Jan 21 2020 Everything you need to know when changing jobs in Japan

Career growth, new opportunities, pay raise, and even a shorter commute are among the few reasons why employees quit and change jobs. Nonetheless, In Japan there are a few specific procedures you have to keep in mind when resigning from your job and heading into a new professional journey with your new company.

When do I submit my official resignation letter?

It is stipulated under Japanese law that employees may give the notification of leaving the company at least 2 weeks in advance. However, it would be better to be aware and refer to the company’s regulation or Shūgyōkisoku to maintain a good relationship with your employer. Usually companies in Japan ask the employee to give notification 1 month or earlier in advance.

Be sure to have enough time to properly pass on work or tasks to the successor of your current position or at least inform your superior with ample amount of time for him or her to find a replacement.

What happens to my remaining paid leaves?

Taking paid leaves is the employee’s right but as well as their responsibility on how they will use it. You may discuss and negotiate with your company on how to go about with your remaining unused paid leaves. Some companies accept certain conditions, such as paying for the remaining paid leaves. However, It is not the employer’s obligation to do so under the law. It’s best to ask your manager or HR regarding how to proceed with your remaining paid leaves.

What are some of the documents or things I have to settle with the company?

Below are some of the things that you should settle until your last day with the company:

□Health Insurance Card
    (You may keep it until the official last day if you would use some paid leaves after the last working day at the office.)
□Company’s ID
□Security Key
□Business Cards
□Commuting Pass
□Stationary, books etc. purchased using the company’s budget.
□Document, Data from the company

What are the documents I have to acquire from the company?

These are some of the documents that you should acquire and coordinate with your company’s HR before your last day:

□Tax Certificate Slip(Gensen chōshūhyō)
□Employment Insurance Card(Koyōhoken-hihokenshashō) *If the company holds
□Pension Book (Nenkin techō)*If the company holds.
□Certificate of Losing a Qualification for Health Insurance  (Kenkōhoken shikaku sōshitsu shōmeisho)
□Separation Notice (Rishokuhyō)*It would take about 2 weeks to receive after the official last day of the company.

What about my insurance and tax? How do I proceed with it?

When it comes to insurance and tax, we will divide it into 2 scenarios.

1.) Procedure with insurance and tax when you already found a new job and will join that company immediately

A.) HEALTH INSURANCE- When you start to work for a new company, you should submit a “Certificate of losing a qualification for Health Insurance” or Kenkōhoken shikaku sōshitsu shōmeisho to qualify for your new company’s health insurance.

B.) PENSION INSURANCE- You should also remember to submit your pension book or Nenkin techō to join the pension insurance under your new company.

C.) UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE- Submit your employment insurance card or Koyōhoken-hihokenshashō to your new company. If ever you lost your employment insurance card, please inform the new company and they can apply for the reissuance.

D.) RESIDENTIAL TAX- Before leaving your previous company, you should inform them that you would like the residential tax to continue to be deducted from your salary after joining the new company so that they can coordinate. It would take about 2 months to finish the process. Usually the new company would ask you to handle paying residential tax by yourself until May of the following year. If that’s the case, you may ask your previous company to deduct the whole unpaid tax from your salary all at once or you could choose to pay it monthly which is called Futsū-chōshū.

2.)Procedure when you have not found a new job or will have a gap after leaving the previous company till you join the new one

A.) HEALTH INSURANCE- Within 14 days after your official last day from your previous company, You should visit your local city hall or ward office and bring the following requirements to apply for a National Health Insurance:

□Certificate of Losing Qualification for Health Insurance  (Kenkōhoken shikaku sōshitsu shōmeisho)
□ Seal (Hanko/Inkan)
□ Cash card/Passbook(for automatic transfer premium


B.) PENSION INSURANCE- Within 14 days after your official last day from your previous company, You should visit your local city hall or ward office and bring the following requirements to apply for a National Pension Insurance:

□Pension Book (Nenkin techō
□Document that can prove you have left the company.(e.g. Separation Notice (Rishokuhyō), Employment Insurance Card(Koyōhoken-hihokenshashō) , Leaving certificate(Taishoku shōmeisho) *Copy is acceptable

You may get exemption from paying pension premium by showing the document that you have left the company.

C.) UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE- After you have received your separation notice or Rishokuhyō, apply to be able to receive unemployment insurance. Go to the public security office and don’t forget to bring the following requirements:

□Separation Notice 1/2 (Rishokuhyō)
□ Employment Insurance Card(Koyōhoken-hihokenshashō)
□Individual Number(My Number) Card
□ID card with photo(Residence card etc.)
□ID Photo(3cm×2.5cm)*2pc.

Check the Tokyo Employment Service Center for Foreigners for more details.

D.) RESIDENTIAL TAX- Before leaving your previous company, ask them to change the payment method for the residential tax after you leave the company. (From it being deducted from your salary or Tokubetsu-chōshū to paying it monthly or Futsū-chōshū)

Reminder about Insurance premiums when you leave the company: 

Social insurance premiums (health insurance and pension insurance) are deducted from the following month. (e.g. Premiums for January are deducted in February.)  

Generally, you will be disqualified from the social insurance from the following day after you leave the company. If you will leave the company on January 31st, you will be disqualified from the social insurance on February 1st, which means you need to pay premiums for February. So in case you will leave the company at the end of the month, social insurance premiums for 2 months will be deducted from the last salary.

Below are the Sample image for the documents mentioned:


What about any immigration related procedures?

  1. Notification

If you still have a valid working visa when you are leave the company, please make sure to notify the immigration office that you left the company/ joined another company within 14 days from the date it happens.(Please be noted that you cannot do it before it happens.) If you don’t complete this process, there is a chance that you may not be able to extend your visa in the future.

    In case you cannot make it within 14 days, please notify the immigration immediately when you find out.

You can notify them online or by mail. Please check here for the details.

  1. Certificate of Authorized Employment

 Though it is not an obligation, it would be best to apply for a Certificate of Authorized Employment at the Immigration office to make sure that your new activity (work) falls within the activities permitted by your current visa. It will also make it much easier to extend your visa later, as the immigration office will already have the necessary information.

  1. Highly Skilled Professionals (i)

This type of visa is issued based on the employment contract with the company you worked for. So when you will change jobs, you will need to apply  for a change of status of residence with the supportive documents for point calculation to the immigration.

[Your current working visa was issued based on the employment with your previous company. So it will be void if you are unemployed for more than 3 months. So securing a new job before leaving the previous company is recommended.]

Ready to take the next step? Submit CV and gain access to hundreds of handpicked jobs and opportunities across Japan today.