Japan 1 year visa 1st renewal notes

May 22, 2020

Theres a boatload of visa renewal resources available; I’m not covering how to renew, only any specific information for my situation that I could not find anywhere; your first visa renewal when you have a 1 year visa.

*NOTE: Obviously anything I say here is purely anecdotal and shouldn’t be treated as anything more official*

As best as I can tell from foreigners I’ve met, 1 year visas are much less common than either 3 or 5 year visas here in Japan. I myself was (and unfortunately am again…) a 1 year holder. This in itself is not a big deal (other than the annoyance of having to go back to renew >=3x as often as everyone else).

The difficulty I had was regarding tax certificates during my visa renewal. When you renew your visa, you are expected to provide tax certificates confirming up-to-date payment. Easy to get hold of; go to your City or Ward office. However, as a foreigner you don’t pay into some tax in the first year. I was unable to find any resources explaining what to do in this situation of renewal at the end of the first year.

So what happens?

The answer is fortunately as easy as it could possible be. You don’t need tax certificates to renew your first year; when you provide your documentation; they can just be omitted from the requested evidence list. I wish this particularly bit of information was more readily available; there was a lot of wasted time (both mine and other peoples) just to find that out…

Hopefully someone/anyone else in my situation in the future might find this useful; it saves a trip to city hall trying to explain that you need a certificate that they politely reply cannot exist.