Immigration changes to come as new law takes effect in July
The revised immigration law will take effect next July 9 and the government will start accepting applications for new residence registration cards on Jan. 13, the Cabinet decided Tuesday, paving the way for increased government scrutiny through a centralized immigration control of foreign nationals.
For example, documented foreigners will have their maximum period of stay extended to five years instead of the current three years. Re-entry to Japan will also be allowed without applying for a permit as long as the time away is less than a year, according to the Justice Ministry.
Permanent residents, meanwhile, will have to apply for a new residence card within three years from July 2012. Required materials necessary for an application have not been determined yet.