I'm moving to Japan next month. I just learned that the photo I sent as part of the visa application will also be printed on my residence card.

Is there any procedure for changing this photo, in case I want a better one for the card? I'm guessing I cannot change it before moving to Japan, but will I be able to change it at the ward office later, or anywhere else?

  • You cannot change it in ward office. You need to change whole card and so you need to go to immigration office.
    – Rambalac
    May 26, 2019 at 5:42
  • @Rambalac - Thanks. Can you please explain the procedure? Would they let me change it I ask or do I need a reason? Is this documented anywhere?
    – Frank
    May 26, 2019 at 5:46
  • Did they use the visa photo? My recollection is that they take a new photo at immigration right after you land. This was a few years ago now though. Jun 17, 2019 at 21:56
  • What does "better" mean here?
    – ian
    Apr 8, 2020 at 4:34

1 Answer 1


I don't think you can change just your picture, but according to this link, you can change your non-expired residence card anytime you wish, even if it is not lost or damaged. You will have to pay a 1,300 yen fee.

The whole process is documented in the following link. Assuming that you are not changing your name on the card as well, you will need the following documents:

  • Application form (link).
  • A new picture with your name written on the back.
  • Your current passport.
  • Your current residence card.

You need to bring all the above papers to the immigration office in-charged of the area where you reside.

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