Status of Residence, Visa

Procedures for Staying in Japan

Residence Card

A residence card will be issued to mid-to long-term residents who are granted residence permission, such as landing permission, permission for change of resident status, and permission for an extension of their period of stay.
If applicants have come to Japan for the first time and land at Narita, Haneda, Chubu, Kansai, Hiroshima, Fukuoka and New Chitose Airports, besides having a seal of landing verification stamped in their passports, mid-to long-term residents will be issued a residence card.
At other ports of entry/departure, they will be given a notification in their passport that “A resident card will be issued later”. In this case, a residence card will be issued after a mid-to long-term resident follows the residency procedures at the municipal office of their city/town/village. After satisfactorily completing the required procedures, a residence card will be mailed by the Regional Immigration Office to the reported place of residence.(It takes about 1-2 weeks.)
After the residence card is issued, the resident must carry it at all times. A residence card serves as an official certificate to receive government services such as education, medical care, and welfare. Since this card is a very important document, the holder should make a copy and keep it in a safe location, in case the original gets misplaced. If a residence card is lost or stolen, the holder must apply for reissuance at the immigration bureau as soon as possible.
When items recorded in Residence Card are changed, the card holder must go through procedures to update the information on the card.

In the case of a Change of place of residence Update the Residence Card at the municipal office
In the case of Change of name, date of birth, gender, or nationality/region Update the Residence Card at the Immigration Bureau

Immigration Bureau

Notification of Place of Residence

First time residents in Japan must report within 14 days of arrival to the municipal office where they live with their residence cards (if issued) and passports to notify the Ministry of Justice.
When applying for notification of place of residence, it is advisable to obtain a copy of the Certificate of Residence. This document requires a separate application which costs 300 JPY.
If your ’My Number’ has not yet been issued, a Copy of the Certificate of Residence is necessary to open a postal or bank account. This is particularly important for Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholarship students, as they must open a postal account to receive their scholarship money.

Extension of Period of Stay

Before the expiration of the period of stay, foreign students who wish to extend their period of stay must apply for an extension at the Immigration Bureau.
Applications are accepted from 3 months before expiration.
Please inform the appropriate staff person at the International Affairs Department if you need an extension of Period of Stay.

Required documents

  • Application form for Extension of Period of Stay (The name of the sponsoring organization is required.)
  • Certificate of Student Status
  • Transcript of School Records (Regular Students only)
  • Passport
  • Alien Registration Certificate or Residence Card
  • Financial Supporting Documents (such as certificate of scholarship award, a copy of the applicant’s bank book, wage script or certificate of payment from your employer)
  • Certificate of Tuition fee Exemption
  • A copy of National Health Insurance Card
  • Certificate for payment of fee: 4,000 yen (revenue stamp available at SEIKYO “co-op” or post office.)
  • Photo (4cm×3cm): for the Residence Card

*Other documents may be required depending on conditions.

Important: After Graduation / Finishing Studies

When an international student graduates, finishes their studies, or abandons their studies, and is no longer registered with the university, the person may no longer reside in Japan under the status of residence as “college student”. This is regardless of the period of time left on the international student’s official “period of stay”. If a former international student wishes to stay in Japan for a certain purpose, such as looking for employment, it is necessary for that person to change their legal status of residence. Failure to do so is “illegal residency”.

Change of Status of Residence

International students are granted the status of residence of “college student”. Foreign people residing in Japan with the status of residence of “dependant” or “spouse/child of a Japanese national” do not have “college student” status of residence. To apply for scholarships or the tutor system for college students, it is necessary to have “college student” residence status. If a person who will be an international student has entered Japan with the status of residence other than “college student”, the person can apply at the regional immigration office to have their visa status changed after admission to “college student”.

Temporary Leave from Japan and Re-entry 

When international students temporarily wish to go home or travel abroad, they must report to the section for international students at the faculty or graduate school where they belong. Foreign nationals in possession of a valid passport and residence card (or Alien Registration certificate) who will be re-entering Japan within 1 year* of their departure to continue their activities in Japan will, in principle, not be required to apply for a re-entry permit. Present the completed ED card (Arrival/Departure) together with your residence card to the immigration inspector at your departure/re-entry.
*If your period of stay expires within 1 year after your departure, please ensure that you re-enter Japan before the expiration of your period of stay.
Be sure to present your residence card at departure and indicate your intention of re-entering Japan.

Out-of-Status Activities

Students with status of residence as “College Student” are prohibited from working in Japan. Students may work limited hours with permission, however, to help defray academic or living expenses as long as the job does not interfere with their studies.
Students who need to work, should go to the nearest immigration bureau to submit the required application documents. Students who will work as Teaching Assistants (TA) or Research Assistants (RA) at Okayama University are under the agreement between the student and Okayama University so do not have to receive “the Permission for Out-of Status Activities”.

Students who work must strictly observe the following rules:

  • Students cannot work longer than 28 hours a week. During the officially designated spring, summer and winter vacations, working hours are limited to 8 hours a day (the working hours of TAs, RAs, and educational trainees have no limit).
  • Students cannot work in entertainment and amusement businesses such as bars, cabarets, and pachinko parlors.

*There are serious consequences for international students who are found working in banned types of employment or beyond permitted working hours. They will be considered illegal workers, may be exposed to criminal liability, and may be expelled from Japan.

Things necessary for the permission procedure

Rules for Leave of Absence and Return to the University
  • You must leave Japan immediately
    As a general rule, neither ‘Special re-entry permission’ or ‘re-entry permission’ will be granted. Please return your residence card at the immigration check at the port of departure.
  • Please note that you must obtain a new Certificate of Eligibility (CoE), and re-apply for ‘Student’ status of residence. Please contact your faculty/department at least 3 months prior to returning to Japan to study.
  • Ban on work!
    While on a leave of absence, international students are not permitted to work.

Post Graduation Status of Residence: ‘Designated Activities’