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TOP°°°š°°Legal Procedures

Legal Procedures

Residence Status / Immigration Bureau

The Immigration Bureau was established under the Ministry of Justice in order to conduct emigration and immigration administration.
All non-Japanese who have either renounced their Japanese nationality or were born in Japan and are over 60 days old that have not undergone the landing procedures stipulated by the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act must obtain residence status (status of residence) if planning to stay in Japan. You can obtain residence status by filing out an application with the Minister of Justice according to the procedures stipulated in the Ministry of Justice Ordinance.

Link to the Immigration Bureau:
Link to details on obtaining residence status:


Alien Registration Card / Certificate

Non-Japanese who would like to live in Japan for more than 90 days are required to apply for the gaikokujin toroku (alien registration) within a required period after arrival in Japan (the individual himself/herself must file the application if older than 16 years of age). The required period differs according to the individual°«s circumstances, so you need to confirm the registration details with your local government office.

Once you complete your alien registration, you will be issued a gaikokujin torokusho / gaikokujin torokushomeisho (alien registration card / alien registration certificate). Instead of your passport, you must carry the alien registration card with you at all times when you are outside your place of residence. If the police ask you to present your card, please do so immediately. If you do not have the card with you, there is the possibility that you may be detained. Be sure to always have the card on you.

imgFor details on alien registration, etc., contact your local government office.

Link to details regarding alien registration cards:


Re-Entry Permit

If a non-Japanese who lives in Japan wishes to go overseas, the residence status or period of stay obtained until then will expire. If you would like to go overseas for a short time and have plans to return to Japan within your permitted period of stay, you can obtain a re-entry permit to simplify the immigration and landing procedures upon your re-entry.

By obtaining this permit, the residence status or the period of stay you obtained prior to departing Japan will not be revoked.

Link to details on the re-entry permit:


Work Permit (Secondary Activities)

imgIf a non-Japanese who lives in Japan wishes to conduct activities other than those permitted by the status of residence (secondary activities), °»permission for changing status of residence°… must be obtained. °»Permission to engage in an activity other than that permitted under the status of residence previously granted°… (work permit) must be obtained when a non-Japanese would like to conduct activities related to the management of business involving income or activities for which remuneration is received, which are not included in those activities under the category of status of residence held, and which do not interfere with the activities that are the original purpose of residence (e.g. an international student working part-time).

Link to details on °»permission to engage in an activity other than that permitted under the status of residence previously granted°…:


Inkan (seals)

Inkan (seals) are widely used in Japan. An inkan is normally used for concluding important documents, rather than signing (signature with no seal). You need to register an inkan (seal) that you will use to stamp important documents, particularly for lease contracts. Registration can be done at your local government office.

imgMain features of an inkan

  • The name carved on an inkan must be the same as the name on your alien registration card.
  • An individual can only register one inkan at a time.
  • In order to apply, you need an ID as proof that you are that individual.
  • You must pay a registration fee. Please contact your local government office for details.
  • Once your inkan is registered, you will be issued an inkan torokusho (seal registration certificate). Make sure not to misplace it.
  • There are cases where signing (signature with no seal) is allowed instead of an inkan. Verify whether a signature will suffice.


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