How to Get a Japan Re-Entry Permit

By Donnie | Articles

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  • Mia says:

    So, does this mean you’ve gotten your re-entry stamp and you’re coming home until all of this is over??

    • Donald Ash says:

      Unfortunately, it doesn’t, Mia 🙁
      I will still be here in Japan. I wish I knew when it was going to be over, but it’s better than a lot of people think (at least here in this town it is).

  • clive bugle says:

    dont worry about the radiation. stay here and eat curry. i did!

    • Donald Ash says:

      The legendary Clive Paul Bugle. Thanks for stopping by to post!! Good idea, Clive. I love the curry here in Tsukuba. When you eat it, everything’s just right with the world. Your advice is as clever as your name is cool, lol.

  • William says:

    Nice job, Donnie. Are these forms available online?

  • jason says:

    hi donald! thanks so much for posting this! i have a question…hopefully you can provide some insight.

    i’m currently in tokyo on a working holiday visa which will expire on july 1st. i’ll be going to the immigration office sometime this month to extend the visa for another 6 months. my question is: should i also apply for my re-entry permit at the same time? or do i have to wait until my extension is approved before i can apply for it?

    any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated!
    thank you!


    • Donald Ash says:

      That’s a good question Jason. Although I have heard from someone that there’s a way to apply for your re-entry permit at the same time as your renewal, I’ve never tried it. If I find out I’ll be sure to let you know.

      I usually wait for my visa approval before getting my re-entry stamp.

      With most visa renewals you end up having to go back to the immigration office again anyway (after being notified via an immigration office post card) so I think it works out perfectly. While renewals aren’t usually finished on the same day you submit the request, re-entry permits are. I hope that helps 🙂

  • zin says:

    What if you’ve yet to receive your gaijin card but have an official notice saying you applied for one? Can you use that in lieu of a gaijin card?

    • Donald Ash says:

      Hey Zin

      Awesome question!! Every foreigner who comes gets that official note as it takes time for the card to process. You can use that paper for some things, but I found that I wasn’t able to use the notice for what I wanted most…a cell phone. I do remember using it to sign up at an internet cafe. But that was more than three years ago, so I don’t know if rules have changed. Is there anything in particular you were wanting to do?

      • zin says:

        Oh yeah, I just wanted to know if I could use that to get my reentry permit.

        • Donald Ash says:

          I’ve never tried that, before, Zin. I’m stumped on this one. Actually I don’t know anyone who’s tried it before, either. I wonder if it’s possible. Now my curiosity is piqued.

          I don’t know if anyone will reply, but do any readers out there know of anybody who’s gotten a re-entry permit with just their official gaijin card notice?

          Thanks for posting, Zin.

  • Sheldon says:

    I am planning to get my re-entry permit soon on Dec. 27th. I know and I hope that the immigration office in Utsunomiya will be open. Can I get the revenue stamps at the immigration office? What is that special thing I need to fill out when I am leaving Japan at the Narita Airport? Can I get it at the airport or any international prot of departure?

    • jace says:

      hi sheldon. revenue stamps can be purchased pretty much at any convenence store but i’m guessing there should be one nearby any immigration office as those are the only accepted form of payment. when leaving japan you need to fill out a embarkation card which is provided at the immigration desk at the airport – make sure you pick up the correct version of the form (ie, for re-entry permit holders).

    • Donald Ash says:

      Hey Sheldon. December 27th, huh? That’s right around the corner…cool! 😀 As far as your questions go, Jace is spot on. You can get your revenue stamps from any convenience store. After filling out the initial form, if you don’t have the stamps on you. The immigration office will actually direct you to the nearest convience store. Don’t worry though, in most places I’ve been to, convenience stores are all over the place.

      I do remember filling out the embarkation/disembarkation card when coming here, but I don’t remember if I did it when I was flying home. Don’t fret too much about these either, they’re really short and straightforward.The form just asks basic questions like your name, address in Japan, your home country’s address, purpose of your visit, money/items you’re bring into the country, etc. I don’t remember exactly but I want to say the Narita staff will keep the disembarkation section, and the embarkation piece was stapled into my passport…I think that’s right. I don’t know if that was the case when I was returning after visiting home, though.

  • Amy says:


  • gusan says:

    great post, it really helped out; but i made one tiny mistake and hope you can answer my question.
    i got my re-entry permit and then realized ,once i got home, i wrote down the wrong airport; will this be a problem?

  • shakti says:

    This is the most useful explanation I’ve seen. Thank you very much for being so thorough and making it so simple. I know it is just as you state it but I forget about after 5 years when the last one runs out.
    I really appreciate your effort.

    I’ll keep coming back to eat curry too. (though maybe not in Tsukuba)
    I love it here.

  • Zandro Flores says:

    how about having technical trainee visa can we apply this re.entry permit?

    • Donald Ash says:

      I don’t know if they’ve changed the reentry permit system yet, but I think all foreign visas prior to a certain date have to get a similar reentry permit to be able to leave and return to Japan freely. Please be sure to ask, and check the immigration website if you’re unsure.

  • Noor says:

    my re entry permitto Japan will end 26/6/2012 and i cant make it there before that time.
    what will happen with my permanent resident visa, Advise pls

  • criselda says:

    how about the half japanese,,,4th time to visit me in philiphines ,,,he need re entry permit ,,how its faster we will go in 10 of august

  • Karim says:

    There is a new rule since the 9th July 2012, you don’t need to apply to reentry permit if you will be reentering Japan within 1 year of your departure.

    Please check :

    • メイ アン says:

      you’re an angel, thanks for the info.

    • Tom Kelly says:

      Note that this does not apply to Working Holiday Visa. You still need to apply for re-entry.

      • Enrico Utomo says:

        Hi Tom,

        We just got here in Tokyo on a Working Holiday Visa. Did you have to apply for a single or multiple re-entry visa to leave for a short period of time?

        We have to leave the country next month briefly but have found conflicting info – some say we can just fill in the relevant section form at the airport.

        Hope you can help! Thanks.

        • Edd Waugh says:

          Hi I’m also keen to know about this, will I be able to do everything at the airport?

          • Enrico Utomo says:

            Hi Edd,

            So as it turned out, we just had to fill in the re-entry form and hand it to the customs officers. The form should be available around the customs lines for Japanese residents.

            When we handed ours in, they simply asked to confirm if we are returning to continue our working holidays – and that’s it. No further questions, stamped and returned our passports.

            So now we are in Australia – and when we come back to japan we can continue the remaining time available until our stay period ends.

            I hope it’s the same for you.

      • Chloe Kwok says:

        I went to the immigration bureau, and they said that I didn’t need the re-entry visa even though I had a working holiday visa?

  • Dennis says:

    I like your clear delivery of useful content. I have lived in Japan as a foreigner for 42 years and I agree with your recommendations. “Get the multiple re-entry. After being in Japan for 20 years, I got a single re-entry permit to save money. Long story short, I had to prove 20 years of paying taxes and prove I still lived with my Japanese wife and two children to keep my permanent residence (which they wanted to cancel.) Do you think an extra 3,000 yen was worth all that experience?

  • vartan askerian says:

    hi to everyone
    about me : i’m syrian armenian i holding syrian passport and i’m in japan almost 6 months by extending visa 90day and i want to apply refugee because the situation in my country is verry danger and i have loss my job there and my home but still my family there , so i will apply on refugee in japan and stay here until immigration give me right to work visa and i know that’s i can’t go outside japan until 3 years or 5 years, but my important question can come my fiancee here in japan by visitor visa and we get married here in japan and she get right visa to live with me and any time if she need to go to visit her family and come bag again in japan ???? or not she will live like me also without go outside japan ? this is my question to know about. for my question answer please re-mail me on [email protected] thanks .

  • idiot says:


    This should be the heading for the whole article, goddamn.

  • JEN says:

    I am a Bahraini National and currently in Japan on a tourist visa. During my 90 day stay, I want to
    travel for 10 days outside of Japan and return to Japan. Do I need a re-entry
    permit before I leave Japan, or will I be given another 90 day tourist visa upon
    my return to Japan?

  • tony says:

    I visit japan as a USA citizen was there for 90. but need to go back cause my girl friend is given birth what do i do?

  • Mikes Vecera says:

    Hi there Mr. Don. I just need some help and advice.
    I’ve been in Japan for 3 years back in 2008-2011. I only have a Trainee Visa.
    I’ve been longing to go back to Japan. This might be a little bit out of the real topic though, but I badly need some help here. First, How can I get a working visa permit? I’m planning to go there as a tourist and hoping that I can find a way to get a work or job there. But I want everything to be smooth and legal. I don’t want to be an illegal alien there. do you think I can apply for working permit there on my own?

  • Madeleine says:

    This really needs to be changed. I read your article and bought 6,000 yen stamp believing that this process was still valid. This article is so out dated. I had even filled out an application form in accordance to the guide. Now I’m not sure what to do with the 6,000 yen stamp… anyhow I’m a fool for running with this anyway. Please change this so others aren’t fooled as I was.

    • Enrico Utomo says:

      If you’re still in Japan,
      would you like to sell your stamp to us? We still need need it for Working Holiday Visa reentry! Cheers.

  • Pao Cabrera says:

    Hi Dude, this is so dated, do u have any updated info?

    thx a lot!

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