Residence Card

Immigration Office issues Residence Card (Zairyu-kaado) to each foreign nationals who obtain mid- to long-term visa status and reside legally in Japan under Immigration Control Act.

After you obtain the Residence Card, you proceed to the registration of your residence address at City Hall or Ward Office. You can register your seal called "Inkan" or "Jitsu In" (Japanese people use "inkan" instead of signing) as well. Then, you finally become a resident in Japan. You can receive Certificate of Residence (Jumin-hyou no Utsushi) and Certificate of Seal/Inkan (Inkan Shomei-sho) as the same as Japanese people do. These certificates are often required for the administrative procedures and other services such as opening bank account.

Residence Card can be used as your ID in Japan. You need to keep the card at any time even when you go outside Japan – you will have to present the card at the airport when you re-enter Japan.

Who holds the Residence Card?

Residence Card is issued to mid to long-term residents who are NOT come under any of 1 – 6 below:

  1. Person granted permission to stay for three months or less.
  2. Person granted "Temporary Visitor" status.
  3. Person granted "Diplomat" or "Official" status.
  4. Person recognized by Ministry of Justice ordinance as equivalent to foreign nationals coming under any of (1) to (3) above.
  5. Special permanent residents.
  6. Person with no resident status.

What information is written on the card?

Information written on the Residence Card is the following:

Front

  • Photo
  • Name and Sex
  • Date of Birth
  • Nationality and Region
  • Registered Residence Address in Japan
  • Name of Visa Status and Period of Stay
  • Date of Approval of Visa Status
  • Date of Issuance of Residence Card
  • Date of Expiry of Residence Card
  • Working Restrictions (if any)

Back

  • Registered Residence Address at the city/ward office.
  • Details of permission to engage in activities other than that permitted under current visa status (if any)
  • Name of Application in Progress (if any)

Period of Validity of Residence Card

Residence Card is valid for certain periods as the following:

Age Non-Permanent Resident Permanent Resident
16 or older Date of Expiration of visa status 7 years from Date of Issue of the card
Under 16 Earlier of Date of Expiration of visa status or 16th Birthday Until 16th Birthday

Necessary Notifications for Residence Card holders

You need to notify to the authorities properly in the event of any change regarding information written on the card.

  • Change of residence address -> at the City/Ward Office.
  • Other changes than above -> at the Immigration Office or the branch.

Change of residence address

You need to process "Tenni Todoke (Report for moving in and out within the same city/ward)" or "Tenshutsu/Tennyu Todoke (Report for moving in from or moving out to the different district)" to register your residence address within 14 days after moving in/out.

You cannot process it at the Immigration Office.
Notification form is different depending on your city. Please ask the city/ward office you reside for the details.

Change of items other than residence address (e.g. name, sex and nationality/region)

In case of changes of name, sex and nationality/region, you need to notify it to the Immigration Office or the branch where you reside. Generally, new card will be issued on the same day after the notification at Immigration Office.

[Necessary Documents]

  • Notification Form (you can get the form at Immigration Office).
  • Portrait Photo (Hight 4cm x Width 3cm)
  • Passport and Residence Card
  • Documents which certifies the change:
    • Change of Name due to marriage: passport after change of name and marriage certificate (Koseki Tohon, in case of marriage with Japanese).
    • Change of Name due to other reasons than marriage: passport after change of name, Birth Certificate and written judgement regarding the change of name.
    • Change of Nationality/Region: passport issued by new nationality.

For further details, please check the website of the Immigration Office below:
>> Notification of Change of Items on the Residence Card (other than the address).

If You Lost Residence Card…

If you lost or were robbed your Residence Card, you have to notify it at the Police Station as soon as possible. Police will issue the Certificate of Lost/Robbery Report, then you have to go to the Immigration Office with the certificate and apply for Re-Issuance of Residence Card. Generally, new card will be issued on the same day after the notification at the Immigration Office.

Re-Issuance of Residence Card

[Necessary Documents]

  • Application Form (you can get the form at Immigration Office).
  • Portrait Photo (Hight 4cm x Width 3cm)
  • Passport
  • Documents which certifies the lost of your card:
    • Certificate of Lost Report
    • Certificate of Robbery Report
  • (in case you obtain "Shikakugai Katsudou Kyoka") Certificate of the permit
  • (in case you prefer to state Kanji name together with Alphabetical name on the card): Indication Form (you can get the form at Immigration Office).

For further details, please check the website of the Immigration Office below:
>> Application for reissuance of the residence card due to loss.

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