Study in Kobe

Immigration and Residence Procedures upon Arrival in Japan

1. Procedure at Passport Control
2. Resident registration
3.“My Number” (The social security and tax number system)
4. National Health Insurance
5. Public Pension System

1. Procedure at Passport Control

Residence Card

2. Resident registration

【Foreign nationals relocating from overseas】
All foreign nationals residing over three months in Japan must register their places of residence at the city/ward office where they live within 14 days of finding a place to settle down.

Documents to be submitted:
 1. Passport (Original)
 2. Residence Card (Original) (if already issued at the airport)
※If you don’t receive a residence card at the airport, it will be sent to the registered address by the Immigration Bureau after your place of residence has been registered at the city/ward office (It takes about 1-2 weeks).

It is advisable to obtain a copy of the certificate of residence when you go to register your place of residence. This document requires a separate application. If your  residence card has not yet been issued, a copy of the certificate of residence is necessary to open a bank account and to make a contract for a mobile phone.
(e.g.) The fee for a certificate of residence in Kobe
From the city/ward office counter: 300yen per certificate
Using the certificate issuing service at a convenience store: 150yen per certificate(This requires your My Number Card)

Reference
 Kobe City Website:
  https://www.city.kobe.lg.jp/a53715/kurashi/registration/shomeisho/01_juminhyo.html 

【Foreign nationals who are already in Japan】
Foreign nationals who have changed their place of residence are also required to report to the city/ward office where they live within 14 days of moving to the new residence.
1) When moving to an address in another city/town (e.g. from Osaka city to Kobe city), you must visit the city/ward office of the present address before you move, and notify them of the moving out date. Then you will receive a certificate of moving out. After that, you must visit the city/ward office corresponding to your new address after you move, and notify them of the new address within 14 days of the moving-in date. Your new address will be added to your residence card.
Documents to be submitted:
 1. Residence Card (or Alien Registration Card) (Original)
 2. My Number Card (or Notification Card for My Number) (Original)
 3. Certificate of Moving out

2) When moving within the same city/town or the same ward (e.g. from Chuo ward to Nada ward in Kobe city or from Rokkodaicho to Shinoharakitamachi in Nada ward, Kobe city), you must notify the city/ward office of your new address. The form “Notification of the address” is obtainable from the city/ward office. Your new address will be added to the residence card.
Documents to be submitted:
 1. Residence Card (or Alien Registration Card) (Original)
 2. My Number Card (or Notification Card for My Number) (Original)

※If you do not register within 90 days after arriving or changing your address without legitimate reason, your status of residence may be voided .

Reference 
Immigration Services Agency of Japan Website
 Notification of the domicile of a mid- to long-term resident
  http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/tetuduki/juukyoti/tyutyoki.html
 Notification on the address after initial landing (mid- to long-term residents)
  http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/tetuduki/kanri/shyorui/25.html   
 Notification on the change in address (mid- to long-term residents)
  http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/tetuduki/kanri/shyorui/27.html
 Kobe City Website (Japanese only with auto-translate option):
 Resident Registration Procedure for Foreign nationals:
  https://www.city.kobe.lg.jp/a53715/kurashi/registration/gaikoku/01_tetuduki.html

<The Post Office’s service for forwarding mail>
After changing your address, you should submit a “Change of Address” form to the post office so that they can forward mail and parcels to your new address in Japan for one year.

Reference
Post Office Online Change of Address system “e-Tenkyo” (in Japanese only)
 https://welcometown.post.japanpost.jp/etn/
Q3, Practical Guide for International Students
 https://www.post.japanpost.jp/int/ems/ryugaku/intl_student/index_en.html

 

3. “My Number” (The social security and tax number system)

From October 2015 onwards, a personal number system known as “My Number” has been implemented in Japan. This is sometimes also referred to as your Individual Number.

It is a 12 digit number assigned to individuals living in Japan, which is utilized for social security and tax purposes as well as for measures against disasters. Foreign nationals who are residing in Japan for over three months will also receive a “My Number”. If you are registered as a resident in Japan, your Individual Number is printed on the notification card that you receive from the city/ward office of your registered address. Individual Numbers are used for applications and other procedures related to pensions, medical insurance, and taxation. Please be sure to keep your number secure even after leaving Japan.

Reference
 Cabinet Office Website
  https://www.cao.go.jp/bangouseido/foreigners/english.html

4. National Health Insurance

All foreign nationals who have been granted permission to stay in Japan for over 3 months are required to enroll in the National Health Insurance Plan, the Japanese public medical insurance program.
Enrollment in the National Health Insurance Plan is to be carried out at the municipal health insurance department of the city/ward office where you live after registering your place of residence. 
Those enrolled need only pay 30% of medical costs upon presentation of their insurance card at the hospital reception prior to receiving medical treatment or hospitalization (only applies to treatment covered by the National Health Insurance). This insurance partly covers dental treatment, chronic diseases and childbirth, which may not be covered by general overseas travelers’ personal accident insurance.
The insurance premium varies depending on individual circumstances, such as family size.
The annual premium calculations are based on the subscriber’s previous year’s income in Japan. Premium payments can be made at a bank or post office, or by bank account transfer. Automatic electronic payment by bank or post office account is convenient. For details, please ask at the city/ward office.
If the amount of medical costs to be paid to the same hospital in a single month (30% of the total medical charge) exceeds the determined sum of money, the excess costs will be borne by the city.

※Those with a Temporary Visitor Visa or three-month College Student Visa are not eligible for a National Health Insurance Card, and are therefore advised to purchase a travel insurance policy (or similar) instead.

5. Public Pension System

All people aged between 20 and 59 who are resident in Japan for over 3 months, including foreign nationals holding a residence card, are required to enroll in the public pension system. The public pension system is comprised of the National Pension System and the Employees’ Pension Insurance System. Inquiries and applications regarding the National Pension System should be made at the city/ward office.

≪Enrollment Procedures≫
1) If you are 20 years of age or older when you enter Japan:
After completing resident registration, you need to enroll at the city/ward office or Japan Pension Service branch office of the area where you reside. An extra procedure is required if you are a student or cannot afford to pay the contributions.
2) If you are 19 years of age or younger when you enter Japan:
You will receive a “report of acquisition of qualifications for National Pension System” one month before you become 20 years old. You need enroll at the city/ward office. An extra procedure is required if you are a student or cannot afford to pay the contributions.

●When you cannot pay the pay contributions
There are contribution postponement and exemption systems. Please contact the city/ward office for more details. 

(1) Regular Students:
“Special Payment System for Students” for Matriculated (degree-seeking) International Students
This system allows you to postpone contribution payments by application. However, if your income or your spouse’s income for the preceding fiscal year (two years before if the application is made between January and June) exceeds the limit, you may not be eligible. In principle, you need to make an application every year.
(2) Non-regular (non-degree seeking) Students, such as Research Students, etc. There are contribution postponement and exemption systems. In principle, you need to apply every year, however your application may be automatically renewed depending on the exemption amount. 
※Matriculated students are not eligible to apply for these systems.

[1]About Exemption
If you or your spouse have difficulty in paying the contributions due to financial reasons such as low income of the previous year (two years before if the application is made between January and June), you can apply for the “Exemption of the Contributions.” If your application for exemption is granted, you will be exempt from contribution payments. There are four types of exemptions depending on your situation: full-amount, 3/4-amount, half-amount, and 1/4-amount-exemption.

[2]Regarding the Contribution Postponement System for Low Income Persons
You can apply for this system if you are over 20 and under 50 years (※) old and your income/your spouse’s income is below a certain level. Your payments can be postponed if your application is granted.
(※) In July 2016, the age range was changed from under 30 to under 50.

Reference
 Japan Pension Service Website:
  http://www.nenkin.go.jp/international/english/nationalpension/nationalpension.html