Legal Procedures at the City/Ward Office

Resident Registration

All foreigners residing over three months in Japan must register their place of Residence at their local City/Ward Office (within 14 days of moving-in.)

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

Required Items
  • Passport
  • Residence Card (Not required if the card was not issued at an airport)
residence card
Change of Address

All foreigners who change the address in Japan must submit a “Notification of Change of Address” to the local City/Ward office to register the new address within 14 days from the date of moving in. Also, you should submit a “ Change of Address “ to the post office so that the post office may forward a mail and a parcel to your new address in Japan for one year.

Necessary Documents
  • Passport
  • Residence Card
  • Notification Card for Individual Numbers or Individual Number Card
  • National Health Insurance Card (enrollee only)
  • Move-out Notification (in case move-in Kyoto City from outside of Kyoto City)

*For foreign nationals membership:
When entering Japan with family, the certificate for family relationship issued by the government offices in a home country and its Japanese translation sentence of the contents (The address of the translator and the name are also written clearly.) may be requested.

Post Office Online Change of Address called as “e-Tenkyo” (in Japanese only)

Legal Procedures at the City/Ward Office


The explanation about letters (documents) sent from ward offices (PDF)
Individual Numbers “My Number” System
(The social security and tax number system)

Since October 2015, the individual numbers called as “My Number” system has started. The individual number will be issued for all foreigners residing over three months in Japan and registered their place of residence. The local municipal offices will send a Notification Card for Individual Numbers for the entire household via simple registered mail. Your Individual Number will serve you for your lifetime. Individual Numbers will be used for application and other procedures related to pension, medical insurance, and taxation. Please be sure to keep your number securely, even after leaving Japan.

my number
Inquiry Multilingual Call Center for “My Number” system
TEL 0120-0178-26 (toll free)
Hours open Monday to Friday 9:30 - 20:30
Saturday, Sunday, National holidays 9:30 - 17:30
(excluding December 29 to January 3)
Languages English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese
Reference Cabinet Secretariat
Public Pension System

All people aged between 20 and 59 who are resident in Japan, including foreign nationals holding a resident card, are required to enroll in the public pension system. The public pension system comprises the National Pension System and the Employees’ Pension Insurance System.

Inquiries and applications for the National Pension System should be made at the City/Ward Office. Inquiries and applications for the Employees’ Pension Insurance System should be made via the general/personnel affairs staff of the applicant’s department of affiliation.

Persons experiencing financial difficulty may be eligible for a postponement or waiver of pension payments. Applications for a postponement or waiver of payments can be made at the City/Ward Office.

In order to prevent people from paying pension premiums in both their home country and Japan, and to enable people to receive benefits for contributions made in both countries, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Walfare has concluded social security agreements with an increasing number of foreign countries. We recommend that you check your own country’s pension system to confirm the correct procedures.

Pension Lump-Sum Withdrawal Payments

Non-Japanese nationals who have been paying into the Japan Pension Service can reclaim a portion of their payments if they cease residing in Japan. The repayment must be claimed within two years of their departure from Japan or their submission of a “notification of moving” to the City/Ward Office.

Claimants must fulfill the following conditions:
  • They must not have Japanese nationality.
  • They must have left Japan or have submitted a “notification of moving.”
  • They must have paid into the Japan Pension Service for at least six months.
  • They must not already have received any pension payments.
  • The application for the lump-sum payment must be made within two years of their withdrawal from the pension system.
National Health Insurance

All foreigners residing over three months* in Japan and those who are not employed must enroll the national health insurance. Once enrolled a health insurance card will be issued. The card must be shown whenever treatment is received at a hospital or a clinic. Card holders only need to pay 30 % of medical expenses.

*You may enroll the insurance although your length of stay is three months (except for those with a temporary visitor visa) Please contact the local City/Ward Office for more details.

Applications The local City/Ward Office
Required Items
  • Passport
  • Residence Card
Payment of Health
Insurance Premium
The annual premium is paid ten (monthly) installments from June to March.
Calculation of the annual premium is based on the applicant’s previous year’s income in Japan. Once the insurance premium is set, it does not change no matter how many times a policy holder receives medical treatment during the year.
You may pay a premium at the local city/ward office, a bank, a post office and a convenience store.

The National Health Insurance Guidebook in four languages
Languages: English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese