Tako and Pancake Logo
How to Renew Visa in Japan
Photo by mana5280 / Unsplash

How to Renew Visa in Japan

Tako Tako 4 min read

Visa Renewal can be a complicated process, especially if your company requires you to do it yourself. Luckily for you guys, Tako and Pancake both have experience with applying for, and renewing work Visa in Japan. We're here to help so have no fear.

Tako and Pancake Visa History

Before diving into the main part, we'll explain our personal experience with Visa matters in Japan.


  • Student Visa
  • Student Visa → 1 Year Work Visa
  • Non-stop 1 Year Visa so annual renewal until got 3 Years this year


  • Student Visa
  • Student Visa → 3 Year Work Visa

Big companies usually have a specialist lawyer to handle all the paperwork for you. But if like Pancake you're the first foreigner in your company, or Tako whose company is just cheapskate, you'll need to do everything yourself.

FYI, Tako and Pancake both have Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services Visa 技術・人文知識・国際業務ビザ.

Visa Renewal Documents

Application for extension of period of stay | Immigration Services Agency of Japan

Documents you need can be split into 2 categories, stuff you get yourself and those you beg your company for.

Your Own Stuff

  • Application Form: From Immigration Website, fill in Pages 1 - 2
  • Passport
  • Residence Card
  • 1x Photograph (4cm x 3cm): Write your name behind and attach firmly to Application Form.
  • Past Year's Resident Tax Payment Certificate 住民税納税証明書 and Resident Tax Certificate 住民税課税証明書: From ward office
  • Copy of Income Tax Certificate 源泉徴収票: Usually received with December's salary slip. If you no longer have it, you can:
    1. Ask your company to reissue a new copy; or
    2. Request a reissue from the Pension Office (more details on their website).
  • Letter of Reason 理由書 (Optional)
💡 Always download a fresh copy from the immigration bureau's website as it changes from time to time.

From the Company

  • Company's Certified Copy of Registration 登記簿謄本
  • Copy of Company's Legal Record Total Table 法定調書合計表
  • Application Form: Pages 3 and 4, Part 11 can be left blank if you are not working as dispatch but remember to fill in the bottom part.
  • Letter of Reason (Optional)
💡 Make sure your company has affixed their company seal on the Application Form.

Steps to Renew Visa in Japan

You can apply to renew your Visa 3 months before its expiry. As long as you submit your renewal application before it expires, you're safe.

  1. Gather all the necessary documents. Depending on how fast your company does things, you may want to get it done earlier. For example, Pancake's company does not have a general affairs department to deal with these things so he had to wait (stressfully) for more than a month before the docs came in.
  2. Visit your Region's Immigration Service's Bureau 出入国在留管理局. Queue up at the Visa counter to submit your documents and get a waiting number. You will also receive a post card to fill in your address (this will be used to inform you of your result later).
  3. When your turn is up, hand over the postcard. You will receive 2 things:
      a) Your residence card stamped on the back.

        b) A Visa Renewal Slip. Carry this with you at all times until your Visa is renewed or risk getting arrested.

From the date you submitted your application, you will have 3 months time to remain in Japan irrespective of when your Visa expires. That means even if you submit your application a week before your Visa expires, you will not be considered as overstaying on an expired Visa.

💡  Along with your Residence Card, keep your Visa Renewal Slip with you at alllllllll times.  
Stamp stating that you're currently renewing your visa

4.  Wait until the postcard arrives. If it tells you to bring 4,000 yen, that means your renewal has been approved! You don't need to pay anything if it's a rejection.

5.  Make the trip back to the Regional Immigration Services Bureau with the postcard, paper slip, and your residence card. Pass them over the counter and you will receive a payment slip.

6. Bring the payment slip to the payment area, just follow the signs around you. Purchase a revenue stamp for 4,000 yen and return to the counter.

7.  Wait some more until your turn and receive your shiny new Residence Card. Your old Residence Card will be returned with a nice new hole.

Congratulations! You can stay in Japan a little longer!

How Is Your Period of Stay Decided

Visa duration can come in 3 periods: 1 Year, 3 Years, or the grand prize of 5 years. Getting a longer period of stay depends on:

  1. Your Company's Size
  2. Your Position in the Company
  3. Luck

We'll be covering the other procedures in future too. Like applying for student visa and changing from student to work visa. So hang in there for those waiting. If you need them ASAP, drop us a message and T&P will get right on it!

Until next time ヾ(・ω・o)