Foreign nationals who enter Japan on a work visa or student visa may extend or renew their visa when the permitted duration is about to expire. In short, this is a visa extension.
The valid period used to be 1 or 3 years, however, from 9th July 2012 July 9, a period of 5 years may be allowed. If you are approved as a Highly Skilled Foreign Professional, your Resident Card would show a 5 year period straight away in most cases.
To extend your visa, an application should be made, about 3 months before the visa expiry date, to the Immigration Bureau of Japan. You may ask for duration longer than the previous one, but it may be rejected. If you changed your job during the current visa period, you have to check whether you may stay in Japan under the same visa. If your income tax is low, the extension will only be 1 year.
When you apply, you need to submit the following: your passport; an official copy of the Registered Information on your Alien Registration (if you have not yet have a Resident Card); an Application for the Extension of Period of Stay; a document that describes the reasons for the extension. If you are a student, you need a certificate of school attendance and academic record. If you are working for a company, you need a certificate of the registered matters of the company, and matters reported to the taxation office, a certificate of employment, a contract of employment, a certificate of tax payment (national tax as well as residential tax) and others.
From April 2010, it is recommended that you submit a copy of your health care card as well. It is not compulsory to have a social health care card for the visa purpose, but if you do not have one, you are likely to be given a brochure about the social health care system to read at the counter of the office where you submit. It may be better that you consult with your employer, or at a pension office, or a municipality office.
If you are a holder of a Spouse or Child of Japanese National visa but the marriage has ended, or if it was a marriage of convenience, an extension of stay will not be approved. In this case, you cannot keep on staying in Japan. However, if you have a Permanent Resident visa, the visa would not be revoked even after the marriage ended.
If you obtained your visa as a spouse but you are not currently living with your partner, an extension may not be approved. If your marriage is suspected as a marriage of convenience, an extension to your visa would be only for 6 months.
When it is permitted to extend the duration of stay, you will receive a Resident Card that shows the new valid period and your passport.
If you have lost your job because your employer had made you redundant, you can go to the Immigration Bureau for consultation and be issued a 3 months temporary visa. You can try to find a new job. Please make sure to apply and get a Permit for Other Activities to work part time or casual (in places like convenience stores) to earn income.
Cases of disapproval are documented in Japanese on http://www.moj.go.jp/nyuukokukanri/kouhou/nyukan_nyukan25.html .
If you want any help about your visa expiry, extension or renewal or situation as where your employment has changed, contact us. We can help you.
Please renew your visa promptly and properly, before your visa expires.