Home » How to Extend Your Period of Stay (Visa Renewal Guide) 2014

How to Extend Your Period of Stay (Visa Renewal Guide) 2014

When JETs arrive in Japan, they are given a three year visa. This visa is good for three years as long as you do not leave your job or change professions. So the question is, what happens when you’re in your third year on JET and you have decided to re-contract for another year?

For JETs going onto a fourth year, an Application for Extension of Period of Stay is necessary. The immigration offices start accepting these applications 3 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 can lose employment status in Japan.

The visa extension process is a bit time-consuming and involves a lot of paperwork. 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. So I recommend that you make your first trip at least a month and a half before your current visa expires.

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.

Note for ALTs

You will need to check with your contracting organization if you are classified as joukin (常勤)or hijoukin (非常勤), as this will determine what paperwork is required for the process. You will also need check if your BOE or school needs to fill out the “For organization” page of the application form.

Materials Needed for First Trip:

For Joukin ALTs:

    1. Application Form: http://www.moj.go.jp/content/000103522.pdf
      • “For applicant” pages should be filled out by the visa holder. “For organization” pages should be filled out by your contracting organization or school.
    2. A 4 cm x 3cm photograph that fulfills 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):000099242
    3. Passport
    4. Alien Registration Card or Resident Card

For Hijoukin ALTs:

    1. Application Form: http://www.moj.go.jp/content/000103522.pdf
      • “For applicant” pages should be filled out by the visa holder. “For organization” pages should be filled out by your contracting organization or school.
    2. A 4cm x 3cm photograph (same requirements as above)
    3. Passport
    4. Alien Registration Card or Resident Card
    5. Kazei Shoumeisho (課税証明書)available at local tax office or tax/revenue department in your municipal office>
    6. Nouzei Shoumeisho (納税証明書)available at local tax office or tax/revenue department in your municipal office

Supporting Documents That May Be Required for ALTs:

NOTE: Ask your supervisor if you need these, as necessary documents may vary.

Documents certifying the activity, its duration and position of the person concerned:

  • 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)

For CIRs:

  1. Application Form: http://www.moj.go.jp/content/000103532.pdf
    • “For applicant” pages should be filled out by the visa holder. “For organization” pages should be filled out by your contracting origination.
  2. A 4cm x 3cm photograph (same requirements as above)
  3. Passport
  4. Alien Registration Card or Resident Card
  5. Documents certifying the activity, its duration and position of the person concerned (please ask your supervisor and the immigration office for details)

Go to your Immigration Office of choice and take a number. Submit the necessary materials. If you end up missing any documents, the office may allow you to mail it in, but this is not a guarantee. 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.

Note: When you submit your documents, they will not be returned to you (with the exception of your passport and Alien Registration or Resident Card). So if you need to make copies, make sure you do so before you go to the immigration office.

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’s highly recommended you go during this period, but if you absolutely cannot, please call the immigration office to reschedule.

Materials Needed for Second Trip:

  1. Postcard from Immigration Office
  2. Passport
  3. Alien Registration Card or Resident Card
  4. 4,000 yen Revenue Stamp (Shunyu Inshi or 収入印紙)
    • Available at the post office, NOT 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 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.

Directions to the Takasaki Branch Office from JR Takasaki Station:

  1. Leave Takasaki station from the West Exit (西口).
  2. Go straight on the 31. At the intersection with the ガスト, the road will become the 29. Continue along the 29.
  3. Pass the Gunma Music Center and Symphony Hall on your right and the Takasaki City Gallery on your left. At the light (保険福祉事務所前), turn left.
  4. Pass the court house on your left (前橋地域裁判所高崎支部) and turn left at the next street.
  5. Go straight until you see the immigration office on your left (if you reach the hospital, you have gone too far).

Takasaki Immigration Office Map

Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau, Takasaki Branch Office

Takasaki Ministry of Justice General Office, 1st Floor
26-5 Takamatsu-cho, Takasaki City, 370-0829 (MAP: http://goo.gl/maps/VGO3A)
TEL: 027-328-1154
HOURS: 9:00 to 12:00, 13:00 to 16:00 (Closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays)

Finding Other Immigration Offices:

Follow this link: http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/info/index.html. 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.

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