Resident procedures

[Question] What are the criteria for extending my period of stay?

It is possible to apply to extend your period of stay should you wish to stay in Japan doing the same activities. You may apply for renewal 3 months before the expiration date of your current period of stay.
Please refer to “Guideline for changing status of residence/renewing period of stay” provided by the Immigration Bureau.

[Question] We are a foreign couple living in Japan. We just had a baby. What procedures should we undertake?

In the case that both parents are foreign nationals, the baby will also be a foreign national, and will thus need to acquire a Status of Residence. The Status of Residence application process should be begun at the Regional Immigration Bureau within 30 days of the birth. If the baby will reside in Japan for fewer than 60 days (except in cases in which the baby will be re-entering Japan with a Re-entry Permit), this procedure is not necessary. If the parents are not residing in Japan legally, or are in the midst of deportation procedures, the baby may be denied Status of Residence. 


<Notification of Birth>
Notify your local municipality of the birth within 14 days. If you submit notification, the municipal office will issue a Certificate of Residence in recognition of the baby’s provisional status of Residence. (Failure to apply for Residence status within 30 days will void the baby’s Certificate of Residence.)

<Acquisition of Status of Residence>
The documents needed to acquire status of Residence following birth are as follows:

  • Documents proving the birth (Birth Certificate, Maternal and Child Health Handbook, etc.)
  • Reference documents in accordance with activities in Japan
  • Passport (if it is not possible to present a passport, present a written statement explaining why not)

<Residence Card>
If the baby acquires Status of Residence and becomes a Mid- or Long-Term Resident, he/she will receive a Residence Card.

[Question] Who can apply for a permanent resident permit and how?


Please refer to the online “Guidelines for Permission for Permanent Residence” provided by the Immigration Bureau.

1) Your behavior and conduct must be upright and proper, you must have no criminal record, perform civil duties, and live a problem-free life as a decent citizen. 

2) You have to have sufficient assets or ability to make an independent living, so as not to become a public burden, and are expected to live a stable life for the foreseeable future employing the assets or ability of yourself or those of your family members.

3) Your permanent residence must be deemed likely to benefit Japan. 

The Immigration Bureau provides guidelines for Permission for Permanent Residence including “Guidelines for Permission of Permanent Residence for those who are deemed beneficial to Japan” and a list of successful and unsuccessful application examples, on their homepage.

[Question] In which cases is it necessary to obtain “Permission to Engage in Activities Other Than Those Permitted by Current Status of Residence”?


The scope of activities permitted for foreigners to engage in is limited within the authorized activities defined by the status of residence they hold. Thus it is against the law to engage in income-generating business or paid activities that are not authorized under the status of residence they hold. If you wish to work outside the scope of your authorized line of work, however, you should obtain a “ permission to engage in an activity other than those permitted by the status of residence previously granted” or “shikakukatsudo-gai kyoka,” in Japanese. The permission is granted as long as the planned activity won’t hinder the applicant from the activity that is the original purpose of residence. Holders of “Spouse of Japanese National, etc.,””Long-Term Resident,””Spouse of Permanent Resident, etc.,” and “Permanent Resident” status do not have restrictions on their activities so they don’t need to obtain this permission.

[Question] I have Long-Term Resident status, but I want to return home for a while. What are the necessary procedures?


There are two possible procedures for a Mid- or Long-Term Resident to return to Japan and resume activity after an absence, depending on the duration of the absence. 

If you will be abroad for less than one year:

If a foreign resident with a valid passport and Residence Card will be returning to Japan to continue the same activities as before, they will not need a Re-entry Permit if they will be abroad for less than one year (two years for Special Permanent Residents). Someone who leaves Japan under this system can lose their Status of Residence if they do not return within one year, (or before their Period of Stay expires, whichever comes first) as it is not possible to extend Special Re-entry Permits while abroad. 

If you will be abroad for more than one year: 

You can obtain a Re-entry Permit at your local immigration office before your departure. 
Validity Period: The maximum validity period for Re-entry Permits has been extended from 3 years to 5 years (6 years for Special Permanent Residents).

[Question] I recently left the company I had worked at for the past three years, and now have a new job.

If you are staying in Japan with a status of residence as “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities and International Services” and wish to change jobs, it will be necessary to notify the Immigration Bureau within 14 days, either in person, or by mail, after the change takes place. Your employer also has an obligation to submit notification within 14 days. 
It is important to make sure the type of work in the new workplace is within the category of the activities authorized under your current status of residence. To confirm that this is the case and to ensure your renewal procedures go smoothly, you can apply for a “Certificate of Authorized Employment” at your local Regional Immigration Bureau. This certificate is also useful for your prospective employers because they can see beforehand whether the work you will be doing conforms to your permitted activities under your status. This certificate is issued upon your request and is not mandatory to have.