Pay attention to the expiration date of your visa – renewal of the residence card for a permanent residence visa


Many foreigners living in Japan choose to obtain a permanent residence visa because the length of stay is not limited and you are free to choose your occupation. However, the permanent residence visa card needs to be renewed regularly. In this article, you will learn how to renew your permanent residence visa card. 

Renewal of the permanent residence visa

The permanent resident visa gives foreigners the right to stay in Japan without any restriction on the length of stay while retaining the citizenship of their home country.
Therefore, the permanent residence visa does not need to be renewed. However, the residence card has an expiration date and must be renewed before it expires.

  • What is a residence card?

This card is issued to foreigners who are staying in Japan for the medium to long term (3 months or longer). It is not issued to those with short-term residence status or stays of 3 months or less.

A residence card is a card issued together with a permit, such as a landing permit, a permit to change residence status, and a permit to extend the duration of residence.

There are 29 residence statuses (visa types) in Japan. If you qualify for one of these statuses, you will receive a residence card as proof that you entered the country legally.

  • Contents of the residence card

Information such as name, date of birth, gender, nationality/region, place of residence, residence status, length of stay, presence or absence of work restrictions, expiration date, etc.

On the reverse side are the address column, the column for permission to engage in activities other than those permitted under your residence status, and the column for requesting an extension of the period of residence, etc.

The name of the holder is written in Latin letters as it appears on the passport.

An IC chip is built in to prevent forgery.

You must report the change if any of the information on the residence card changes.

Regular renewal of the residence card is also required for permanent residents

The residence card is issued to foreigners residing in Japan on a medium to long-term basis (3 months or longer) and has an expiration date.

The validity period of the residence card for a permanent resident visa is 7 years. However, if the permanent resident is younger than 16, the expiration date of the residence card is the 16th birthday.

Procedure for renewal of the residence card

Renewal of a residence card for a permanent resident visa can be done starting 2 months before the expiration date of the current residence card. If the expiration date is your 16th birthday, you can renew the card 6 months before your birthday.

To renew your residence card, you will need the following.

  • Application form
  • Current residence card
  • Passport
  • Face photo (taken within 3 months, without a hat, 3 x 4 cm, 1 photo).

Renewal applications may be made at the nearest regional immigration office. It is free of charge.

The residence card is usually issued on the same day.

If your residence card has expired

If your residence card expires and you do not complete the renewal process, you will be considered an illegal resident and face criminal and administrative sanctions.

The Criminal Code provides for imprisonment with or without labor for up to three years or a fine of up to 3 million yen.
Also note that you may face deportation (enforced repatriation, expulsion from the country) as an administrative measure.


The validity period of the residence card for a permanent resident visa is 7 years. However, if the permanent resident is under 16 years of age, the residence card expires on the permanent resident’s 16th birthday.