How To · Japan

My Experience At The Immigration Office in Japan

Do you ever get jittery when you go to an immigration office? If you throw that question right back at me, the answer is yes, a little. Not that I’m guilty about something, but it makes me a bit anxious to think about getting an approval or not. I’d like to think that I’m not the only one, right?

On the 28th of last month, I visited the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau (Saitama branch) to apply for Change of Status of Residence since I already received my new passport (with my married name). At the moment, my status is Dependent and I’m hoping to change it to Spouse of Permanent Resident since my husband was given the status Permanent Resident 2 years ago.

tokyo regional immigration bureau saitama branch office
At the entrance (Photography is prohibited inside.)

Danny and I got to the office 30 minutes before 9AM and were a bit surprised by a few people already queuing in the receiving area. While waiting, I engrossed myself by observing people and wandering my eyes around the place. I first noticed how tidy the office was and even with the people starting to fill up the once empty office, it wasn’t noisy at all which I really admired. At exactly 9AM, all windows rolled up at the same time and the staff greeted us all together which was really cool.

Here’s what happened next…

  1. We received a piece of paper with a number on it and waited for about 10 minutes to be called at the next window.
  2. The officer took the necessary documents and checked each of them. She figured out that I renewed my passport and told us to first notify the bureau about the change of my name before applying for Change of Status of Residence. With the documents that we submitted, she only asked me to fill out a form like this one.

    notification of a change of an item on the residence card
    Source: Immigration Bureau of Japan website
  3. To my surprise, after less than 10 minutes, she handed over my new residence card and told us to proceed to the next step which was our main goal on that day.
  4. In less than an hour, we accomplished the goal and were told to wait for the result in 1~2 months.

The way the officers delivered their job that day was pretty commendable. I was totally impressed by the quick and organized service! How was your experience?

On my next post, I will tell you about the required documents for the application for Change of Status of Residence. Stay tuned!

how to change japan residence card name
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me via Messenger or leave them in the comments below.

Follow me on Instagram (@sherylgim)!

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