In response to Zairyu Card holders protesting that immigration officers refused to accept their cards upon final departure, the Ministry of Justice has decided to implement a new deregistration process. While the process currently being tested is temporary, it will take effect immediately. Similarly as before, foreign residents are still required to notify their ward/city office of their intent to leave Japan two weeks before their departure date and submit a signed “overseas moving-out notification” form. However, the new procedure requires foreign residents to also sign a form requesting cancellation of the Zairyu Card at the airport. Upon receipt of this form, the immigration officer will punch a hole in the card and then return it to the foreign national. Within the next two to three weeks, the officer will inform the ward/city office of the card’s cancellation. As the additional form is implemented into the process, foreign nationals should prepare to spend more time completing the exit procedure at the airport. The longer exit procedure will be evaluated throughout its testing period to determine if further changes are needed or if the process should become permanent.

Please note that this is general information only and not intended as advice on a specific matter. Please feel free to contact Fakhoury Global Immigration directly with questions exclusive to your situation. This news alert may have been prepared using information from Peregrine Immigration Management, which is licensed to Fakhoury Global Immigration.