 that they want?
A.

We find that it is inappropriate to allow foreign nationals to choose the kanji characters they want from the available Japanese orthographic characters, as it becomes difficult to ensure the accuracy of the name printed on the residence cards, etc.

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.
A.

The variant relationship between Simplified Chinese, etc., and Japanese orthographic characters will be confirmed not just with the Simplified Chinese character list, but also with the resources below. Therefore, there are no errors in the Japanese orthographic character correspondence table.

(1) Simplified Chinese character list (簡化字総表)

(2) First variant characters organization table (第一批異体字整理表)

(3) IPSJ-TS 0008:2007 (Variant character structure in the large kanji characters set (Information Processing Society of Japan Trial Standards))

(4) Unicode Unihan Database

(5) Kangxi Dictionary (康煕字典) and other dictionaries which help confirm the relationship between Simplified Chinese and Japanese orthographic characters

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?
A.

Grounds for deportations include false notifications regarding address or failure to apply for a validity period renewal for the residence card, and can result in imprisonment. Therefore, you will not be subject to deportation procedures immediately simply because you unknowingly submitted incorrect documents or the application period has expired.

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