STEP 3. Go to Municipal Office!

Have you completed the immigration procedures, arrived at your short-term accommodation, and started your life in Japan?

(If you are not, check STEP 2)

Once you have settled in, go to the nearest municipal office within 14 days from the day you start living there!

You will need to go through various procedures such as resident registration.

In this section, the procedures that you need to go through at the municipal office are explained.

Review in full and be careful not to leave anything out!

1. Prepare in advance

This part explains what you should check before going to the municipal office!

2. Understand various procedures and prepare documents

Procedural documents are available at the municipal office.

If you have the Japanese language skill or if you can get someone to help you with various procedures at the municipal office, you may skip this step!

Most municipal offices have the required documents available on the Internet for downloading. Therefore, it is possible to prepare the documents in advance.

By doing so, you may shorten the time required for the procedures at the municipal office!

It will also help you mentally if you are well prepared, especially if you are visiting the municipal office alone!

In Japan, you can print out documents at convenience stores. You can easily print out documents at selected convenience stores by using a Network Printing Service. In addition to Japanese, English is supported.

Network Print | Upload from PC/Smartphone and print at convenience store
Free membership registration is provided for Network Print. It is a service in which you can upload documents and photos from PC or Smartphone and print them by...

Please see below for the required documents!

3. Go to the local Municipal Office

Once you are ready, it is time to go to the municipal office to complete the procedures.

When you go to the municipal office, be sure to bring the following documents with you to avoid having to go through the process twice.

  • Residence card
  • Passport with a valid visa
  • Certificate of Eligibility
  • Your seal (if you wish to register your seal)

The procedures to be completed the municipal office are as follows.

(1) Register as a resident and submit a Moving-In Notification

Only (1) is a mandatory procedure, which applies to all!
Failure to register as a resident may result in revocation of your status of residence.

Within 14 days of living in Japan, you must submit a “Moving-In Notification” to the municipal office.

Since each municipal office has its own form, it is difficult to prepare in advance. It is advisable to go through the procedure in person at the municipal office.

The staff at the municipal office may ask you the following questions, so be prepared to answer them.

  • When did you enter Japan?
  • Is this your first time living in Japan?
  • Do you have insurance with your employer? →If not, you will be guided through the process of joining the National Health Insurance.
  • Do you have pension with your employer? →If not, you will be guided through the process of joining the National Pension Plan.

By submitting a Moving-In Notification and registering as a resident, your address will be listed on your residence card.

You will now be able to use your residence card as a proof of residence when you open a bank account or sign a lease contract.

Once your resident registration is completed, a certificate of residence will be created.

  • A certificate of residence lists your name, date of birth, gender, and address.
  • In order to prove the status of residence, etc., you can ask for a copy of the certificate of residence (for a fee).  You will be asked to submit a copy of the certificate of residence in certain instances.

For those who wish to enroll your child in school

In Japan, elementary and junior high schools are compulsory.

Foreign children may enroll in Japanese schools if they wish.

The entry procedure differs from one municipal office to another. Please ask the staff person at the municipal office when you submit the Moving-In Notification.

It is also recommended that you read the following guidebook in advance!

School Enrollment Guidebook for Foreign Students” (available in 8 languages)

(2) (Optional) Submit an Application for Issuance of My Number Card

If you wish to submit an “Application for Issuance of My Number Card” at the municipal office, please do so.

(3) (For certain persons only) Complete the enrollment procedure for the National Health Insurance

If you wish to enroll in the National Health Insurance, complete the procedure at the municipal office.

(4) (For certain persons only) Complete the enrollment procedure for the National Pension Plan

If you wish to enroll in the National Pension Plan, complete the procedure at the municipal office.

You will be required to submit a “National Pension insured persons’ report form” at the municipal office.

(5) (For certain persons only) Register your seal

If you need/wish to register your seal (Inkan), please do so at the municipal office.

Registration can be done at a later date.

Good job!

You are all done with the municipal office!


Once you are registered as a resident, you can open a bank account in Japan.

Please refer to Step 4 for details!

Go to STEP 4

The information contained in this article is based on the information available as of August 31, 2023.