1. Permanent residence
Do you know which visa holders ( status of residence ) are the highest amongst non-Japanese people in Japan?
It is actually “ Permanent Residence “ . However you can’t apply for a Permanent Residence visa while you are abroad. You have to come to Japan on another type of visa first, and you have to have lived here continuously for 10 years or more before being able to apply for “ Permanent Residence “. Aside from this there are other certain conditions to be met, let’s take a look at them here.
2. Who can apply for a Permanent Residence?
Not anyone who wishes to stay in Japan permanently can apply for a “ Permanent Residence “ visa.
There are several requirements that you have to satisfy and below are the conditions that need to be met to be able to apply for a “ Permanent Residence “ visa :
- Have behaved well.
* If you consider yourself to have lead a ‘normal’ life and haven’t broken any laws, you shouldn’t have to worry about this.
- Be capable of meeting living costs through your skills, property and/or savings.
- It can be seen as a benefit to Japan by having you as a permanent resident as below;
● Have never been sentenced to a fine or imprisonment and have carried out public duties such as paying taxes
● Have been given the maximum period of stay under your visa category
● Won’t be of any harm from a public health point of view
● Have lived in Japan continuously for 10 years or more and either
a) with 5 or more of those years on a work visa
b) with 5 or more of those years holding a
“ Spouse or Child of Japanese National ” visa
“ Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident ” visa
“ Long Term Resident ” visa
* If you go back to your home country over Christmas or any other occasions for a short period of time under a special re-entry permit, it will be considered to be still under “ lived continuously “.
* This 10 years requirement can be mitigated if you have ( one of the followings )
● been married for 3 years or more to Japanese nationals, Permanent Residents or Special Permanent Residents and lived in Japan for 1 year or more
● lived in Japan for 1 year or more as a child of Japanese national, Permanent Residents or Special Permanent Residents
● lived in Japan for 5 years or more as a Long Term Resident or a refugee
● lived in Japan for 5 years or more and been recognized for having made a considerable contribution to Japan in fields such as diplomatic, economic / industrial, cultural / art, education, research and sports etc.
But if your current visa is “ Spouse or Child of Japanese National ” “ Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident ” ” Spouse or Child of Special Permanent Resident “, you are exempt from the above conditions 1 and 2. If you are recognized as a refugee you are exempt from the above condition 2.
Because this visa is so beneficial for non-Japanese, it has been the case that some people try to get it through forging documents. That is why the immigration office spends more time on the examination of documents. ( It normally takes 6 months or more until it is granted )
You have to prepare a lots of documents and it takes time to be granted, but as long as you satisfy all the requirements there should be no problem.
3. How and where to apply for a Permanent Residence visa?
When you think you have met all the conditions above, you have to prepare the documents along with the application form. The necessary documents vary depending on your situation, so you should check with the immigration office first. I will explain it using this example, a man who came from the Philippines.
He came to Japan as a student and had been married to a Japanese national for 7 years. At the beginning, he was working at a book company but it went bankrupt. He couldn’t find a similar job so he started doing all of the housework instead. His Japanese wife kept her job after they got married and continued working at the same company. Their marriage was genuine and they were happy with the way it was. He had a spouse visa with a 3 years permit at the time. ( This was the longest period available at the time he received it )
As he is married to a Japanese national, he doesn’t have to worry about the first two conditions and the 10 years living in Japan requirement can be mitigated as he has lived in Japan for 7 years being a spouse of a Japanese national.
Under these circumstances, the necessary documents are:
- The application form for Permanent Residence
- A portrait photo ( 4cm x 3cm )
- A certificate of Family Registry ( Koseki tohon ) for your Japanese spouse
- A residence record of the entire family ( Jumin hyou ) for your Japanese spouse
- A certificate of employment ( Zaishoku shoumei sho ) of your Japanese spouse
- The most recent tax payment certificate ( Nouzei shoumei sho / Kazei shoumei sho ) of your Japanese spouse * This is to show how much money your Japanese spouse earned in total as well as whether he/she has paid tax or not.
- A passport and residence card ( Zairyu card ) * You have to show them at the immigration office
- A letter of guarantee * Your Japanese spouse is the guarantor
- The seal / stamp ( Hanko ) of your Japanese spouse
- Written reasons * This is not mandatory in this case, but it may be better to prepare this to effectively plea your case.
* Fee : 8000 yen for getting a Permanent Residence and payment must be made with revenue stamps.
* The documents you submit will not be returned to you.
* Please use documents / certificates which have been issued within the 3 months prior to your application.
* If any of the documents are written in another language, please attach the Japanese translation.
* Once you have prepared all of the above documents, make a photocopy of them.
These are the minimum required documents and you might be asked for more by the immigration office.
Once these are prepared, you need to go to the immigration office which deals with the area in which you live and apply for it, or or you can ask a nationally licensed immigration lawyer ( gyoseishoshi ).
After 6 months or so, it will be granted if the immigration office finds no issues on the application forms and the attached documents.
With the above information, you should have a basic idea of what to do if you want to apply for a Permanent Residence.
- You don’t have time to go to the immigration office
- You are still not confident enough to do this on your own
- You want to do it on your own, but you want the prepared documents to be checked
- You simply don’t like to go into the immigration office ( I never liked it myself when I was living abroad )
In these cases, Visa Navi Japan can offer you the exact support you want.
We can check the documents that you prepared, or we can both prepare the documents and take the application form to the immigration office for you as Visa Navi Japan is a nationally licensed immigration lawyer ( gyoseishoshi ).
If you want to make an inquiry about Japan permanent residency, please fill out the form on the Contact us page and send it to us. We will get back to you in a few days.
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