02/09/2020

How to apply for re-entry, leave and re-enter Japan in the midst of COVID-19 after September 1 (as of August 31, 2020)

On August 28, the Japanese government announced a decision to allow foreign residents back into Japan starting September 1, as well as measures for foreign residents to leave and re-enter Japan after September 1. This article will explain how to do so with the proper procedures. 

To read about how to re-enter Japan if you are currently abroad (and left before August 31 with a re-entry permit), please take a look at our article about it:
Regarding Re-entry into Japan due to COVID-19 (as of Aug 25 2020)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Re-entry of foreign nationals with the status of residence

The conditions to leave and re-enter Japan

If you are currently planning to leave Japan and go to a place designated as subject to denial of landing, you must clear all of the following conditions. However, if you have no set plans to leave Japan, or if the day you plan to leave is more than a month away, please refrain from submitting a request.

  1. You have a valid re-entry permit

  2. You have a valid passport and residence card, and you can leave and come back with a special re-entry permit

This does not apply to the following:

  • Special Permanent Residents [Under Article 5, paragraph 1 of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, Special Permanent Residents are not subject to screening and are so these conditions are not applicable to them as they will not be denied entry in relation to COVID-19 preventative measures

  • If you have a “Diplomat” or “Official” status of residence

*Regarding Special Re-entry Permit

Foreign nationals who have a status of residence and a valid passport don’t need to obtain a regular re-entry permit as long as one returns to Japan within a year of leaving. (This applies to those other than those designated to stay 3 months or less or are in Japan under “Temporary Visitor”)

Special Re-entry Permit
http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/tetuduki/zairyuu/specialre-entrypermit.html

Ministry of Justice, “Request of intention to re-enter Japan for foreign nationals with status of residence currently residing in Japan

What to do before leaving Japan

1. Pledge to keep “additional epidemic prevention and control measures”

“Additional epidemic prevention and control measures” are to be tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of leaving the country/region you are staying in, obtain a Certificate of Testing of testing “Negative”, and to submit said certificate or a copy to Immigration upon arriving in Japan. Only people who pledge to keep these measures can undergo the procedure to request the ability to leave and re-enter Japan. 

2. Submit a request with intention to re-enter Japan

After September 1, if you have a plan to leave and re-enter Japan and pledge to keep the additional epidemic prevention and control measures, you can submit a request with intention to re-enter Japan via email with the following required information to the Immigration Service of Japan. An email sent with attachments will not be accepted, so you must type the information directly into the main body of the email. 

Send the e-mail to:

The email subject MUST be

再入国予定の申出について

Example of the main body of the e-mail:

特設ホームページ掲載の追加的防疫措置の内容を確認しました。再入国に当たっては,同措置に従うことを誓約します。
I have confirmed the additional quarantine measures on the dedicated website and pledge to comply with these measures when re-entering Japan.

再入国の予定は以下のとおりです。
My schedule for re-entry to Japan is as follows.

(1)在留カード番号(Residence Card Number):AB12345678CD

(2)国籍・地域(Country/Region):USA

(3)氏名(Name):TURNER ELIZABETH

(4)性別(Sex):Female      

(5)生年月日(DOB):19851231(yyyymmdd) ※以下日付の記載は同じ

(6)渡航予定先(Destination):USA

(7)出国予定年月日(Departure Date):20200910      

(8)出国予定港(Departure Port):NARITA     

(9)再入国予定年月日(Re-entry Date):20201001      

(10)再入国予定港(Re-entry Port):HANEDA

Points of caution:

*If you are leaving the country between September 1 (Tuesday) and September 6, 2020 (Sunday), please submit your request with intention to re-enter Japan to Immigrration directly at the airport.

*The e-mail will not be approved if there are mistakes or incorrect information.

*If the number of requests goes over airport capacity, accepting requests may be temporarily suspended.

*Each approved request can only be used once to reenter Japan.

*Requests from overseas will not be approved so you must do this before you leave Japan.

*There must be an approved request for each and every person. (So if you’re traveling with family, each person must have their own approved request.)

*The required information in the main body of the email must be written in single-byte alphanumeric characters (半角英数字).

3. Receive your approved request via email

Immigration will check your emailed request, and if they approve you as a person who can re-enter Japan, they will reply via email. The emailed reply is your official approved request which you will use upon re-entry, so make sure to save the data and or print out the email. 

4. When leaving the country

When you leave Japan, show your approved request at the airport to the immigration officers.

Ministry of Justice, “Request of intention to re-enter Japan for foreign nationals with status of residence currently residing in Japan”
Immigration Services of Japan「本邦滞在中の在留資格保持者の再入国手続の流れ」http://www.moj.go.jp/content/001327486.pdf

What to do upon re-entry to Japan

When you are returning to Japan, you must do the following.

Obtain a Certificate of Testing

Within 72 hours of returning to Japan, you must be tested for COVID-19 and obtain a Certificate of Testing documenting that you tested “Negative”. 

Caution

*You must use the following format and the medical staff in the country you are staying must fill out the form entirely in English. The doctor should sign or stamp their seal on the form. Should you use a different format, the information must be the same as in the following format.

*The approved samples and testing methods are listed in the following format. Anything other than those listed will not be accepted.

Format [Word Document]
Format for certificate of testing for COVID-19 required for re-entry to Japan by foreign nationals who have left Japan with a re-entry permit

When re-entering the country

When you arrive in Japan, you must be inspected for COVID-19 at the quarantine inspection station. After being tested, you must show your approved request and show your Certificate of Testing (or a copy). 

Summary

We have provided the procedure you need to take if you plan to leave and re-enter Japan after September 1, 2020. We hope it was helpful to you at this time. 

Again, if you are are currently abroad and need to re-enter Japan (and left before August 31 with a re-entry permit), please read our article about the procedures at the following:

Regarding Re-entry into Japan due to COVID-19 (as of Aug 25 2020)

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