Living Guide in Tokyo / RISE Corp.

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Acquiring a Certificate of Residence

Category : Japan

Acquiring a Certificate of Residence

What is a certificate of residence?

In Japan, there is a basic resident register which contains basic information used for clerical processing of various government matters for citizens living in this country (for example: national health insurance and pension procedures, etc.).

A certificate of residence is a document verifying your current address and other information registered in the basic resident register for the municipality where you live.

Information such as the following is listed.

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Address
  • Information related to national health insurance and pension enrollment

In addition, if you are a citizen of a foreign country, additional information about your nationality and residence qualification will be listed.

For example, if you entered Japan on a working visa such as “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services” and you are a foreign national with a residence card, a designation such as “Medium- to long-term resident” will be listed.

Medium- to long-term residents are required to complete the process for a certificate of residence (registration in the basic resident register).

When foreign nationals staying in Japan as medium- to long-term residents move to a new place in Japan (new address), they are required to submit an address registration form at the municipality offices (moving-in notification) within 14 days after beginning residence. In addition, foreign nationals with a short-term stay of three months or less cannot create a certificate of residence.

For medium- to long-term residents, this notification is an extremely important procedure. Make sure you submit it as soon as your new address is finalized. If you don’t complete this address registration notification, it could cause delays in starting work at your place of employment, so be careful.

In Japan, regardless of your nationality, submitting a copy of your certificate of residence is a standard part of the employee registration procedure when a company hires you.

How to get your certificate of residence (copy)?

After you have completed the address registration (moving-in notification) process explained above, you will be able to get a copy of your certificate of residence.

There are three main methods for acquiring this document.

  • At the ward office: Apply for a copy of your certificate of residence at ward office where you registered your address.     
  • Local government administrative services counter: These facilities are often established near train stations and other public areas. This is a convenient option when a service counter is closer than the ward office.   
  • Convenience store: If you have a My Number Card, you can use a convenience store copy machine to print your certificate of residence. Foreign nationals can also apply for a My Number Card. Convenience store printing is not available in all municipalities, so be sure to confirm with the local government in the applicable area.

In addition, a certificate of residence copy is also required for purchasing or renting housing in some cases. 

*Generally valid for three months from the day of issue.