Visa Extension or Change of Status

Third-year JETs who are re-contracting for a fourth year must visit the immigration office to extend their period of stay before their visa expires; the visa that you receive when arriving in Japan is only valid for three years. Most third-year JET visas (a.k.a. your “period of stay”) will end approximately on the last day of your contract.

If your work contract finishes this summer, you may stay in Japan from the first day after your contract ends for a period of one month without changing your visa, as long as your visa is still valid (e.g. a second-year JET who has a three-year visa may stay after work finishes for up to a month before they must leave Japan, or receive a new visa).

If you plan to stay in Japan (for sightseeing, etc.) after your current visa is set to expire, you will need to change your visa status to Temporary Visitor, in order to extend your period of stay. Please refer to pages 69-71 of the 2019 General Information Handbook (GIH) for more information (see the section below on “Leavers Staying in Japan to Travel”)

If you stay past your period of stay, you will be in Japan illegally and could face serious consequences, such as fines, deportation, and imprisonment.

Renewing your visa is a lengthy process, so please talk with your supervisor as soon as possible. You are able to start the visa renewal process up to three months before your visa expires. The PAs suggest that you start this process ASAP.

Taking Leave for Visa Renewal

You may be entitled to 特休 (tokkyuu = “special leave”) to travel to Matsue both times so you will not have to take paid leave (年休 nenkyu); however, you will not be reimbursed for travel expenses.  Please ask your supervisor if you are eligible for special leave.  In the end though, what kind of leave you have to take to renew your visa, will be up to your contracting organization. The immigration office can be busy, so I would recommend taking the entire day off and going in the morning.

Going to the Immigration Office

You will need to visit the Matsue Branch Office of the Hiroshima Regional Immigration Bureau not once, but twice. Their open hours are Monday to Friday from 9:00~12:00 and 13:00~16:00 (except national holidays).

The address of the Matsue Branch Office is below in English and Japanese. It is a 10-minute walk from JR Matsue Station, or you can get on a bus bound for くにびきメッセ前 (kunibiki messe mae) and walk for 1 minute from there.

Matsue Local Joint Government Bldg., 134-10 Mukoujima-cho, Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture

〒690-0841 島根県松江市向島町134番10

Materials Needed (First Trip)

Application Form

For ALTs:

For CIRs:

“For applicant” pages should be filled out by the visa holder. “For organization” pages should be filled out by your Contracting Organization or school (please confirm with your supervisor).

Necessary Documents to Bring

  • Completed application form (1 copy)
  • 1 photograph which fulfills these requirements:
    • 4 cm x 3 cm
    • Subject must be alone, facing forward, and without any head coverings
    • Background should be plain with no shadow
    • Photo must be sharp and clear
    • Must be taken within 3 months of submission
  • Passport
  • Residence Card
  • You may need supporting documents such as the ones listed below; ask your supervisor/local immigration office about what you need as the necessary documents may vary.
    1. Documents certifying the activity, the duration, position and the remuneration of the person concerned, such as:
      • Reappointment Intention Form
      • Contract in Japanese
      • Statement of Earning for the previous fiscal year (源泉徴収票 = gensen choushuu hyo)
      • Certificate of Employment (在職証明書 = zaishoku shomeisho)
    2. Documents certifying an annual income and tax payment, such as:
      • 課税証明書 (kazei shoumeisho), available at your local tax office or tax/revenue department in your municipal office
      • 納税証明書 (nouzei shoumeisho), available at your local tax office or tax/revenue department in your municipal office

At the Immigration Office (First Trip)

Go to your Immigration Office and take a number. When your number is called, submit the necessary materials. If you end up missing any documents, the office may allow you to mail it in, but this is not a guarantee. If you submit your paperwork and everything seems to be in order, they will give you a post card to write down your name and address.  They will send this postcard to you once they are ready for you to come back to finish the visa extension process.

Note: When you submit your documents, they will not be returned to you (with the exception of your passport and Residence Card). So if you need to make copies, make sure you do so before you go to the immigration office. When you get the postcard in the mail, it will state the period of time you have to go back to the office and finish the process. It’s highly recommended you go during this period, but if you absolutely cannot, please call the immigration office to reschedule.

Materials Needed (Second Trip)

  • Postcard the immigration office sent you
  • Passport
  • Residence Card
  • ¥4,000 Revenue Stamp (収入印紙 = shunyu inshi)
    • The Revenue Stamp is available at any post office, but not the immigration office. You can buy one at the Matsue Central Post Office (see Google map here) which is close to Matsue Station.

At the Immigration Office (Second Trip)

Go to the immigration office and take a number. When your number is called, give them your post card, passport, and Residence Card. You will probably make your payment at this time. They will give you a paper to stick the revenue stamp on, and you’ll fill out how much you paid, what for, and sign the sheet. You’ll probably have to wait a bit again as they make your new Residence Card. Once finished, you will be called up again and given your new card and passport back.

Congratulations! Your visa had been renewed and extended. If you look at your Residence Card, it states how long your renewed visa is and when it expires.

IMPORTANT: No new visa stamp will be placed in your passport. Basically, your Residence Card is your visa.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Your visa will probably be extended for two or possibly three years. This means that you probably won’t have to repeat this process next year should you decide to remain on JET for a fifth and final year. If your visa is only renewed for one year, you will have to repeat this process again next year.

Leavers Staying in Japan to Travel

Third-year JETs who will not be re-appointed and wish to stay in Japan for up to 90 days longer than their current visa will need to change their residency status to Temporary Visitor. The process is almost identical to that listed above for visa extension, except the application form (and possibly required supporting documents) are different. See the Immigration Bureau of Japan web page here for more information.

Application Form

Necessary Documents

  •  Application form
  • Passport
  • Residence Card
  • Documentation from your Contracting Organization (CO) that shows the last day of your contract and your scheduled date of departure
  • Possibly Need: A copy of the airline ticket for passage out of Japan or a copy of confirmed reservation for a flight out of Japan. You may also be asked to show that you have sufficient funds for travel and living in Japan until the day of your departure.
  • ¥4000 Revenue Stamp (収入印紙 = shuunyuu inshi), only needed on the second visit (can be purchased at any post office)
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