Work & Special Re-entry Permit

Work Permit

Back of Residence Card showing work permission in bottom-left corner.

All international students at AIU are highly encouraged to apply for a work permit when entering Japan.

While most students will not be working in Japan, you need a work permit to take part in some of the community outreach activities offered at AIU that award a small honorarium. Community outreach activities, a student favorite at AIU, are an essential part of the AIU experience, so please make sure you are prepared to participate!

Additionally, you must have a Work Permit to hold any part-time job on campus (such as tutoring) or off, including short-term employment during long vacations.

Applying for a Work Permit

AIU will send an introduction on how to apply for a work permit for all newly accepted students by email at least one month before the semester begins. All students should complete this form and submit it when they pass through Immigration upon arrival to Japan.

The form is also available for download and electronic completion on the Immigration Services Agency’s website  .

The official name of the work permit application is: Application for Permission to Engage in Activity Other than That Permitted under the Status of Residence Previously Granted.

Applying for a Work Permit after Arrival

If you did not apply for your work permit when arriving at the airport, please contact the Division of Community Outreach in Building A.

Legal Restrictions

The work permit is valid while you are enrolled in AIU, which means that working in Japan before or after your enrollment at AIU is illegal.

Immigration laws limit the maximum number of working hours for international students to 28 hours per week. Additionally, there are some types of employment that are prohibited for students under any circumstances.

Do Not Rely on Part-Time Work for Financial Support

AIU occasionally offers job opportunities such as teaching English at local schools as part of international exchanges, but these opportunities will be very limited. Please assume you will not be working while studying at AIU and plan your finances accordingly. Most off-campus part-time work opportunities will require you to be fluent in Japanese.

Special Re-entry Permit

If you temporarily depart from Japan, be sure to present your residence card with an “Embarkation/Disembarkation Card for Reentrant” (“ED Card”), making sure to mark the box indicating “I am leaving Japan temporarily and will return” on the ED Card to an immigration inspector at the international airport. You should notify the immigration inspector of your intent to depart using the special re-entry permit system. Upon submission of the ED Card, an approval stamp will be placed in your passport.

You can get an ED Card at the tables located by the immigration (passport control counter) after going through the security check.

For details about the Special Re-entry Permit, please see the Immigration Services Agency website. A sample of the ED Card for Re-entrants is available here.


If you depart from Japan without receiving the special re-entry permit,

  • You will no longer be a resident of Japan, and your national health insurance and pension plan will be canceled automatically. You can take your residence card with you but your residence card will have a hole punched in it by the immigration inspector which means your residence card is no longer valid.
  • If you have a single-entry student visa, you will lose your residence status and will have to obtain a student visa all over again.
  • If you have a valid multiple-entry student visa, you can still re-enter Japan under the student visa but you will have to register your place of residence again in order to obtain a valid residence card and to join the national health insurance and pension plan.