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Religious Worker Visa Renewal

You can start the process of renewing your Religious Worker visa from 3 months prior to it expiring. We recommend starting the process of gathering the required documents prior to this. This page details this process. Please follow this process carefully.

The Process

  • Message Gary the following: length of desired visa extension (1, 3, or 5 years), and the name and address of your sending church (who will be providing letters as part of this application)

  • Gather together all required documents (detailed below).

  • You then go to Sendai Immigration office and submit all of these documents.

  • You will receive a postcard through the mail between 2 weeks and 1 month when your application has been processed. Take this to the Sendai Immigration office, along with the 4,000 yen revenue stamp, in order to pick up your new residence card.

Required Documentation

Please find below a list of what you need in order to apply for your visa extension.

  • Two original, signed letters on church stationary, NOT COPIES, from your sending church: Letter of Dispatch and Letter of Release

  • Japanese Tax (or tax exemption) certificate - issued by the city office where you resided as of the last 1 January.

  • A 4cm x 3cm portrait photograph (should be clear, with a plain background, and recently taken. Applicant in photo should be facing forward, without sunglasses, hats, etc.). Write your name on the back and stick it to the application form.

  • Completed application form (page 1 and 2 only)

  • Documents (including page 3 of the application) from the YWAM Japan National Office (we will request this for you)

  • Passport and residence card

  • 4,000 yen revenue stamp when picking up the new residence card - can be bought at a post office


  • If any of these documents are in another language other than English or Japanese, please provide a translation of everything written on the document into English or Japanese for us.

  • We have provided template documents for the church letters and you can ask your church to copy and paste the text of the correct wording into each letter and fill in the necessary information, such as your name, your church name, length of visa requested, and your pastor’s signature, into the relevant blank spaces. We standardised the wording to simplify the process because each of the letters must contain certain information and specific wording.

  • The second church letter states that your sending church or organisation provides financial support of you during your time in Japan. This assurance is very important for Japanese Immigration, who would be concerned that immigrants become stranded or destitute while in Japan. It isn’t that your church must technically promise to support your every need, because your missionary support will most likely come from many supporters. But in the spirit of the law, if one organisation will officially vouch for you, Japanese Immigration will be more comfortable to grant the visa. YWAM Japan must also vouch for you in this way. This letter is not a legally binding document requiring your church to meet your every need. You can give this letter to the church or organisation leader to help explain this. If they are extremely uncomfortable with this, please let us know and we can try an alternate wording.

Updated: 2021-08-26