Procedures at Ward Offices

Notification of Place of Residence

Within 14 days after entering Japan, you are required to register your address with the administration of the municipality or city ward in which you are going to live. If you have received a Residence Card at your port of entry, you should bring it along with your passport. If you have not received a Residence Card, your passport will be sufficient. The Immigration Authority will send a Residence Card to your reported place of residence within two to three weeks.

After submitting a notice of your new address, you should have at least two copies of certificate of residence issued. It will be needed for procedures at Tohoku University, opening a bank account or contracting a mobile phone.

Where to go:

Please go to the municipal office governing the district in which you are going to live. If your address is in Aoba ward, you should visit Aoba Ward Office.

  • Aoba Ward Office
  • Miyagino Ward Office
  • Wakabayashi Ward Office
  • Taihaku Ward Office
  • Izumi Ward Office
  • Miyagi General Branch Office

What to bring:

Passport, Residence Card (if issued)

What to submit:

The application form “Notification of Moving in” (This can be found at the municipal office)

  1. If you have moved
    If you have moved and the address of your residence has changed, you are required to report it to a municipal office. If you are moving from one ward of Sendai to another, you can report it to either your new ward office or your old one.
  2. If you are moving outside of Sendai, refer to “When you are moving”

National Health Insurance

*If you are employed by Tohoku University and have entered the Social Insurance system, you do not need to enter the National Health Insurance system.

National Health Insurance is a nationwide mutual aid program funded by policyholder premiums with the aim of alleviating the burden of medical expenses. Local government offices are in charge of its administration. All non-Japanese residents of Japan (staying longer than three months) are required, along with their accompanying family members, to enroll in this program. The only exception is for those who are enrolled in another social insurance program, depending on their workplace. If you declare that you had no income in Japan during the previous year, your premiums will be reduced by about 70 percent.
By paying a premium and presenting their insurance card, policyholders generally pay about 30 percent of the expenses required for medical treatment or hospitalization. This insurance may cover conditions which are not covered by general overseas travel insurance, such as dental treatments and others for chronic diseases. When you visit hospitals or clinics, you have to bring and show the health insurance card.

For further information, please refer to National Health Insurance.

Where to go:

National Health Insurance and Pension Section of your ward office

What to bring:

Passport, Residence Card (if issued)

What to submit:

Application form for joining National Health Insurance (available at the municipal office)


The annual premium calculation is based on the insurance holder’s income, in Japan, from the previous year. The annual premium is usually paid in ten monthly installments, from June until March. You may choose to pay by automatic withdrawal from a bank account (application required), or by bringing the payment slip to a bank, Japan Post Bank or ward office. Those of low income during the previous year are eligible for a partial waiver on the premium. For more details, please ask at the reception desk of your local ward office.


Before changing your address by moving to a different city, you must notify the city of your moving date. After moving, you must register your new address at the new city / ward office within 2 weeks.

National Pension System

All persons between the ages of 20 and 60 living in Japan, including foreigners, are required by law to enroll in and pay into the National Pension System. After performing moving-in procedures at the local ward office, you will perform the health insurance/pension enrollment (please bring your Residence Card (if you have one) and passport). Degree students can apply for the Special Payment System for Students. Refer to the National Pension information regarding enrollment and payment waiver procedures.

Example (see below): payment waiver/deferment procedures for A (degree students) and B (non-degree students) who will begin studying at Tohoku University from April 1, assuming they moved to Aoba ward on March 28.

A degree studentsUnder guraduate students, graduate students
B non-degree studentsresearch students, special auditing students, and special research students

Useful Resources