Just a mini-update about the juki card (住基カード), a government-issued identification card that was made available to foreign residents earlier this month.

As a reminder, the juki card is one of the few government ID cards available to foreign residents which can contain your 通称名 (tsuushoumei), or registered alias. If you're like me and have a long name, you may find that it's the only card you can get with a tsuushoumei on it.



There are two forms of the juki card, one with a photo and one without. The one with a photo has more information listed on it, and it can be used as official ID in place of a driver's license or zairyuu card.

To get a juki card, you'll need to apply at your local town, city, or ward office. Application forms are available at the offices and are not too long or complicated to fill out. However, application also requires a 35mm by 45mm photograph of you, without a hat, against a plain background, yadda yadda. Standard ID photo fare. While some offices will have the means to take your photo on site, some may not. So it's best to call ahead or just come prepared with a photo in hand. Depending on where you live, there may also be an application fee of a few hundred yen.

The juki card will typically be valid until the end of your period of stay (在留期間) as listed on the stamp from Japanese immigration in your passport. (I'm not sure how long the juki card lasts for permanent residents.) This means that if you're coming up for an extension, you may want to complete that extension before arranging to have your juki card made. You can typically apply for extensions at immigration up to six months before your current landing permit expires, and applying early carries no penalty--if an extension is granted, the extra year(s) will be tacked on to the final date of your original landing permission.

Anyway, again, the juki card's expiration will match that date in your passport. When your juki card expires, you'll have to go to the city office again, with a new photo, and pay any municipal fees again to have it updated. So time it wisely.

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