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To all foreign nationals residing in Japan Beginning on Monday, July 9, 2012, Start of a new residency management system!

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Who will be subject to the new residency management system?

The new residency management system will be applied to all foreign nationals residing legally in Japan for the mid- to long-term with resident status under the Immigration Control Act (hereinafter referred to as "mid- to long-term residents") and, moreover, foreign nationals who do not come under any of the following 1 through to 6.

  1. (1) Persons granted permission to stay for 3 months or less
  2. (2) Persons granted "Temporary Visitor" status
  3. (3) Persons granted "Diplomat" or "Official" status
  4. (4) Persons recognized by Ministry of Justice ordinance as equivalent to the foreign nationals in the aforementioned (1) to (3)*
  5. (5) Special permanent residents
  6. (6) Persons with no resident status**

This new system will apply to mid- to long-term residents in Japan, such as those married to a Japanese national as well as Japanese descendants ("nikkei"), whose status of residence is "Spouse or Child of Japanese National," "Long Term Resident," etc., those working for an employer in Japan, whose status is "Engineer," "Specialist in Humanities/International Services," etc., as well as technical interns, students, and permanent residents. It will not apply to those visiting Japan for a short period of time as a tourist.

* The Ministry of Justice ordinance specifies staff of the Japanese office of the Association of East Asian Relations and the Permanent General Mission of Palestine in Japan who have "Designated Activities" status, and their families.

** While illegal residents can be registered under the present alien registration system, they cannot be registered under the new residency management system. Any foreign national illegally staying in Japan is advised to immediately visit the nearest Regional Immigration Office and follow the necessary procedures. For more details, please see the "Information on Procedures to Follow at Immigration Offices" on the Immigration Bureau of Japan's website.

Procedural flow of the new residency management system

At ports of entry/departure

Immigration examination

Besides having a seal of landing verification stamped in their passports, mid- to long-term residents will be issued a resident card.

* A resident card will be issued only at Narita, Haneda, Chubu, and Kansai Airports when the new system is enforced in July 2012. For more details, please see page 9.

At municipal offices

Notification (Change) of place of residence

At Regional Immigration Offices

Notification of (a change of) an item other than
the place of residence

Notification of a change of name, date of birth, gender, or nationality/region

Application for updating the validity period of the resident card

(Permanent residents and those less than 16 years old)

Application for re-issuance of a resident card

(In case the resident card is lost, stolen, severely damaged or defaced)

Notification concerning the organization to which the applicant belongs, or the spouse

(Those who reside with a employment status or learning status such as "Student" status or with the status of spouse)

Examination of resident status

Mid- to long-term residents will be issued with a resident card when granted permission for extension of the period of stay or permission for a change to resident status.

Please take note of the following!

In line with the introduction of the new residency management system, the following grounds have been established for revocation of resident status, deportation and penalties. Regarding the penalty on promoting illegal work prescribed in Article 73-2 of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, if an employer does not know by negligence that the employed person works illegally, the employer will be punished.

Revocation of resident status

  • You have obtained special permission to stay by wrongful means.
  • You are residing as a spouse with "Spouse or Child of Japanese National" or "Spouse of Child of Permanent Resident" status, but you have failed to engage in activities as a spouse for six months or more without a justifiable reason.*
  • You have failed to give notification of your place of residence without a justifiable reason or have submitted a false notification.**

* In case a foreign resident is in the process of arbitration with his/her spouse over the custody of his/her child or having a divorce case holding his/her Japanese spouse culpable, the foreign resident is deemed to have "justifiable reasons," even though the activities of such a resident as the status of spouse are not approved. Also, even if a foreign resident in Japan does not act as a spouse for six months or longer, the resident may be permitted to change his/her resident status to another one if he/she has any reason, such as taking care of and raising his/her biological child who has Japanese nationality.

** "Justifiable reasons" for failing to notify the change of address are applicable to the following cases: the company a foreign resident worked for went suddenly bankrupt and he/she lost his/her place to live as a result; a foreign resident was hospitalized for a long time and, therefore, was unable to notify the change of his/her address; or a foreign resident was a victim of domestic violence and hid the change of his/her address in order to avoid the assailant knowing the new address.

Grounds for deportation

  • You have forged or altered a resident card.
  • You have been sentenced to imprisonment with labor or a heavier punishment for submitting false notification or similar act.


  • You have submitted a false notification or have violated the obligation to submit a notification relating to any of the notifications required of mid- to longterm residents or have violated the obligation concerning receipt, carrying or mandatory presentation of your resident card.
  • You have forged or altered a resident card.

お問い合わせはこちらへ 外国人在留総合インフォメーションセンター (平日8:30~17:15) 0570-013904 IP電話・PHSからは 03-5796-7112

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