Visa Extension

If you are a reappointed 3rd-year JET going into your 4th year, you must apply for a visa extension before your current visa expires. Staying in Japan even a day after the expiration date is illegal. The procedure is straight forward but you will need to obtain some paper work from your Contracting Organization (for Muni JETs, this will be your respective Board of Education, for Ken JETs, this will be the Prefectural Board of Education: Kencho). Note you can only apply for your visa extension three months before the expiration date.

Visa Extension versus Period of Stay
Visa extension essentially refers to “extending your period of stay in Japan.”  When you first arrived and acquired your Residence Card, your period of stay is probably listed as three years. The visa extension process is to further extend that for an additional 1~3 years.

Required Documents

1. Current valid passport and current visa (旅券 ryouken): if your passport expired and you renewed it but still have your valid visa in your old passport, you’ll need both passports
2. Residence Card (在留カード zairyuu kaado)
3. Application Form: You can download the application form from the Japanese Immigration Office Website’s ’Application for Extension for Period of Stay‘ page. The form JETs use is under #2 Activities to engage in language instruction at junior high schools and high schools, etc. There are a total of four pages. The fourth page will need to be filled in by your Contracting Organization and inkaned as well. Be sure to ask your Contracting Organization early as there is a lot of paperwork that needs to be done at your Contracting Organization before the use of their inkan is granted (keep in mind that the inkan is an official signature and just as you wouldn’t want your CO using your signature without your knowledge, the same applies vice versa). There is a common question amongst JETs regarding the “instructor” status. Even without qualifications you will be granted the extension.
4. 4,000 yen Revenue Stamp (収入印紙 shunyu inshi): This stamp can be obtained at the post office.
5. Other Verification Documents: This varies from office to office, but there is a possibility the Immigration Office may ask for other forms of verification regarding your employment, annual income or tax payment. Additional forms you could prepare are:

(a) Certificate of Employment (辞令 jirei): The Certificate of Employment is an official document from your contracting organization certifying that you are in fact employed by them.
(b) Statement of earnings (源泉徴収票 gensen choushuu hyou),
(c) Inhabitant-Tax Certificate of Taxation (住民税の課税証明書 juumin-zei no kazei shoumeisho): “This document verifies the amount of your inhabitant tax based on your income for one year from January 1st until December 31st.” (Translated from the following Tax Guide)  According to the Mie JET Guide page on Visa Extentions, “As residence tax payment requests don’t go out until June 1st, this will likely require speedy payment on your part. If your school or town pays this tax for you, you may have to pay it yourself and then be reimbursed later. You can pick this document up at your local city/town office from the Taxation Department (税務課 zeimu-ka) for a small fee.
(d) Certificate of Tax Payment (納税証明書 nouzei shoumeisho): “This is a document verifying that you had no instances of non-payment on your levied inhabitant tax.” (Translated from the following Tax Guide)  Basically, this is proof that you paid your inhabitant tax (by virtue of having no non-payments).  You will have to go to your local government office for this form as well.


Procedures

Extending your period of stay is a two-part process. The request cannot be processed in one day. You’ll need to submit the required documents on the first day and pick it up a second day. The process cannot be done through mail.

First Visit

Bring your passport, residence card, and application form, a 40 mm x 30 mm photo to your local Immigration Office (Naha or Kadena) and apply at the Immigration Desk. Turn in everything to the Immigration Officer.  They will check your documents and put a stamp on your card stating you are in the process of applying for an extension.They may ask you to fill in a postcard with your name and address.  The postcard will be sent to you notifying your visa is ready for pick-up. The process may take up to 2 weeks.

Second Visit

Bring the postcard, 4,000 yen application fee, your passport, and residence card. Turn in everything to the immigration desk and they will finalize your visa extension. They will need to make you a new residence card so the process may take a while. They will not update the visa information in your passport so your residence card will be your visa. Make sure you carry it with your when traveling internationally. For KenJETs, the Prefectural BOE will only provide 1 year extensions of contracts so you will most likely only be able to get 1 year extensions. If you choose to stay a 5th year you will need to repeat the process again next year.

Good luck and please keep in mind, Visa Extension Application is the responsibility of the JET, DO NOT EXPECT YOUR CONTRACTING ORGANIZATION TO DO EVERYTHING FOR YOU! For more information, please check the Immigration Division’s official English Website.


 

Returning JETs

For 3rd-5th year JETs finishing up your contracts, if you intend to stay in Japan for a few days/weeks after your contract you will need to change the status of your residency to a temporary visitor status. The documents and process is essentially similar to applying for a visa extension. You will need to submit the following documents:

1. Current valid passport and current visa (旅券 ryouken): if your passport expired and you renewed it but still have your valid visa in your old passport, you’ll need both passports
2. Residence Card (在留カード zairyuu kaado)
3. Application Form: You may also need to include a written explanation for you extension.
4. 4,000 yen Revenue Stamp (収入印紙 shunyu inshi): This stamp can be obtained at the post office.
5. Other Verification Documents: A document showing your last day of appointment (contract) and departure date (return ticket). You may possibly also need to show you have sufficient funds to stay in Japan during the requested extension time.

 

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2 thoughts on “Visa Extension

  1. I think there are some typos about the required forms the “tax payment certification forms are the “kazei shoumeisho 課税証明書” and the ”nouzei shoumeisho 納税証明書”

    The “zaishoku shoumeisho 在職証明書” is the “certificate of employment”

    I am not sure of what the “委嘱状 ishoku jyou” is and how it is related to renewing/extending a visa application for an ALT. As this page is the only JET Programme affiliated page mentioning it in relation to the visa extension application process.

    Like

    • Thanks for letting us know!

      I just went through and fixed everything. I don’t know who made the previous guide, but there was a lot typos for sure. Even some definitions of the forms on other JET pages were incorrect, and I consulted Japanese tax guides. I translated their exact definitions and included them in quotations.

      Brian
      Webmaster/CIR
      Zamami

      Like

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