What is the change? International airports in Hiroshima, Fukuoka and Chitose may now issue residence cards.

What does the change mean? Foreign nationals qualified to obtain a residence card may now receive it on arrival at additional airports.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Residence cards.
  • Who is affected: All foreign nationals intending to stay longer than three months in Japan.
  • Impact on processing times: Foreign nationals entering Japan through the airports in Hiroshima, Fukuoka and Chitose will no longer need to wait for their residence cards to be issued by mail.

Background: Foreign nationals who have obtained a work visa or other residence visa allowing them to stay in Japan for more than three months are eligible to receive a residence card on arrival in Japan. Previously, only the airports at Narita, Haneda, Chubu, and Kansai were authorized to issue the cards. Effective immediately, residence cards may also be issued at the international airports in Hiroshima, Fukuoka and Chitose. If a foreign national enters Japan through a port that is not able to issue the residence card, then it will be delivered by mail.

BAL Analysis: With additional airports now able to issue residence cards, foreign nationals will have more flexibility when arranging travel at the start of their assignment. While receiving the card by mail usually only results in a minimal delay, obtaining it on arrival is much more convenient when a foreign national is planning to set up bank accounts and other services that require a residence card.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Japan. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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