A foreign national residing in Japan who wish to flight out from Japan and return back within the period of stay granted under his/ her current Status of Residence has to hold a valid re-entry permit. In case if this re-entry permit expires, his/ her current Status of Residence will lapse.
There are 2 systems of re-entry permit: 1. Re-entry and 2. Special re-entry (みなし再入国許可 Minashi Sai-nyukoku Kyoka).
1. Re-entry system
There are 2 types of re-entry system: single re-entry and multiple re-entry. Single re-entry permit is valid only once and multiple re-entry permit can be used multiple times until its date of expiry.
- The period of validity for re-entry permit is determined within the current permitted period of stay for up to five years (six years for special permanent residents).
- A revenue stamp of 3,000 JPN for single re-entry or 6,000 JPN for multiple re-entry permit stamped on the Certificate for Payment of Fee will be needed at the time of approval.
- This re-entry permit could be extended just once at the Japan Embassy or Consulate overseas under specific circumstances.
To apply for re-entry permit, please visit your nearest Immigration Bureau with application form (can be downloaded from the Immigration website), valid passport and resident card before your departure.
2. Special re-entry system
Special re-entry system allows foreign nationals who are staying in Japan with the status of residence and possess a valid passport to re-enter Japan without applying for re-entry permit at the Immigration Bureau.
- The period of validity for a Special re-entry permit is one year from the date of the departure from Japan.
- When the permitted period of stay expires before one year from the date of the departure from Japan, the period of validity for the Special re-entry permit will be until the expiration date of the period of stay.
The period of validity for a Special re-entry permit for Special Permanent Residents is for two years from the date of the departure.
Special re-entry permit cannot be extended overseas.
Foreign nationals falling under any of the followings are not eligible for Special re-entry permit, and are required to obtain an ordinary re-entry permit:
- A foreign national whose status of residence is under procedures for revocation
- A foreign national whose confirmation of departure is being deferred
- A foreign national whose written detention order has been issued
- A foreign national who stays in Japan with the status of residence "Designated Activities", applying for recognition of refugee status
Those who wish to depart from Japan using the Special re-entry system have to present a valid passport and resident card to the Immigration officer and show the intention to depart from Japan with Special re-entry system (or will be back in Japan within one year). Please also check the corresponding item on the Re-entry and Departure Record (Re-entry ED Card).
As a conclusion, if you are a medium and long-term Status of Residence holders with valid passport and wish to return back to Japan within one year from the date of departure, you can leave and come back without special procedure at the Immigration, just check the corresponding item on your Re-entry ED Card.
In case if your date of return might be longer than one year from the date of departure or not sure for the arrival date, then it might be safer to apply for Re-entry permit prior to your departure at your nearest Immigration Bureau.