Japan's New Immigration Procedures According to the Revised Law

A law has been announced, revising one section of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, and putting into place provisions for the prevention of terrorism.

As part of efforts to combat terrorism, anti-terror measures have been put in place to use the personally identifying information provided to Immigration. Foreign nationals who are required to provide personally identifying information will now have their fingerprints and a photograph taken.


November 20th, 2007

Applicable to:

Foreign nationals entering (or re-entering) Japan, excluding the exempt persons listed below.

Exempt Persons

  1. Special Permanent Residents
  2. Children aged under 16
  3. Persons seeking to conduct activities that apply under a "diplomacy" or "official business" visa status
  4. Persons invited by the head of a national administrative body

  5. Persons prescribed by decree of the Ministry of Justice in accordance with 3 or 4

New Immigration Procedure Flow

  1. Submit passport, Embarkation Card For Reentrant (ED card), etc. to Immigration Officer
  2. After receiving instruction from the Immigration Officer, place the index finger of both hands on the fingerprint reader as a general rule, while your fingerprint information is read electromagnetically
  3. The camera above the fingerprint reader will take your photograph
  4. You will be interviewed by the Immigration Officer
  5. The Immigration Officer will return your passport and other documents, and the examination will finish

Important Notice

  • Foreign nationals who are required to provide personally identifying information who refuse to have their fingerprints or photograph taken will be refused entry to Japan, and ordered to leave.
  • Incomplete ED cards may result in extremely long Immigration processing times, so please ensure you do not miss any items on the ED card.
  • For details, see the Japan Ministry of Justice website.