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From Immigration Bureau of Japan's website

Because the JET Instructor visa (status of residence) has a 3 year duration, JETs in their third year as well as JETs of any year who are changing professions in Japan must ensure that their status of residence remains valid. The status of residence process will differ depending on what the JET plans to do following their time on JET. In general however, there are three processes JETs should be aware of:

When to ApplyEdit

JETs Extending their stay should submit their application about 3 months before the change will go into effect. For the majority of JETs this means you should be submitting applications in March or April for changes to go into effect at the end of your contract period in July.

JETs seeking a Temporary Visitor Status or a Change in Status should wait until immediately before the end of their contract period as you will no longer legally allowed to work after your Visa Status has been changed.

Where to ApplyEdit

All applications must be submitted in person to the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau.

Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau
5-5-30 Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8255
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Telephone number:

03-5796-7111
Business and Employment Inspection Department (Residence status)
03-5796-7252

Office hours:

9:00 to 12:00, and 13:00 to 16:00 (NOT OPEN on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays).

It’s recommended to start queueing at the building at 8am. Mondays and Fridays are busy days. If you are going during a work day, make sure that no-one will be surprised if you don’t return to work by the end of your shift. Be aware that, as long as you get a numbered ticket, you will be seen on that day irrespective of the closing time.

DirectionsEdit

In the Bureau building, go straight ahead and up the escalator. Head to the pre-check counter slightly to your left. There you have to show your Change of Status form, your passport and your residence card. The officers can ask for further evidence too. After the check, they’ll give you a numbered ticket and a blank postcard. Fill in the postcard with your own address. You don’t have to put a stamp on.

Next, wait in the larger area directly behind you (to the left of the escalator) for your number to be called. The officers there will tell you the documents they want to see. If they’re satisfied, they’ll take your postcard and give you a receipt slip to sign. The postcard will be sent to you when their checks are finished.

Standard Processing Time at the Shinagawa Immigration Office is 2 weeks to a month. Keep checking your post. If you’re moving, remember to change your postal address here: https://www.post.japanpost.jp/service/tenkyo/index_en.html. When you get the card, return to the same immigration office. Be careful: the postcard has a time limit. If you can’t get back to immigration by the deadline, call them right away.

In the Bureau building, head up the escalator again and this time to the counters on the right. The officers there will perform the same sort of checks as at the pre-check counter; they’ll keep your passport and residence card. Pay the fee with revenue stamps. You can buy these in the FamilyMart on the first floor; 4000 yen is the current rate. They’ll give you another numbered ticket so loiter around that counter until your number is called. Voila.

If you have any questions during all this, there is an advice counter on the ground floor. If you intend to rely on their information, try and get the advice written down and stamped.

How to ApplyEdit

Change of StatusEdit

Situation: A JET is changing to a different line of work in Japan

JETs move to Japan using a special Instructor visa that is reflected in the 教育 (kyouiku) or Instructor status listed on your residence card. JETs will need to change their status of residence if they plan to change to a different line of work in Japan. Your new employer may apply for your new working visa for you or they may request that you complete the application yourself.

To submit the application forms and receive the new Period of Stay/Status of Residence, it is necessary to visit the Regional Immigration Bureau at least twice.

JETs applying for a change in status of residence will need:

  1. Valid passport
  2. Residence card
  3. Photo for your new Residence Card (4cm×3cm) 1copy
  4. ¥4,000 Revenue Stamp (shunyu inshi, 収入印紙)
    1. A revenue stamp can be purchased at a convenience store or post office. Simply ask for a shunyu inshi (収入印紙) and specify the amount as ¥4,000.
  5. Change of Status of Residence application form (Please choose the form which is most relevant to your new line of work.)
    1. The "For Organization" pages of your application should be filled out by your new employer.
  6. The additional required materials differ based on the type of new employment. Please consult this list on the Immigration Bureau's website.


Extension of StayEdit

Situation: A JET is staying on the JET program beyond their Date of Expiration (Date of Expiration can be found on the lower half of your Residence Card)

JETs that plan to remain on the JET Program for more than three years, will need to submit the application forms and receive the new Period of Stay/Status of Residence. It will be necessary to visit the Regional Immigration Bureau at least twice.

Please read the Visa Renewal page for detailed directions.

JETs applying for an extension of period of stay will need:

  1. Valid passport
  2. Residence card
  3. Photo for your new Residence Card (4cm×3cm) 1copy
  4. ¥4,000 Revenue Stamp (shunyu inshi, 収入印紙) UPDATE: You may not need this item.
    1. A revenue stamp can be purchased at a convenience store or post office. Simply ask for a shunyu inshi (収入印紙) and specify the amount as ¥4,000.
  5. Extension of Stay application form
    1. The "For Organization" pages of your application should be filled out by your school.
    2. Make a copy of your form before you apply, as any later applications will have to be consistent with it. There’s a photocopy machine in the FamilyMart on the first floor of the Shinagawa Office.
  6. JET Contract
  7. Income Tax Withholding Statement (Issued with your paycheck in January each year)
  8. Tax Certificate (Kazei Shoumeisho, 課税証明書), available at the tax/revenue department in your ward/city office
  9. Proof of Tax Payment (Nouzei Shoumeisho, 納税証明書), available at local tax office or tax/revenue department in your ward/city office

Temporary Visitor StatusEdit

Situation: A JET is leaving Japan AFTER their Date of Expiration (Date of Expiration can be found on the lower half of your Residence Card)

Third year JETs who intend to leave Japan upon completion of their JET contract may have a date of departure that is after the expiration date on their residence card. Foreigners without a valid status of residence can be detained or deported at any time while in OR leaving Japan. To ensure a smooth departure, JETs in this situation will need to apply for temporary visitor status.

In addition, JET participants wishing to look for work in Japan after finishing their term of appointment can submit a Certificate of Employment (zaishoku shōmeishō), obtained from their contracting organization, to the Regional Immigration Bureau to prove they have finished their term on the JET Program in order to request a Status of Residence as Temporary Visitor for up to 90 days.

Applying for a temporary visitor status will take only one visit to the immigration bureau.

JETs applying for temporary visitor status will need:

  1. Valid passport
  2. Residence card
  3. Change of Status of Residence application form
    1. The "For Organization" pages of your application should be filled out by your school.
  4. Other support documents that may be asked for:
    1. Travel itinerary (including date of departure) / copy of your plane ticket
    2. JET Contract or Employment Certificate to show your end of contract date
    3. Explanation of what you will be doing in Japan until you leave
    4. ¥4,000 Revenue Stamp (shunyu inshi, 収入印紙). A revenue stamp can be purchased at a convenience store or post office. Simply ask for a shunyu inshi (収入印紙) and specify the amount as ¥4,000.

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