Introduction: Leaving and Re-Entering Japan as a Foreign Resident

Introduction: Leaving and Re-Entering Japan as a Foreign Resident

A foreign national residing in Japan (referred to as a "foreign resident" on this page) that wishes to depart the country temporarily must obtain re-entry permission (再入国許可 or "sainyukoku kyoka") in order to re-enter Japan and continue under the same status of residence (based on their visa) they held prior to departure.

If re-entry permission is not obtained prior to departure, the foreign resident’s status of residence will be revoked, and they will need to apply for a new visa in order to enter Japan again.

Obtaining re-entry permission prior to departing Japan can be done in two ways, which will be further explained on this page.

The first, and original method, is applying for a "re-entry permit" (再入国許可書 or "sainyukoku kyokasho") from the Immigration Services Agency of Japan (出入国在留管理庁 or "shutsu nyukoku zairyu kanricho", refered to as "ISA" on this page), which, depending on the permit granted, may be used for single or multiple re-entries.

A re-entry permit can be granted for a period of up to 5 years (or 6 years for special permanent residents (特別永住者 or "tokubetsu eijusha")), but may not exceed the time remaining under the status of residence, or visa the foreign resident is currently using.

The second, and newer, more commonly used method is the "special re-entry permit" (みなし再入国許可 or "minashi sainyukoku kyoka"), which does not require a prior application.

A special re-entry permit allows a foreign resident to leave Japan and re-enter within one year and continue under the same status of residence, and only requires a declaration be made (by way of the immigration embarkation forms routinely given out upon departure at airports from Japan) at the time of departure.

Like a re-entry permit, a special re-entry permit cannot be used beyond the period remaining under the status of residence, or visa the foreign resident is currently using.

In other words, if the foreign resident’s visa expires in less than 12 months, the special re-entry permit can only be used until the expiry of that visa.

At Verybest, our experienced English-speaking Certified Administrative Procedures Legal Specialist (行政書士 or "gyoseishoshi") can provide further information about the processes and documents described on this page, in addition to handling visa renewals and all other immigration related matters.

Note:

Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, special measures have been implemented with respect to re-entry and visas in Japan. Re-entry to Japan under the current restrictions will require PCR testing, the signing of a written pledge to the authorities, and mandatory quarantine.

The reader is encouraged to check with the ISA for updated information prior to making any immigration decisions.

Of course, at Verybest our bilingual immigration team can assist foreign residents in this difficult environment.

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0120-117-059
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