1. Visa extension
As we have seen, getting a working visa for Japan is not an easy task, but what about extending the period of your stay in Japan? According to the guidelines issued by the Immigration Bureau, Ministry of Justice, July, 2012, they will only grant an extension if they believe there is an appropriate reason for it. The guidelines also say “ The decision as to whether or not there are reasonable grounds is mainly left to the discretion of the Ministry of Justice, and such decision is made totally in view of various factors, such as activities in which an applicant intends to engage, the applicant’s residential status and necessity to reside, taking into account the requirements listed below.“ This may sound discouraging, but as long as the company you work for is solvent, you earn enough money to cover your living costs, you notify the immigration office of any status changes as you are obliged to do so, and you engage in the type of work permitted by your working visa category, you shouldn’t have to worry about visa extension.
2. Visa extension? Visa changes?
If you wish to extend the period of your stay under the current visa type, you simply need to apply for a “ Extension of Period of Stay ( Zairyu kikan koushin kyoka ) “.
If you want to change your residential status, for example, from a student to a worker, or you want to change the type of work you do (for example changing from “ Skilled labor “ to a “ Business Manager “), then you have to apply for a “ Change of Status of Residence “.
Let’s take a look at the case of an Indian man working for an Indian restaurant.
He came to Japan with a “ Skilled Labor “ working visa and he changed workplace to the another Indian restaurant a month ago. He notified the immigration office that he had changed his place of work within 14 days. ( If you fail to report the change on time, you will be fined up to 200,000 yen ) As he continues to work as a chef, he can apply for a visa extension.
NOTE: If there is more than 6 months to the visa expiry when you change a job, it is recommended that you obtain a Certificate of Authorized Employment. Please check Changing jobs in Japan section as to the benefits for you in getting this certificate.
3. How and where can I apply for Extension of Period of Stay?
Because he had changed his work place, more documents are required to be attached to the application form. As to when you should apply, you can do so for a visa extension, 3 months prior to its expiry date. There are two main things to prove, one is about yourself and that you have been a good resident and the other is that the business status of your workplace is stable enough.
This application can be submitted by the applicant himself / herself, or nationally licensed immigration lawyer ( gyoseishoshi ) can do it for you.
What the applicant needs to prepare:
- The application form for Extension of Period of Stay
- A passport and residence card ( Zairyu card ) * You have to show these at the immigration office
- A copy of your health insurance card * This is not a requirement but is recommended
- A portrait photo ( 4cm x 3cm )
- A CV / resume
- A statement of reasons why you wish to extend your period of stay
- A statement of earnings for earned income ( Gensen choushu hyou ) from your previous work place
- A leaving certificate ( Taishoku shoumei sho ) from your previous work place
- A certificate of employment ( Zaishoku shoumei sho ) from the current work place
- The most recent tax payment certificate ( Nouzei shoumei sho / Kazei shoumei sho ) * This is to show how much money you earned in total as well as whether you’d paid the tax or not.
What the applicant needs to ask your work place to prepare:
* The documents to be prepared depends on how big the company is. The below is based on the assumption that it is a small business.
- A certificate of registered matters ( Toukijikou shoumei sho )
- The latest financial statement ( Soneki keisan sho ) * If the restaurant has just started a business, then a coming year’s business plan ( Jigyou keikaku sho ) will do.
- A leaflet including the menu / a floor plan / photos ( kitchen area, floor area and outside ) of the restaurant
- A copy of the business permit ( Eigyou kyoka sho )
- A rental agreement of the place for the restaurant ( Chintai keiyaku sho )
- A statement of reasons why the restaurant hired the applicant
- A contract of the applicant to show the job description, duration and salary etc
* Fee : 4000 yen for extending the period of stay and payment must be made with revenue stamps
* The documents you submit will not be returned to you.
* Please use documents / certificates / photos which have been issued within the 3 months prior to your application.
When all the documents are ready, you go to the immigration office which deals with the area in which you live. It will take a month to 3 months as this involves changing a job. If you continue to work for the same place, it will take 2 weeks to a month.
With the above information, you should have a basic idea of what to do if you want to apply for Extension of Period of Stay on your own.
- 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 )
- Your work place seems to need some support to prepare the documents
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 visa extension, 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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