What exactly is the new residency management system?
The aim of the new residency management system is to enable the Ministry of
Justice to continuously keep information necessary for managing the residency of
foreign nationals residing in Japan for the mid-to long-term with resident
status, and ensure greater convenience for those foreign nationals.
The system will issue qualifying foreign nationals
a resident card containing a portrait photo of the
individual, basic personal information such as his/her name, his/her resident
status and his/her currently allowed period of stay.
Moreover, because the new system will allow authorities to more accurately
track resident status than with the previous system, it makes it possible to
introduce measures that will improve the convenience of foreign nationals who
legally reside in Japan, such as a maximum period of stay of
five years instead of the previous three years, and a new
reentry permit system that waives reentry permit formalities for foreign
nationals who leave and reenter Japan within one year of the date of their
The current alien registration
system will be abolished with the start of the new residency management
| A resident card is issued
| The period of stay is extended to a maximum of 5 years
| The re-entry permit system is changed
| The alien registration system is abolished
| Who will be subject to the new residency management system?
The new residency management system will be applied to all foreign nationals
residing legally in Japan for the mid- to long-term with resident status under
the Immigration Control Act (hereinafter referred to as "mid- to long-term
residents") and, moreover, foreign nationals who do not come under any of the
following 1 through to 6.
- (1) Persons granted permission to stay for less than 3 months
- (2) Persons granted "Temporary Visitor" status
- (3) Persons granted "Diplomat" or "Official" status
- (4) Persons recognized by Ministry of Justice ordinance as equivalent to the
foreign nationals in the aforementioned (1) to (3)*
- (5) Special permanent residents
- (6) Persons with no resident status**
This new system will apply to mid- to long-term residents in Japan, such as
those married to a Japanese national as well as Japanese descendants ("nikkei"),
whose status of residence is "Spouse or Child of Japanese National," "Long Term
Resident," etc., those working for an employer in Japan, whose status is
"Engineer," "Specialist in Humanities/International Services," etc., as well as
technical interns, students, and permanent residents. It will not apply to those
visiting Japan for a short period of time as a tourist.
* The Ministry of Justice ordinance specifies staff of the
Japanese office of the Association of East Asian Relations and the Permanent
General Mission of Palestine in Japan who have "Designated Activities" status,
and their families.
** While illegal residents can be registered under the present
alien registration system, they cannot be registered under the new residency
management system. Any foreign national illegally staying in Japan is advised to
immediately visit the nearest Regional Immigration Office and follow the
necessary procedures. For more details, please see the "Information on Procedures to Follow at Immigration Offices" on
the Immigration Bureau of Japan's website.
Please take note of the following!
In line with the introduction of the new residency management system, the
following grounds have been established for revocation of resident status,
deportation and penalties. Regarding the penalty on promoting illegal work
prescribed in Article 73-2 of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition
Act, if an employer does not know by negligence that the employed person works
illegally, the employer will be punished.
| Revocation of resident status
- You have obtained special permission to stay by wrongful means.
- You are residing as a spouse with "Spouse or Child of Japanese National" or
"Spouse of Child of Permanent Resident" status, but you have failed to engage in
activities as a spouse for six months or more without a justifiable
- You have failed to give notification of your place of residence without a
justifiable reason or have submitted a false notification.**
* In case a foreign resident is in the process of arbitration
with his/her spouse over the custody of his/her child or having a divorce case
holding his/her Japanese spouse culpable, the foreign resident is deemed to have
"justifiable reasons," even though the activities of such a resident as the
status of spouse are not approved. Also, even if a foreign resident in Japan
does not act as a spouse for six months or longer, the resident may be permitted
to change his/her resident status to another one if he/she has any reason, such
as taking care of and raising his/her biological child who has Japanese
** "Justifiable reasons" for failing to notify the change of
address are applicable to the following cases: the company a foreign resident
worked for went suddenly bankrupt and he/she lost his/her place to live as a
result; a foreign resident was hospitalized for a long time and, therefore, was
unable to notify the change of his/her address; or a foreign resident was a
victim of domestic violence and hid the change of his/her address in order to
avoid the assailant knowing the new address.
| Grounds for deportation
- You have forged or altered your resident card.
- You have been sentenced to imprisonment with labor or a heavier punishment
for submitting false notification or similar act.
- You have submitted a false notification or have violated the obligation to
submit a notification relating to any of the notifications required of mid- to
longterm residents or have violated the obligation concerning receipt, carrying
or mandatory presentation of your resident card.
- You have forged or altered your resident card.