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Foreign Registration Card

Japan With Kids - Forums: Immigration/visas/re-entry permits/naturalization: Foreign Registration Card
By Cornelia on Friday, March 31, 2000 - 6:24 am:

I picked up the following information sheet at my local ward office (Bunkyo-ku) yesterday compliments of the Ministry of Justice. Basically it is a summary of portions of the new law concerning the registration of foreign residents in Japan going into effect on 1 April.

Point one: Your fingerprint will no longer be required on your "gaijin card".
Point two: The number of things that someone can do on your behalf (delegated representative) on a visit to an Immigration Office has been increased.
Point three: For Permanent Residents and Special Permanent Residents, certain clauses and information (such as current employer's address and job) are no longer required to be visible on your "gaijin card". In addition your gaijin card validity period is increased from 5 to 7 years before it has to be renewed.
Point four: If you have any questions please contact the section for foreigners at your local government office.

(This is not a complete or official translation.)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Los sistemas de registro de extranjeros seran reformados desde el 1 de abril del ano 2000. La reforma esencial es la siguiente.

Abolicion del sistema de impresion de la huella digital
Sustiituyendo la impresion de la huella digital, se utilizara el mismo metodo que se aplica a los residentes permanentes y a los residentes permanentes especiales, es decir, el uso de registros tales como la fotografia, la firma, y los datos relacionados con la familia, tambien para los residentes no-permanentes (aquellos que an obtenido el permiso para residir mas de un ano o aquellos que han residido en total mas de un ano en Japon), sobre quienes se impone actualmente la obligacion de imprimir su huella digital.

Ampliacion del poder delegado
Aumentara el poder de representacion de los familiares que residen en el mismo hogar que el enteresado, para que tambien pueda realizar solicitudes de cambios de registro tales como el de domicilio, situacion de residencia, periodo de residencia, etc.

Los residentes permanentes y los residentes permanentes especiales
Se eliminaran las clausulas de "Trabajo" y "Razon Social y Direccion del Lugar de Empleo o Trabajo" del registro. Tambien aumentara a 7 anos el plazo limite de renovacion de la cedula de extranheria, que actualmente es de 5 anos.

Para mas informaciones sobre la reforma, comuniquese con la seccion de extranjeros de la localidad donde reside.

Departamento de Control Inmigratorio, Ministerio de Justicia


By Betty on Thursday, June 14, 2001 - 11:05 am:

After all these years, I finally managed to do it. I lost my gaijin card. I went down to the ward office and explained that it was gone, and it turns out that if I replace it now, it will be good for only one year, but if I can wait until 1 July which is my birth month, I would get one good for another 5 years. So I decided to be card-less for a couple of weeks. Meanwhile in the back of my mind I remember reading that they are issuing foreigner ID cards for 10 years now instead of just 5. My question is can anyone confirm that for me?


By Kaki on Thursday, June 14, 2001 - 11:44 am:

The ward office didn't suggest you walk around without your registration card for a few weeks, did it? Basically, that's illegal, right? 'Hope you don't get "carded" before then.


By Betty on Thursday, June 14, 2001 - 9:27 pm:

[laughter] Lord, no! They were pretty amazed that I told them I preferred to wait two weeks. I am carrying my passport though, just in case. It has my visa in it, and I'll just say I've lost my card, but haven't had time to go get a new one just yet.


By Betty on Wednesday, August 1, 2001 - 8:59 pm:

Well, I went in on 3 July to apply for my new card, and realized that it would take 14 days before I could pick it up! So they said I could travel without it as long as I had the paper showing that I had applied for it which is to be handed in when I collect it. I asked them if there was a chance it might be ready a couple of days earlier and they said "maybe" and gave me their direct phone number to call ahead and check. As luck would have it, it was ready 4 days earlier and I was able to pick it up.

AND, no fingerprint this time.


By Shakiba Khan on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 2:29 pm:

Hi all

I need some information regarding Gijin card renewal. My Gijin card is expiring in Mid of Sept and i have to travel abroad on first week of Oct and as of my knowledge you can only apply for new one on or after your Birthday and it takes around 3-4 weeks to get new one. So my question is can i request them to give my new card before Oct? Is it possible. and what is the procedure?

Will apperciate some detail regarding this matter.
Many thanks in advance
Shakiba Khan


By Pato on Saturday, July 17, 2004 - 2:00 am:

I seem to remember reading somewhere that you can go up to 30 days ahead of your birthday for the new card. If this is right, it seems to me that should cover your situation adequately.


By Tara on Saturday, July 17, 2004 - 9:09 am:

You can renew it any time you want; it's just that if you renew it before your birthday, then you lose one year from the time period for which it is valid. (They use birthdays instead of dates of application/renewal to avoid long lines during peak seasons, e.g., April.) If you count 5 birthdays from your renewal date, that is the card's expiry date. It makes sense to renew after your birthdate, not before (unless you will stay for less than 5 years-- in that case, it doesn't matter, obviously).

As for traveling abroad, etc. while you are waiting for issuance of the new card, don't worry-- they stamp the card on the back very prominently with a "Processing" stamp, and I was carded by the police last year with that stamp with no trouble at all. I also took two overseas trips with that stamp on the back and got through Immigration with no trouble. If you have a valid visa, issuance of a registration card is guaranteed-- it's not as if you "might get turned down for it" or anything like that. Thus Immigration at Narita has no reason to be worried if you have filed your papers and are "processing."

Your city office will also issue you a paper which you should also carry around, but the stamp on the card itself is enough for people who know what it means (immigration officers, etc.)


By Susanne Erbeck Habiro on Saturday, January 29, 2005 - 11:18 am:

Hi, I totally forgot to transfer my new visa into my gaijin card within 2 weeks (4 days too late), have to run to my ward on Monday; if anyone knows how they handle situations like that ("punishment"?), please let me know; thanks Susanne.


By Scott Hancock on Saturday, January 29, 2005 - 11:28 am:

Usually not a big deal. They might ask you to fill out a kind of "apology form" and you write something like "I was in bed with a cold and couldn't come in" or "The cat ate my application".

And be your sweetest, most humble and apologetic self.


By Susanne Erbeck Habiro on Saturday, January 29, 2005 - 2:30 pm:

Scott, thanks a lot for your quick reply to my posting and for your information. I feel better now...after reading some horrible things on the internet yesterday, I was already worried they'd charge me a high penalty or even deport me..but, this definately cannot happen, right? Anyway; thanks again, from Susanne.


By Sue Slater on Saturday, January 29, 2005 - 3:11 pm:

Last time I completely forgot and when I went in a year later to tell them about my next new visa they said, oh you didn't tell us last time. I said I was very sorry and acted surprised (I was) and they said oh that's OK, we will just add your new one. So that was my experience. Good luck Susanne.


By Susanne Erbeck Habiro on Saturday, January 29, 2005 - 7:04 pm:

Sue, thanks for your reply...
But I heard that they've changed some laws today, from a friend (under which, if you forget to update your gaijin card within 2 weeks, you can even get deported...has anyone heard about that?) When did you have that experience; and - where do you live? I just ask because I think officials in some areas can be much more strict...gee, now I am very worried again that I might even get deported or have to pay a very high fine...any more postings about that will be greatly appreciated!
All the best; from Susan.


By Sue Slater on Saturday, January 29, 2005 - 8:46 pm:

Hi again, It was Shinjuku ward office around 3 weeks ago so it happened pretty recently. The overall impression I got was that the staff there are so busy they have other more important things to worry about and as long as your visa is in order that is the main thing. Cheers, Sue


By Moemi & Ririka on Saturday, January 29, 2005 - 9:22 pm:

Last April(2004) I got a new visa and went abroad after a week without updating my alien card.I was too busy then to go to the cityhall. After 5 months I came back and again, I was too busy to go to the cityhall.I was able to find the time after a month and updated my aliencard last October 2004. No fine, no questions asked. I live in Tokyo.

PS. I have 2 babies(a newborn and a 1 year old)and teaching fulltime that makes me busy.

Cheers!
Priscila


By Scott Hancock on Sunday, January 30, 2005 - 10:57 am:

Regarding the comment about possibly becoming more strict about updating gaijin card, in the absence of a specific, reliably quoted article or someone's first-hand experience, I doubt this is the case.

There was much press in the last year about people overstaying by short times being detained and disallowed from returning for a period of time. But, overstaying one's visa is totally different than not updating the gaijin card.

As others have alluded to, the response to this various by ward office and individual official.

Susanne - if you can provide more specifics, it would be helpful.


By Susanne Erbeck Habiro on Sunday, January 30, 2005 - 3:30 pm:

Hi all,
and thanks so much for all your replies and support. I somewhat feel better now going in there on Monday..Scott, regarding the websites and other sources I got that idea from - one was from "BIJ", some company's website that provides their employees with visa information; and there it was written; "failure to do so (updating the card within 2 weeks) will result in deportation and/or being expelled from BIJ immediately". I'd love to give you that website's name, but after browsing and browsing, I couldn't find it any more, but will keep searching and then will post that site's name here. Other sites (various; also the "Japanese immigration site") just stated that you MUST inform your ward within 2 weeks. Another site said to take these "gaijin card guidelines" (as updating it, carrying it with you all the time) very serious as there's been reports of penalties/punishments. That site was from some university, visa information for it's students. The other source was my and my husband's Brazilian friend; he read in a Brazilian newspaper that from now on, there will be penalties up to even deportation when you forget updating the card in time; this he read 2 weeks ago. As there are so many Brazilian immigrants/workers here (my husband's one of them), Brazilian newspapers are always pretty up-to-date regarding legal changes in Japan, and pretty reliable as well. So is our friend; and he told my husband what he read before he knew about my "problem". Sorry if I cannot be more specific at the moment...as I said, I feel much better due to the support from you all (this site is great, extremely helpful, as always!!!); but still I'm a bit paranoid, I have to admit. I even thought about bringing my 4-year old daughter with me; cute as she is, who knows, maybe she could kind of "bribe" them a bit...hope you keep on writing...Susanne.


By Scott Hancock on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 7:13 am:

Susanne-
Yes! Bring your daughter! If she can be crying, it's even better. :) My wife did that years ago by accident and it got her to the head of the line. Maybe those days are gone, though.


By Susanne Erbeck Habiro on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 3:19 pm:

Hi to all of you,
and thanks for all the great support and valuable informations you've given me these last days.
I went to my ward...and - everything was no problem!!! All I got was a lot of smiles (especially my daughter; yes, I did bring her). Now I am wondering why I've been so paranoid...but I guess you can get, looking at all these strict laws and rules towards foreigners and hearing "horror stories" so many times...anyway, thanks a lot again to all of you, and - thanks to the owner of this site! I just love it! from Susanne.


By Scott Hancock on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 3:42 pm:

Susanne-
Happy to hear it went well. One really never knows.

If your appreciation for the site owner can ever take the form of a donation in money or items to auction, it will be very appreciated. You will notice there is not advertising; the site is done by Mme. Admin as a work of love.
:)


By Suzi on Friday, February 4, 2005 - 12:05 pm:

Hello,
Can anyone tell us what documents we need in order to apply for a re-entry permit for our son (was'nt born in Japan)? And also the documents we'd need for a visa extention for the whole family (4 of us). My husband has a investors visa and me and my 2 children has dependant visa. Thank you.


By Scott Hancock on Friday, February 4, 2005 - 10:07 pm:

I've been renewing my visa for years and every year, I call to make sure about the documents required. Every once in a while, they change slightly. There are also sometimes small details that may cause a different set of papers for one or another alien.

My .02.


By Pato on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - 4:36 pm:

Gov't to tighten control of foreign residents
http://www.japantoday.com/e/?content=news&cat=1&id=341820
Wednesday, June 29, 2005 at 07:12 JST
TOKYO The Japanese government decided Tuesday to set up a working team to consider ways of tightening its control of foreign residents as an anticrime step.

The team will consider such measures as requiring long-stay foreigners in Japan to carry identification cards equipped with integrated circuit chips, government officials said.

Envisaged to comprise senior officials from various ministries, the team is expected to come up with specific steps in about a year and present a bill to revise the foreign resident registration law, possibly in the regular Diet session in 2007, one official said.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party earlier proposed that the government require all foreigners staying in Japan for more than 90 days to carry ID cards with chips recording their identity data.

The LDP and the government claim the new policy is aimed at keeping track of foreigners as part of its measures to prevent terrorism and crimes.

The working team will also consider easing restrictions on foreign residents such as enabling them to stay longer in Japan, the officials said. (Kyodo News)


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