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Residence Card & Resident Registration at the Local Municipality

Residence Card

A Residence Card will be issued with the introduction of a new residency management system. The Alien Registration System has been abolished.

Place of Issue
A Residence Card will be issued at Narita, Haneda, Chubu and Kansai airports to those entering Japan with a mid-to-long-term resident status. However, for those entering via all other ports of entry and departure, a Residence Card will be mailed by Simplified Registered Mail to the individual’s reported place of residence submitted to municipal offices upon entry.
Information shown
In addition to a picture (face only), information such as name, nationality/region, date of birth, sex, status of residence, period of stay, and working permits will be shown on the card.

*Those departing Japan with a passport and Residence Card who plan to re-enter Japan within one year and before the expiration of their period of stay, will, in principle, not be required to apply for a Re-entry Permit. This is called the Special Re-entry Permit system. However, residents who fail to re-enter Japan within the valid period will lose their resident status. Furthermore, please note that the period of validity of a Special Re-entry Permit cannot be extended while abroad.

Resident Registration at the Local Municipality(Certificates of Residence)

Foreign residents who are eligible to receive a Residence Card are asked to visit the municipal office where they live with their residence card, and notify the Ministry of Justice where they live within 14 days of finding a place to settle down.
Those will have a Certificate of Residence made for them at the local municipality, just as is done for Japanese nationals.
*In case of moving or returning home, notification or application is required by the Local Municipality.

Items shown
Certificates of Residence for foreign residents will show name, date of birth, sex and address, as well as items unique to foreign nationals, such as nationality/region, status of residence, and period of stay.
Issue of copies of a Certificate of Residence
Foreign nationals will also be able to obtain a copy of their Certificate of Residence or a Certificate of Items Stated in Resident Register at the counter of their local municipal office, the same as Japanese nationals. (*Example: If you are required the copy to open a bank account)

For further information regarding the Basic Resident Registration System, please consult the following link provided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications:

Notification or application procedures will be necessary in the following cases

1)Where to go:Local Municipalities
  • When deciding on a new address, or when changing addresses (Moving-in Notification, Change of Address Notification, Moving-out Notification)
  • * Please bring your Residence Card.
  • * When changing to an address in a different municipality, you are required to submit in advance a moving-out notification to the municipality you will be leaving.
2)Where to go:Regional Immigration Office or the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau
  • When you wish to extent the valid Period.
  • When changing name, nationality/ region, etc.
  • When you have lost your Residence Card or it has become damaged beyond use.
  • Those with employment status (with some exceptions), Students and Trainees:
    When your affiliated organization such as employer or educational institution changes its name or location, or in the case of bankruptcy of a company, or in the case of termination of an employment contract, or in the case of transfer due to a new employment contract.
  • Those with the status of: Dependent (as spouse): In the case of divorce or death of spouse.

Created: March 30, 2010 / Last modified:July 15, 2016