Residency Card

As of July 9th, 2012, a new residence card has been introduced for all foreigners who have mid to long term resident status. This residence card is issued to you by Immigration upon arrival in Japan if you happen to come through Narita, Haneda, Chubu or Kansai airport. The card must be carried with you at all times, so be sure to take it with you whenever you go out.


Hokkaido Direct Flight Arrivals

Are you landing at Shin-Chitose Airport on a direct flight from overseas?

In your case, you will not receive a resident card upon entry. A landing verification seal will be stamped in your passport and only after you register at your local ward office and complete the “Notification of Moving-In” (“Tenyu-todokede”) will the Regional Immigration Office mail out the card to your address.

I have the old Alien Registration Card and wish to upgrade Existing alien registration cards will continue to be effective for a period of time after the new residence card system has been implemented from July 9th, 2012. If you currently have an alien registration card it will remain valid until the end of your period of stay.


Check! Check! Check!

When you receive your Residence Card, be sure to check the information on it is accurate. Your name, nationality/region, date of birth and sex on your Residence Card must be exactly the same as the information in your passport. If you find an error, such as a missing space between any of your names, immediately request the immigration officer at the counter to make the necessary correction. Failure to do this when your Residence Card is originally issued will likely require that you go to Immigration at a later date, which is usually more time-consuming and troublesome.

If the information on your Residence Card differs—even if only slightly—from the information in your passport, it is likely you will be unable to open a bank account or obtain necessary official documents in the future.


I lost my card!

In the event your residence card is lost, stolen or severely damaged, please apply for a new card within 14 days (or on the day you re-enter Japan) at your Regional Immigration Office.


What you need to obtain your Residency Card:

  • Passport
  • Residence card (if damaged)
  • Application to re-issue the resident card
  • Document issued by the police upon reporting the loss or theft to them, or a disaster victim certificate issued by the Fire Department in place of your residence card
  • A passport size photograph
  • Permission to engage in remunerative activities

You may apply for a replacement residence card even if it is not severely damaged at your Regional Immigration Office. However, you are required to pay a re-issuing fee. For this you will need:

  • Passport
  • Residence card
  • Application to reissue the Residence Card
  • A passport size photograph

For detailed information on the new Residency Card system, please refer to the Immigration Bureau of Japan.

Updated on   May 01, 2017