Permanent Residence

You cannot apply for Permanent Residence if you don’t have any experience to obtain Residence Card in Japan – in order to apply for Permanent Residence permit, you need to reside in Japan under other visa status first and continue to live here for years. Once you obtain Permanent Residence permit, you can reside in Japan indefinitely.

The requirement for "Permanent Residence" is different depending on your current visa status. Generally, you must been residing in Japan continuously for more than 10 years. Some visa status such as "Spouse or Child of Japanese National" etc. are exempted from this "10-year residence rule".

Advantage of Permanent Residence

  1. No need to worry yourself about the visa renewal.
    You don’t need to apply for the visa renewal. You can stay in Japan indefinitely without visa renewal.
  2. No limit of the activity.
    Permanent Resident can do a job whatever you want. You don’t need to worry about the visa status when you change your job. Even it is possible that you can do your business as self-employment or you can run your company. You can apply for mortgage/housing loan or business loan if you are a permanent resident.
  3. No need to lose or change residence/visa status when you divorce to a Japanese spouse.
    Permanent Resident is not required to change residence/visa status when you divorce/marry to a Japanese spouse.
  4. No change of your nationality.
    No need to renounce your nationality – you can live in Japan indefinitely with your current nationality.

Matters that don’t change after obtaining PR

  • You will reside as a foreign national in Japan.
  • You must possess your Residence Card along with you at any time and the card is required to renew once per 7 years.
  • You need to obtain Re-entry Permit or Special Re-entry Permit before your deperture from Japan in case you travel outside Japan and reenter Japan again as a Permanent Resident.
  • No voting rights in Japan.
  • You cannot be a public servant/worker in Japan.
  • Possible to be deported in case of punishment or penalty.

Difference from Naturalization

Permanent Residence is visa status which is allowed to stay in Japan for an indefinite period as well as to engage in any types of activities in Japan without limit. However, you must keep your residence card with you as your ID as well as you must obtain Re-enter Permit (including Special Re-enter Permit) when you go outside Japan.

Naturalization is to be naturalized in Japan, meaning you become a Japanese holding Japanese passport.

Refer to the table below for the difference between Permanent Residence and Naturalization.

  Permanent Residence Naturalization
Nationality and Passport Foreign National
You don't change your nationality into Japan and don't have rights and responsibility as a Japanese national.
Japanese
You become a Japanese holding Japanese passport. You have rights and responsibility as a Japanese national. You must leave other nationality.
Period of Stay Indefinite period
However, you may be deported in case of committed a crime, etc.
Indefinite period
Residence Card Issued
You must carry your residence card at any time.
Not issued
Re-enter Permit (including Special Re-enter Permit) Required Not required
Voting Rights No Yes
Activity in Japan Not limited Not limited
Ability to communicate in Japanese Not Required Required to some extent
Requirement of Required to reside in Japan more than 10 consecutive years.
* Special exception is applied to particular visa status.
Required to reside in Japan more than 5 consecutive years.
Period of Screening 6 - 8 months 10 - 12 months

Guideline for criteria for PR application

To obtain PR status, you need to be considered to make a stable living in Japan in compliance with the Japanese law. Basically, you need to obtain the longest period of stay under your current visa status at the time of PR application. However, this criterion may be eased in case you are a child/spouse of Japanese national or Permanent/Special-Permanent Resident, Highly Skilled Professional or the person who has been contributing to Japan.
The major criteria under the law is as follows;
* 1 and 2 are not necessary for those who obtains Child/Souse of Japanese national or Permanent/Special-permanent Resident.
* 2 is not necessary for those who obtain Recognition of Refugee Status.

1. The applicant must have a good behavior.

  • You have to be a person who have been following the laws and regulation of Japan and have been living a life without being criticized socially as a resident in Japan.

2. The applicant must be recognized as having assets or skills enough to make a living independently.

  • You must be expected to make a stable living independently in the future based on your assets and skills without becoming a public charge.

3. The applicant’s permanent residence must be recognized as a benefit of Japan.

  • Generally, the applicant must have been residing in Japan for 10 or more consecutive years without losing the visa status. In that period, you need at least 5 years of period of stay in Japan under the visa which allowed to work (work-type visa, Spouse/Child of Japanese National, Spouse/Child of Permanent Resident and Long-Term Resident). For example, you don’t satisfy this requirement if you have been residing in Japan for 10 years consecutively under the following situation; staying in Japan for 6 years under Student visa and for 4 years under Engineer visa. >> Also refer to the item, “Exception for the Residence Requirement".
  • You must not be fined or be sentenced to imprisonment.
  • You have fulfilled public obligation such as tax obligation etc.
  • You have obtained the longest period of stay under the visa status currently granted (3 years or 5 years).
  • There must not be a risk that you could be harmful from the public health point of view.

4. You need a guarantor. >> Refer to "Guarantor".

Exception for the Residence Requirement

Exception for the Resident Requirement is applied to those who are applicable to the following items:

Current status and circumstance Required period of residence in Japan
- Spouse of Japanese national
- Spouse of Permanent Resident
- Spouse of Special-Permanent Resident
Duration of marriage must be 3 or more consecutive years (doesn't matter either inside or outside Japan, need to live together) and the period of residence in Japan must be at least 1 year continuously.
Biological child of 1 above Period of residence in Japan must be at least 1 year continuously.
Long-term Resident Period of residence in Japan must be 5 or more consecutive years.
Those who obtain Recognition of Refugee Status Period of residence in Japan must be 5 or more consecutive years.
Those who is acknowledged contribution for Japan. Period of residence in Japan must be for 5 or more consecutive years.
Those who can be considered as a Highly Skilled Professional and satisfy certain requirement. Refer to "Relaxation of Requirement for Highly Skilled Professional"

 

Relaxation of Requirement for Highly Skilled Professional

If you currently obtain Highly Skilled Professional (HSP) visa or obtain other visa but can satisfy the following requirements, you may receive relaxation of requirement of PR application.

  • In case you score 70 points or more on the Point Calculating Table of the appropriate category as of this moment and fall under either (1) or (2) below;
    1. You have been residing in Japan as a Highly-Skilled foreign Professional for 3 or more consecutive years.
    2. You have been residing in Japan for 3 or more consecutive years and you are deemed to have a total of 70 points or more when calculating with reference to the situation at the time of 3 years before the date of application for PR.
  • In case you score 80 points or more on the Point Calculating Table of the appropriate category as of this moment and fall under either (1) or (2) below;
    1. You have been residing in Japan as a Highly-Skilled foreign Professional for 1 year or more continuously.
    2. You have been residing in Japan for 1 year or more continuously and you are deemed to have a total of 70 points or more when calculating with reference to the situation at the time of 1 year before the date of application for PR.

Guarantor

You will need a guarantor for your Permanent Residence application. The guarantor must be a Japanese national or a Permanent/Special-permanent Resident.

Guarantor for the immigration purpose is not responsible for guarantee of obligation stipulated in the Civil Law of Japan but is to promise to fulfill the following responsibility to the Minister of Justice.

  • To provide logistic support while in Japan if necessary.
  • To support the applicant for transportation fee for repatriation if necessary.
  • To support the applicant to abide by the Japanese Law.

The immigration office has no legal force with respect to the guarantor’s responsibility, so all they can do is to instruct the guarantor to meet his commitments if the guarantor fails to make good on his guarantee. However, if the guarantor fails to fulfill his responsibility, he will lose his eligibility as a guarantor for any visa application process in the future.

From the immigration office point of view, the guarantor is supposed to provide the applicant financial and moral support at the critical moment. Therefore, those who is not financially stable (no income or no job) and is neglect his duties (e.g. not paying taxes) cannot be a guarantor for PR application.

Necessary Documents

Required documents for PR application is different depending on your current visa status and circumstances.

Here’s the list of major and general documents required for the PR application. You will need additional documents based on your current situation and visa status.

  1. Documents which prove that you are a good resident in Japan.
    • Tax/income Certificate (Shotoku, Kazei-shomei-sho)
    • Tax Payment Certificate (Nouzei-shomei-sho)
    • Certificates or Prizes which prove your contribution for Japan and/or local community in Japan.
  2. Documents which prove your financial stability.
    • Statememt of Bank Balance (or copy of bankbook), Certificate of real estate, etc.
    • Documents which certify your occupation/position and total income.
    • In case of business owner: Certificate of Company Registration, Financial Statement (P&L and B/S), Report of Business, etc.
  3. (In case you currently obtain family-related viasa) Documents which prove the relationship of family.
    • Certificate of Family Register, Certificate of Removal from Family Register, etc.
    • Nationality Certificate
    • Birth Certificate
  4. (In case you are HSP visa holder or you are capable to obtaion certain points on HSP point calculation scheme) Point calculate table and documents to prove the points.
  5. Letter of Reason
    • Detailed explanation the reason why you would like to obtain Permanent Residence in Japan.
  6. Letter of Guarantor in Japan (the Guarantor must be a resident of Japan).
  7. Documents to certify the Guarantor
    • Tax/income Certificate (Shotoku, Kazei-shomei-sho)
    • Documents to certify his/her current job (e.g. Certificate of Employment etc.)
    • Certificate of Residence

Duration of screening of PR application is 6 – 10 months.
You must apply for renewal of your current residence/visa status before the date of expiry even if your PR application is in process of screening. Hence, it is better to apply for PR more than 1 YEAR BEFORE the date of expiry of current residence/visa status. You can apply for both renewal of current visa status and PR at the same time.

Period of Stay and Expiration of Residence Card

There are no expiration of period of stay for Permanent Residence. You can stay in Japan indefinitely

However, please note that the duration of Residence Card for Permanent Residence is 7 years. You have to renew your Residence Card at the Immigration Office by the date of expiry stated on the card.

When you travel outside Japan and reenter Japan, you need to obtain Special Re-entry Permission or Re-entry Permission depending on how long you will stay outside Japan. >> Check out Special Re-entry Permit or Re-entry Permit

(Amended in September, 2018)

eyecatch 面談相談は初回無料
eyecatch2 お問い合わせページへ