May 12, 2014

Since the introduction of the Zairyu Card as residence permit in July 2012 the cancellation and de-registration process in Japan has consisted of 2 steps: Notification of planned departure to the Ward/City Office and return of the Zairyu Card to the Immigration Officer at the Passport Control at the airport at time of final departure from Japan. However, foreigners have been complaining about Immigration Officers refusing to take their Zairyu Card for cancellation, which made it impossible for them to finalize their de-registration process.

The Ministry of Justice has decided today, after meeting with a special study group, to implement a new temporary de-registration process, which will be tested in the coming months. A new study meeting is scheduled for September 1, 2014, during which the new process will be reviewed and if needed, further modifications to the process will be made. The new, temporary, process consists of the following steps:

1. De-Registration
Notification of planned departure needs to take place at the Ward/City Office within the 2 weeks prior to departure. Original Zairyu Card and a signed Overseas Moving-Out Notification form will be required for this process. Pro-Link can arrange this step on behalf of the employee and dependents.

2. Cancellation of Zairyu Card
The Zairyu Card holder needs to request the Immigration Officer at the airport to cancel the Zairyu Card due to final departure from Japan. The Immigration Officer will then take the card holder to another counter or room, where the card holder will need to sign a form confirming the request to cancel the card. Upon signing the Immigration Officer will then punch a hole in the card and return it to its owner.  Within 2-3 weeks from date of cancellation the Immigration Officer will notify the Ward/City Office that cancellation of the Card has taken place, which completes the departure process.

Pro-Link GLOBAL will continue to monitor this process and provide updates of any further changes that might be implemented during or after the test phase.