Crimes involving foreign residents’ bank accounts are on the rise. Please take the following precautions to protect your account:
- If someone offers to buy your bank account, do not accept under any circumstances.
- When returning to your home country, be sure to close all your Japanese accounts.
- It is becoming more difficult for foreign residents to open accounts. Please read the below carefully and only open an account if necessary. (Ex. Consider paying for expenses, such as dormitory fees, with a credit card.)
A bank savings account allows you to make deposits, transfer funds, accept overseas remittances, pay utility bills automatically, and perform credit card payments and currency exchanges, etc. Most banks are open from 9 am to 3 pm, Monday to Friday. ATM services are available outside of business hours. Money can be deposited and withdrawn at ATMs, but transaction fees may apply depending on the time of day and kind of ATM. You can find ATMs at banks and many convenience stores.
Opening a Bank Account
You need a bank account to receive a scholarship or salary. However, many Japanese financial institutions do not allow foreign residents to open an account until they have lived in Japan for six months or longer.
Here we will provide information on banks that allow foreigners to open accounts soon after arriving in Japan.
* You cannot open a bank account if the duration of your stay is less than three months and you do not have a residence card. Salary etc. will have to be paid in cash or by overseas remittance.
1. Japan Post Bank (JPB)
You can open a Japan Post Bank (JPB) account by post or in person. Please note that banks tend to be very crowded during the start of the term. We recommend you open your account by post, unless you need it immediately for the Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship etc.
* After opening a JPB account, you cannot accept remittances from overseas for six months.
(1) Applying by Post
- You can open a “Japan Post Bank Direct + (Plus)” account by post without visiting the bank in person.
- Enter all the required information in the online application form, print it, and mail it in, along with a copy of your Residence Card (must show your current address) and Student ID.
- You will receive an ATM card by post about two weeks after applying.
- You can make transfers, check your balance, etc. online. You will not receive a bankbook.
- You can use the ATM card to withdraw money. This can be done at JPB and convenience store ATMs.
- If your application contains any mistakes or is missing documents, JPB will contact you by post. All communication will be in Japanese. If you are not comfortable reading Japanese, please ask a tutor etc. to assist you.
* After selecting your preferred language, please click the “Open a Japan Post Bank Direct + (Plus) account” button.
(2) Applying in Person
- If you wish to apply in person, first enter all the required information in the online application form, print it, and take it to a JPB service counter.
- You will also need your Residence Card (must show your current address) and Student ID to prove your identity.
- Not all JPB branches have multilingual staff. If you are not comfortable speaking in Japanese, please ask a Japanese tutor etc. to accompany you.
- Please note that the banks tend to be very crowded during the start of the term etc. It may take half a day or longer to open an account. We therefore recommend that you apply by post, unless you need an account immediately for the MEXT Scholarship etc.
Website: In-person Application (multilingual)
* After selecting your preferred language, please click the “Opening a general account” button.
2. Other Banks
There are other banks that offer online account applications. The necessary documents and application procedures vary, so please check the relevant bank’s website for details.