When you land in Tokyo, fresh-faced and blurry-eyed, as you fumble your way through customs and immigration, you will be given a Residency Card (在留カード, Zairyu Ka-do). It will have personal details such as your name, date of birth and photo, and you will need to carry it around with you at all times, for the rest of your days in Japan.
On one of your first days at your placement, your supervisor or one of your JTEs will take you to the municipal office where you will register your “moving in” (転入届, tennyu-todoke). This needs to happen within 14 days of arriving in Japan. Your address will then be printed on the back of your card.
Residence Record (Juminhyo)
The Residence Record (Juminhyo) is part of a registry of current registered addresses kept by municipal governments. Under Japanese law, all citizens are required to report their address and related matters to their municipal government who then compiles the information for tax, insurance and census purposes.
What if I want to move house?
As Japanese citizens are required to do, foreign residents are required to notify the municipal government of address changes. This is done by submitting a “moving-out notification” (転出届, tenshutsu-todoke) to the old municipal government and a “moving-in notification” (転入届, tennyu-todoke) to the new municipal government. Additionally, when leaving the country permanently, foreign residents will be required to submit a “moving-out notification” (転出届, tenshutsu-todoke) to their municipal government.
Changes to your Status of Residence and/or Period of Stay do not have to be reported to your municipal government, but only to the Regional Immigration Bureau.
What if I want to leave Japan for a holiday?
Bring your Residency Card with you to the airport. You need to fill out a card to apply for a “Special Re-entry Permit”. There is usually a special line or area for this. Don’t lose this card while you’re overseas, you’ll need it to re-enter.
The part you need to tick is circled in red.
Below are some links containing further info on the Residence Record and Resident Card, including information for those married to Japanese nationals, those with families etc.
- Notice from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) http://www.soumu.go.jp/main_sosiki/jichi_gyousei/c-gyousei/zairyu_english.html
- MIC Pamphlets in Different Languages (with Q&A)
- English: http://www.soumu.go.jp/main_sosiki/jichi_gyousei/c-gyousei/pdf/eng_page.pdf
- Japanese: http://www.soumu.go.jp/main_sosiki/jichi_gyousei/c-gyousei/pdf/jpn_page.pdf
- Pamphlets are also available on the MIC homepage in Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish.
Resident Card Related
- Notice from the Immigration Bureau of Japan http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/newimmiact_1/en/index.html
- Immigration Bureau Pamplhets in Different Languages (with Q&A)
- English: http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/newimmiact_1/pdf/NewResidencyManagementSystem-%28EN%29.pdf
- Japanese: http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/newimmiact_1/pdf/NewResidencyManagementSystem-%28JA%29.pdf
- Pamphlets are also available on the Immigration Bureau of Japan’s homepage in Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish.