TOP ＞ Legal Procedures
The Immigration Bureau was established under the Ministry of Justice in order to conduct emigration and immigration administration.
All non-Japanese who have either renounced their Japanese nationality or were born in Japan and are over 60 days old that have not undergone the landing procedures stipulated by the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act must obtain residence status (status of residence) if planning to stay in Japan. You can obtain residence status by filing out an application with the Minister of Justice according to the procedures stipulated in the Ministry of Justice Ordinance.
For foreigners staying in Japan for more than 3 months, after entering Japan, a residence card stating the status of residence will be issued with a stamp on their passport at the designated airport .
Within two weeks after obtaining the residence card, please go to the municipal office where you will live, proceed with the registration procedure for the resident, and have the address printed on the back of the residence card .
Residence cards must be carried and shown according to the law. In addition, the residence card must be shown for the identity verification at the reception of the government office,or in times when you may be asked by the police for presentation of the card on the street. You might have to face a fine up to 200,000 JPY or less for not carrying the residence card. Also, you may be suspected to stay illegally, so please be careful. Please be sure to carry your residence card. Foreigners under under 16 years of age are not obligated to carry the residence card.
Please contact the local municipal (government) office for more details such as registration procedure.
For details on alien registration, etc., contact your local government office.
If a non-Japanese who lives in Japan wishes to go overseas, the residence status or period of stay obtained until then will expire. If you would like to go overseas for a short time and have plans to return to Japan within your permitted period of stay, you can obtain a re-entry permit to simplify the immigration and landing procedures upon your re-entry.
By obtaining this permit, the residence status or the period of stay you obtained prior to departing Japan will not be revoked.
If a non-Japanese who lives in Japan wishes to conduct activities other than those permitted by the status of residence (secondary activities), “permission for changing status of residence” must be obtained. “Permission to engage in an activity other than that permitted under the status of residence previously granted” (work permit) must be obtained when a non-Japanese would like to conduct activities related to the management of business involving income or activities for which remuneration is received, which are not included in those activities under the category of status of residence held, and which do not interfere with the activities that are the original purpose of residence (e.g. an international student working part-time).
Inkan (seals) are widely used in Japan. An inkan is normally used for concluding important documents, rather than signing (signature with no seal). You need to register an inkan (seal) that you will use to stamp important documents, particularly for lease contracts. Registration can be done at your local government office.
Main features of an inkan
- The name carved in the seal (hanko) must be the name shown on the residence card.
- An individual can only register one inkan at a time.
- In order to apply, you need an ID as proof that you are that individual.
- You must pay a registration fee. Please contact your local government office for details.
- Once your inkan is registered, you will be issued an inkan torokusho (seal registration certificate). Make sure not to misplace it.
- There are cases where signing (signature with no seal) is allowed instead of an inkan. Verify whether a signature will suffice.