31/03/2022

Visa Renewal in Japan Just Got Easier: Renew Online with a My Number Card

As a foreign resident in Japan, “Status of Residence” or “Visa Status” is very important. For a long time now, foreign residents have had to make trips to immigration for “visa-related activities” like changing visa status or visa renewal/extension. These procedures can be inconvenient with long waiting times, weekday services only which means taking time off work, and long-distance travel for those living far from an immigration branch office. The good news is that Japan is working to remedy the problem.

In a statement released by the Ministry of Justice, from 16 March 2022 onwards, the Online Residence Application System is now available to individuals that hold My Number cards. Previously, the online service was limited only to lawyers or representatives from organizations. 


Table of Contents

  1. Expansion of Japan’s Online Residence Application System
    1. Who can use the Online Residence Application System?
    2. What residence applications are there? 
    3. What do I need to use the Online Residence Application System?
  2. Q&A About Online Residence Application System
    1. Can I apply from outside Japan? 
    2. Can I use a smartphone instead of a PC?
    3. What do I do if my input details are incorrect?
    4. How do I get a My Number Card?
  3. Official Sources

Expansion of Japan’s Online Residence Application System 

In April 2021, the Online Residence Application System was introduced to improve the visa renewal, extension, and changing processes. However, the system was only available to use by lawyers and representatives of organizations. Individuals, of which were the majority, still had to visit the immigration offices. 

On 15 March 2022, a statement was released informing of new changes to the system - individuals with my Number Card can now use the services + introducing additional acceptable applications. 

※ MOJ, “オンラインによる在留申請手続の対象範囲の拡大について

Who can use the Online Residence Application System? 

  1. ※NEW※ Foreign Residents 

  2. ※NEW※ Legal Representative

  3. ※NEW※ Family Member (Spouse, Child, Parent)

  4. Institution (Received Request from Applicant)

  5. Lawyer / Administrative Scrivener

  6. Public Interest Corporation / Registered Support Organization Staff 

What residence applications are accepted?  

The following can be submitted online:

Application for…

  1. ※NEW※Spouse or Child of Japanese

  2. ※NEW※Spouse of Child of Permanent Resident

  3. ※NEW※Long Term Resident

  4. Certificate of Eligibility

  5. Extension of Period of Stay

  6. Change of Status of Residence

  7. Permission to Engage in Activity other than that Permitted under Status of Residence

  8. Permission to Acquire Status of Residence

  9. Certificate of Authorized Employment

  10. Re-entry Permission

What do I need to use the Online Residence Application System?

Before you can use the system, you will need to register as a user. 

Prepare the following and proceed with registration. 

  1. My Number Card

  2. Residence Card

  3. PC 

  4. IC Card Reader

  5. JPKI Client Software (Download here.)

After receiving a confirmation email, you can submit applications online. 

Q&A About Online Residence Application System

Can I apply from outside Japan? 

No, the Online Residence Application System is not accessible outside Japan. The system also cannot be accessed if your IP address is set to overseas.

Can I use my smartphone instead of a PC? 

It is not recommended as the system is not optimized for smartphones or mobile phones.

What do I do if my input details are incorrect? 

Please contact the Immigration Branch Office that received your application. 

How do I get a My Number Card?

Read our article: 
What’s My Number Card in Japan? What’s it for and how do I get one?

Official Sources 

MOJ, Leaflet (Bilingual - Japanese/English)
https://www.moj.go.jp/isa/content/001369054.pdf

MOJ, Online Residence System Process from March 2022 onwards (Japanese)
https://www.moj.go.jp/isa/content/001368775.pdf

MOJ, 15 March 2022 Statement, Online Residence Application System Scope Expansion (Japanese)
https://www.moj.go.jp/isa/publications/press/10_00093.html

MOJ, Online Procedure for Residence Application Main Page (Japanese)
https://www.moj.go.jp/isa/applications/guide/onlineshinsei.html

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