Visas, Immigration & Alien Registration in Japan
5-5-30, Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 9am – 12pm, 1pm-4pm
Monday – Friday (except National holidays)
telephone inquiries during office hours only
Working Holiday Visa
This is a special visa for young citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Korea, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Holders are expected to work only part-time jobs and spend a portion of their time traveling in Japan.
Before coming to work in Japan, foreigners need to apply for an appropriate working visa. You may also apply for a working visa after coming to Japan. In all cases you will need a company sponsor for your visa. There are about a dozen types of working visas, each allowing the holder to engage in paid activities only within a defined professional field – there are visas for artists, professors, engineers, instructors, and entertainers. If you change jobs while you are in Japan and the new job falls into a different professional field, you also need to change your status of residence. Most working visas are valid for one or three years and need to be extended before they expire.
There are a few types of student visas depending on the type of studies. Holders are not allowed to engage in any paid activities.
Applicants who are married to a Japanese national can apply for a spouse visa before or after coming to Japan. Visa holders are allowed to engage in any paid activity. A spouse visa is valid for one or three years and needs to be extended before it expires.
Residents that have lived in Japan for at least five consecutive years and fulfill a few more conditions, may be eligible to apply for permanent residence. Permanent residents do not need to worry about extending visas anymore and are allowed to engage in any paid activity.
Immigration Information Center
- If you need assistance on immigration matters, visit or call the new “Immigration Information Center” in the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau. The center provides consulting and information services on immigration procedures:
- Guidance on procedures to apply for entry permission for spouses, employees and others.
- Guidance on procedures for acquiring or changing status of residence and extending periods of stay.
- Guidance on alien registration procedures.
- Guidance on various documents required for applications.
When temporarily leaving Japan within the valid period of your visa, you must obtain a re-entry permit in order to re-enter Japan. You can buy voucher stamps for re-entry permits from the information desk in the front lobby at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau Office.
Single Re-entry Permit – ¥3,000 – allows 1 trip outside Japan and re-entry
Multiple Re-entry Permit – ¥6,000 – allows unlimited trips outside Japan and re-entry
It’s recommended to get the Multiple Re-entry Permit; it will save you time and money if you plan more than one trip back and forth from your home nation or abroad, and it will also fast track you through customs when you return to Japan. The permits are valid for three years from the date of purchase and or registration.
If you are coming to work or stay in Japan it is recommended to get an Alien Registration Card as soon as possible. All foreigners over the age of 16, who planning to stay in Tokyo for more than 90 days, are required to get an Alien Registration card within 90 days of their arrival in Japan and must carry it with them at all times. The card is necessary when taking care of almost any social service – application for phones, bank accounts, apartment rentals, and health care. You will be required to bring two passport sized photos to the office where you are applying for your Alien Registration Card. In most cases, Alien Registration Cards are valid until your fifth birthday from its’ date of issuance.