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Hokkaido Government 北海道 Living guide

A.Status of residence

 Foreign nationals who enter Japan are required to obtain the appropriate visa for purpose of their stay from Japanese embassies, consulate generals or consulates operating within their home countries/regions. They must also go through passport control at a port of entry in Japan (Some nationalities, periods and purpose of stay are not subject to visa requirement).

 At a port of entry, immigration bureau officers determine foreign nationals’ status of residence. This defines the activities they are allowed to do in Japan. When foreign nationals residing in Japan find work, change vocations or obtain permanent residency, they are required to do one or all of the following: (1) change their status of residence, (2) acquire a work permit and (3) obtain permission to engage in activities which are outside the limits of their visa status.
 For further information on the status of residence system, please contact your nearest immigration bureau.

 The new residency management system and resident registration system for foreign residents became effective on July 9, 2012. Please find out how the system has changed on the websites shown below.

 【Status of Residence Categories】
  1. Diplomat  2. Official  3. Professor  4. Artist  5. Religious Activities  6. Journalist 
  7. Investor/Business Manager  8. Legal/Accounting Services  9. Medical Services  10. Researcher
    11. Instructor  12. Engineer  13. Specialist in Humanities/International Services  14. Intra-company Transferee
  15. Entertainment  16. Skilled Labor  17. Technical Intern Training  18. Cultural Activities
  19. Temporary Visitor   20. College Student  21. Trainee  22. Dependent  23. Designated Activities
  24. Permanent Resident  25. Spouse or Child of Japanese National  26. Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident
  27. Long-term Resident

○ Details of the status of residence system and its procedures
   Go to http://www.clair.or.jp/tagengorev/en/a/index.html
                 (Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR))

○ Lists of organizations for processing and general inquiries 
   Immigration bureaus in Hokkaido(Excel)

○ Links
   Immigration Bureau of Japan (Ministry of Justice in Japan)   
    http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/index.html [Available in Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish]

B.New Residency Management System & Resident Registration System for
Foreign Residents

 Foreign nationals who stay in Japan for 90 days or longer, used to be required to register and obtain an alien registration certificate at the municipal office which holds their place of residence under its jurisdiction (referred to as one’s “municipal office” hereafter). The new residency management system began on July 9, 2012, by which a resident card has replaced the alien registration certificate to prove a foreign national’s registration with the Japanese government.

 Under the new system, a foreign national’s immigration control, status of residence and registered place of Japanese residence are collectively managed. This information is listed in a ledger under Japan’s Basic Resident Registration system, so that a certificate of residence is issued to foreign nationals in the same way as it is to Japanese nationals.

 To find out the procedures for changing an alien registration certificate to a resident card, please see the websites shown below.

○ Details of the new system and its procedures
   Go to http://www.clair.or.jp/tagengorev/en/b/part.pdf(PDF) (CLAIR)
       http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/newimmiact_1/index.html (Immigration Bureau of Japan)

○ List of organizations for processing and general inquiries
   (Resident card issuance)
     Immigration bureIaus in Hokkaido(Excel)
   (Notification of address change)
     Municipal offices in Hokkaido(Excel)

C.Marriage / Divorce

 Foreign nationals who marry in Japan are required to file a notification with their municipal office in Japan as well as their respective home countries/regions. Requirements and procedures for marriage vary by country/region, so please confirm with your home embassy or consulate in Japan for details.

 Uniquely, Japan has a family register system, which is used to authorize family relationships. Foreign nationals who marry or divorce a Japanese national in Japan are required to file notification with their municipal office.

○ Details about the general system and its procedures
   Go to http://www.clair.or.jp/tagengorev/en/c/index.html (CLAIR)

○ Lists of organizations for processing and general inquiries
   (Notification of marriage/divorce) 
             Municipal offices in Hokkaido(Excel)
       (Eligibility for marriage, certification of marriage eligibility) 
             Consulate generals/consulates in Hokkaido(Excel)

○ Links
     US Embassy in Tokyo   http://japan.usembassy.gov/
   Chinese Embassy in Tokyo http://www.china-embassy.or.jp/jpn/
   Korean Embassy in Tokyo http://jpn-tokyo.mofat.go.kr/worldlanguage/asia/jpn-tokyo/main/index.jsp
   Russian Embassy in Tokyo http://www.russia-emb.jp/
   List of foreign diplomatic missions in Japan (Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan)
                                                          http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/link/embassy/ [Available in Japanese]

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