Relo Japan, another part of the H&R Group of companies, helps businesses relocate employees to Japan. Our international team of experienced, multi-lingual consultants is dedicated to providing the highest level of relocation support available. Our relocation service programs are designed to alleviate the burdens of international assignments, so you can focus on the things which are most important to you. We aim to go beyond what is expected, and more importantly, we are your first friends in Japan.
When relocating to Japan, either with us or not, in order to reduce the possibility of complications during the course of your relocation, we would like to bring to your attention the following important points. Please be sure to refer back to this as you prepare for your move.
Please make sure that any furniture that you plan to bring fits in the house or apartment that you select. This means that the items do not just fit in the room where you intend to place them, but also that the elevators, stairways and doorways are wide and tall enough that the moving company will be able to get the items into the property. We can assist by taking measurements if you are unable to take them yourself.
In addition, if your chosen property has an electric stove, please confirm whether it uses induction or radiant heat before packing any cookware (induction requires a certain type of pan).
Holders of licenses from Germany, France, Switzerland Belgium, Slovenia, Monaco and Taiwan only require a Japanese translation of their license in order to be able to drive in Japan. Holders of all other licenses will need to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) in their home country before travelling to Japan in order to be able to drive here. Please be sure to apply for one in good time before your departure.
Please note that it is mandatory to carry your home country license with you whenever you are driving, regardless of whether you are using an IDP or a translation. In the case of all overseas licenses it is necessary to obtain a Japanese license within one year of arrival or the date of issue of the International Driving Permit, whichever is first.
More Information on IDP
When applying to convert to a Japanese license, you will need to submit documentary proof that you lived in the country that issued your license for at least three months, and at least one year if you wish to avoid having to display a beginner mark on your car. You are therefore advised to bring the following with you if possible in order to minimize the possibility of having to gather the necessary documents from Japan:
In addition to the above, we also strongly recommend that you bring documents such as utility bills, tax records, receipts of rent or insurance payments, university diplomas or transcripts, or letters issued by your employer to act as supporting evidence that you have lived in the country of issue for more than three months.
These documents should include the date, your name and address. Please be aware that unless you can provide a series, documents that only show a single date, for example a graduation certificate that only states the date of graduation, will not be accepted as proof.
More information on Converting your License
You will need to obtain a visa at a Japanese embassy or consulate in your home country before travelling to Japan to start your assignment. The Certificate of Eligibility, which you will receive before departure as long as the application was submitted in sufficient time, is not the equivalent of a visa but rather a document that shows that you have been found to meet the criteria for receiving a visa. If you arrive without having obtained a visa you will be given Temporary Visitor status and will not be entitled to legally work in Japan.
For families, particularly those with younger children, having copies of their vaccination records will be essential for making sure they can maintain their necessary vaccine schedules. Make sure your children are up to date on all vaccines, especially for any shots that may be required by your children’s new school, such as Japanese Encephalitis which may not be required in your home country.
If you have obtained your Japan Visa in advance of travel, you will receive your Residence Card when you pass through immigration at your port of arrival. If you are coming to Japan for a business trip in advance of your move but wish to have your visa activated, please be sure to check the “Others” box on the Disembarkation Card and write that you are moving permanently to Japan. If you check “Business”, there is a possibility that the immigration official will give you Temporary Visitor status rather than your long-term status of residence.
You will need to have received your Residence Card and registered your address with the local authorities before you can enter into any kind of contract (e.g. mobile phone, bank account). This registration can only be completed between 8.30 and 5.00 pm on a weekday (excluding national holidays). If you have accompanying family members, it will be necessary to submit proof of their relationship to you in the form of copies of marriage and birth certificates, so please be sure to bring the original documents with you.