Tips: Changes in visa application forms (as of 13 March 2021)

The immigration has made many changes to the visa application forms.  It might make further changes without notice.  Please make sure to download the latest forms each time you start filling out the application forms.  


Let me share 10 changes which are likely to affect many of you.  There are many types of application forms.  The below is not applicable to all of them.  It is only meant to give you some idea (as of 13 March 2021).


(application form images taken from the downloadable forms offered by Immigration Services Agency of Japan)

1. “Family in Japan”

You are asked to give information of your aunts and uncles as well as your parents, spouse, children, brothers and sisters.  Please note that you need to list up those you are living with even if they are not your family members: English explanation says “or”, but it is actually “and/or”.  


2. “COE (Certificate of Eligibility) applications in the past”

This is new.  You need to write how many COE applications you have made so far and how many were denied.


3. “Criminal records”

You need to mention traffic violation records too, including just paying penalties without court trials.  Criminal records both in Japan and outside Japan, everything in the past. 


4. “Work experience”

Working visa holders/applicants need to write work experience.  Before it was enough to list those in Japan.  But now you need to give full records, in Japan and outside Japan.


5. “Income”

When working visa holders/applicants write their income, they need to make sure to exclude commuting allowance, housing allowance, dependent allowance, etc.  The income amount to be given is your pay before deduction of tax and social insurance premium. 


6. “Details of activities” 

Working visa holders/applicants must give detailed explanation of your activities (job description) on the application form.  This is new.


7. “Start date of employment”

This is new.  You now need to write the date when you started working for your company.  If you haven’t started working and waiting for your visa permission, you need to specify when you plan to start working.


8. “Period of work”

Working visa holders/applicants whose employment contract term is fixed now need to specify the length of employment contract terms, such as “1 year” or “6 months” etc.  This is new.


9. “Personal relationship or status”

Spouse of a Japanese, Spouse of a Permanent Resident and Long-term visa holders/applicants, please see the form below.  It looks very different doesn’t it?


10. Company numbers

In most forms which are to be filled up by the company (employer), 2 types of numbers are necessary: 

Cooperation number (13 digits, assigned by National Tax Agency, different from the one printed on Company Tohon)

Employment insurance office number (11 digits, assigned at HelloWork)