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, and for certain statuses of residence, the inspector checks whether the foreign national meets the criteria stipulated in the Ministerial Ordinance, and that the foreign national does not fall under the grounds for denial of landing; 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 complete the user registration for automated gates before departure, you can go through landing and departure examination procedures smoothly using an automated gate even when the examination area is crowded with people. For further details, please check the Ministry of Justice website.

●Airports with Automated Gates
Narita Airport,  Haneda Airport, Chubu Airport  and  Kansai Airport

※User registration is available at the above four airports, as well as at Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau, Nagoya Regional Immigration Bureau and Osaka Regional Immigration Bureau.

Automated Gate
Automated Gate


Residency Management of Foreign Nationals

 Foreign nationals residing in Japan are allowed to engage in activities based on their status of residence and period of stay decided when entering the country. If those foreign nationals intend to change their status of residence, extend the period of stay, or obtain permission to engage in activities other than those permitted under the status of residence previously granted or re-entry permission, they need to take necessary procedures at the Immigration Bureau. In granting permission for the activities of foreign nationals in Japan, the Immigration Bureau strives to ensure the proper residency management of foreign nationals by paying due consideration to the interests of the Japanese people and to the security of Japan.
 In addition, from July 2012, a foreign national who are 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.
 The alien registration system was abolished in July 2012 at the time of the implementation of the new residency management system. For further details, please check the Immigration Bureau website.


 Some of the foreign nationals residing in Japan include those who are considered undesirable by Japanese society, such as those who have illegally entered or landed in the country, those who have obtained landing permission but are illegally staying after the expiration of the period of stay or are engaged in activities other than those permitted, or those who are imposed certain punishment. The Immigration Bureau handles the prescribed procedures from detection to investigation, and initiates deportation procedures in cases where a final decision has been made on deportation with regard to foreign nationals mentioned above.
 Illegal overstayers who meet certain standards can leave the country following simple procedures under the departure order.


Changes in the Number of Foreign Nationals Entering Japan and Japanese Nationals Departing Japan

Number of Foreign Residents by Nationality/Region (as of the end of Dec. 2013)

Changes in the Number of Foreign Residents (as of the end of each year)