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Getting to know about new residency management system

Wiliam is a student at a Japanese language school in Tokyo. He has heard about a new residency management system that is starting on July 9 this year and wants to ask some questions about it to Yuko, an office staff member at the school.

Wiliam

I have heard about a new residency management system starting this summer. Is this anything that would affect me?
Yuko
The new system will affect mid- to long-term foreign residents who are permitted to live in Japan for three or more months. So exchange students like you are included.

Wiliam

What are the major changes in the new system?

Yuko

The current alien registration system will be abolished, and in place of the alien registration certificate, a new "resident card" will be issued to foreign residents with concerned residential status. In addition, the maximum period of stay will be extended to five years, and a special re-entry permit system will also be introduced.

Wiliam

Can you tell me more about the special re-entry permit system?

Yuko

The current system requires foreign residents to obtain a re-entry permit if they want to leave Japan temporarily during their residency for returning home, traveling, and other reasons. Under the new system, foreign residents are no longer required to obtain the re-entry permit in principle if they come back to and reenter Japan within one year of the departure.

Wiliam

That's a relief! By the way, how can I get my new resident card?

Yuko

You will receive a new resident card after July 9 when you renew your period of stay or change your residential status. Until then, your current alien registration certificate stays valid in place of the resident card, so make sure you hang on to it for a while.

Wiliam

Can I apply for my resident card before then?

Yuko

Yes you can. You need to visit a nearby immigration office for the application.

Wiliam seems to have more questions to ask.

Wiliam
In fact, my younger sister Alice is coming to study in Japan this fall. In her case, will a resident card be issued to her when she first arrives in Japan?

Yuko

Yes, she should receive her resident card during the immigration process at the airport. Within 14 days after she determines her address in Japan, she needs to report to a local city office along with her resident card to register her address at the office.
Wiliam
I will make sure she is aware of that.

Yuko

If you come up with any more questions, you should contact the Immigration Information Center of the Immigration Bureau. Information about the new residency management system is also available on the Immigration Bureau's official website in English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese. You might want to check out the site.

Wiliam

I sure will. Thank you so much for your help!
For more information, contact
  • Immigration Information Center:Open 8:30 to 17:15 (weekdays only)
  • Tel: 0570-013904 (03-5796-7112 from IP phone, PHS, and overseas)
Immigration Bureau of Japan official website