The former alien registration system was replaced with a new system of residence management in July 2012. Under the new residency management system, all foreign nationals who will stay in Japan for a period of over three months must complete procedures for a resident card at the airport, and register their place of residence at their local City/Ward Office. In addition, when the occasion arises, applications are required at the local immigration office, for extension of period of stay, change of status of residence, and re-entry permit.
At the port of entry/departure
Under the new residency management system, introduced in July 2012, a resident card will be issued to newly arrived foreign nationals who intend to remain in Japan for a period of over three months.
Note) The resident card will NOT be issued for those with a Temporary Visitor's Visa or a College Student Visa with a three-month period of stay.
What is a Resident Card?
- An identification card which includes information such as your name, date of birth, nationality/region, address in Japan, residence status and period of residence.
- International residents are required by law to carry their resident card at all times.
- The resident card will expire on the same day as student's status of residence, and will be renewed when an application for an extension of the period of residence is granted by the Immigration Bureau.
- The following unauthorized uses of a resident card (and alien registration card) are prohibited by law, and are subject to criminal charges (possible imprisonment), cancellation of resident status, and/or deportation.
- Not complying with the obligation to apply for and carry the card, not present it upon request by the relevant authorities.
- Making a counterfeit card, possess and/or using such card.
- Lending, borrowing, buying or selling the card.
For students who are newly arriving in Japan (after the beginning of the new system)
- For those who are arriving at Narita, Haneda, Chubu, and Kansai Airports, the resident card will be issued after the immigration examination.
- For those who are arriving at airports other than those mentioned above, the card will be sent to their address after submitting a Notification of Place of Residence to their municipal office.
For students with a valid Alien Registration Card
Students with a currently valid alien registration card with "College Student" status of residence may continue to use their current card until the period of residence status expires. Such students are requested to keep their current alien registration card after the introduction of the new residency management system.
In such cases, the card will be exchanged for a new resident card when an application for an extension of period of stay or change of status of residence is granted by the Immigration Bureau. Those who wish to obtain the new resident card prior to such an application can request for their card to be replaced at the Immigration Bureau.