The Government of Japan (GOJ) instituted a new Registry Management System on July 9, 2012. Under the new system, alien resident cards will be issued to long-term foreigners in Japan in a legal status. This may be a cause of concern for those living in Japan illegally, however, since the new system will essentially eliminate their “existence,” even if they had been recognized under the old alien registration system.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN POINTS OF THE NEW REGISTRY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM?
According to the Asahi Shimbun:
“The new resident cards will be issued to all foreigners who remain in Japan for more than three months. The cards have IC chips to prevent forgeries and contain a photo as well as information such as name, citizenship, address and residence status.
The card also states the conditions under which the holder can work.
Foreigners who enter Japan with the intention of staying for more than three months will be issued the resident card when arriving at Narita, Haneda, Chubu and Kansai airports. Those who arrive at other ports of entry must go to a municipal government office to receive the card.
Those with old alien registration cards need to switch to the resident cards before the end of their periods of stay or within three years.
Foreigners already registered in Japan will be issued a new resident card at their municipal government offices when they report changes in address.
After obtaining the resident card, the foreigners will be registered in the basic resident register, like Japanese citizens.
Under the new system, the maximum limit of resident status will be extended to five years from the old limit of three years. Re-entry permits will no longer be needed if the resident card holder returns to Japan within one year of departure.
While the new system may be more convenient for foreigners with legal status in Japan, the revised law is tougher on complacency, deception and those who overstay their visas.”
The new system of residence management for foreign residents combines information collected via the Immigration Control Act and the Alien Registration Law respectively. Some of the key points:
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SIGNIFICANT CHANGES UNDER THE NEW SYSTEM?
HOW LONG IS THE NEW ID CARD VALID?
WHAT ARE THE NEW PERIODS OF STAY IN JAPAN FOR FOREIGNERS?
One of the benefits of the new system is that it ensures further convenience for such persons by extending the maximum period of stay in Japan from three years to five years. Additionally, a system of “presumed permit of re-entry,” which essentially exempts the need to file an application for permission for re-entry when re-entering Japan within one year of departure.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR NON-COMPLIANCE?
For additional information:
Visit the GOJ’s Ministry of Justice website for further information at http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/newimmiact_1/en/index.html or contact the Immigration Information Center at 0570-013904 (hours of operation: 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., Monday – Friday).