New registration system for foreigners starts in Japan

TOKYO —

A new system of residence management for foreign residents that combines the information collected via the Immigration Control Act and the Alien Registration Law respectively went into effect on Monday.

All foreign nationals residing legally in Japan for a medium to long term are subject to this new system. To apply for the new card, you are required to appear in person at the nearest regional immigration bureau.

The Ministry of Justice says the new system ensures further convenience for such persons by extending the maximum period of stay from 3 years to 5 years. In addition, a system of “presumed permit of re-entry,” which essentially exempts the need to file an application for permission for re-entry when re-entering Japan within one year of departure, will be implemented.

Upon introduction of the new system of residence management, the current alien registration system shall become defunct. Medium- to long-term residents will get a new residence card which they will be required to always carry with them. Children under the age of 16 are exempt from the obligation to always carry the residence card.

Foreign nationals residing legally for a medium to long term with a status of residence under the Immigration Control Act, EXCLUDING the persons described below, shall be subject to the new system of residence management:

—Persons granted permission to stay for not more than 3 months
—Persons granted the status of residence of “Temporary Visitor”
—Persons granted the status of residence of “Diplomat” or “Official”
—Persons whom a Ministry of Justice ordinance recognizes as equivalent to the aforementioned foreign nationals
—Special permanent residents (for example, of Korean descent)
—Persons with no status of residence

Permanent residents, meanwhile, will have to apply for a new residence card within three years from July 2012.

What is the residence card?

The residence card will be issued to applicable persons in addition to landing permission, permission for change of status of residence, and permission for extension of the residence period, etc. The card is equipped with an IC chip to prevent forgery and alteration, and the chip records all or part of the information included on the card. Fingerprint information will not be recorded in the chip.

The card will contain a portrait photo of the individual and the following information:

—Legal items given
—Name in full, date of birth, sex, nationality
—Place of residence in Japan
—Status of residence, period of stay, date of expiration
—Type of permission, date of permission
—Number of the residence card, date of issue, date of expiration
—Existence or absence of working permit
—Existence of permission to engage in an activity other than those permitted under the status of residence previously granted

New visa and re-entry system

(1) Extension of the maximum period of stay

The status of residence with a period of stay of 3 years under the present system, will be extended to 5 years. As for the status of residence of “College Student,” the maximum period of stay will be extended to “4 years and 3 months” from the current “2 years and 3 months.” 

(2) Revision of the Re-entry System

A foreign national with a valid passport and a residence card will be basically exempt from applying for a re-entry permit in cases where he/she re-enters Japan within one year from his/her departure. In cases where a foreign resident already possesses a re-entry permit, the maximum term of validity for the re-entry permit shall be extended from 3 years to 5 years.

Conditions of Revocation of Status of Residence

Implementation of the new system of residence management includes establishment of the following provisions concerning the conditions of revocation of status of residence and deportation, and penal provisions:

—The foreign national has received, by deceit or other wrongful means, special permission to stay
—Failing to continue to engage in activities as a spouse while residing in Japan for more than 6 months (except for cases where the foreign national has justifiable reason for not engaging in the activities while residing in Japan
—Failing to register the place of residence within 90 days after newly entering or leaving a former place of residence in Japan (except for cases with justifiable reason for not registering the place of residence), or registering a false place of residence
—Forgery or alteration of a residence card
—Being sentenced to imprisonment or a heavier punishment for submitting a false notification required of medium to long term residents, or violating the rules concerning receipt or mandatory presentation of the residence card

For further information, visit http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/newimmiact_1/en/index.html or call the Immigration Information Center at 0570-013904 (weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5:15 p.m.)

View webinar on the new system. Also, listen to the JPOD.

Japan Today

  • 1

    Ms. Alexander

    Has anyone applied for this new card yet? I wonder how many trips we have to make before we actually get the card. Two? Once to apply and once to pick up? I HATE going to immigrations. It's packed as is and now will be worse. I guess I shouldn't complain since we aren't required to get the stupid re-entry permits anymore.

  • 0

    zichi

    If you have a valid alien card you don't need to apply until 2015, at the latest except I'm not sure what happens if you leave the country since there are no more exit visa's. I think my card is good until 2016 0r 2017?

  • -5

    NetNinja

    I heard the most ridiculous thing the other day. A rumor is flying around that your Residency card is just like an ETC card. Like something out of Blade Runner the police can cruise by and identify who you are without looking. You just come up on their computer screen..

    I thought that's pretty crazy. Of course, the whole society is being tracked by your Pasmo and Suica cards. I just can't imagine that through every convenience store door, bank, or any institution that you walk through, EVEN Love hotels, your information is automatically on someone's computer display.

  • 1

    my2sense

    Doubt that but will ask. These people are not the quickest of cats. You can rob a store with a chicken drum stick as a Japanese, hide in plain site for years with a job, hide a body for welfare checks and get away but.. gaijins are another story... I am stoked they upgraded.... now about 1000 things should follow.

  • 3

    Harry_Gatto

    NetNinja: The technology exists to do this, up to a point. For range longer than a foot or three the chip in the card is more expensive than usual, the range varies considerably dependent on conditions and of course the reader transmitter has to be more advanced and powerful. Most unlikely to be used extensively or at all, at the moment. As for being tracked by Pasmo, you will have to explain how that works as Pasmo / Suica are anonymous in that no owner information is embedded. Rfid chips are easily disabled by putting them in the microwave for one or two seconds. Worry more about being tracked by your mobile 'phone, potentially worldwide.

  • 1

    japan_cynic

    since the new system only starts when the offices open this morning, it seems a safe bet that no-one has applied yet :-) (unless I've misunderstood something)

    Ending the re-entry permit rip-off is one positive step, as is the longer 5y visas. As for the rest, time will tell. I'm lucky that my nearest office is v convenient, but for many people the notification system will be mendoukusai.

  • 0

    fds

    so no need to renew your gaijin card at the ward office anymore?

  • 0

    Harry_Gatto

    @fds - Correct.

    Google rfid range for lots more information on tracking issues.

  • 2

    Virtuoso

    Let the confusion begin!

  • 2

    sakurala

    I am wondering if anyone can help me out with a question. I will be going on holiday next month and will probably not have a new card by then. I was told that I could use my current foreign registration card and will be given a new one upon my return. But to get a new card, I need a picture....does this mean they will take my pic at the airport after being in transit for 40 hours? Or can they use my old pic? I really don't want a horrible pic of me for my main form of ID in Japan :P

  • 2

    basroil

    The thing JT forgot to mention is the fact that they are advertising it as the same system as Japanese people, yet you are forced to still carry a card around that Japanese folks don't. As long as you have a Japanese looking face nobody will bother you, so this stinks of racism. Would be nice if they applied the system to everyone equally, and that would cut down on a lot of issues.

  • 4

    Godan

    I am in the same boat, Zichi. My card says good until 2018 and I doubt that very much! When I asked the woman at the ward office which was correct, the 2015 or 2018 dates, she shrugged her shoulders. Glad to see some things never change! :-(

  • 8

    basroil

    I love how JT deletes messages that relate Japan to other countries as if Japan is the ONLY thing that matters and is 100% unique and what happens in other countries is 100% inapplicable. Long story short: Japan hasn't been isolated from the world since the 1800s, what happens elsewhere should be a reference to what can happen here.

  • 3

    Disillusioned

    One other thing they forgot to mention. It will be easier to find you to make pension and ward tax payments. From the end of this year every person full-time employed will HAVE TO make pension payments, unemployment insurance, national health insurance and, for those over forty, nursing care payments as well, which will add up to around 30-35% of your salary. It is currently law, but it has been relaxed, but because the j-gov is broke they are going start enforcing it anmaking it mandatory for every employer to deduct these payments directly from salaries. This is the main reason behind the new system. They want everyone's money.

  • 0

    gogogo

    To apply for the new card, you are required to appear in person at the nearest regional immigration bureau.

    You might want to add that you can do this when your current visa expires, you don't have 2 weeks to get to immigration from today.

    Also please about this card carry RFID chips that the police can scan from a distance of 4 inches. This means they can walk by you and find out who you are without even talking to you as the new police radios have RFID readers in them to read these cards. I highly recommend people purchase RFID shielding devices to stop your privacy being invaded.

  • 0

    yildiray

    Has anyone applied for this new card yet?

    I was under the impression that it will automatically be created and sent to us if we are already residents. I received a letter about 2-3 months ago asking me to check the information which will be included on the card.

    • Moderator

      That is incorrect. You will have to apply for the new card.

  • 9

    papasmurfinjapan

    yet you are forced to still carry a card around that Japanese folks don't.

    Immigrants in many, if not most countries, are "required" to carry their proper residence credentials with them at all times (including the USA). So please don't expect to be treated exactly the same as a Japanese person. If you want that, apply to become a Japanese national.

  • 2

    Pukey2

    The Ministry of Justice says the new system ensures further convenience for such persons by extending the maximum period of stay from 3 years to 5 years.

    Nothing here is ever done for the 'convenience' of foreigners - there's always another reason. This does nothing for me as a PR. Sure, I won't have to pay for a re-entry permit anymore, but what will happen if I need to go away for more than a year, eg if I need to go home to care for sick relatives or if I have a short-term job abroad which lasts over a year? With the re-entry permit, I had a full 3 years. And what happens if I'm someone who changes jobs and addresses frequently? No, I don't live near an immigration office - it's already mendokusai enough to go to the ward office. Can I get arrested if I forget to carry ID or forget to register a change of address? I feel that foreigners here are treading more and more on egg shells. Why do PRs have to notify changes of address and jobs - I'm beginning to wonder what big advantage there is to having PR.

    And yes, we still have to carry ID 27/4. Same old same old.

  • -2

    yildiray

    Pasmo / Suica are anonymous in that no owner information is embedded

    They ask for your name/gender/dob/phone number when you buy one.

  • 0

    silvertongue

    I got my Gaijin card in January, does that mean I have to get this new one some time soon?

    • Moderator

      Yes, before your visa expires.

  • 1

    sakurala

    silvertongue: You will have to get one before 2015. No rush...next time you go to immigration you can get one. Or if you leave the country, when you come back you should get one at the airport from what I understood....but it isn't very clear.

  • -3

    mike46

    This new card is issued by the Municipal offices (Shiyakusho) rather than the Immigration offices right?

  • 0

    Utrack

    papasmurfinjapan - Immigrants in many, if not most countries, are "required" to carry their proper residence credentials with them at all times (including the USA).

    That's changed at least in Florida, if you are stopped and you have no ID you are arrested. Citizen or no it does not matter.

  • -2

    mike46

    *Can I get arrested if I forget to carry ID *** I doubt it - I never carry mine and have been asked for it a few times by police, usually for a driving violation, I get a lecture about not carrying it (And a fine for the traffic violation) but that is it, police seem not to care if you don't carry it - but I hate to say this if I were not a Caucasian result might be different.

  • 1

    SushiSake3

    Smartest move I've seen in a while.

    This new system folds city hall right out of the deal - foreigners only have to deal with immigration now.

    No more re-entry visas - great.

    When you look at this new system, it actually saves u time, nothing wrong with that.

    And yes, Pukey2, we still have to carry ID.  You probably already do anyway, if not, just slip it in with your other cards and forget about it. We are not Japanese - you seem to be expecting to be treated like one.

  • 2

    sakurala

    Mike: it is issued bu immigration offices NOT municipal offices....that makes it hard for us living out in the boonies but the powers that be have decided that this is more convenient.

  • 4

    Badge213

    Folks, this has been in the works for quite a bit of time, please actually read the immigration website once and a while to familiarize yourself with the new stuff.

    1. If you have a current ARC , your current ARC will become the defacto new resident card until you get a new resident card.
    2. You don't have to get a new resident card automatically, as mentioned your ARC is still "as good" as the new card. If you have an expiration date on your ARC that is beyond July 7, 2015, you must get a new card before that date.
    3. These cards are now issued by immigration authorities. Again, if you have a current ARC, there's no need to get a new one unless your card expires, or you have a change in your current status of residency (eg extension, changes etc).
  • 0

    gogogo

    And what happens if I'm someone who changes jobs and addresses frequently?

    You no longer have to register changes to your job, your job address or your home address with immigation or the ward office! I got this information first hand from the Minato-ku ward office, in face the lady said "we no longer care about this information".

    But if you move house now (like a Japanese person) you have to apply for a certificate of moving out and give that to the new ward office wherever you move in as part of the social security system in Japan.

  • 2

    Badge213

    Pasmo / Suica are anonymous in that no owner information is embeddeded. They ask for your name/gender/dob/phone number when you buy one.

    Not entirely correct. Only REGISTERED Pasmo/Suica cards as for your information (eg commuter pass versions, student pass versions).

    Regular Suica/Pasmo cards are unregistered (unless you register them) and have no identifiable information on them.

  • 2

    japan_cynic

    Disillusioned, I've always paid 100% of every possible tax and insurance, and that (including income and local taxes, which are the largest part) has never amounted to more than about 25% of gross salary. I don't believe your figures

  • 0

    gaijinTechie

    Netninja, the IC card can be read remotely just like Suica/Pasmo (you can buy/make your own scanner after visit to Akihabara) but the range is limited. Also, its signal is scrambled somewhat if you have other IC cards (such as bank card, Suica/Pasmo) in relative vicinity. Pile up a bunch with your Suica and try to go through the train station gates, you'll see.

    I use an IC Card Protector (bought from Loft, but Tokyu Hands etc. also sell them) to separate signals from my Suica from my other IC cards. Buy a couple and sandwich it between, and if you get carded, you know you were just scanned.

  • -5

    tired2234

    Some poeple on here seem to forget they are living in thIs country as a guest and have to abide by the rules. If you don't like it leave. In America as well any person over a certain age is required to carry ID and if not the police have the option of "detaining" you until you produce one. Stop bitchin and deal with it or leave. Bring on the negative comments but the fact remains this is Japan not America or any other country and never will be.

  • 2

    ogtob

    If you're really paranoid about the info on the IC chip you can get cards for yor wallet that block the transmission of the IC chip data. Somebody in Japan came up with this as they were afraid the IC credit cards would get scanned by fraudsters walking by you with a scanner. So no worries there even if it is true about the cops scanning you. I was given one of these IC blocking cards by my Sushi-shop owner. I know it really works because sometimes it blocks my SUICA card if I have it in the wrong position in my wallet.

  • 1

    mysteriousneo

    FYI, This time the Alien Registration card can be used up to your visa expiry date. However its up to one if he/she want to apply for the new resident card before their visa expiry date.

  • 1

    Badge213

    You no longer have to register changes to your job, your job address or your home address with immigation or the ward office! I got this information first hand from the Minato-ku ward office, in face the lady said "we no longer care about this information".

    Incorrect, read the Immigration website pertaining to the new system. Any changes to your job status must be reported to immigration within 14 days.

    If you are moving into or out of a ward you still have to notify the ward/local office to the address. Though this can be done by mail. You still need to show up at the local office to have the address change recorded on the back of your new resident card (similar process to the current ARC where changes to address are recorded on the back).

  • 0

    zichi

    Badge213,

    thanks. What about leaving the country with a current alien card, I suppose it will work like the new RC?

  • 0

    KariHaruka

    Was gonna have to apply for a new card anyway as I'm moving from Tochigi to Hokkaido.

  • 1

    bogva

    It is not only about the immigrations - at city hall the biggest change is that now foreigner will have their own Juminhou (hence "just like for the Japanese" quote). Up until now we were nobody (or written under the line in our spouse's Juminhou). As far as I understand now you don't have to be married and you can have own register in the ward you reside.

    Although initially your card is issued at entry or at immigration office, address changes are still at the local ward.

    And finally for us long term residents - our current cards are valid for 3 years from today - so if its written valid till 2017 - NO - you will have to change to new card before July 2015. Anyway if you are staying legally you'll get reminder via post.

  • 1

    zichi

    Most people carry many forms of ID, credit cards, driving license. In many European countries residents have to carry ID cards. This new RC will save us some money and no more exit visa.

  • 0

    Herve Nmn L'Eisa

    "(2) Revision of the Re-entry System A foreign national with a valid passport and a residence card will be basically exempt from applying for a re-entry permit in cases where he/she re-enters departure. In cases where a foreign resident already possesses a re-entry permit, the maximum term of validity for the re-entry permit shall be extended from 3 years to 5 years."

    This sounds to me that a re-entry permit(for up to one year) is included. But does that mean that a re-entry permit for a longer period can still be obtained?

    About pasmo/suica cards, why use your real name on them? If you lose it, you're SOL, but at least your privacy is better preserved. And disable the gps/wifi on your celly while you're at it.

  • 1

    Badge213

    Christ, my internet cuts off at the worst times. I wanted to add a notation: *You notify immigration if there is a change in your status: For example, if you are married and have a spouse status but get divorced, you must notify, or if you are on a working visa status you must notify if there is a change in your job. If you are a student but no longer attending school is another reason.

    I think the only exemptions would be permanent residents or don't need to notify immigration, because none of those above items affects their current status of residency. But please read immigration booklet published for things that might pertain to your particular status in Japan.

  • 1

    Badge213

    thanks. What about leaving the country with a current alien card, I suppose it will work like the new RC?

    The current ARC will become the defacto resident card for those who have one until you get a new card. It shouldn't be a problem if you hold a current, unexpired ARC until July 2015.

  • -1

    konjo4u

    An Ambassador to my wife's country moved back to Korea. He has skills. I cannot do anything like that, because I am not a US Ambassador.

    Is there a way to apply for residence without any previous contact to Japan, soley on an Asian refugee and American husband who has some skills?

  • -1

    Badge213

    Is there a way to apply for residence without any previous contact to Japan, soley on an Asian refugee and American >husband who has some skills?

    If the "american husband" can find a job in Japan and get a status of residence, his wife then can get a "dependent" status to be with her husband in Japan.

  • -1

    Eduardo Gonzalez

    Given that i'm Puerto Rican at birth, still residing in the comonwealth of Puerto Rico since birth where my parents are of Puerto Rican descendancy, and being accused of homicide in first degree and served jail time (being the only one in my criminal record), does this mean that i ain't eligible for permanent citizenship?

  • 0

    cracaphat

    There are pros and cons to the new system,but what won't change is me carrying my gaijin card.Never have and never will.

  • 0

    noriyosan73

    There is only one sentence that can be used for this situation: "It's about time, Japan."

  • 2

    David Van Cleef

    Remote skimming of these cards is scaremongering from the tinfoil-hat crowd.

    These use ISO14443-B technology with BAC (same as biometric passports). In order to read ANY data off the card you must first authenticate with the card with a code printed on the card, so you have to be able to physically examine the card to do so. And after doing that, the data that you can retrieve from the card is... the same data that you're already looking at printed on the card.

  • 0

    Badge213

    Given that i'm Puerto Rican at birth, still residing in the comonwealth of Puerto Rico since birth where my parents are >of Puerto Rican descendancy, and being accused of homicide in first degree and served jail time (being the only one >in my criminal record), does this mean that i ain't eligible for permanent citizenship?

    If you are still residing in Puerto Rico (who are American citizens and carry US Passports), then you don't even qualify for permanent residency in Japan.

    You need to be living in Japan in the first place for a couple of years before you even become eligible for permanent residency in Japan.

  • 0

    cleo

    When you look at this new system, it actually saves u time

    Only if you happen to live near an immigration office. Up until now, renewing my card has involved a couple of trips on my bike, time and cost zero if I incorporate it in with shopping or walking the dog. No problem at all. If there happen to be any irregularities the people in the yabuka know me, they know I'm not ayashii, things get sorted out quickly and with good humour. With the new 'improved' system, to renew my card I need to take a day off work (=lose a day's earnings), take a 40-minute train ride followed by a 10-minute bus ride to the nearest immigration office, sit around waiting my turn (last time I went it was 3 hours), then another bus and train trip back home. If there are any irregularities no one at immigration knows me from Adam, I'm just another face, they have to be suspicious and check everything - it could take ages and further trips to sort out.

    As a PR, the visa extension does nothing for me.

    The only improvement I can see is the abolition of the re-entry permit, and I'm sure they could have done that without turning the whole system upside down and adding more bodies to the already-long queues at the immigration office.

  • -2

    CrazyJoe

    I'm sure glad I'm not classified as an "alien" under Japanese law.

  • 0

    Badge213

    With the new 'improved' system, to renew my card I need to take a day off work (=lose a day's earnings), take a >40-minute train ride followed by a 10-minute bus ride to the nearest immigration office, sit around waiting my turn (last >time I went it was 3 hours), then another bus and train trip back home.

    Thankfully you don't have to do this, but once every 5 or so years. Or you can get a proxy to file the paperwork on yourbehalf.

  • 5

    basroil

    papasmurfinjapanJul. 09, 2012 - 09:28AM JST

    Immigrants in many, if not most countries, are "required" to carry their proper residence credentials with them at all times (including the USA). So please don't expect to be treated exactly the same as a Japanese person. If you want that, apply to become a Japanese national.

    Most first world countries, including the US, only allow the federal government to impose fines or detention for not carrying it. And none make it an excuse to kick you out. Japan is one of the few countries that NEEDS immigration but absolutely hates it. Hopefully the government will make things easier for those who have skills and want to be part of the community, but as of yet you only get old cranky snake oil salemen who think foreigners have the plague (and some think they are the plague) .

  • 0

    gogogo

    Regular Suica/Pasmo cards are unregistered (unless you register them) and have no identifiable information on them

    Actually they contain your suica ID and the last 15 stations you used the card at in unencrypted form, I have a reader and can read any card to get this data.

    @Badge213:

    Any changes to your job status must be reported to immigration within 14 days

    I read that as change of official status, like you are now a teacher rather than an IT guy, status meaning a change from "engineer" to "entertainer" etc... but you could be correct, thanks!

  • 5

    ExportExpert

    Yup agree with cleo this is more of an inconvenience to us with PR, I never had to go to immigration at all except for the occiasional re entry permit, now im gonna have to go and wait around for hours to get my stuff changed over, Damn i hate the immigration office too sitting round for hours.

  • 0

    Badge213

    Actually they contain your suica ID and the last 15 stations you used the card at in unencrypted form, I have a reader and can read any card to get this data.

    None of which can identify the owner of the Suica card. I'm speaking about identifiable information such as name, birthdate etc. Only those items are present on registered suica/pasmo cards but not on unregistered suica cards.

    I read that as change of official status, like you are now a teacher rather than an IT guy, status meaning a change from "engineer" to "entertainer" etc... but you could be correct, thanks!

    No. The regulation states: "Notification concerning the organization to which the applicant belongs,"

    Lets say you have your bloke English teacher in Japan working for Interac who sponsored him over. If he gets fired, quits, or otherwise leaves his contract with interac two things happen now: 1. Interac (the employer) has to notify immigration within 14 days 2. The person (former employee) themselves has to notify immigration with 14 days of the change

    This is probably a check and balance system.

    This doesn't prevent the English teacher from getting another job as an English teacher somewhere else, but the notification must be made concerning the change.

    Also applies to students who change schools or are no longer studying in Japan.

    *Does not apply to Permanent residents.

  • 1

    cleo

    you can get a proxy to file the paperwork on yourbehalf.

    Then the proxy has to take the day off work and spend time sitting on a train then a bus then in a queue. Same difference, except I have to fork out to show my gratitude (=it costs even more).

    I hope they send out reminder notices when the five years is almost up. When the time span is so long, it's easy to forget. At the yakuba, any lapses can be laughed away - 'Oh cleo-san, you've been illegal for over a year! Better get your papers sorted quickly for you, hahaha'. Can't see that happening at po-faced immigration. (Though the last time I went, the man who dealt with me smiled and was very nice).

  • -1

    Lowly

    ogtob- pls include info on where to get the blocking card or what the materials are so we can make one.

    badge213- or mods-

    so, permanent residents have to apply for a new alien card w/in 3 yrs from today?

  • 0

    tensaisg@yahoo.com

    i frankly dont get it why people even bother going to japan. tax is at all time high and so many issues. i left japan 20 years ago the best decision i ever made.

  • 4

    basroil

    David Van CleefJul. 09, 2012 - 10:25AM JST

    Remote skimming of these cards is scaremongering from the tinfoil-hat crowd.

    These use ISO14443-B technology with BAC (same as biometric passports). In order to read ANY data off the card you must first authenticate with the card with a code printed on the card, so you have to be able to physically examine the card to do so. And after doing that, the data that you can retrieve from the card is... the same data that you're already looking at printed on the card.

    Apparently type A is incredibly easy to hack (http://www.rfidblog.org.uk/hancke-rfidrelay.pdf ), and type B isn't too much different so applying similar solutions could enable unauthorized copying. All that's needed is for cops to use an RFID reader in public places as "enforcement", and your data can be siphoned off. Interestingly, you can actually triangulate RFID signals within range of a reader, and while the reader strength is "determined" by the standard, you can theoretically use a stronger gain antenna for reading of items in a fairly large area (a few meters across). Hell, biometric passports have had absolutely ever piece hacked already, and while difficult to do without OEM parts, the government that bought the system could easily use it for whatever they want.

    If you are fearful though, just use a copper mesh and don't worry again.

  • 0

    Badge213

    so, permanent residents have to apply for a new alien card w/in 3 yrs from today?

    Most of these questions can be answered by visiting the immigration website and reviewing the new guidelines: http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/newimmiact_1/en/index.html

    But to answer your question, yes, you must get a new card before July 2015 (even if you have a current card that has an expiration date beyond July 2015).

  • 0

    Lowly

    sakurala --

    take some pix with you just in case. if you smile and beg they may agree to use them. a lot of things with those guys is based on "feeling", i.e. they don't all have to follow the same rules all the time.

    there are automatic pic machines that take passport/id pix for like 700 yen all over.

  • 0

    David Van Cleef

    Hell, biometric passports have had absolutely ever piece hacked already, and while difficult to do without OEM parts, the government that bought the system could easily use it for whatever they want.

    The early biometric passports that were remotely skimmable were before BAC was used as far as I know. I don't know of any cases where BAC-enabled cards have been remotely skimmed in a non targeted-attack (the BAC key on passports is fairly easily brute-force guessable since its derived from date of birth, passport issue date, etc but again, targeted remote skimming is pretty pointless in an immigration enforcement scenario since they'd already have the data they wanted to get)

    Anyhow, this has gone way off topic, anything more and the heavy-handed moderators will probably start deleting these posts.

  • -1

    frontandcentre

    I agree that removing the need for a re-entry permit, as long as you have a valid visa, is an improvement, but since I have always renewed both work visa and re-entry permit at the same visit to the immigration bureau, it's only ever been a matter of expense, and frustration at the bureaucracy, rather than time.

    No-one is able to convince me that the new card is really much different from the old ARC system, though - it sounds pretty much the same, based on what's said above. I have no objection to carrying I.D. as a foreigner here, I always have done so. As for tax - unless you are illegally avoiding your obligations, what have you to fear?

    FnC

  • 0

    ogtob

    Lowly, This is the company that makes the skim blocking cards. http://www.skimblock.co.jp/

  • 0

    mtwildman

    This must be a result of all the illegal marriages i;ve read about on JT recently...we were planning on moving to Japan in the near future, My wife a Japanese citizen and a green card holder here in the US has been wanting to move back to her native country...i'm retired and love living in Japan this might be a new problem for me.

  • -1

    moomoochoo

    I'll be honest, I really don't trust the government much. They've extended the maximum period of stay AND revised the re-entry system- just to be nice?

  • 0

    Badge213

    No-one is able to convince me that the new card is really much different from the old ARC system

    It's not just the card but changes to the system as a whole. I'm sure you might enjoy it more the next time your status, instead of 3 years, the maximum status is now 5 years.

  • 0

    Ch1n4Sailor

    EXCLUDING the persons described below

    You forgot SOFA

    Also NO Photo or Finger Prints on Arrival....

  • -2

    NetNinja

    @moomoochoo Of course, they're not doing it to be nice. That's the facade.

    What they are really after is YOUR MONEY!!! You see, it's presumed that you intend to be a resident. You want to live in beautiful Japan. That means, like ALL residents (NOT) you must enroll in the Health Care and Pension system. They can even tax you at a a higher rate.

    This goes far beyond what it says on paper.

  • 2

    Lowly

    ogtob, badge,

    thank you

    mtwildman-

    I wouldn't worry about it.

    moomoochoo-

    no it's not to be nice to anyone, just themselves. the constant backup and paperwork at immigration is a pain for them to. it could even be purely financial, so they don't have to hire more staff. also, more need for workers to come here means make it easier to have them.

  • -1

    Kevin Lee Brooke

    Riddle me this:

    *I've had a permanent resident visa for several years now.

    *My current gaijin card is one-year expired.

    *I am moving to China at the end of this month, but hope to be back in a couple years or so.

    Do I,

    1) Have to go to the ward office to renew my expired "old" gaijin card before I leave, 2) Have to go to immigration to get my new one before I leave, or 3) Worry about it if/when I come back?

  • 0

    sakurala

    lowly: thanks for the tip. I will do so and hopefully they will allow it. However, if it has to all be done digitally and they use the same camera at the airport that they do when they scan your fingerprints, it will make for one interesting magnificantly bad photo...may even be worst than my 1st year uni ID. :P

  • 0

    electric2004

    Kevin:

    2) would be a reasonable approach.

  • 1

    billyshears

    Can I get arrested if I forget to carry ID

    No, it was changed from a criminal offense to a civil offense quite a few years ago. The fine (up to 200,000 yen) applies though (depending on the mood of those in authority who want to check you out).

  • 0

    willynilly

    I'm just another face

    It must be soooo disheartening to discover it's not all about you

  • 0

    billyshears

    *My current gaijin card is one-year expired.

    I think that could be a hassle if you leave Japan in that condition. You should get it sorted before you leave. It shouldn`t be such a big deal if your PR visa is in order. Just tell (as apologetically as possible!) your local immigration office (who now deal with these cards) you completely forgot to renew it.

  • 0

    Kevin Lee Brooke

    @electric2004

    Thanks. Reasonable, but not sure how possible. I work up until this Friday - which gives me only two weeks to do all preparations (renting out my condo, packing, cleaning the condo, getting the work visa for China, etc., etc.)

    Two half-day (at minimum) trips to immigration just is not going to fit into my schedule, I fear. And what are the chances this newfangled card will be ready in two weeks anyway? :-P

  • 0

    Kevin Lee Brooke

    @electric2004

    Thanks. Reasonable, but not sure how possible. I work up until this Friday - which gives me only two weeks to do all preparations (renting out my condo, packing, cleaning the condo, getting the work visa for China, etc., etc.)

    Two half-day (at minimum) trips to immigration just is not going to fit into my schedule, I fear. And what are the chances this newfangled card will be ready in two weeks anyway? :-P

  • 0

    papasmurfinjapan

    Permanent residents, meanwhile, will have to apply for a new residence card within three years from July 2012.

    Hmm, I have PR and my current gaijin card expires at the end of this month. I used to get a hagaki from the city hall telling me to come in and renew my card, but now they are out of the loop all I have been sent is a brochure telling me about the new system.

    Does this mean I only have 3 weeks to go to the immigration office and get the new card, or can I let my gaijin card expire as long as I go within 3 years to get the new card?

  • 0

    scoobydoo

    I have read on the official website some things, unfortunately the fluffy cartoon info pamphlets don't really address many questions and I checked with the city office some time ago and I have not read the official website much lately but from the official stuff I have read. Also I have only considered the things relevant to me

    You are not required by law to carry your Resident Card but are required to be able to present it if asked i.e an offical may come with you to view it if you keep it at home etc.

    For the time being ARC = Resident Card

    As a PR, you don't need to declare your job change

    As a PR your marital status does not need to be declare except that you would need to any way for the sake of taxation and National Health Scheme, however, a PRs visa is not dependent on their employment or marital status.

    There is information in these pamphlets which don't apply to PRs in the same way as described on the pamphlet but they also don't exactly specify this clearly.

    On the point of scanning etc, they don't need your PR card to follow your movements. T card, Ponta, Visa, ATM withdrawals, ETC cards, mobile phone, face book, internet use, the micro chip in your tyres and the list goes on how you could be tracked so really the IC scanning on the Res Card is really irrelevant don't you think, especially since you are not required to carry it on you.

  • 6

    Hikozaemon

    For those people concerned about tracking, I believe you can counteract the tracking chip in the new gaijin card by wrapping your entire body in tinfoil.

  • 0

    scoobydoo

    I had another look, it appears I am wrong about not having to carry it with you

  • 0

    cleo

    They can even tax you at a a higher rate.

    Explain, please.

  • 0

    JA_Cruise

    Kevin Lee Brooke, Better to at least apply then to not apply at all. At least you will have a receipt of the application. Immigration officials sometimes ask to see your Gaijin card at the airport.

  • 1

    Badge213

    Does this mean I only have 3 weeks to go to the immigration office and get the new card, or can I let my gaijin card >expire as long as I go within 3 years to get the new card?

    I wouldn't risk it, get a new card. You'll need to be able to present something if ever asked by authorities.

  • 0

    Ron Muller

    JP: thanks for the detailed info beyond rudimentary story line and thanks for the additional info from the posters: very helpful, appreciate it ("-")!!

  • -1

    It"S ME

    Kevin.

    You are supposed to hand in your ARC at the local ward office or when leaving the country. Good chance they won't let you leave with an expired one.

    As for staying outside Japan it is permissible for 3yrs (length of the re-entry visa), stay any longer and your PR goes bye-bye.

  • 0

    Kevin Lee Brooke

    @JA_Cruise

    Perhaps, however, I think I read online somewhere that you have to hand in your gaijin card if you are planning on leaving Japan....

  • 0

    Kevin Lee Brooke

    @ It"S ME

    Won't LET me leave? Not sure they can do that...

    "As for staying outside Japan it is permissible for 3yrs (length of the re-entry visa), stay any longer and your PR goes bye-bye. "

    Then what is the use for calling it a "permanent" residence visa?

  • -1

    It"S ME

    @Kevin.

    1.) Any country can refuse exit to someone with a "wonky/illegal" status, reason why they check you on exit. 2.) That's the current rule/law.

  • 0

    Kevin Lee Brooke

    @It's ME

    Well, as I posted above, I have left the country TWICE on the expired gaijin card, and was not even batted an eye at.

  • 0

    frontandcentre

    I remember seeing a 'permanent' resident interviewed on TV last March, queuing up to get a new re-entry visa so that he could escape from Japan, and bitching about the long wait because "I'm a permanent resident".

    Must've been here so long that his sense of irony had become totally blunted...

  • 0

    Lowly

    kevin-

    try to get the card at your ku/ town office. i know they're not supposed to do it anymore, but you never know, there might be an overlap. and they would have less of a wait than immig.

    try and say you forgot it expired bc they didn't send you a postcard like before. maybe they will be able to give you a note that would expedite things at immig. (i know not likely, but worth a try). and be overly apologetic, also don't speak your best jpns unless they know you.

    my understanding of perm res is that they can't kick us out no matter what, like even if you commit crimes. all the n/s koreans stay here their whole lives whether they lose their job and have no money, whether they commit a crime, etc., they never get sent to korea. they/ we are here no matter what.

  • 0

    Ms. Alexander

    Papasmurf - I think you have to get your new card now. I believe the three-year leway only applies to those with with cards that will still be current in the next three years.

    The other article on JT discusses how simple and easy getting a new card was. I guess I'll wait a little bit until the rush dies down to attempt to get a new card.

    I didn't realize they can actually track you with the card. That's scary.

  • -1

    Ivan Coughanoffalot

    From the end of this year every person full-time employed will HAVE TO make pension payments, unemployment insurance, national health insurance and, for those over forty, nursing care payments as well, which will add up to around 30-35% of your salary. It is currently law, but it has been relaxed, but because the j-gov is broke they are going start enforcing it anmaking it mandatory for every employer to deduct these payments directly from salaries. This is the main reason behind the new system. They want everyone's money.

    Disillusioned: this is pretty scary stuff. Where did you get this from? I know quite a few people who are just about scraping through now. Remove 30% of their salary for a pension they'll never be eligible to receive, and that's pretty much game over.

  • 0

    Kevin Lee Brooke

    Okay. I just got the poop:

    All I need to do is go to immigration, buy a "new" re-entry permit (now 5 years), and apply for the new card.

    Apparently, you get the new card the SAME day.

    Looks like Japan is finally starting to step into the 20th century - oh wait, it is now the 21st century though....

  • 0

    marcelito

    Anybody knows how much the new card costs when its issued?

  • 2

    Bluebris

    New registration system introduced today and breaks down the same day. Outstanding work.

  • -1

    theResident

    @scoobydoo; But you ARE required to carry it, by law, the same way you ARE required, by law to carry your Gaijin card.

  • 0

    Badge213

    All I need to do is go to immigration, buy a "new" re-entry permit (now 5 years), and apply for the new card.

    NO. You don't buy re-entry permits anymore for trips out of Japan under 1 year. You don't need the new card for it to go into affect. Old ARC cards are defacto resident cards until you need to get a new one.

  • 0

    Badge213

    Disillusioned: this is pretty scary stuff. Where did you get this from? I know quite a few people who are just about >scraping through now. Remove 30% of their salary for a pension they'll never be eligible to receive, and that's pretty >much game over.

    They're required by law even NOW (and has been for a while) to make payments into a pension plan. This is nothing new. There just hasn't been any enforcement done much (though a friend of mine got hit with a huge bill from the government a few years ago for not paying, and he's a PR here).

    You have to pay into either through employee pension or if their employer does not have a pension plan, the National Pension, again this is nothing new and has been on the books for quite some time. National Pension is roughly 15000-18000yen a month.

  • 0

    Darkside061

    ****Guess now i am in big problem .... The thing is that i have stopped or frankly saying quit my job six month ago and haven't done nothing since except looking for job which i haven't found till now .. Now as the new procodure for residence card to have i need to have a job of my status??? Is that so or can i just go to immigaration and tell them i don't have no job but can i have a residence card plz.... I need a serious help .... Plz some help

  • 0

    Barbara Reder

    Anyone could answer me this!? I have not been in Japan for ten years and lost my eijuken but still have my alien registration card do I get in trouble if I visit Japan next year!?

  • 1

    Pukey2

    sushisake:

    And yes, Pukey2, we still have to carry ID. You probably already do anyway, if not, just slip it in with your other cards and forget about it. We are not Japanese - you seem to be expecting to be treated like one.

    I don't expect to be treated like a Japanese because I ain't one. But I do expect to be treated like a human being, not some flipping rare ibis with a microchip strapped round my wrist and monitored 24/7. A Japanese could come to my country and not need to carry any ID. Hell, they and all other gaijins won't even be fingerprinted or photographed at our airports. We're certainly kind, but I'd rather go for reciprocity. I also have PR in another country where ALL citizens and residents (except children) have to carry ID on them at all times. In fact, I'm treated the same as a native when I go through immigration. PR ain't all that in Japan.

    frontandcentre:

    I remember seeing a 'permanent' resident interviewed on TV last March, queuing up to get a new re-entry visa so that he could escape from Japan, and bitching about the long wait because "I'm a permanent resident".

    Yeah, who the hell does he think he is? Surely he knows permanent doesn't really mean permanent.

    lowly:

    my understanding of perm res is that they can't kick us out no matter what, like even if you commit crimes. all the n/s koreans stay here their whole lives whether they lose their job and have no money, whether they commit a crime, etc., they never get sent to korea. they/ we are here no matter what.

    Now THAT is a special kind of PR. Sorry, but they are the Koreans and Taiwanese who have been here for generations, not FOBs like you and me.

  • 0

    Badge213

    ****Guess now i am in big problem .... The thing is that i have stopped or frankly saying quit my job six month ago and >haven't done nothing since except looking for job which i haven't found till now .. Now as the new procodure for >residence card to have i need to have a job of my status??? Is that so or can i just go to immigaration and tell them i >don't have no job but can i have a residence card plz.... I need a serious help .... Plz some help

    If you had a job six months ago, I assume you have a ARC (Alien Registration Card). If you have an ARC there's no need to get a new resident card at the moment.

  • 0

    Badge213

    Anyone could answer me this!? I have not been in Japan for ten years and lost my eijuken but still have my alien >registration card do I get in trouble if I visit Japan next year!?

    Your ARC should be long expired by now.

    How did you lose your PR? If you simply left Japan legally without any problems then you shouldn't have many issues at all coming to Japan.

    If you were breaking the law or something that caused loss of your PR then that's another story.

  • 0

    Eduardo Gonzalez

    Quoted from Badge213:

    If you are still residing in Puerto Rico (who are American citizens and carry US Passports), then you don't even qualify for permanent residency in Japan.

    You need to be living in Japan in the first place for a couple of years before you even become eligible for permanent residency in Japan.

    I KNOW! But after staying in Japan for 10 years minimum, and the above criteria is examined, does this mean that i ain't eligible or what?

    Because for if you didn't know, i'm headed there this December 21st for 16 days of leisure. THEN, after i finish my college degree, prepare for procedures on self-revokation of my native citizenship, then i'll have to deal with the procedures on living under temporary residence visa (UNLESS I MARRY SOMEONE THERE!), then i'll get to know if you were right or what!

    But this year, it will be my first time stepping on Japanese soil, as i never attempted it before because i was unable to leave the island for no reason

  • 0

    Eduardo Gonzalez

    And i forgot, I AM an Puerto Rican citizen jus sanguinis and at the same time an American citizen for just holding my passport headed to its 6th year of validity

  • 0

    Badge213

    THEN, after i finish my college degree, prepare for procedures on self-revokation of my native citizenship, then i'll have >to deal with the procedures on living under temporary residence visa (UNLESS I MARRY SOMEONE THERE!), then i'll >get to know if you were right or what!

    You're setting yourself up for disaster if you do this. First off a "temporary visitor" status is only good for 90 days for US Nationals (Japan only recognizes the US part, not the Puerto Rican part).

    Also if you revoke your citizenship, you will be stateless, good luck ever trying to get Japan to give you a visa as a stateless person!

    You're entire plan is ill thought out. You really need to think this through.

  • 0

    James Hickling

    It was mentioned above and I dont think a definite answer was given: As a PR holder with a ARC expiring before July 2015 (mine is next month) then the fluffy documents and a lady in immigration that I called, have lead me to believe that as PR holder (not a visa holder with an expiry) then your ARC no matter what the expiry date, is vaild until July 2015, therefore sometime between then and now you must go get your new card but it doesnt matter about your ARC expiry date.

    Can anyone else confirm this?

  • 0

    papasmurfinjapan

    @ James Hicking

    That was my interpretation of the brochure. Unfortunately after countless attempts to call the local immigration office, I can never get through, so therefore have no definitive answer.

    Another question, if they hand these cards out at airports, can I just skip going to immigration altogether and get a new card at the airport the next time I travel?

  • 0

    Eduardo Gonzalez

    @Badge213: The citizenship that i'm going to revoke, is the Puerto Rican one, that is going to be in their Department of state in Old San Juan. The American one, when i get permanent residency there in Japan. It's common sense as my native jurisdiction has recognised it since the Foraker law of 1917

  • 0

    cleo

    The citizenship that i'm going to revoke, is the Puerto Rican one, that is going to be in their Department of state in Old San Juan. The American one, when i get permanent residency there in Japan. It's common sense

    No it isn't; permanent residence in Japan is not citizenship. There is no need to revoke any nationality you may hold until and unless you apply for and are granted Japanese nationality and for that we're talking years in the future. Don't be in too much of a hurry to burn bridges.

  • 0

    papasmurfinjapan

    @ James Hicking

    I finally got through to immigration. The lady I spoke to confirmed that if you are a PR holder you have until 2015 to get the new card, regardless of the expiry date on your ARC. She also said you will be able to enter/leave Japan on your expired ARC until you get your new card. Personally I'd be a bit nervous trying to enter the country with an expired ARC though. One other thing I'd be nervous about is although immigration say an expired ARC is fine, have they passed that information on to the police/banks and/or any other organisation that requests to see our ID from time to time?

    BTW, as residents of Japan we need to go to the immigration office to get the card. Only new residents can get theirs at the airport.

    She also advised me NOT to come in to apply for a new card until the "glitch" has been sorted out.

    Hope that helps.

  • -1

    lucabrasi

    @papasmurf

    The lady I spoke to confirmed that if you are a PR holder you have until 2015 to get the new card, regardless of the expiry date on your ARC.

    This is the first time I've heard this. I've been told that you have until 2015 or until your ARC expires, whichever is the sooner. I wonder if the lady in question didn't mean that.

  • 0

    James Hickling

    Hi I had conformation again. The ARC expiry date has nothing to with it. Basically the system is 3 years to get onto the new system, so everyone on a visa will expire before then (Noone currently has longer than 3 year visa) so when they go into to renew they will get the new card. If you are a PR then you can go anytime from now until July 2015 to get the new card. The ARC is the default card until you get your new card, but again the expiry date on your ARC doesnt have any connection to when you should go to get your new card.

  • 0

    James Hickling

    @ papasmurfinjapan

    Yes my biggest concern in all this, is if the right hand is talking to the left hand when leaving/returning the country with the expired card. I will be doing this very shortly with expired ARC so I guess we will see!

  • 0

    Badge213

    The best thing to do is, if your ARC expires, get a new resident card. Even though your expired ARC might be valid for immigration purposes, imagine the bank, post office or whatever saying "We can't take this, it's expired!"

  • 0

    marcelito

    I think at the end of the day the safest bet is to get down to immigration office when one has a chance to do so and just change the ARC for the new card...I only got my ARC a few months ago and don,t have to renew it till 2015 but hey...it doesn't cost me anything apart from a bit of time so when I have a chance to do it I will...then there is nothing to worry about and it will minimize any potential misunderstandings ..be it at the airport coming back from summer holidays or anything else.

  • -1

    It"S ME

    My ARC expires the day they become invalid(also happens to be my B-Day).

    So plenty of time to get it exchanged, right now there is the initial rush and if you can wait do so. Will go at a time when Immigration isn't so busy, right now is travelling season and thus .....

  • 0

    Lowly

    The ARC, or gaijin card is not permission to be in the country and doesn't have anything to do with your visa. It is just a record of your domicile and actual visa which you had to carry with you. As such its expiration is relatively arbitrary and meaningless, and have heard countless stories of ppl who forgot to renew it for a month or three when it expired and just went to town hall and said "sorry i was busy". So I can totally imagine it being just left til 2015 regardless of expiry. For going around town it would nt worry me, or probably impede anything. ppl leaving the country tho I can imagine getting nervous...

  • 0

    Rafaella Torres

    Hi anyone could answer this please,,my current status is spouse of permanent resident. Now my worry is that I m going to leave the country next month. My ARC will expire July 2015. My visa expire 2014 ofjuly.,do I need to apply or a new card before I leave? Thank you..

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