From Mie Guidebook
Beginning July 9th, 2012 the Immigration Bureau of Japan made sweeping changes in immigration procedures. As a result, the process of re-entry into the country has not only been greatly simplified, but it's also much cheaper! Hurrah!
Re-entry to Japan
Foreign nationals in possession of a valid passport and resident card who will be reentering Japan within 1 year of their departure will not be required to apply for a re-entry permit. This is called a special re-entry permit, and all of us as JETs can invoke it automatically.
Using the Special Re-entry Permit
When you leave Japan, be sure to present your residence card and tick the column on your embarkation form indicating your intention of departure by the Special Re-entry Permit System. This is shown below:
The special re-entry permit is only valid for 1 year after your departure from Japan! If you do not return to Japan within 1 year, you will lose your resident status!
You CAN NOT invoke the special re-entry permit if your period of stay will expire while you are abroad! If your period of stay (can be seen on your Resident/Gaijin Card) expires while you are abroad on a special re-entry permit, it will void that special re-entry permit and you may be denied re-entry into the country. If you period of stay will expire during your intended time abroad be sure to do a Visa Extension before departure.
The special re-entry permit system does not apply to those falling under any of the following:
- Those whose resident status is in the process of revocation
- Those whose confirmation of departure is suspended
- Those who have received a written detention order
- Those who are in the process of a refugee application and staying with the resident status of "Designated Activities"
- Those who are specified by Japan's Ministry of Justice to be a threat to Japan's national interests or public order, or for other good reasons to be in need of a re-entry permit for the sake of fair control of entries and departures.
Nearby Immigration Bureaus
You do not need to make a trip to an immigration bureau to invoke the special re-entry permit, but you may find these pages useful should you need to visit for some other bureucratic matters.
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