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  • Gaijin Card

    Recently I've been reading a couple things on this forum about Gaijin Cards and I'm getting a little nervous because it seems like it is something that is hard to get. My understanding from what I heard was that it was a relative non-issue but here are a couple Questions that I hope someone can clear up for me.

    Just to clear up a couple things because I will be in Japan on a Working Holiday soon - Do you have to have a permanent residence to get a Gaijin card? Do you have to be working? If I get a Gaijin card in Osaka, is it only valid in (I believe its Hyogo Ken?) its own Ken and perhaps a few surrounding Ken? Do I need to get a new Gaijin card everytime I change cities/prefectures/island(I.E. Honshu, Kyushu)?


  • #2
    Re: Gaijin Card

    Once you have a work/study visa and have arrived in Japan, you have 90 days to get your Certificate of Alien Registration, the so-called 'gaijin card' from the ward or city office closest to your home. Don't forget to bring your passport, 40mm x 30mm photos and then carry the thing with you at all times (you can, in theory, be fined for not doing so). If you change your Status of Residence, you have two weeks to go to the same office and get them to modify the card. Same goes for any changes of name, nationality, work address or home address - take the documents certifying the change with you when you go. Likewise, if you get a new passport, you need to transfer the endorsements (visa, landing permission etc.) into your new passport.

    Cards are valid for all of Japan.

    There are many countries in the world that require foreigners to register with the authorities, and carry their ID with them at all times; Japan is certainly not unique in that respect.

    If you are here legally, it is quite straightforward.

    th

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    • #3
      Re: Gaijin Card

      th is right. No matter if you work or not. For example an exchange student still needs to get one. Once you have your visa and come to Japan, you need to go to your local city hall and get your gaijin card. Don't forget your two passport sized photos. It is absolutely painless.

      THANK GOD they don't require you thumb print anymore.

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      • #4
        Re: Gaijin Card

        But if you move to Japan on a tourist visa to look for a job you can NOT get one, And doing this is completly legal.

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        • #5
          Re: Gaijin Card

          If I am staying in a Gaijin house or a Youth Hostel, will this cause any problem? Will I need some kind of proof? What if I decide to travel for like 2 months? will I have to change my card everytime I switch cities?

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          • #6
            Re: Gaijin Card

            Cref,
            LOOKING for work on a tourist visa is legal, but I wouldn't recommend telling customs that's your reason for coming here, because they'll put you right back on the plane home.

            WORKING on a tourist visa is definitely illegal, though.

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            • #7
              Re: Gaijin Card

              Just use your last address until you settle somewhere new. As it is a WHV, you are not going to be attracting much paperwork and bureaucracy from Japanese authorities.

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              • #8
                Re: Gaijin Card

                Thanks TH, that makes a lot of sense. I just worry because I have heard very conflicting experiences from people who have dealt with the Japanese government. I was thinking of travelling (to a number of different cities) for a period of about a month and a half: should I explain this to the authorities before I make the trip?

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                • #9
                  Re: Gaijin Card

                  No. Volunteering information which can complicate matters is the last thing that you should do. The issue is moving your permanent registered address or contact address, which if you are traveling, does not apply.
                  Relax, and enjoy your travel, and when you settle somewhere new on a more permanent basis, just register at the ward office, and tell then that you have just moved into the area, which is true.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Gaijin Card

                    Small point, I have never in three years ever registered my employment details with the man in the ward office.

                    Once I went two months without renewing my gaijin card and when I finally did show my face thhey didn't say a word, just gave me a new card.

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