2.7 Resident Card
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
2.7 Resident Card
Under the residency management system for foreign nationals in Japan, “resident cards” are issued to foreign nationals. For details of the residency management system and resident card, please see the following website: Immigration Bureau of Japan Website
2.7.1 What Are Resident Cards?
Resident cards are cards issued to foreign nationals residing legally in Japan for the mid- to long-term who have resident status under the Immigration Control Act (“mid- to long-term residents”) when they are granted a residence-related permit, such as landing permission, permission for change of status of residence , and permission for extension of period of stay. Mid- to long-term residents carry a resident card while living in Japan, and are included in the Basic Resident Register like Japanese nationals. In addition to a photograph of the bearer (excluding those cards which expire by the bearers’ 16th birthdays), the resident card contains information such as the bearer’s identity, address, and status of residence. Should any of these details change, the bearer is required to notify the authorities.
2.7.2 Who Are Issued Resident Cards?
Resident cards are issued to mid- to long-term residents who do not come under any of (1) through (6) below:
- Persons granted permission to stay for 3 months or less
- Persons granted “Temporary Visitor” status
- Persons granted “Diplomat” or “Official” status
- Persons recognized by Ministry of Justice ordinance as equivalent to foreign nationals coming under any of (1) to (3) above
- Special permanent residents
- Persons with no resident status
2.7.3 Information Recorded on Resident Cards
The following information is included on resident cards:
- Name, date of birth, sex, and nationality or region
- Place of residence (address of main residence in Japan)
- Status of residence, period of stay, and date of expiration of period of stay
- Type and date of permission
- Number, date of issue, and date of expiration of resident card
- Working restrictions (if any)
- Details of permission to engage in activities other than that permitted under the status of residence previously granted (if any)
16 or older
7 years from date of issue
Expiration date of period of stay
Until 16th birthday
Earlier of expiration date of period of stay or 16th birthday
2.7.5 Notification Requirements Regarding Resident Cards
Mid to long term residents are required to notify the authorities in the event of any change in the details entered in the resident card and certain other matters during the period of stay.
These notifications are of the following types: 1 notification of place of residence, 2 notification of item other than place of residence, and 3 notification concerning organization to which bearer belongs.
1. Notification of place of residence (performed at municipal office)
o Foreign nationals newly arriving in Japan (mid- to long-term residents)
Mid- to long-term residents must visit the municipal office where they live with their resident card (or passport if a resident card was not issued at the time of entry to Japan) to file notification of place of residence within 14 days of establishing a place of residence.
o Foreign nationals moving into a new address (mid- to long-term residents)
Mid- to long-term residents who have changed their place of residence must visit their new municipal office with their resident card to file notification of their place of residence within 14 days of moving to the new residence.
1. Notification of items other than place of residence (performed at a regional immigration bureau). When filing any of the following notifications or applications, foreign nationals are required to bring their passport, photo, and resident card. A new resident card will as a rule be issued on the day of notification or application.
o Notification of change of name, date of birth, sex, nationality/region
Notification must be filed within 14 days of the change of name, date of birth, sex, or nationality/region.
o Application to update period of validity of resident card
A permanent resident or a foreign resident of Japan younger than 16 years old whose resident card expires on his/her 16th birthday is required to apply to renew the period of validity of the resident card before it expires.
o Application for re-issuance of resident card
In case of loss or theft of a resident card, foreign residents must apply for re-issuance within 14 days of noticing this (or the day of reentry to Japan if noticed outside Japan).
The above notifications and applications must be made in person at a regional immigration bureau by the individual concerned. However, if that person is under the age of 16 or unable to do so because of illness, etc., a co-resident family member must file the notification or application on his/her behalf. If approved by the director of a regional immigration bureau, a legal representative or any of the following persons requested by the individual may submit documents or complete other procedures related to notifications and applications on his/her behalf:
o An employee of a host institution or charitable corporation approved by the director of a regional immigration bureau
o An attorney or an administrative scrivener (gyoseishoshi lawyer) who files a notification regarding documents submission with the director of a regional immigration bureau by way of the bar association or administrative scrivener association to the attorney or administrative scrivener belongs
In certain cases, family members, cohabitants, and persons equivalent to cohabitants of the individual who have been approved by the director of a regional immigration bureau may also complete procedures related to notifications and applications on behalf of the individual.
1. Notification concerning organization to which foreign resident belongs (performed at a regional immigration bureau). Foreign residents must bring their resident cards when filing any of the following notifications. If filing notification by post, a copy of the resident card must be enclosed. Note that a new resident card will not be issued when notification is filed in this way.
o Notification regarding organization to which foreign resident belongs
In case a mid- to long-term foreign resident with “Engineer” or another working status (excluding “Artist,” “Religious Activities,” and “Journalist”), or “Student” or another learning status, leaves the organization (employer or educational institution) to which he/she belongs (due to termination of contract) or moves to another organization (on a new contract), or such an organization changes its name, location, or ceases to exist, he/she is required to file notification of such fact by either visiting a regional immigration bureau or posting notification to the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau within 14 days.
o Notification regarding spouse
A mid- to long-term foreign resident who is married, has resident status of “Dependent” or similar, and loses his/her spouse by death or divorce is required to file notification of this fact by visiting a regional immigration bureau or posting notification to the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau within 14 days.