Japan visa validity extension

All the visas except for Permanent Resident visa have a certain duration of period of stay and need to be extended if you wish to stay in Japan longer. Foreigners who wants to remain in Japan for longer than the duration their visa is issued for has to get a Japan Visa Extension, technically known as an Extension of Period of Stay. So, if you are in Japan on a Student Visa or Work Visa or any other type and you want to stay past its expiry date, you have to apply for a Visa Extension.

Foreign national citizen who immigrate to Japan on a work visa or student visa may extend or renew their visa when the permitted duration is about to expire. The procedure is called as Application for Extension of Period of Stay. It is controlled by Article 21, Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act. Foreign national wishing to continue his/her status of residence can apply for extension of period of stay.

Once the application for the visa renewal is submitted, as it consumes time for being application is processed and the notification of result, your current visa is automatically extended for 2 months from the date of your current expiration date. But the interesting fact is that, it is possible to travel outside of Japan while the application for the visa renewal is being processed. But you should be back within that 2 months. If you do not return to Japan within the 2 months extension period, your visa will be cancelled even if the renewal application is in process.

The validity of tourist visa is 30 days while visit visa is 90 days. Tourist visa can't be extended. However, tourist visa holders are only allowed to renew twice, for maximum 60 days stay.

Single-entry visas are permitted with a validity of 3 months from the date of issue of visa. It is not possible to extend this validity in this kind.

But the double-entry visas has a validity of 6 months from the date of issue.

Multiple-entry visas are issued with longer validity in the range of 1 to 5 years which depends on the foreigner's nationality, the type of passport and the purpose of his visit.

Who can be applicant?                 
The application for a Japan Visa Extension by oneself or a sponser. For example:

If you are an international student, representatives of your school can apply on your behalf
If you are employed in a Japanese company, your employer or a company representative can apply on your behalf
A legal representative or lawyer can apply in your behalf
When to submit application?
Applicant have to apply to extend the period of your stay in Japan before the current visa expires. The application may be submitted before 90 days prior to the date of expire.

Documents required:            
While applying for the extension of the stay, it is necessary to submit the supporting documents. The documents depends on the purpose of stay. The required documents are

A completely filled form for the extension of stay
Your passport
Your Residence Card
Passport-size picture of yourself, with the following specifications:
Dimensions: 4cm x 3cm
Taken within the last three months
Plain and light-colored background, without any patterns and shadows
Your face has to be fully visible
Proof you meet the financial requirements to continue living in Japan
Additional documents to show your purpose of travel, such as:
For a Japan Student Visa:
A copy of your Registration Certificate issued by your educational institution
A copy of your Results Certificate issued by your educational institution
Proof you can meet the financial requirements related to your stay
For a Japan Work Visa:
Proof of continued employment which states the details of your employment, such as the salary, position, and duration
The company’s registration documents
Proof of the annual income and tax payment
For a Japan Spouse or Child Visa:
A copy of the family registration of the Japanese citizen or foreign resident
A copy of the Residence Card of the Japanese citizen or foreign resident
Proof of the income and profession of the Japanese citizen or foreign resident
Letter of Guarantee from the Japanese citizen or foreign resident
All the documents you submit have to be in A4 size paper. You should ask your local Immigration Services whether to submit originals of the documents or photocopies, since in many cases they may not be returned.

What happens if the Application is rejected?
If application for a Japanese Visa Extension is rejected, the applicant will be provided with a Temporary Stay visa for the purpose of making necessary preparations to leave the country. Applications can be rejected if it do not meet the requirements for a visa extension such as follows

You do not have the necessary financial requirements to finance your stay
You have not had good behavior or moral conduct during your stay in Japan
You have not fulfilled your tax obligations
You have not met the required attendance for your studies (if you have a Student Visa), etc.
You can re-apply for an Extension of Stay or you could see if you can change the category of your visa (e.g. to the dependent of your spouse).

Is it possible to extend Japan Tourist Visa?
The Japanese Immigration Services usually do not issue Extensions of Japan Tourist Visas with exemption of extreme situations such as an accident or a sudden illness.

But if the citizens of Ireland, UK, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Mexico, provided the required documents it is able to extend their visa-exempt stay for up to six months.

Office: The regional immigration office in charge of applicant's intended address

Timing: 9:00 to 12:00 and 13:00 to 16:00 on weekdays

Fee: 4,000 yen by revenue stamps

Duration: Two weeks to a month