How to extend visa in Japan – the complete guide with links

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As long as a person is a mid-long term resident in Japan, the visa duration extension is necessary. So, if you are a second-year college student, you might need to extend for longer. If you are continuing your work, you also need to extend your contract with your employer. Therefore, you need to go to a local immigration office to apply.

Meanwhile, the MOJ website is not the friendliest place for you to navigate through. Don’t worry, because we have made a list of procedures for you. Also, you can find all the official documents with hyperlinks in this guide! Let’s get started!

Who can apply?

(1) Students (studying aboard, cultural exchange and research) (2) Work-related (3) Spouse or relative related

As you probably expected, most students or salarymen need to extend their status. Spouses can also extend their statuses. In a nutshell, people who are mid-long term residents can all apply to this.

Except for the three major groups above, business owners or lawyers can also apply with a different set of procedures.

When can you apply?

According to Immigration Control Act, Article 21, they start to accept applications 90 days before your current visa expires. That gives you three months ahead of time to get all your documents ready.

According to the MOJ web page description (JP), you can explain any reason and apply before 3 months under the necessary time needs.

Where to apply?

There are multiple bureaus of immigration services and offices (mainly at the airports) spread all over Japan. Each bureau has from 1 to 11 branch offices based on the foreign population in each administrative region.

However, you need to be very careful whether the office accepts applications for your jurisdiction – where you entered your home address (we explained the concept between jusho and address in this article).

For example, the Tachikawa office handles Tokyo and Yamanashi’s immigration documents. If you live in Chiba, then you cannot go to the Tachikawa office.

*Covid-19 Update: Due to the overwhelming amount of foreigners in Japan, expect a long wait at the office. The current hours are from 9:00-15:00. That means you cannot pick a number and wait in line after 15:00! The office still operates until 17:00.

https://www.isa.go.jp/en/about/region/index.html

How to apply?

The extension of the period of stay requires you to submit a few documents to prove that you are eligible to stay in Japan. The required documents are different depends on what type of staying you are applying for.

Here is a list of documents that you need no matter what visa you hold:

  1. Extension of the period of stay application form, you can download it from the here  (Applications are different based on your visa status)
  2. The last 1-2 pages of your application form should be prepared by your institution (school, corporation, hospital, etc.) 
  3. Your passport (not expired)
  4. Your resident card
  5. A 4cm x 3cm picture of yourself in light background without patterns or shadows, and write your name in the back (make sure you look straight ahead)

Here is the document required of all 25 different status of residence:

  • Students, cultural activities, and research visa:
Cultural -Documents that clarify the cultural activity with duration, holding organization, and the location

-If the applicant will cover their tuition by themselves, then a bank statement is necessary

-If the applicant’s tuition fee will be covered by someone else, then they need to submit the person’s tax certificate as well

*If the applicant’s sponsored in a foreign country, then the applicant may be required to prepare an official bank statement
Temporary visitor-Documents/schedule outline the applicant’s activities in Japan as detail as possible
Student1. University, graduate school, junior college, preparatory education, and professional training college students:
– Certificate of enrollment(入学許可書) (Nyūgaku kyoka-sho)
– Transcript (成績証明書)(Seiseki shōmei-sho)
– Certificate of attendance (出席証明書)(Shusseki shōmei-sho)

2. Researcher:
– Certificate of enrollment (入学許可書)(Nyūgaku kyoka-sho)
– Certificate from related academic department clarify the applicant’s research project

3. Auditing students
– Certificate of enrollment (入学許可書)(Nyūgaku kyoka-sho)
– Certificate from the educational institution which states the courses taken and the total hours

4. Upper secondary and specialized college students
– Certificate of enrollment (入学許可書)(Nyūgaku kyoka-sho)
– Certificate of attendance (出席証明書)(Shusseki shōmei-sho)
– Transcript (成績証明書)(Seiseki shōmei-sho)

5. Junior high or elementary students
– Certificate of enrollment (入学許可書)(Nyūgaku kyoka-sho)
– Certificate of attendance (出席証明書)(Shusseki shōmei-sho)
Dependent-One of the following document to identify the applicant and the taxpayer’s relationship
“(1) Family register – 1 copy
(2) Certificate of acceptance of notification of marriage – 1 copy
(3) Photocopy of marriage certificate – 1 copy
(4) Photocopy of birth certificate – 1 copy
(5) Documents supporting (1) to (4) – as requested”

– Photocopy of the taxpayer’s passport and Zai-ryu card

– Documents proving occupation and income of the taxpayer, please check term 6 (1) and (2) for more information
Trainee– Documents outlining details, necessity, location, working conditions, and schedule

– Trainee progress outline (official form)
Designated activities Click here to see the fourteen different types of designated visa extension methods among entrepreneurship, athleticism, and so on.

  • Working Visa:

Here is a list of career-specific required materials

ProfessorCategory 1 – Working as a full-time employee:
-You don’t need to submit any additional documents

Category 2 – Working as a part-time employee:
-Tax certificate and tax payment certificate with gross income and taxes paid for one year (住民税の(非)課税証明書、納税証明書)(Jūminzei no (hi) kazei shōmei-sho, nōzei shōmei-sho)
Artist-Documents indicates the engaged activities of the applicant

-Tax certificate and tax payment certificate with gross income and taxes paid for one year (住民税の(非)課税証明書、納税証明書)(Jūminzei no (hi) kazei shōmei-sho, nōzei shōmei-sho)
ReligiousDocuments from a foreign religion related organization to prove the applicant is dispatched for religious purpose
JournalistCategory 1 – the applicant who was issued a foreign press registration card by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
– Foreign press registration card (外国記者登録証)(Gaikoku kisha tōroku-shō)

or

Category 2 – those who don’t belong to category 1
-Certification of foreign news agency or contract (在職証明書)(Zaishoku shōmei-sho)
-Tax certificate and tax payment certificate with gross income and taxes paid for one year (住民税の(非)課税証明書、納税証明書)(Jūminzei no (hi) kazei shōmei-sho, nōzei shōmei-sho)
Business managersCategory 1 – Public company, insurance business, local government agencies, approved charitable organizations, defined as innovative companies, satisfying certain conditions
-A copy of the report to show the company is listed/approved/certain conditions

or

Category 2 – Total statutory report in previous year totaled 10 million yen or more, institutions which are granted the online residency application system
-A copy of a document related to one’s total income
(源泉徴収票等の法定調書合計表)(Genzenchōshū-hyō)

or

Category 3 – Organizations who have submitted documentation regarding total income
-A copy of a document related to one’s total income
(源泉徴収票等の法定調書合計表)(Genzenchōshū-hyō)
-Tax certificate and tax payment certificate with gross income and taxes paid for one year (住民税の(非)課税証明書、納税証明書)(Jūminzei no (hi) kazei shōmei-sho, nōzei shōmei-sho)

or

Category 4 – Those who do not belong to any of the previous three
-Recent financial documents (for the current fiscal year)
-Tax certificate and tax payment certificate with gross income and taxes paid for one year (住民税の(非)課税証明書、納税証明書)(Jūminzei no (hi) kazei shōmei-sho, nōzei shōmei-sho)
Legal / Accounting-You don’t need to submit any additional documents
Medical servicesCategory 1 – Doctor/Dentist
-you don’t need to submit any additional documents

Category 2 – Medical professionals other than above
-Certification of employment with indications of applicant’s duties and remunerations (職務の内容及び報酬を証明する在職証明書)(Zaishoku shōmei-sho)
-Tax certificate and tax payment certificate with gross income and taxes paid for one year (住民税の(非)課税証明書、納税証明書)(Jūminzei no (hi) kazei shōmei-sho, nōzei shōmei-sho)
ResearcherCategory 1 – Public company, insurance business, local government agencies, approved charitable organizations, defined as innovative companies, satisfying certain conditions
-A copy of the report to show the company is listed/approved/certain conditions

or

Category 2 – Total statutory report in previous year totaled 10 million yen or more, institutions which are granted the online residency application system
-A copy of the total statutory report, including withheld taxes
-Document to prove the organization belong to category 2 (前年分の職員の給与所得の源泉徴収票等の法定調書合計表)(Genzenchōshū-hyō)

or

Category 3 – Organizations who have submitted documentation regarding total income
-A copy of the total statutory report, including withheld taxes(前年分の職員の給与所得の源泉徴収票等の法定調書合計表)(Genzenchōshū-hyō)
-Tax certificate and tax payment certificate with gross income and taxes paid for one year (住民税の(非)課税証明書、納税証明書)(Jūminzei no (hi) kazei shōmei-sho, nōzei shōmei-sho)

or

Category 4 – Those who do not belong to any of the previous three
-refer to this page
-Tax certificate and tax payment certificate with gross income and taxes paid for one year (住民税の(非)課税証明書、納税証明書)(Jūminzei no (hi) kazei shōmei-sho, nōzei shōmei-sho)

—–
*In case the work is under a dispatch contract, the documents regarding that also need to be submitted
InstructorCategory 1 – Works full-time at a school (elementary, junior high, high, secondary, or specials education)
-You don’t need to submit anything else

or

Category 2 – Works full-time at an educational institution that does not belong to category 1
-Employment agreement or contract (業務従事に係る契約)
-Tax certificate and tax payment certificate with gross income and taxes paid for one year (住民税の(非)課税証明書、納税証明書)(Jūminzei no (hi) kazei shōmei-sho, nōzei shōmei-sho)

or

Category 3 – Works part-time

-Employment agreement or contract (業務従事に係る契約)
-Tax certificate and tax payment certificate with gross income and taxes paid for one year (住民税の(非)課税証明書、納税証明書)(Jūminzei no (hi) kazei shōmei-sho, nōzei shōmei-sho)
EngineerCategory 1 – Public company, insurance business, local government agencies, approved charitable organizations, defined as innovative companies, satisfying certain conditions
-A copy of the report to show the company is listed/approved/certain conditions

or

Category 2 – Total statutory report in previous year totaled 10 million yen or more, institutions which are granted the online residency application system
-A copy of the total statutory report, including withheld taxes
-Document to prove the organization belong to category 2 (前年分の職員の給与所得の源泉徴収票等の法定調書合計表)(Genzenchōshū-hyō)

or

Category 3 – Organizations who have submitted documentation regarding total income
-A copy of the total statutory report, including withheld taxes(前年分の職員の給与所得の源泉徴収票等の法定調書合計表)(Genzenchōshū-hyō)
-Tax certificate and tax payment certificate with gross income and taxes paid for one year (住民税の(非)課税証明書、納税証明書)(Jūminzei no (hi) kazei shōmei-sho, nōzei shōmei-sho)

or

Category 4 – Those who do not belong to any of the previous three
-refer to this page
-Tax certificate and tax payment certificate with gross income and taxes paid for one year (住民税の(非)課税証明書、納税証明書)(Jūminzei no (hi) kazei shōmei-sho, nōzei shōmei-sho)

—–
*In case the work is under a dispatch contract, the documents regarding that also need to be submitted
Intra-company transfereeCategory 1 – Public company, insurance business, local government agencies, approved charitable organizations, defined as innovative companies, satisfying certain conditions
-A copy of the report to show the company is listed/approved/certain conditions

or

Category 2 – Total statutory report in previous year totaled 10 million yen or more, institutions which are granted the online residency application system
-A copy of total statutory report, including withheld taxes
-Document to prove the organization belong to category 2 (前年分の職員の給与所得の源泉徴収票等の法定調書合計表)(Genzenchōshū-hyō)

or

Category 3 – Organizations who have submitted documentation regarding total income
-A copy of the total statutory report, including withheld taxes(前年分の職員の給与所得の源泉徴収票等の法定調書合計表)(Genzenchōshū-hyō)
-Tax certificate and tax payment certificate with gross income and taxes paid for one year (住民税の(非)課税証明書、納税証明書)(Jūminzei no (hi) kazei shōmei-sho, nōzei shōmei-sho)

or

Category 4 – Those who do not belong to any of the previous three
-refer to this page
-Tax certificate and tax payment certificate with gross income and taxes paid for one year (住民税の(非)課税証明書、納税証明書)(Jūminzei no (hi) kazei shōmei-sho, nōzei shōmei-sho)
Nursing-In case the work is under a dispatch contract, the documents regarding that also need to be submitted
-Tax certificate and tax payment certificate with gross income and taxes paid for one year (住民税の(非)課税証明書、納税証明書)(Jūminzei no (hi) kazei shōmei-sho, nōzei shōmei-sho)
Entertainer-Copy of a contract pertaining to the entertainer in question, including contract with contacting organization and/or performance facility (興行に係る契約書の写し)

-Documents outlining changes to contracting organization listed in previous applications (If you have it)

-Activity schedule (活動日程表)(Katsudō nittei-hyō)

-Tax certificate and tax payment certificate with gross income and taxes paid for one year (住民税の(非)課税証明書、納税証明書)(Jūminzei no (hi) kazei shōmei-sho, nōzei shōmei-sho)
Skilled laborCategory 1 – Public company, insurance business, local government agencies, approved charitable organizations, defined as innovative companies, satisfied certain conditions
-A copy of the report to show the company is listed/approved/certain conditions

or

Category 2 – Total statutory report in previous year totaled 10 million yen or more, institutions which are granted the online residency application system
-A copy of total statutory report, including withheld taxes
-Document to prove the organization belong to category 2 (前年分の職員の給与所得の源泉徴収票等の法定調書合計表)(Genzenchōshū-hyō)

or

Category 3 – Organizations who have submitted documentation regarding total income
-A copy of total statutory report, including withheld taxes(前年分の職員の給与所得の源泉徴収票等の法定調書合計表)(Genzenchōshū-hyō)
-Tax certificate and tax payment certificate with gross income and taxes paid for one year (住民税の(非)課税証明書、納税証明書)(Jūminzei no (hi) kazei shōmei-sho, nōzei shōmei-sho)

or

Category 4 – Those who do not belong to any of the previous three
-refer to this page
-Tax certificate and tax payment certificate with gross income and taxes paid for one year (住民税の(非)課税証明書、納税証明書)(Jūminzei no (hi) kazei shōmei-sho, nōzei shōmei-sho)
Specified skilled labor– Industry specific application forms, can be downloaded here

*As of Feb. 19, 2021, the newest versions of forms for specified skilled laborers are listed here
Technical intern training– Tax certificate and tax payment certificate with gross income and taxes paid for one year (住民税の(非)課税証明書、納税証明書)(Jūminzei no (hi) kazei shōmei-sho, nōzei shōmei-sho)
  • For a Japan Spouse or Child Visa:
Spouse or child of a Japanese nationalThe applicant is the spouse:
– Family register (stating marriage status)

– Tax certificate and tax payment certificate with gross income and taxes paid for one year (住民税の(非)課税証明書、納税証明書)(Jūminzei no (hi) kazei shōmei-sho, nōzei shōmei-sho)

– Spouse’s (Japanese national) guarantor form (身元保証書)

– Resident certificate of the Japanese spouse, listing every member of the household (住民票 世帯全員の記載)(Jūmin-hyō setai zen’in no kisai)

The applicant is the child (both biological and adopted):
– Japanese national’s guarantor form (身元保証書)

– Submission of proof of identity

– Resident certificate of the Japanese spouse, listing every member of the household (住民票 世帯全員の記載)(Jūmin-hyō setai zen’in no kisai)

Spouse or child of permanent resident– Family register (stating marriage status)

– Tax certificate and tax payment certificate with gross income and taxes paid for one year (住民税の(非)課税証明書、納税証明書)(Jūminzei no (hi) kazei shōmei-sho, nōzei shōmei-sho)

– Spouse’s (permanent resident) guarantor form (身元保証書)

– Resident certificate of the Japanese spouse, listing every member of the household (住民票 世帯全員の記載)(Jūmin-hyō setai zen’in no kisai)
Long-term residentPlease refer to this page to examine what long0term resident status do you currently hold

Here is the official web guide for what materials you need to submit under different visa status

Tips:

  • Make sure the certificates are issued within 3 months of their issuance
  • In most cases, if you are just missing one document, they will give you an envelope, so you can mail the missing document rather than make another trip.
  • They will make a photocopy of the important documents. However, there may be cases of never returning an official document. Ask before you submit anything.
  • If you cannot write kanji well, you can always download the form online and print it out before.
  • They have extra printed forms at the office in case you made any mistakes.
  • If the document is in any other language, make sure you translate it into Japanese
  • You can ask your family/friend to submit it for you, but make sure you bring a presentation of proof of identity (取次証明書/戸籍謄本)

Unsuccessful extension?

According to the guideline from MOJ, you should be able to extend your period easily unless you have done:

  1. Did not pay your insurance and nenkin, as well as did not file for tax
  2. Overworked (more than 28 hours per week)
  3. Broken law or caught in severe bad behavior
  4. You do not meet the criteria for staying in Japan
  5. Did not meet the required attendance rate for your classes

It is very unlikely that you will be granted the extension again once you are rejected once, but there are always cases that you can explain your situation if you have a valid reason.

Here are some unsuccessful cases that the MOJ posted. If you are interested, try to avoid these things.

Bottom Line

TLDR? It’s okay! We have compiled all the different web pages that are scattered all over MOJ’s website here for your reference.

The guideline of how to extending your residence (all language)

The application form for extending period of stay, all 17 types of visa

Materials to be submitted according to the status of residence

Disclaimer: We are not professional in this matter. This is only for educational purposes. Please refer to the Immigration Services Agency of Japan website or consult a professional administrative scrivener or lawyers for advice.

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