How do you update a Japanese residence card?

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When a foreigner arrives in Japan with a long-term visa, a residence card can be issued at the airport. The card is linked to the type of visa that the foreigner holds and specifically lists the scope of the visa and type of work that the foreigner may engage in legally (for example “Specialist in Humanities/International Services” or “Professor”).

The residence card also lists the foreign national’s full name, date of birth, sex, nationality or region, address, status of residence, period of stay, type of permission, residency card number, date of issue and date of expiration for their valid stay in Japan. The residence card also contains a passport sized photo of the card holder.

The back of a Japanese residence card contains space to be filled in with the card holder’s current address. If a foreigner in Japan moves from one address to another, he or she should update his or her residence card at the local government office for his or her new address. The ward office will confirm the new address and stamp the back of the card to make it official.

The holder of a Japanese residence card has the responsibility to inform the Japanese government if he or she moves to a new address or any of the information on the card becomes out of date. Some examples include when the card holder changes his or her name or visa status. These changes must be reported to the local government office within 14 days of the change. Failure to update a residence card can result in a civil fine of up to 500,000 and a criminal fine of up to 200,000.

If you have any questions about residence in Japan, please contact our office for a legal consultation.