Guide for Visa extension

Disclaimer: We are not visa experts. The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by current and former JETs and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

Who needs to extend their visa?

  • Any JET going into their fourth year will have to apply to have their visa extended.
  • In some cases, fourth years who were previously granted only a one year renewal will need to renew their visa for their 5th year.


Where do you apply to extend your visa?

  • You will need to apply at the Niigata immigration bureau office at Niigata Airport (East wing, 2F) map
    Please park at airport parking lot.
  • or if you live in the southern region of Niigata you can also apply at Nagano Branch office of Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau (3F) map  (click here for detailed info)


You will need to bring/prepare:

  • Application form: 1 copy
  • Passport-style photo (4cm×3cm): 1 copy
  • Documents certifying your employment as a JET and your tax records. This will include:
    • Proof of employment (在職証明書) and other documents from your CO (can include a copy of your contract, a letter from your principal, etc.)
    • Proof of payment of residency tax (住民税の課税証明書) Income tax certificate (納税証明書) (both this and the above tax document can be picked up at your local municipal office.
  • Passport and residence card.

Documents you submit will not be returned to you, so make copies of the documents and turn those in instead. There will also be a 4,000 yen fee, which must be paid with revenue stamps (収入印紙 [しゅうにゅういん]). These are available for purchase at any post office. As long as you have all of your documents, the process should be a simple one. Hand in everything, answer any questions or fix any issues, and then wait for them to be approved. The immigration office will contact you for more documents if they need. After turning in your application, you will be given a temporary visa explaining that your documents are currently being processed. Your application will then be processed.  Sometimes it will likely take between 1 and 3 months. When they are finished, you will receive a notice in the mail to come pick up your new visa.
You can find a full guide of the official process in English here: English Visa Tax Guide
and in Japanese here:Japanese Visa Tax Guide
For JETs who are leaving, it’s important to figure out when exactly your status of residence expires. – If your status of residence expires before the end of your appointment, you need to apply for an Extension of Period of Stay, the process of which is detailed above. – If your status of residence will expire on the same day your appointment ends or just after, but before you leave the country, you must apply for a 90-Day Temporary Visitor Status of Residence. Overstaying your visa even a day is still overstaying, and you can get in big trouble for this. As you cannot work on a temporary visitor visa, if your visa ends on the same day your contract ends, you will need to go and apply on the last day of your contract. You may need to take vacation for this, so be prepared to have a day or two at the end. – If your Status of Residence will not expire before you leave, you can stay up to 90 days for the purpose of sightseeing without changing your visa. After that, it will become invalid.


Updated as of June 2017