General Information about Visa Extensions

General Information about Visa Extensions

For the majority of visa categories in Japan, the foreign national (referred to as the "applicant" on this page) or their representative can commence the extension process by submitting the correct documentation to the relevant regional immigration services bureau, office, or center, starting from three months before expiry of the period of stay granted for that visa.

Required documentation common to most, but not all visa types include (referred to as the "Standard Documentation" elsewhere on this site):

  • The standard application form ("Application for Extension of Period of Stay")
  • A passport size photo of the applicant in adherence with ISA standards, taken within the last 3 months
  • The applicant’s passport and residence card (在留カード or "zairyu card")
  • Revenue stamps in the amount of 4000 yen (for payment of application fee. Revenue stamps are available for purchase at post offices, convenience stores, or the ISA), and are typically used for payment on the date the visa is ready for pick up, not the day the application is submitted

Once the application documents have been submitted and accepted, the applicant will automatically receive a 2 month extension from the date their visa was due to expire.

This allows the applicant to remain in Japan under the same status of residence whilst they wait for the results of their extension application.

It typically takes between 2 and 4 weeks for an extension application to be processed, after which time the applicant will receive notification of the result, and instructions on what to do next.

Sponsor or Representative Visa Extension Applications

If the applicant themselves cannot submit the application documents in person, the following persons may do so on their behalf:

  • The legal representative of the applicant, such as their attorney or Certified Administrative Procedures Legal Specialist. Verybest can submit applications on behalf of applicants, along with their passport, residence card and other required documentation
  • In certain cases deemed appropriate by the ISA, a relative of the applicant, or someone they live with (such as when the applicant is under the age of 16, or is suffering an illness)
  • Depending on the visa category, the applicant’s employer or a company representative (for employment visas), or a representative of the applicant’s educational institution (for student visas)

Rejections of Visa Extension Applications

If a visa extension application is rejected, the applicant will be granted a temporary stay status that will allow them to finalize their affairs and promptly depart the country.

Applicants are encouraged to immediately contact our immigration law team in this case to discuss other options.

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