To do on arrival

  • The Resident card is your identification document, normally issued in major airports when entering the country.
  • Foreign residents must carry it all the time.
  • Once students have established their residence in Japan they must report to the municipality, and have it registered on the back of their resident card within a 14-day delay.
  • Similarly, also when moving to a different address, the municipalities concerned must be notified within the same 14-day delay.
  • Foreign residents might incur in fines if they fail to carry or present their resident card.


National Health Insurance System

All foreigners staying in Japan for longer than 3 months must join the Japanese National Health Insurance System. The National Health Insurance System covers 70% of any medical fee sustained for illnesses or injuries. In addition, only students registered to the National Health Insurance System can use the supplementary International Students Compensation System through the school.

  • Registration is done at the ward office or city hall of your residence. Resident card is needed for the procedure. It is recommended to join the National Health Insurance System when registering the address at the municipality.
  • For people with no income, students and international students, an Insurance Premium Reduction and Exemption System is in place. Apply individually to use it.

Insurance premium prospect for a reference

The amount of premiums varies by cities/municipalities.

Area Standard premium Premium for people with no income in the previous year 
(in Japan or abroad)
Bunkyo City, Tokyo 51,000 JPY/year 15,660 JPY/year
Kawasaki, Kanagawa prefecture 49,105 JPY/year 12,885 JPY/year
Saitama, Saitama prefecture 36,600 JPY/year 10,980 JPY/year
  • Part-time job wages might affect the insurance premium for the following year.
  • When moving to a different address, it is mandatory to update the health insurance as well.
  • The official annual insurance premium is usually notified in July, while the April notification is usually provisional. When receiving bills for April, May and June, it is recommended to settle then as soon as possible by bank transfer or cash in any convenience store.