Destination Guide | Tokyo Japan

Legal Matters


A valid passport is necessary before entering Japan. If you arrive in Tokyo on a 90-day tourist visa, it is possible to begin to process papers for a work visa. When the work visa is issued within the 90-day tourist visa time limit, you can change the status of your visa from tourist to the new status.

Resident Card

After resolving visa issues, you will be required to register your address at your local ward office.

Embassy Registration

Expatriates are encouraged to register at their embassies. This information is confidential and used primarily in cases of emergencies and natural disasters. Registering also helps to speed up reissuing lost or stolen passports.

Registration of New Born

The birth of a child born to an expatriate parent or parents should be reported promptly to the relevant embassy's consular section. It is a complicated process to register a birth, obtain a birth certificate, and to apply for a child's passport, visa and re-entry permits. It is strongly recommended that this process be initiated immediately following a child's birth.

Accompanying Spouse

In Japan a work permit is always incorporated in a specific residence status. Usually one spouse has the main residence status that includes a work permit, but the other spouse or accompanying family members have dependent residence status which does not include a work permit. On a dependent visa you can work up to 20 hours per week.
If the accompanying spouse finds a job after coming to Japan on a dependent visa, an application must be submitted to Immigration for either special permission to work or change to the residence status. The spouse must not work before either of these is completed. Once either of the above is completed, the spouse should be sure to keep the multiple re-entry permit valid because if the spouse leaves or enters Japan with the re-entry permit expired, the working authorization is invalidated.
Under Japanese tax laws, the accompanying spouse is considered a dependent if the spouse's total annual earnings are less than 1,000,000 yen.
It is all too easy to become involved in many types of classes, clubs and other organisations. It is smart to go slowly when you first move to Tokyo, as it is possible to become over committed. Use your time in Japan to learn a skill you have always wanted, take Japanese language and cultural classes or travel. Many spouses enjoy freelancing, but be sure your accompanying visa allows for part-time work. Teaching English is another popular way to earn extra money and to learn firsthand about your host country.