Residence Card

What Is a Residence Card?

Foreign nationals who are not visitors but are residing in Japan medium to long-term are issued a residence card. This card is your ID. It shows your status of residence and period of stay. You must carry it with you at all times and show it to the police or immigration authorities when asked.
The status of residence and period of stay for foreigners residing in Japan is determined on the basis of their purpose for entering the country. There are 29 types of status, and foreigners are prohibited from engaging in any activities other than those permitted by their status of residence.

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See the Immigration Services Agency website below to confirm how to obtain a residence card and what documents you need. You can also download application forms, etc. in both Japanese and English from this site.

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Notification of Place of Residence

Once you have a place of residence, you must notify the municipal government office in your area within 14 days after your arrival. Take your residence card if you received one at the airport or your passport that has been stamped with the seal “residence card to be updated,” and present it to the person in charge at the municipal office. If you move within Japan, you must also notify both the municipal office where you lived up to that time and the municipal office of your new address of the change within 14 days of moving. Your new address will be written on the back of your residence card.

Changing Other Information on Your Residence Card

If there is any change in your name, birth date, gender, nationality or region, you must notify your regional immigration office within 14 days of the change. You will receive a new residence card.

Reissuing a Residence Card

If your residence card is lost or stolen, you must notify the police and apply for a new card at your regional immigration office within 14 days of the loss. You should also apply for a new residence card if your current one is badly damaged. (Fee: No charge)