*No matter what your situation is, we recommend getting in contact with the Japan Immigration Bureau (there is a branch in Naha) to explain your situation and assure that you are doing the correct procedures.
CLAIR hosts the After JET Conference and Career Forum in the Kanto area around February – March of each year. They send out reminder emails from a couple months beforehand and you will need to register in order to be able to attend. You are generally required to take nenkyu during this time and must cover all expenses yourself.
There are several other CLAIR career forums held at different times in different parts of the country. Please refer to the CLAIR website for more details regarding the career forums.
There are several online job databases:
2. Status of Residence/Visas
In order to be able to continue to reside in Japan, you will need a valid visa, which in this case will most likely be a working visa.
ALTs’ status of residence as detailed on their 在留カード (zairyuu kaado, residence card) and visas is “Instructor.”
CIRs’ status of residence is “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services.”
If your next job falls under the same designation (i.e. ALT → English instructor ≪or≫ CIR → translator/interpreter), then you can continue on to your next place of employment while continuing to work under the same visa (as long as it has more than 3 months left until expiration). You can find a list of status of residences along with examples on the Immigration Bureau’s website here:
If your next job does NOT fall under the same classification (i.e. ALT → translator/interpreter), then you need to apply for a change for status of residence. We recommend doing this as soon as you have finalized your next job.
You can find an explanation of changing the status of residence on the Immigration Bureau’s website here:
You will need to register that you have started a new job with the Immigration Bureau after your first day of work. This registration can be done online at the link below:
GOING TO YOUR NEW MUNICIPAL OFFICE
What you need:
在留カード (zairyuu kaado, residence card)
3. Registering a New Address
If you are leaving your current address, you will need to register your new one with the local government office.
Before leaving, you need to visit your local city/town/village hall and fill out paperwork notifying them that you will no longer be residing at the same address. It is called 転出届 (tenshutsu todoke), and it is recommended that you submit it within two weeks of departure.
You will need to fill in your current address, your new address, and the day you are moving out. This will most likely be processed at the 市民課 (shiminka, Citizen Division).
When you reach your new local government office, you will turn in a 転入届 (ten’nyuu todoke) to register your new address. You must submit this within 14 days of moving to the new location.
When you arrive at the new government office, head to the 市民課 and take a number. When your number is called you will fill in the 転入届 with your new address, old address, and the day you move in. They will ask you to confirm the information is correct, and if you have a spouse or child you may be asked to provide proof (i.e. marriage license, birth certificate, etc. *They may also request a translated copy, but depending on the government office you can have anyone translate it and do not need to pay for a professional translation.)
They will take your residence card so that they can write your new address on the back, and may ask if you want a 住民票 (juumin hyō, Certificate of Residency). The Certificate of Residency can be used for many bureaucratic procedures such as getting a driver’s license, and it costs around \300.
4. Pension and National Health Insurance
If you are a resident of Japan that is over 18 years old, you are legally required to pay into the national pension and health insurance systems.
This is automatically deducted from your JET pay and will most likely be a part of the terms and conditions of your new job (please check with your new workplace). However, if you are not starting work immediately after finishing JET, you are technically “unemployed” and need to enroll in the national pension and health insurance systems during this time. You lose access to the pension and health insurance when your contract ends, and therefore need to enroll in the national system during this time, no matter how long.
You will need to collect two documents from your workplace:
離職票 (rishokuhyō, Certificate of Unemployment) *Only able to receive the rishokuhyō AFTER your contract finishes.
資格喪失証明書 (shikaku sōshitsu shōmeisho, Certificate of Losing Qualification for Health Insurance)
The rishokuhyō is proof that you are currently unemployed. By providing proof of this, it essentially shows that you are unable to afford to pay in to the pension system, and therefore you may be exempt from being billed. This document is not required, but it will make the process shorter and easier and may also help avoid unwanted pension bills from appearing in your mailbox.
Similarly to the pension, you will need to be enrolled in the national health insurance during the time you are technically “unemployed.” You NEED your shikaku sōshitsu shōmeisho in order to complete the paperwork at your new municipality. With this, you can potentially get your health insurance card on the same day.
Once you begin work (and your workplace offers insurance), you will need to go back to your municipal office in person to inform them that you have switched over to the social insurance.
You will be paying your current municipalities taxes until the next fiscal year (you will not be doubly taxed). Taxes are based on the previous fiscal year, which means that you will be paying the same amount of tax regardless of your next salary.
Taxes are evaluated in January, so the amount that you are charged will depend on where you live and how much you are being paid during that time. If you lived in Okinawa in January and are making X amount of money, then that is how much you will be charged until the next fiscal year. If you moved any time after January and establish your residency, your future taxes will be calculated based on where you are/how much you are making.
You may be asked by your workplace for information about your next workplace in order to fill in a 給与支払報告・特別徴収にかかる給与所得者異動届出書 (Kyuuyo Shiharai Hōkoku/Tokubetsu Chōshuu ni Kakaru Kyuuyo Shotokusha Idō Todokedesho). By filling this out and sending it to your next workplace, your future employer will know how much to deduct from your salary to automatically cover your municipal taxes. You will have to pay these no matter what, and if you do not establish a way for them to be deducted automatically, you will be sent a bill(s) that you will have to pay off instead. In order to fill this out, please know your new address, your new employer’s address, and your personal number on your MyNumber Card.