The Japanese Visa Series, Chapter 8: Change of Status of Residence
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Grant yourself a smooth transition
[Updated August 14, 2019]
Welcome again to a new episode of our visa series - we have been planning an article to help you to get through the change of status application! Having said so, and before moving any further: are you up-to-date with the latest chapters? Last time we gave you some clues to land in Japan as a trainee, so don't forget to check it out!!
When you have been based in Japan for some time, you have to deal with the Immigration Bureau. No. Matter. What. That means you will likely become a veteran, a walking encyclopedia of Japanese Immigration laws. Your stay in Japan is going to be determined by expiry dates, visa types and changes of status, so it’s better if you start to get used to the basic terminology.
But wait… what is a change of status?
If you are already living in Japan under any type of long-term visa, you may have to change your visa status. Some of the most common reasons to ask the Immigration office for a change of status are:
- Finding a full-time job (if you are not under a regular working visa)
- Getting married or divorced
- Wanting to stay in Japan after the working holiday
- Switching jobs between different categories
If you fall under any of those cases or you need to switch categories for any other reason, you will have to undergo the process to change your status of residence.
As always, you will be required to submit documents enough to support your application. The following list contains the documents needed in case of switching jobs:
- Your passport
- Your 在留カード (zairyu caado, residence card)
- Documents related to your new company (your contract, tax reports, statement of activities, and any other documents asked by the Immigration Bureau - we highly recommend you to check in advance)
- A 退職証明書 (taishoku shomeisho, letter of release) from your former company
- Application for Change of Status of Residence form correctly filled (don’t fill it over the counter, please!)
- A 就労資格証明書 (shūrō shikaku shōmeisho, certificate of authorized employment), which is a document that ensures your former and new jobs fall into the same category
- If you apply just before your current visa is going to expire, you will be automatically granted with a 2 months extension, during which the application will be reviewed and resolved.
- You are allowed to travel outside Japan during the extension period if you come back before the expiry date of the 2 months term.
- This process does not apply if you are aiming to get a Permanent Visa. That procedure is completely different and you have to keep your visa up-to-date until you get the result notified.
- If your application is rejected, you will be given with a temporally status that allows you to stay 3 months in order to prepare for departure.
- It is possible to change from a short-term visa (tourist visa) to a working visa under exceptional circumstances, but you will have to apply for the COE in that case.
- The cost of the process is 4,000 yen (to be paid in revenue stamps).
If you have been a proper citizen (that means you have been paying your taxes and you haven’t been charged in the country), you will likely receive your brand-new visa within 1 to 3 months, depending on the time the Immigration Bureau needs to review your documents.
*Visa applicants are responsible for their own application and IZANAU cannot be held responsible if authorities applied changes after the redaction of this article.