Visa and Immigration Problems


Lost Alien Registration Card

If your Alien Registration Card is lost or stolen you have to apply for another at your city hall within two weeks from the day you discovered it missing. Even if you lose it just before leaving the country, an Alien Registration Card is still necessary as you must hand it in at your port of departure.

Applying for a replacement is similar to getting a new Alien Registration Card. Fill in the application form, hand in two photographs and your passport. If the card was stolen a document such as a report of theft may be necessary. You will be given a Notification of Designated Period for Delivery of an Alien Registration Card - a two page document substituting for the missing identification. A new one will be available in two weeks. If you have to return home before receiving the replacement card the two page document can act as a substitute.

Overstaying your visa and/or passport has expired

For residents of Saitama, go to Kita Urawa Immigration Office with your passport and fill in a form stating how long you have overstayed your visa. (Of course you could go to the Otemachi, Tokyo main branch if you so desired).

If your passport has expired as well, the Immigration Office will issue a letter, based upon the form you filled in, to take to your embassy or consulate requesting a new passport. As soon as you receive the passport, report back to the Immigration Office.

The Immigration Office will check your identification, the passport you had upon entering Japan, what you have been doing in Japan, and will determine if your stay in the country involved illegal activities. If there are no problems, you will be deported to your home country about two weeks after reporting to the office. You will be given one week advance notice of your deportation date and so do not buy a ticket to leave Japan by air or boat until receiving this.

People who have been living in the country for a long time after their visa's expiration, or who entered Japan with a false passport, will be detained at the Immigration Office's repatriation facility. The detention period will vary depending on the case.

For those in the Tokyo and Saitama areas, report to the Tokyo Regional Immigration Office Nishigaoka at 3-2-21, Nishigaoka, Kita-ku, Tokyo. The office is a 10 minute walk from Itabashi-Honcho Station on the Toei Mita subway line. Call 03-5993-3205. Go early to avoid the crowds. Doors open for business at 9:00 am.

Conditions and procedures for becoming a naturalized Japanese citizen

Those who want to become a Japanese citizen must meet six conditions set out in the Nationality Law.

1. If the person is married to a Japanese national this requirement is reduced to at least three consecutive years. Alternatively, this condition is met if the person has been married for three years to a Japanese person and lived continuously in Japan for a year.

2. Aged 20 years or older and legally an adult in their country of citizenship.

3. Be of good standing.

4. The person must able to support himself/herself, or be supported by their spouse or other relatives living in the same household.

5. Be stateless when they are naturalized or be prepared to give up their present nationality as dual citizenship is not allowed.

6. The person cannot be engaged in any activities that endanger Japan.

Applications for Japanese citizenship must be made to the regional legal affairs office in the area the person is living. Check what documentation is needed to apply. Call the Justice Ministry on 03-3580-4111 in Japanese for your nearest legal affairs office. For approval of applications expect to wait eighteen months to two years.

Home - Daily Life - Shopping - Japanese Language - Culture - Recreation - Medical Information - The Telephone - Things Foreign - Visa Information - Leaving - Chinese Zodiac