[Important] It is a big problem if you do not renew your residence permit before it expires


Residence card has an expiration date

Foreigners staying in Japan for the medium to long term must carry a residence card.

The residence card has an expiration date, but basically, the expiration date is the same as the authorized period of stay in Japan with the current residence status.

Therefore, when the expiration date expires, in many cases it is better to apply for renewal of the residence status itself instead of renewing the residence card.

However, if you have a long-term residence status/visa (e.g., permanent resident, etc.) that allows you to stay in Japan for a long time, your residence card may expire before you need to renew your residence status.

In this case, you must apply to renew your residence card before its expiration date.

Cases in which the residence card may expire

If any of the following cases apply to you, your residence card may expire during your stay in Japan, so you must apply for an extension before it expires.

  • If you are staying in Japan with a permanent resident status
  • If you are staying in Japan with the residence status of a highly skilled professional (ii).
  • If you are under 16 years old (the expiration date of the residence card is the 16th day)

If you are a permanent resident or a highly skilled professional (ii), your residence card is valid for 7 years from the date of issue. If you are under 16 years old, your residence card will expire on your 16th birthday.

You can apply to renew your residence card several months before it expires, so you should complete the renewal process as soon as possible. 

If your residence card has expired

If the expiration date of the residence card coincides with the duration of your residence status, the expiration of the residence card means that you are now in Japan illegally.

If you do not pay attention to the expiration date, you may be deported. Therefore, you need to contact the Immigration Bureau as soon as possible.

If a permanent resident’s residence card has expired, it is not an illegal stay, but if you fail to renew your residence card, you may face sanctions.

When the length of stay expires at renewal

It takes about 2 weeks to 1 month after you apply to complete the process to renew your length of stay.

If you apply for renewal just before your period of stay expires, your period of stay may expire while your renewal application is being reviewed.

If you applied for the extension of your period of stay in advance, a two-month exemption will apply even if your residence card expires, so you do not have to worry about it expiring.