How to Get a Permanent Resident Visa in Japan.

Maybe you, a foreign national, like Japan so much that you want to keep on living in Japan permanently.

To do this, you will need a Permanent Resident visa. This visa allows unlimited duration for your stay, meaning you don’t have to keep on renewing your visa (however, you have to renew your resident card every 7 years). Also, you may work in any job.

If you have lived in Japan for 10 years or more, you can apply for a Permanent Resident visa.

If you were approved as a Highly Skilled Foreign Professional (HSPF), you may apply for Permanent Residency after 4 years and 6 months from the date you were approved as an HSPF. The duration you lived in Japan before getting the status of HSPF is not counted in this case. For example, if you were approved as a HSPF after living in Japan for 3 years, the 3 years would not be included in the 4 years and 6 months.

If you are the spouse of a Japanese national, an approval can be made after 3 years.

However, if you have not paid tax (not only the national tax but also residential tax), unable to obtain your tax certificate, or have other problems including a minor traffic offense, the approval can become difficult. Some recent cases have involved financial requirements: there is a minimum annual income threshold of 3,300,000 yen for a single person, 4,000,000 yen for a couple, and 4,500,000 yen for a couple with a child.

Things to note after you are approved as a Permanent Resident

Once you are approved as a Permanent Resident, you will be issued a Resident Card that shows of your Permanent Residency. If you already have a Resident Card with a different status, you will swap the old Resident Card with the new Resident Card.

When you obtain a Resident Card for the first time, you need to register your address at your local municipality office as defined by the Residential Basic Book Act. If you move, you have to re-register at your new address. Your personal information will be transferred online from the Immigration Bureau of Japan to your local municipality office.

If you have been away from Japan for 6 years or more after you received your Permanent Residency, your Permanent Resident status may be revoked. You must make sure that you have at least 6 years of valid residential registration in Japan during the 7 years’ renewal periods.

If you commit any crime, including tax offenses, you will be subject to Forcible Deportation. Then you can no longer stay in Japan. Please note that a Permanent Resident status may become void in these circumstances.

Please make sure to obtain a Re-entry Permit if you may be staying outside Japan for over 1 year. If you stayed outside Japan for more than 1 year without a Re-entry Permit, your Permanent Resident status becomes void as well.

What happens if your Japanese spouse passes away? What happens if you get a divorce? In these cases, there is no change to your status of Permanent Residency.
-How to Apply
If you want permanent residency, what documents does the Immigration Bureau require?

(Sample card )

First, you need an Application form for a Permanent Residency. You also need a document, written in the Japanese language, which describes the reason for your application for permanent residency in Japan. You may submit supplements such as photos of yourself at work and with your family. It is better to have as much information as possible to support your application.

As for your personal identification, various certificates such as your family register, your birth certificate, and your marriage certificate are required. In addition, you provide your Certificate of Residence (as of 9th July 2012, a Certificate of Residence will be issued to foreign nationals as well).

PAs for the documents to certify your social status and means of financial support, you need the following documents: if you are an employee of a company, you need your employment certificate; if you are a company executive, you need a certified copy of the corporate register; if you are self-employed, you need a copy of your final tax return. As proof of income, you need a withholding tax allowance certificate.

A self-employed person needs a certificate of tax payment. You need to provide a certificate of your bank account balance or your actual bank account book and a copy. If you own any real estate, you need certified copies of the real estate register as well. You also need a certificate of residential tax payment, because a tax payment record as a local resident is one of the assessment criteria for this visa.

Providing a personal reference from a guarantor may be one of the hardest tasks for you to arrange. Your guarantor must be a Japanese national or a permanent resident in Japan; your guarantor’s occupation certificate, income certificate, and a certificate of residence will be required as well as the guarantee document.

If you have received a decoration for bravery or distinguished services, or a certificate of commendation from a local government or the national government of Japan, then you should submit certified copies. You may also submit any proof of your activity as a volunteer.

The possibility of obtaining a Permanent Resident visa improves with thorough preparation and submission of the above documents with the application form.

I will repeat here some recent cases showing financial requirements: minimum annual income of 3,300,000 yen for a single person, 4,000,000 yen for a couple, and 4,500,000 yen for a couple with a child. Paying tax and having an occupation with a stable income is one of the key aspects.

Please make sure to apply for your visa extension if your current visa is likely to lapse before the permit is issued.

For any inquiries regarding the Permanent Residency, Contact Us.

The approval process for a Permanent Resident visa has stringent criteria, but once you are approved as a Permanent Resident, you will be spared with the cumbersome tasks of applying for changes to your visa type and duration.

If you get a Permanent Resident visa allows unlimited duration for your stay, meaning you don’t have to keep on renewing your visa.