''New immigration law''
New immigration law started on 9th July 2012
According to the new immigration law, a new residency management system started on 9th July 2012.
In the new system, all information relating to foreign residents is managed exclusively by immigration. This was previously managed by both immigration and the municipality. The necessary procedures for your visa have therefore changed.
This new residency management system applies to all foreigners living legally in Japan for the mid-to long-term holding a visa, such as spouse visa, work visa, and permanent visa.
Foreigners who are visiting Japan for a short period of time are not subject to this system.
What follows are the main points of the new system:
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The alien registration card which had previously been issued by municipal office has been abolished, and immigration now issues a resident card.
● The resident card will be issued when you get permission of residence, such as landing permission at the airport, permission of extension of your visa, and permission of changing your visa.
● You do not need to apply for the resident card immediately. Your alien registration card will function as your resident card until the expiry date of your visa.
- Permanent Resident:
Permanent residents need to be issued with the resident card by 8th July 2015. Before that date, your alien registration card will be function as your resident card.
- Foreigners who obtain landing permission after 9th July 2012:
At Narita, Haneda, Chubu, and Kansai Airports, mid-to long-term residents will be issued with a resident card.
At other ports, a seal of landing verification will be stamped in your passport, and later on a resident card will be issued after the residency procedure at the municipal office.
2. Introduction of the Special Re-entry Permit System
A re-entry permit will NOT be required if you re-enter within 1 year or at the expiry of your visa, whichever is the earlier date.
This special re-entry permit system is a very convenient system as you no longer have to spend time nor money for the application of a re-entry permit.
Q1. Are there any necessary procedures when I leave Japan?
A. You just need to be sure to present your resident card at the immigration departure counter at the airport.
( If you have not been issued a resident card, you need to present your alien registration card. )
Q2. How long is the entry permit valid?
A．If you leave Japan without a re-entry permit, you have to re-enter Japan within 1 year or before your visa expiry date, whichever is the earlier date.
Q3．What procedure is necessary if I want to stay abroad for more than 1 year?
A．Application for a re-entry permit which was required under the previous system is necessary.
The maximum validity period of a re-entry permit is set at 5 years (it used to be 3 years in the previous system. )
As the alien registration system is abolished, some items which you have previously been required to notify your municipal office will be dealt with at the immigration office instead.
However, please continue to notify the municipal office of your place of residence.
Items requiring notification at an immigration office:
- Change of name, date of birth, gender, nationality/region.
- Change of the matters of the belonging organization ( employer or educational institution ), such as its name, location, breaks up, including the case of your leaving the organization or moving into another organization.
( Necessary to notify an immigration office within 14 days of the incident.)
- Notification of divorce or death of your spouse if your visa is a spouse visa, dependent visa, or designated activities (C).
( it is necessary to notify an immigration office within 14 days of the incident.)
- Application for renewal of the resident card before the expiration date if you are a permanent resident.
- Application for re-issuance of a resident card in case it was lost, stolen or severely damaged.
Issuance of certificate of residence
For every foreign resident eligible for a resident card, instead of certificates for description of an alien registration card, a certificate of residence will be prepared at the municipal office closest to you.
You need to be sure to go through the necessary immigration procedures as the following cases are subject to revocation of visa:
- You have failed to give notification of your place of residence without a justifiable reason or have submitted a false notification.
- Your visa is a spouse visa, but you have failed to engage in activities as a spouse for six months or more without a justifiable reason.
- You have obtained special permission to stay by wrongful means.
Period of stay (Those in red are new):
- Work visa: 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, 3 months
- Spouse visa: 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, 6 months
- Student visa： 4 years and 3 months, 4 years, 3 years and 3 months, 3 years, 2 years and 3 months, 2 years, 1 year and 3 months, 1 year, 6 months, 3 months
Above is a brief explanation for easy understanding to most people. For further information, please contact an immigration office or refer to the immigration website below.
★ Click here for the immigration website about new law