Going to crowded immigration bureaus is risky
With the spread of COVID-19 worldwide, it is now taking a lot of time to go through immigration procedures.
The Immigration Services Agency of Japan is the administrative sector responsible for immigration control, such as issuing visas to people leaving or coming to Japan. The agency is now coping with a great amount of operations, caused by sudden increase in the number of people having to go back to their home countries or extend their stay due to the spread of COVID-19.
Going to crowded immigration bureaus is unsafe, since close contact with others can lead to the spread of COVID-19. To ease congestion, the agency is now taking following measures.
Deadline for procedures deferred by 3 months
Foreign residents whose visa expires/expired in March, April, May, June or July (updated 5/21) can apply for an extension or a change in its status until 3 months after the expiration date. In short, the deadline for the procedure has been deferred by 3 months.
Those staying in Japan under a “temporary visitor” status are also eligible.
*Please note this does not cover those staying in Japan under a “designated activities” visa.
In addition, if you live in Japan and have a baby, you must apply for and obtain a resident card for the baby if 1) the baby’s nationality is not Japanese and if 2) he/she will be in Japan for a period of 60 days or longer. You also have an additional 3 months for this procedure if your child is born between Jan 31, 2020 and July 31, 2020 (updated 5/21). The deadline is 61 days +3 months after birth.
(Update: 5/21) Regarding resident cards (在留カード; zairyu card): If you are applying to change the status of residence or period of residency, you must normally receive the results within 2 months after the last day of the “period of stay” indicated on your card. However, right now you also have 3 additional months to receive the results, i.e. the deadline is 5 months after the last day of your period of stay.
You can check the necessary procedures and documents here.
You can submit notifications for changes such as of schools and jobs online
If you are a “long-term resident” visa holder, you need to submit notifications when you change jobs or schools. You can do this procedure online, 24 hours a day; you do not have to go to the immigration bureau near you. You can access the online submission system here (Japanese only).
Try not to go to immigration bureaus if not urgent
It is preferable to avoid crowded places in order to avoid the spread of COVID-19. If you have any questions regarding changes or renewals in your residence qualification, check the “Immigration Services Agency of Japan” website or call the center below.
Immigration Information Center (Monday to Friday, 8:30AM-5:35PM)
- TEL：03-5796-7112 (IP, PHS, Overseas)
Official website of the Immigration Services Agency of Japan