The Alien Invasion's New Card

From July this year, your Alien Registration Card (外国人登録証明書) will be officially obsolete.

The replacement of the current registration system with the new “Resident Card” confers the previously-denied right to have the same piece of paper as real, authentic Japanese citizens like Astro Boy, a cartoon character, and Tama-chan, a fucking SEAL.

This point obviously has foreigner-rights advocates like Debito excited, because, well, finally being viewed as a human in the eyes of the law is great.

The resident card will do away with the current system, where the city hall will allow you to apply for and recieve registration from your local city office regardless of visa status; it also fast tracks visa revocation if you get a divorce from your fake marriage partner.

Doh! Get prepared for unforseen consequences! Anyway, enough of Ken’s Tinfoil Hat Hour, here’s the lowdown:

• You will get a resident card to replace your alien card. It will be embedded with an IC chip so the government can track you all times. It is also a friendly green color, and the photo is on the right side instead of the left. Progress!

• The current maximum visa length of three years will be extended to five. This is a nice change if you are going for permenant residence: the current 1 year 1 year 3 year system will hopefully change to a single five year visa. Or they will keep it the same (my gut says this is likely.)

• If you’re leaving for less than a year, you won’t need a re-entry permit anymore. One less trip to the immigration office!

• You can apply for the new card from July, but don’t have to until your current visa expires.

That’s all folks. Enjoy the privilege of having the same piece of paper as all the other Nihonjin, cartoon characters and seals!

If you have any more questions, or would like to hear the soothing voice of someone who works at immigration explain the new card to you, call 0570-013904. If you prefer text, check out this website.

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