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Visa & Immigration procedure in Japan

Required documents

What are the documents that you need to prepare before applying for a visa (status of residence)?

The documents you need to submit are more or less the same within the same group category of visas (status of residence).

For a working visa (status of residence), you will need to submit :
  • Application form
  • Contract with your employer, letter of appointment, invitation letter, or any other documents to prove your activities, position, salary, period of time you will need to stay in Japan, etc.
  • Company's certificate of registry (Tokibo Tohon)
  • Company's most recent financial statements (Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss statement)
  • Company's withholding tax report
  • Description of the company's activities (brochure, catalogues, printed web pages...)
  • Your CV/resume
  • Certificates of degree, certified transcripts, certificates of diploma, training, awards or qualifications
  • Documents to prove your previous working experience (letters from your former employers, etc.)
  • Portrait photo (3cmx4cm)

There could be other necessary documents depending on each case.

For renewal, you will also need a certificate of employment (zaishoku shomei sho) and the most recent tax payment certificate (nozei shomei sho) issued by the local city hall/ward office.

>> How to obtain and renew your visa in Japan

>> Where to apply for a visa for Japan

>> Ask for personalized advise

For a visa granted according to your family status (Spouse of Japanese National, Long Term Resident...) :
  • Application form
  • Documents proving your relation based on which your visa will be granted, such as Marriage Certificate, Birth Certificate, Family Registry (Koseki), Resident certificate (Juminhyo)...
  • Letter of Guarantee
  • Questionnaire (for Spouse of Japanese national)
  • Documents to prove your income (Certificate of employment and the most recent tax payment certificate). If you don't work, you will need such documents from the person who supports you financially, or other documents such as your bank statements showing enough savings.

There are also other required documents such as family photos (in case of spouse visa) or a list of family members, certificate of criminal record (in case of 3rd generation Nikkei applicants) etc.

All the documents written in foreign languages have to be translated into Japanese.

If you have any other documents that could work on your favor, you can also add them even if they are not mentioned on the list.

In many cases, it is recommended to write a statement (in Japanese) in order to explain why you need to obtain, change or renew your visa (status of residence).

Even if it's not required, submitting such statement helps Immigration understand your situation better, and possibly increases your chance of getting a visa (status of residence).

It is often a good idea to ask a professional like us to write such letter, as it requires a profound knowledge in Immigration Law and in Immigration's policies.

>> How to obtain and renew your visa in Japan

>> Where to apply for a visa for Japan

>> Ask for personalized advise



Re-entry permit

From July 9, 2012, it is no longer required to have a Re-entry permit if you will be back in Japan within 12 months.

If you will be away for more than one year, it is still required to obtain a re-entry permit in advance

Your current visa (including the permanent resident visa) will be automatically canceled if you come back after 12 months and it is also not possible to extend the re-entry permit at the Japanese Consulate overseas if you leave Japan using the "re-entry permit exemption".

If there is a chance that you will be away from Japan for more than 12 months, it is still recommended to get a Re-entry permit before you leave Japan.

>> How to obtain and renew your visa in Japan

>> Where to apply for a visa for Japan

>> Ask for personalized advise



Resident Card

With the introduction of new Immigration law from July 9, 2012, a Resident Card replaces an Alien Registration Card.

For those arriving in Japan with the Certificate of Eligibility, a Resident Card will be issued upon arrival at the airport (Narita, Haneda, Kansai and Nagoya).

For those who are already resident in Japan, a new card will be issued at the time of the next visa renewal (or change of visa status).

It is also possible to have the new card issued at the Immigration office if you would like to get it before your visa needs to be renewed.

It is required to report the change of your personal address to the city hall and any other changes (employers and their address, name, marital status, etc.) to the Immigration office.

Please refer to the page concerning Japan's new Immigration law from July 9, 2012.

>> How to obtain and renew your visa in Japan

>> Where to apply for a visa for Japan

>> Ask for personalized advise



Getting a new passport

If you haven't got a new Resident Card, your visa stamp is still on the old passport when you renew it and get a new one.

You can travel with two passports (the old expired one with your current visa stamp and the new valid one without any visa in it) in this case until you will renew your visa next time, or get a new Resident Card.

>> How to obtain and renew your visa in Japan

>> Where to apply for a visa for Japan

>> Ask for personalized advise



Certified as an Immigration Lawyer by the immigration office, we can help you with obtaining an appropriate visa and with other immigration procedures.

For more information, click here.



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