Read below for information about traveling during the pandemic and instructions on how to renew your Residence Status (i.e. work visa) before it expires. In addition to referencing this website, it is important for you to be proactive about researching information relevant to your home country's travel restrictions, in addition to Japan's.
There is a Return to Japan Facebook Support Group that has thousands of active members from all over the world who share information on the most recent immigration restrictions as well as their own personal experiences re-entering Japan. We highly recommend that you join this page to stay updated on the ever-changing COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Click here for the travel forms required for your school.
Have you checked the expiration date on your Residence Card (zairyuu kaado)?
Forgetting to renew your Residence Card before it expires can result in serious legal repercussions. Please be sure to renew it via your local Immigration Bureau (in Kofu) before it expires. Typically, your work visa is only valid for 3 years, so if you plan on staying in Japan beyond that, you need to apply for a renewal BEFORE it expires. You can visit the Immigration Bureau in Kofu and start the renewal paperwork up to 3 months before it expires. Have your supervisor help you with the application process, and reference helpful websites like this one for further details on visa renewal.
Typically, you will need to prepare 4000 yen for fees, and take two (2) trips to the Immigration Bureau in Kofu. They are located near the North Exit of Kofu Station.When filling out the application form, you can leave the ‘legal representative’ section blank Click here for the application form.
You still need to make sure your visa is valid. For example, let’s say your visa expires on August 3rd, 2021, but your flight is the next day, August 4th 2021—you would still need to renew your visa before leaving. Failure to renew your visa could lead to problems at the airport when you try to leave Japan. If you get caught with an expired visa, you could end up facing detainment and subsequently deportation. We do NOT have the means to assist you if that occurs, so please take caution and renew your visa before it expires.
If you plan on staying in Japan after leaving JET, be sure to update the immigration bureau with your new address (if it changed), as well as your new employer. If your residence status has changed (for example, switching from an instructor to something other than teaching), then you need to fill out the necessary paperwork to notify immigration of these changes.