JAPAN – New Residence Management System from July 2012
The Japanese Immigration Bureau has announced a new residency management system, starting on 9 July 2012, which introduces a new biometric residence card, extends maximum period of stay to five years, and abolishes the old re-entry permit and alien registration system.
Who Is Affected?
The new residency management system will be applied to all mid-long term residents in Japan, including employees on intra company transferee status.
It will not apply to visitors granted permission to stay for three months or less, or to persons granted “diplomat” or “official” status.
What Are The Changes?
- A new residence card will be introduced, which will contain biometric data and a chip, within which all the data printed on the card will be recorded.
- The new cards can be issued for periods of up to five years (previously, the maximum validity of the Alien Registration Certificate was three years).
- Holders of the new cards will no longer need to apply for additional re-entry permits; instead, their residence card will act as a “special re-entry permit”.
- The current system of Alien Registration Certificates will be abolished.
Existing mid-long term residents of Japan who already hold Alien Registration Certificates (ARCs) may request that these be exchanged for the new Residence Cards, but this is not compulsory. The ARCs will be deemed as equivalent to the Residence Cards until renewed, at which time they will be exchanged for the new Residence Cards.
For permanent residents, the ARCs will continue to be valid until 8 July 2015, or (for minors) the holder’s 16th birthday, whichever comes sooner, after which time the holders should exchange them for Residence Cards.
How Will Residence Cards Be Issued?
The new residence cards will be issued at the port of entry if the applicant is entering via Narita, Handea, Chubu or Kansai airport. Registration with the local municipal office should still be carried out within 14 days of arrival to Japan.
If entering via another port of entry, the residence card should be applied for at the municipal office in the area of residence at the time of registration.
Alternatively, for existing residents, the cards can be issued at municipal offices (if the foreign national is making a notification of a change of residential address) or at a regional immigration office (if the applicant is making a notification of another change in circumstance).
- Note the new Residence Management System, to be introduced in July 2012
- No further action is necessary at this time.