This website is made by JET's, for JET's. We are NOT visa specialists. The information provided is what other JET's have found useful in the past. Always double check your information from an official source.
Information largely borrowed from Gunma PA Jaime Ota's 2013 Visa Renewal Guide. For reference, here is the Japanese Immigration page.
Who needs to review their visa?
For JETs going onto a fourth year, an Application for Extension of Period of Stay is necessary. This means third years who are recontracting will need to renew their visa. In some cases, fourth years who were previously granted only a one year renewal will need to renew their visa.
When JETs arrived in Japan, they were given a three year visa. This visa is good for three years as long as you do not leave your job or change professions.
When do i renew my visa?
The immigration offices start accepting applications for Extension of Period of Stay three months before your visa expires. Just remember that you need to have your visa renewed before your current visa expires – if you even go one day over your visa expiration date, you run the very real risk of losing employment status in Japan.
Scroll down to “Immigration Information Center”, and click on whichever area is closest to you.
Click again on the branch office in the area closest to you. Make sure the branch office lists “Resident Inspection” under their services.
As of May 9, 2014, the Oita Branch Office is open 9:00 to 12:00, and 13:00 to 16:00 except for Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays. (1st floor Oita Homu Sogo Chosha, 7-5 Niage-machi, Oita City, Oita)
Taking leave for Visa renewal
What kind of leave you have to take to renew your visa will be up to your contracting organization. It may be special leave (tokkyu) or it may be paid leave (nenkyu). The immigration office can be pretty crowded, so I would recommend taking the entire day off and going in the morning.
How do I renew my Visa?
You must make a minimum of two trips to the immigration office. The second trip is usually two or three weeks after your first trip, provided that there was no issue with your paperwork. I recommend that you make your first trip at least a month and a half before your current visa expires. *Reminder that you can start applying three months beforehand! Get it done ASAP!
First Trip: Materials
Application Form ○ For ALTs, it will be this form ○ For CIRs, it will be this form
**"For applicant" pages should be filled out by the visa holder. "For organization" pages should be filled out by your Contracting Organization or school (please check with your supervisor about which).
2. 4 cm x 3cm Photograph which fulfill these requirements: ○ Applicant must be alone and be facing forward without any head covering ○ Background should be plain with no shadow ○ Must be sharp and clear ○ Must have been taken within 3 months prior to submission ○ Approximately these dimensions (in millimeters):
4. Alien Registration Card/Resident Card
You may also need supporting documents. These may include: Documents certifying the activity, its duration and position of the person concerned, such as:
Reappointment Intention Form
Employment Terms & Conditions/Contract in Japanese
Statement of Earning for previous year (gensen choushuu hyo or 源泉徴収票)
Certificate of Employment (zaishoku shomeisho or 在職証明書).
Documents certifying an annual income and tax payment, such as:
Kazei Shoumeisho (課税証明書), available at local tax office or tax/revenue department in your municipal office
Nouzei Shoumeisho (納税証明書), available at local tax office or tax/revenue department in your municipal office
*NOTE: Ask your supervisor/local immigration office about what you exactly need for this/if you need these, as the necessary documents may vary.
First Trip Procedure
Go to your Immigration Office of choice and take a number. (Oita Branch Office) When your number is called, submit the necessary materials. *If you submit your paperwork and everything seems to be in order, they will give you a post card to write down your name and address on. They will send this postcard to you once they are ready for you to come back to finish the visa extension process. **If you end up missing any documents, the office may allow you to mail it in, but this is not a guarantee.
When you get the postcard in the mail, it will state the period of time you have to go back to the office and finish the process. It is highly recommended that you go during this period. However, if you absolutely cannot, please call the immigration office to reschedule.
Note: When you submit your documents, they will not be returned to you (with the exception of your passport and Alien Registration/Resident Card). So if you need to make copies, make sure you do so before you go to the immigration office.
Materials Needed for Second Trip:
Postcard the immigration office sent you
Alien Registration Card/Resident Card
4,000 yen Revenue Stamp (Shunyu Inshi or 収入印紙) **Available on the second floor of the Immigration Office
Go back to the immigration office and take a number. When your number is called, give them your post card, passport, and Alien Registration Card/Resident Card. You will probably make your payment at this time. They will give you a paper to stick the revenue stamp on, and you’ll fill out how much you paid, what for, and sign the sheet.
You’ll probably have to wait a bit again as they make your new Resident Card. Once it’s finished, you’ll be called up again and be given your new card and your passport back.
Congratulations! Your visa had been renewed and extended. If you look at your Resident Card, it states how long your renewed visa is and when it expires.
IMPORTANT NOTE: No new visa stamp will be placed in your passport. Basically, your Resident Card is your visa.