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What happens if I forget to renew my visa?               

If you forget to renew your zairyu card (residence card), this is a serious mistake and needs to be dealt with ASAP, as the authorities do have the right to deport you. However if you rectify the situation quickly, you should be fine. Other people who have been in this situation report that writing an apology letter explaining their mistake was helpful. Take this letter to Immigration and they will issue you a temporary 30 day visa. At the same time, submit all the required documentation for renewing your visa. These documents are:

  • Application form
  • Employment contract/proof of employment
  • The Registration Certificate (Tokibo Tohon) of your company
  • Your company’s most recent financial statements
  • Your company’s withholding tax report
  • Description of the company’s activities (eg printed web pages)
  • A photo (3cm x 4cm)
  • Your passport
  • Your current zairyu card

During the Coronavirus period there is a three-month leeway which means they have relaxed the time limits somewhat.

What happens if my residence card gets damaged?

If you break, lose or damage your card, do not worry. This happened to me and it was a surprisingly easy process. In my case, the card was damaged. Go to immigration like usual and wait to be let inside. There, go to counter D and take a number. Be prepared to wait a long time to be called, it took two hours for me. Once they call you, explain the situation and submit your passport and damaged card. If you have any further proof of identity, it is a good idea to bring that too. They will ask you to fill out a form, and then you will be told to wait again. About 30 minutes later they gave me a new card, free of charge.

What happens if I have a baby – do they need their own residence card?

When a foreigner gives birth in Japan, you need to apply for the child’s status of residence.

1) Register the birth at the Ward Office

The hospital will issue a birth certificate (Shussei shoumei sho). Bring TWO copies to city hall within two weeks of the birth. Also bring both parent’s hanko (name stamp), your “boshi techou” (Mother and Child Handbook) and both parent’s zairyu card and passport.

At the same time, purchase two copies of your Residence Certificate (Jumin-hyo) as you may need to submit them to your workplace in order to register the baby for your insurance.

2) Report the birth to your home country’s Embassy in Japan

3) Apply for a visa for the baby within 30 days

You’ll need to bring:

  • The application form
  • Both parent’s passports and zairyu cards
  • The baby’s passport (if not issued yet, make a note that you applied)
  • Certificate of acceptance of birth (Shussei todoke juri shoumei sho) – you get it from city hall
  • Boshi techou
  • Jumin-hyo
  • Personal details form (Shitsumon sho)
  • A Certificate of Employment ( Zaishoku shoumei sho) from both parents if both are working
  • Letter of guarantee by one parent (Mimoto hosho sho)
  • The most recent Tax Payment Certificate (Nouzei shoumei sho) from both parents if both are working

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