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Documents Needed to Open a Bank Account in Japan as Foreigners Part 2

In our last post we have covered the basics about opening a bank account in Japan as foreigners, today we’ll introduce the banks in Japan as the account opening procedure and rules may differ according to different groups. hope our sharing of tips helps, and as always your feedback is welcome.

The Features of Different Financial Organizations and Banks

Shinsei Bank

The online application is available, and there is English option for all interfaces, it is recommended to those who has difficulty in understanding Japanese. After filling all necessary items online. The additional documents need to be submitted by mail, and the whole application process is complete. As the internet bank is default, you will not receive the passbook, instead, the cash card, security card and guidebook will be sent to you. When conducting the international transfer, there are other procedure involved.

  • The necessary documents: residence card with period of stay over 1 year, certificate of special permanent resident, driving license after 6 months of receipt, copy of certification of resident as foreigners, original bills of utility and phone, available phone number.
  • Time of application: about one week
  • ATM fee: 108 yen/time (free of charge for Shinsei Gold and Platinum users)
  • International remittance: 2000 yen + 0.1% of the total amount (additional application procedure is required)

SBI Sumishin Net Bank

The SBI Sumishin Net Bank is funded by the Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank and the SBI holdings which are renowned for their prestigious customer service. The application can be done online, while the mail application is not necessary. Once the examination is passed, the cash card will be sent, and the applicants only need to provide the identity document with a face shot attached to receive the cash card without going to the actual bank. Compared with other banks, the interests of the saving are higher and the transfer with no extra charges are easy to get. Though you can make transfer from abroad, the transfer to other countries are not allowed. There is option that the visa debit function can be attached to the cash card, therefore it is recommended to foreign users.

  • The necessary documents: residence card with enough period of stay, certificate of special permanent resident (※passport, student card, employee card not accepted)
  • ATM for use: seven bank, Enet, Lawson ATM, Aeon bank, Japan post bank
  • ATM fee: according to your level, 2~15 times of transaction per month will be free. (after 15 times, every transaction will be charged 108 yen)
  • Transaction to other countries: not available.

MUFG Bank

As the biggest banking group in Japan, the credibility and security are regarded as top class. It is recommended to those who has to choose internet bank due to no actual branch office nearby. As the application can be made through internet bank and 24 hours transaction available, it is recommended to those who are more used to online service. International remittance is available, please choose the branch bank close to your home, school, or company, as otherwise it is possible the application may be rejected.

  • The necessary documents: residence card with no expiration, certificate of special permanent resident, driving license, personal seal, passport. (health insurance card, student card or employee card may be required.)
  • ATM for use: MUFG bank, seven bank, Enet, Lawson ATM, Aeon bank, Japan post bank
  • ATM fee: working hours (Mon-Fri 8.45-18.00) MUFG bank, seven bank, Enet, Lawson ATM, free of charge, 108 yen/time for non-working hour
  • International transaction fee: 3500~4000 yen + 0.05% of total amount (minimum 2500 yen)

Japan Post Bank

It is regarded as the most convenient bank for foreigners to open a new account. As long as all necessary documents are provided, the account can be set up immediately. However, if the residence is less than 6 months, the international transaction is not allowed. It may be a little inconvenient for foreign students who need to receive living expense from parents, but considering the risk of stealing and loss, it prevents further problems. As the branch banks are all over the country and there are many ATMs, you can easily find a post office with bank functions nearby. If you have applied the Post Direct service at the counter or though mail application, when you use the service, the first 5 transactions of the month will be free of charge. In addition, any transaction happens during weekend and national holidays will be recorded at real time.

Resona Bank

Opening a bank account at Resona bank only takes 30 minutes. The account can be opened without personal seal. It’s no problem to make internarial transaction, and withdraw from ATMs are possible all over the country. There more than 5000 ATM nation-wide, the points received can be exchanged to WAON and nanaco. However, it doesn’t mean the banks can be found any where in the country, thus please try to use internet bank when there is no actual bank nearby.

  • The necessary documents: residence card with no expiration, certificate of special permanent resident, driving license, passport, certificate of foreigner registration, certificate issued by other public organizations with face picture attached, health insurance, mobile number, mail address.
  • Time of application: about 2-3 weeks for mail application, 30 minutes at bank counter

Key Points

For foreigners who have tourism visa or short term stay visa (within 90 days), it is not allowed to open a bank account in Japan. However, even the same group, you’ll find the standards are different at different branch banks sometimes. Therefore, we would recommend the foreign students and the working holiday visa holders try to apply at multiple banks when opening a new account. In addition, it is more likely to have the application granted as foreigner if you try to open an account at the branch banks which are either close to your home, school or close to your company.

The Benefits of Opening a Bank Account for Foreigners

Usually when a foreigner tries to open a bank account, he/she may have the problems such as “language barrier”, “difficulty of filling the forms in Japanese”, “difficulty of having all required documents prepared”, “no enough time to complete all procedures”. Though the crime rate in Japan is comparatively low, walking on the street with bunch of cash is still risky. Like other countries, the digital payment as well as the credit card are widely used, however, there are still many places where only the cash payment is accepted, so to say, the cash is necessary in Japan.

In addition, there are many companies in Japan that requires bank account at designated banks in order to pay the salary to the employees. (please confirm with your company whether the designated bank is necessary.) For foreigners who are eligible to stay in Japan for more than 90 days, once the bank account is activated, it will become much convenient to receive scholarship and salary, what’s more, the rental, telephone bills, and the utility bills can be paid automatically with the account.

In a word, no matter whether you are studying, doing working holidays or working in Japan, if you are eligible to stay in the country for more than 90 days, have an available bank account is recommended, though at first it has to go through some troubles.

At our company, we have judicial scriveners as well as administrative scriveners known as finance management professionals on the team. In addition, we have staff who can respond to multiple foreign languages and provide life support service upon request. If you need assistance at the application procedures or at communicating at banks, please feel free to let us know.

Toll Free: 0120-138-552  

For Chinese:090-8456-6196  

For English:080-9346-2991 

For Korean:090-8448-2133

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