• Nanami

    someday.. I hope I will need this info xD

    • Donald Ash

      You will

  • Thank you for this, I used it! One thing to add if you can… if you are drafting the paperwork (specifically the application) yourself, there is a portion only the company who is hiring you can fill out. You need to send it or bring it to them, have it filled out and stamped, and then take it to immigration. I tried to submit the paperwork to immigration today, but because I didn’t have that page filled out and stamped by the company (even though my new company had given me all the other necessary paperwork), I couldn’t do it.

  • funkthefame

    This was an awesome article. I just watched your youtube video related to this post, and you’re right everyone irks when they hear ‘visa’. I felt alot better after reading and watching your stuff — now I just need to call up immigration to find out about meeting the engineering requirements visa!

  • lopka

    I suppose the tricky part is knowing if you actually need to change visa status, and also you have to quit before changing jobs not knowing if you get the visa, right?^^;;
    In the end you’re supposed to stay 1, 2 months unemployed?

  • Passy

    Just submitted mine today and because I didn’t know about those details, I was sweating wondering if I would get the status change approved or not. I feel good right now after reading your very details. Thanks mate

  • Maandy


    Great post, thanks! Few questions:

    1) is the 保険証 really required? I am here for a year (cultural activities visa, “unpaid” internship), got an insurance abroad for this time and did get the 保険証. Guess I will need it anyway now but it probably will take time?

    2) did you have to show them your university diploma? I read on their website that it is necessary and I am wondering if a photocopy will do…

    Well all the best, anyway!

  • Alia

    Hey Donald! Very informative post.

    I have a question though since I have a really different situation. I’m not in Japan yet but I will be in a few weeks on a Tourist Visa from Egypt. I’ve already found a job with a school there except they won’t give me a contract until they’ve interviewed me in person. My question was, if I’m in Japan on a tourist visa can I change it to a working visa without flying back to my home country?

    Thank you! :D

    • Donald Ash

      I’ve heard of people doing that.
      I honestly don’t know how common it is, because I’ve never actually met anyone who’s done it.
      It’s a question I want to research a bit more, though.

  • Aaron

    In fact, under this new system, the Residence Card will show your
    Status of Residence and period of stay, items that were included in the
    visa stamp in your passport. The only time any of this information will
    be entered in your passport is on your initial entry to Japan. On
    renewing a visa, the information will only be entered on your Residence
    Card. Each time you renew your “visa (status of residence)” you will be
    issued with a new Residence Card.

    *It is going to be quite important, therefore, that you always have
    your Residence Card with you when you are traveling in and out of Japan.
    Your visa status can be verified only if you have your Residence Card
    with you.*

    The Visa change therefor doesnt show up in your passport anymore?

  • Marcel

    Great post!

    I am about to apply for change of status of residence this week.
    How about documents such as diplomas or CVs?

    Thank you

  • Candeh

    I applied on the 12th of this month and they said it would take about 3 weeks to process. I hate waiting… -.- What about other people? How long did you have to wait for yours? Donnie, you were lucky to get it in 2 weeks!

    For people who are looking to renew, this is what I had in terms of documents. I’m changing from student to work visa (humanities):

    1) Application form filled in by me and my company and stamped by company
    2) Copy of my contract
    3) Photo that was taken in the last 3 months (had to retake mine because they were being fussy)
    4) Passport + residence card
    5) Copy of my company’s financials

    And that’s all, didn’t need anything else! Hope I get it soon…So impatient!

    • Candeh

      Oh forgot! 5) Copy of my BA degree

  • Kevo

    Very thorough! Thank you!!

  • Priscilla

    Is it also possible to change a Tourist visa to a working visa like this?
    I am supposed to leave in a week but my company couldn’t get the eligibility form in time so I was wondering if I could apply for the visa or change status while in Japan.

    Kind regards

    • thejapanguy

      That’s a tough one, Priscilla. Sorry to hear you’re having to go through that visa rush. I know it can be a hassle. I have a buddy going through something similar right now.

      I’m sure it’s been done. I’ve never actually had to do it myself, but I really think it’s on the company with this one.

      If the sponsoring company takes care of all of the backend stuff (paperwork, etc.) I don’t see why there’d be any issues with changing from a tourist to a working here in Japan.

      BUT I don’t know every country’s policy on working/working holiday visas. Would it be possible that some countries make you return to file a working visa. I wish I knew.

      I know some teaching companies require their teachers to do the initial visa paperwork in their home countries (at least for their first visa).

      A week might be a bit too tight to get a status change done. I’m sorry I couldn’t be or more assistance to you. I really hope it all works out, Priscilla.

  • Ellen

    Hi Donnie,
    Thanks for the help!
    I have a question. My boyfriend has just quit his eikaiwa job and has a working visa and a residence card. He’s got a few prespective jobs but they won’t begin for another two months. What should he do about his visa and residence card? He’ll be staying with me, so does he need to notify immigration of the address change and being unemployed? What do you suggest?

  • Wolf Osaka

    Thank you so much. Although it’s a few years old post. The information here in regards to changing the visa status is very helpful. Cheers

  • Anna Gelbach

    I have a question. I applied for my work visa (having all the necessary paperwork) but had to leave Japan before my application was completed. At customs in the airport I was forced to sign paperwork that cancelled my work visa application. What steps are necessary to remedy this situation? Can I even return to Japan?

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