Legal Requirements

Legal Requirements

You have the right to get services provided by the government, but you also have some obligations. The following items are indispensable in making your life in Japan pleasant.

Alien Registration

Applying for a New Registration

All foreigners who intend to stay more than 90 days are expected to register at the City Hall's Civic Affairs Division within 90 days of your arrival in Japan. You should report to the Civic Affairs Division (on the 1st floor of the City Hall) and present an application form with your passport and 2 passport-sized photographs (4.5cm x 3.5cm). The application form is available at the office. If your allowable period of stay in Japan is one year or longer, your signature is required, but if you are less than 16 years of age, you are not required to submit your photograph and signature. But if your allowable period of stay is less than a year, even if you are above 16 years of age, you only need to submit your photograph.

A residence card is issued after registration. It takes about 2 to 3 weeks to process at the Tokyo Immigration Office. You should carry this card at all times and show it when a police officer or other government official asks to see it.

Moving to Okaya from another part of Japan

Present yourself at the Civic Affairs Division of the City Hall with your residence card within 14 days of moving in.

Application for Confirmation and Replacement

Foreigners over 16 years of age must apply for confirmation within the application period stated on their residence cards. Foreigners turning 16 years of age must present themselves at the Civic Affairs Division within 30 days of becoming 16 and apply for confirmation every five years after that.

If your residence is lost, stolen or becomes extremely faded or dirty, go to the Civic Affairs Division and apply for a replacement. You are required to bring your passport and two photos.

Please contact the Civic Affairs Division at the City Hall for more information. Tel: 23-4811 ext. 1152 (Japanese)

Immigration

The conditions for residing and the period of stay in Japan vary according to the status of residence in your passport at the time of entry into Japan.

If you wish to apply for a change of status, extension of stay, permanent residence, re-entry permit, etc., present yourself at the immigration office with your passport, residence card, application forms and required documents.

Please make enquiries at the immigration office.

Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau Office 
1-3-1, Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 
Tel: (03) 3213-8111 (Japanese)
Immigration Information Center 
1-3-1, Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 
09 : 00 to 12 : 00 and 13 : 00 to 16 : 00, Monday - Friday 
Tel: (03) 3213-8523 (Chinese, English、Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Thai)
Nagano Branch of the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau 
1108 Nagano Asahi-machi, Nagano City 
Tel: (0262) 32-3317 (Japanese)

Please also see the Ministry of Justice page. It includes immigration information.

Registering Marriage, Pregnancy, Birth, Death

Registering a Marriage

When getting married in Japan, you must make a marriage registration application at the Civic Affairs Division of the City Hall. All foreigners will need a Birth Certificate and an Affidavit of Competency to Marry (Konin Yoken Gubi Shomeisho), which affirms that you are legally free to marry. You can obtain this document from your country's embassy or consulate in Japan.

Registering for a Child Health Handbook

If you are pregnant, obtain a pregnancy notification from a doctor's office or hospital. Submit this pregnancy notification at the Health Division of the City Hall and you will receive a Maternity and Child Health Handbook. This handbook will be the official record of the medical condition of the mother and baby.

Registering a Birth

When a baby is born in Japan, present a birth certificate, your seal and the Maternal and Child Handbook to the Civic Affairs Division of the City Hall within 14 days of the birth. Then register the baby for a residence card. If one of the parents is Japanese, a residence card is not required. In this case, Japanese nationality will be given to the baby. Request two copies of the birth registry certificate. These will be needed for the passport application at your embassy and for the acquisition of residence status at the immigration bureau. The parents must apply for and acquire residence status for the baby within 30 days after birth.

Registering a Death

If a foreigner dies in Japan, the deceased's family or responsible person must present a death notice with doctor's diagnosis to the Civic Affairs Division of the City Hall. The residence card and insurance card must be turned in at this time. Please also contact your home country's embassy.

Applying for a Certificate of Registration (Birth, Marriage, Divorce, Death)

When you need a certificate of alien registration or registry of birth, death, marriage or divorce, make a request at the Civic Affairs Division of the City Hall. There is a 350 yen fee.

Please contact the Civic Affairs Division at the City Hall for more information.

Tel: 23-4811 ext. 1152 (Japanese)

Taxes

In Japan, individual income is subject to income tax and resident tax.

Income Tax

In filing a final income tax return, you must report your income for the previous year from January 1 to December 31 to the tax office by March 15. Note that your employer generally withholds income tax for those receiving a salary, so it may not be necessary to file a final income tax return. When leaving Japan, you must either designate a tax payment administrator or file a final income tax return before your departure.

Residents Tax

Residents tax consists of prefectural resident tax and municipal resident tax. Resident tax is determined based on your income during the previous year. If you are a company employee, resident tax is deducted from your monthly salary from June through May. If you have income other than your salary, resident tax should be paid through the nearest financial institution in June, August, October and January. If you are leaving Japan in the middle of the year, you must pay the remaining tax due. If you are a company employee, notify your company. As for regular collections, notify the Tax Division at the City Hall that you will pay the amount due. For enquiries regarding income tax or resident tax, contact the Tax Division of the City Hall. Tel: 23-4811 ext. 1125 (Japanese)

Leaving Okaya

If you are moving to a new residence within Japan: You do not have to report to the Tax Division of the city hall, but you are still responsible for paying all local taxes due. They may be paid from your new location. If you have registered your inkan (seal), please return your seal registration card at the Civic Affairs Division in the city hall. If you have joined the National Health Insurance, please return your health insurance card to the Health Division in the city hall. Inform the municipal administration office in your new location within 14 days of your move and have the address changed on your Alien Registration Card. Fill out a change of address form at the post office to have your mail forwarded to you. This service is provided for one year following your move. If you are moving overseas: Report to the Tax Division of the city hall and settle all local taxes due. If you have registered your seal (inkan), please return your seal registration card at the Civic Affairs Division in the city hall. If you have joined the National Health Insurance, please return your health insurance card to the Health Division in the city hall.