Immigration Bureau

  In addition to the immigration examinations of Japanese nationals and foreign nationals, the Immigration Bureau processes the administrative affairs relating to the residency procedures for foreign nationals staying in Japan, the deportation of foreign nationals and the recognition of refugees.

Immigration Control of Japanese and Foreign Nationals

  On the basis of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act (hereinafter referred to as ”the Immigration Control Act”) etc., the Immigration Bureau provides for equitable control over the entry into or departure from Japan of all persons.

Departure and landing (returning) inspections

  Foreign nationals who intend to enter Japan are required to provide personal identification information (fingerprints and facial photographs), except for those who are exempt from this requirement, and must be interviewed by an immigration inspector. The immigration inspector conducts an examination to check whether the foreign national meets the conditions for landing such as whether the passport and visa held by the foreign national are valid, whether his/her activities to be conducted while in Japan are legitimate and come under a status of residence prescribed in the Appended Tables of the Immigration Control Act, in the case of certain statuses of residence whether the foreign national meets the criteria stipulated in the Ministerial Ordinance, and checks that the foreign national does not fall under the grounds for denial of landing; and if the immigration inspector deems that these conditions have been met, the foreign national will be permitted to enter Japan. Foreign nationals who intend to depart from Japan must receive confirmation of departure from an immigration inspector. Immigration inspectors also confirm the fact about the departure and return of Japanese nationals.

<Speedy immigration examination!
“Automated gate” convenient for overseas business or sightseeing trips>

  Do you know ”automated gates” that enable you to go through immigration examination procedures speedily when you go on an overseas business or sightseeing trip? The automated gate system allows users to go through examination procedures automatically by identifying them by their passports and fingerprints. If you have completed user registration for automated gates before departure, you can go through landing and departure examination procedures smoothly using an automated gate even though the examination area is crowded with people.

Airports in which automated gates are installed
Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, Chubu Airport and Kansai Airport
(User registration can be accepted at the above four airports, as well as Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau, Nagoya Regional Immigration Bureau, Osaka Regional Immigration Bureau and Takamatsu Regional Immigration Bureau.)

Automated Gate at Haneda Airport
Automated Gate at Haneda Airport

Residency management of foreign nationals

  Foreign nationals residing in Japan are allowed to engage in activities based on their resident status and period of stay decided when they enter the country. If those foreign nationals intend to change their visa status, extend the period of stay, or obtain permission to engage in activities outside scope permitted or re-entry permission, they need to take necessary procedures at the immigration bureau. Thus, we are striving to ensure proper residency management of foreign nationals by allowing them to engage in activities and stay in Japan based on their resident status and period of stay, in consideration of interest and security of the people of Japan.
  In addition, from July 2012, a foreign national who is residing in Japan for a mid to long-term period is issued with a residence card at the time of receiving permission relating to residence such as landing permission, permission to change the status of residence or permission for extension of the period of stay. This residence card gives such details as the name, date of birth, sex, nationality or region, place of residence, status of residence and period of stay of the foreign national.
(Note) The alien registration system was abolished in July 2012 at the time of the implementation of the new residency management system.


  Some of foreign nationals residing in Japan include those who are considered undesirable by Japanese society, such as those who have illegally entered or landed on the country, those who have obtained landing permission but are illegally even after the expiration of period of stay or are engaged in activities other than those permitted, or those who are imposed certain punishment. Those people are supposed to be deported in accordance with the prescribed procedures. The Immigration Bureau handles the prescribed procedures from detection/investigation to repatriation.

Changes in the number of foreign nationals entering Japan and Japanese nationals leaving Japan

Number of foreign nationals registered by nationality (Dec.2011)

Changes in the total number of foreign nationals registered in the alien registration

Recognition of Refugees

  Japan signed the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, and the arrangements under the Convention became effective in Japan on January 1, 1982, when various protection measures for refugees, which were stipulated in the convention, were adopted. The Immigration Bureau handles administrative work, including provision of landing permission for temporary refuge, determination of refugee status, and issuance of refugee travel documents.