2.8 Re-Entry Permission

Section Two: Visas and Status of Residence


This section provides an overview of the various entry procedures required to work and live in Japan. This section also includes a description of the types of work visas available to foreign companies, foreign staff, and the family of foreign nationals.


2.1   Entry Procedures

2.2   Relation Between Visa and Status of Residence

2.3   Process from Acquisition of Certificate of Eligibility to Acquisition of Visa

2.4   Types of Working Statuses

2.5   Temporary Visitor Visa and Status

2.6   Reciprocal Visa Exemptions for Temporary Visitor

2.7   Resident Card

2.8   Re-Entry Permission

2.9   Family Members Accompanying Working Foreign Nationals

2.10 Extension of Period of Stay and Change of Status of Residence

2.11 Points-Based Preferential Immigration Treatment for Highly-Skilled Foreign Professionals



2.8.1 What is Re-Entry Permission?

A foreign national residing in Japan who wishes to leave Japan temporarily within his/her permitted period of stay and, after traveling to his/her home country or a third country, to enter and reside in Japan again with the same status of residence as before needs to apply for and receive re-entry permission. Under this system, a foreign national who receives re-entry permission before leaving Japan does not need to apply for an entry visa again at a Japanese diplomatic mission abroad prior to re-entering Japan, and can reside in Japan after re-entry with the same status of residence held prior to leaving Japan. Please note that departing Japan without receiving this re-entry permission will result in forfeiture of the status of residence and the period of stay previously granted.


2.8.2 Types of Re-Entry Permits

There are two types of re-entry permits: single re-entry permit, which allows only one re-entry into Japan during the period of validity, and multiple re-entry permit, with which one can leave and re-enter Japan any number of times during the period of validity. Multiple re-entry permit is especially convenient for those persons who must often travel back and forth between Japan and the parent company or other foreign business locations. It is not possible to obtain re-entry permission exceeding the permitted period of stay in Japan. In addition, persons staying in Japan on a temporary visitor status of residence are not normally eligible for re-entry permission.

2.8.2 Application Method

As a general rule, the foreign national must personally appear at the Regional Immigration Bureau (or branch office thereof) having jurisdiction for the location in which he/she resides to apply for re-entry permission. However, if the foreign national is under the age of 16 or is unable to appear personally due to illness or some other reason, a parent or spouse may apply on his/her behalf. The applicant also need not appear personally at the Immigration Bureau if applying through an application agent who has been authorized by the Immigration Bureau or has registered with the Immigration Bureau as an application agent.

2.8.4 Necessary Documentation, Fees, Etc.
  • Application for re-entry permission
  • Passport (re-entry permit will be delivered into the passport)
  • Resident card (or alien registration certificate deemed equivalent to a resident card)
  • Payment of fees through the purchase of revenue stamps
    3,000 yen for single re-entry permit
    6,000 yen for multiple re-entry permit
2.8.4 Special Re-Entry Permit System

The introduction of the new residency management system from July 9, 2012 was accompanied by the introduction of a new “special re-entry permit” system. Under this system, foreign nationals in possession of a valid passport and resident card who declare their intention when they leave to re-enter Japan within 1 year of their departure to continue their activities in Japan are no longer, in principle, required to obtain a re-entry permit. However, if the period of stay will expire less than 1 year after departure, they must re-enter Japan before the expiration of this period of stay.

(Note) This special re-entry permit system also applies to foreign nationals in possession of a passport stating “A resident card is to be issued later.”


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