As a foreign resident, what is my status in your country? Every foreign resident must have a valid resident visa and must also register as an alien with his or her local municipality. What kinds of visas are available? There are many types of visitor and resident visas: single/multiple entry, short/long term, work, student and dependent visas. Your visa will depend upon your circumstances and history. Working visas come in different categories, such as Specialist in Humanities (for teachers, lawyers and other consultative occupations), Business Manager, Engineer, Inter-company, and specialized visas such as diplomatic visas. Spouses and minor, unmarried children can apply for dependent visas. Student visas require the school to provide documents. Depending on where you are from, tourist visas are valid for one week to three months. What is required to obtain these visas? A document called a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) will enable your local Japanese embassy to put a visa sticker in your passport. The visa will then request immigration authorities at the port of entry to give you a landing permit so that you may stay in Japan and engage in the activities that have been authorized. You will need a re-entry permit to leave the country and return on the same visa. Without this permit, your visa will be cancelled upon departure. Alien registration is required. Contact Crown Tokyo for more information. For work visas, your company must provide requested documentation. You will need to provide originals of documents such as diplomas, proof of employment, birth or marriage certificates. Tourist visas can be applied for at the Japanese Embassy or Consulate in your home country if you come from a country where they are necessary. Are spouses permitted and/or likely to find work? Spouses with a dependent visa can work (permission needed), but are limited by job qualifications and other factors. A dependent visa generally only allows up to 28 hours of work per week. Foreign language tutoring is a popular option for some spouses as a part-time job. For full-time work, the spouse’s employer must become the sponsor for a work visa. Many spouses find satisfaction in unpaid voluntary work and education. What are the main forms of identification and how does a newcomer obtain them? At this time in Japan, a resident ID is primarily the Residence Card. When you arrive on a proper resident visa, you will be given this photo ID card at the airport (children's cards do not have a photo, however.). When you move into your residence, you have two weeks to go to your local municipal office and complete the mandatory Residence Registration, which will appear on the back of your Residence Card. Immigration offices do not share your personal information with the municipal offices, so proof of family relationships will be required. Be sure to bring a photocopy of your marriage certificate for your spouse, and birth certificates with both parents' names for your children. All adults must carry their Residence Card at all times and it will be required at banks, police stations and other places. Are there any other important permits I must obtain, or places where I must register right away? The Re-entry Permit system has been abolished and replaced by a box to be ticked on your Embarkation / Disembarkation card as you temporarily exit Japan. Show the Immigration Control officer your Residence Card and the box properly ticked on the form, and you are able to travel freely in and out of Japan. Remember, children also MUST HAVE their Residence Cards with them as they travel, just as adults do. It is also advisable to register with your home country's embassy upon arrival. If you wish to bring your pet into Japan, please check pet import regulations as soon as possible, since rules are very strict and quarantine applies for most countries (up to six months). Additional permits and licenses include a driver's license, bicycle license and dog registration. These require your Residence Card with a residential address on the back, but are not critical during the first week. What items should I avoid bringing into the country? Do not bring the usual banned items (weapons, illegal drugs and pornography). Also, certain drugs that are legally prescribed in other countries are not sold in Japan and may require proof of doctor’s prescription. Before moving to Japan, please check on the availability of prescription and even non-prescription drugs that are important to you and your family. Automobiles are also very difficult to import. Is there anything else I should know about entering and remaining in the country legally? When arriving in Japan, please declare unaccompanied baggage (which includes your sea and air shipments) at customs. You will need this form stamped by customs to clear your shipment. The airline will provide the necessary forms. IMPORTANT NOTE: Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result.