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Permanent residence visa

I will explain the conditions for permission for a permanent residence visa.

 

I work as an immigration lawyer who specializes in applications to the Immigration Bureau. I also receive many inquiries about permanent residence visas. The most frequent inquiry is the question of whether a person can obtain permanent residence.

People want to know whether or not they can obtain permission for permanent residence themselves.

 

Perhaps you also want to apply for permanent residence soon if it is possible to obtain it now, or you are a person who cannot yet obtain permanent residence but you want to know how to obtain permanent residence?

 

The question of whether or not it is possible to obtain a permanent residence visa requires correct understanding of the “conditions for permission for permanent residence.”

 

I will now explain those conditions for permanent residence.

 

If the conditions are cleared a permanent residence visa can be obtained, and if the conditions are not fulfilled the result will be that permission is not granted even if an application is made. The requirements for permission are the most important things.

First is the first requirement.

History of residence
Have you lived in Japan for ten years?

A condition for permission for permanent residence is continuously living in Japan for at least ten years. It seems that there are people who make an application in their own way after 9 years and a few months, but please be careful because this does not fulfill the criteria for permission and therefore permission will not be granted.

 

It is necessary for at least a full ten years to have passed at the time the application is made. The period of screening is approximately 6 months. The condition is not that ten years have passed at the time the result of permission is given, but rather at least a full ten years at the time the application is made. If it is just a few months, please wait rather than hurry.

 

Another condition is that you have worked for at least five years out of those ten years. A part-time job is no good. You must have obtained a working visa and worked as an employee for at least five years. It is okay even if you did not continuously work at the same company. It is okay even if you changed jobs. You can total the number of years at a previous company and your current company.

 

As for the meaning of “continuous” for “ten continuous years,” it will become difficult to be judged as “continuous” if you leave Japan to go to another country for approximately 180 days in one year. Your period of stay in Japan will be temporarily interrupted. If you have a large number of days when you are outside Japan, please check your own passport.

Next, if you are a person who is married to a Japanese person or a permanent resident, it will be okay even if you have not lived in Japan for ten years.

For a foreigner who is married to a Japanese person or a permanent resident, it will be okay
if at least three years have passed since you got married, and you have lived in Japan for at least one year.

 

For a person who is married to a Japanese person or a permanent foreign resident, it is okay even if you have not lived in Japan for ten years. You will fulfill the condition for permission for permanent residence by being married for three years and living in Japan for one year.

Next, is the second requirement.

The visa you have now is for at least three years.

There are valid periods for visas of one year, three years, and five years, but it is necessary to have a visa with a valid period of at least three years. A person with a visa with a valid period of one year cannot apply for permanent residence.

Next, is the third requirement.

Livelihood requirement
This means: Do you have a stable income?

Whether you have a lot of savings or a little is rather irrelevant. Income is more important than savings. If your annual income is not at least 3,000,000 yen the possibility of receiving permission will be quite low. If the applicant alone does not have an income of 3,000,000 yen, it will be okay if the household income is that much.

Next, is the fourth requirement.

Behavior requirement
The behavior requirement involves taxes, pension, health insurance, and criminal record.

It is important that you have paid all taxes thus far, so if you have not paid them please be sure to pay all of them. The main tax is residence tax. If you have not paid it, it will be okay if you pay it.

 

Pension has recently become a point for screening. Previously it was okay even if pension was not paid, and even if all of it was not paid, it was okay if the portion for the past one year was paid. However, the Immigration Bureau sometimes requires the portion for the past three years; therefore, if you are asked it will be necessary to pay the portion for three years.

 

In addition, as for health insurance, if you are covered by health insurance through your company it will not be a problem. If you are not covered by health insurance through your company I think you are covered by national health insurance, but if you are in arrears for national health insurance you will not receive permission.

 

The next thing is criminal record, but I think the most common things are traffic violations. If you drive a car, I think you may have committed traffic violations, but if they are minor traffic violations, it will be okay if you only have a few (three or four times). If you have more than that, I think that it will become disadvantageous.

Next, is the fifth requirement.

You can arrange a personal guarantor.
A person who can be a personal guarantor must be a Japanese person or a permanent resident.

An ordinary foreigner cannot be a personal guarantor. A person at your company or a friend is okay, so please try to find a person who can be a personal guarantor. If you are married, it is okay to ask your Japanese spouse to be your personal guarantor.

 

Next, I will explain things that are not related to conditions but for which you must take care.

・There is some kind of contradiction between materials submitted in the past and the current materials.

 

If there is some kind of contradiction between materials that were submitted at the time of an application for a working visa or a spouse visa in the past and the current application documents for a permanent residence visa, the Immigration Bureau will not know which is true; therefore, the possibility of not being granted permission for permanent residence will increase.
There will be doubts about whether your past application was true in the first place, and it is advisable to think that the officer in charge at the Immigration Bureau will not be kind and ask which information is correct. If you have even a slight contradiction, you must revise the contradiction and then make an application.

 

・Take care so that it will not be thought that you will get a divorce soon after obtaining permanent residence.

There are actually many people who get divorced soon after obtaining a permanent residence visa; therefore, if there are elements for which the Immigration Bureau will have doubts and think that this foreigner plans to get divorced after obtaining permanent residence, the possibility that permission will not be granted will increase.

 

Were you able to confirm the conditions for permanent residence?

Merits for obtaining permanent residency

What kind of merits are there for obtaining permanent residence? I would like to explain the merits of obtaining permanent residence.

First is the first merit.

・There is no time limit on residence.

Ordinarily, the time limit for a working visa is one year or three years, but if you obtain a permanent residence visa, there will be no time limit on residence. The fact that there is no time limit means that you can live in Japan forever. In addition, procedures for renewal will be unnecessary from now on. Although up to now, it was necessary to go to the Immigration Bureau once every year or once every three years in order to conduct renewal procedures, after obtaining permission for permanent residence procedures for renewal will be unnecessary.

The second merit

・There are no restrictions on the type of work.
For example, with a working visa, the content of work such as “engineer” or “specialist in humanities/international services” is determined and you are not allowed to work outside the scope of what is determined by your visa, but if you obtain a permanent residence visa, it will be okay to do any kind of work.

The third merit.

・It will become simple to start a company.
In the event that an ordinary foreigner will start a business in Japan and be the company president, it is necessary to obtain an investor/business manager visa. There are various conditions for an investor/business manager visa, such as capital of 5,000,000 yen, and the hurdle is high, but it will become unnecessary to obtain an investor/business manager visa. This means that you can create a company even with only 1 yen, the same as a Japanese person. The conclusion is that it will be easy to start a company.

The fourth merit.

・It will become easier to obtain loans from the bank.
I think there are many people who want to buy a home if they are going to live in Japan forever. In actuality, the screening for a loan for a foreigner with a working visa is strict, but it will be easier to pass the screening for a loan by a bank if you have a permanent residence visa.

The fifth merit.

・Your spouse or child can also change to a “spouse or child of permanent resident” or “long-term resident” visa that does not have restrictions on activities.
If you obtain permanent residence, it will also be advantageous for your spouse or child.

The sixth merit

・Even if you get divorced you can live in Japan forever.

For example, a person who has a visa for a spouse of a Japanese national will become unable to renew the visa if he or she gets divorced; therefore, he or she will have to change to a working visa or a long-term resident visa. However, if you obtain permanent residence in advance it will not be necessary to renew it and therefore you can have peace of mind.

What do you think of the merits of permanent residence? There are many merits, aren’t there? If you plan to live in Japan forever, it is definitely advantageous to obtain permanent residence.

Schedule for applying for permanent residency

Next, I will explain the support schedule for a permanent residence application.

 

This is how to proceed with an application, in other words the schedule for applying for permanent residency. You will be able to obtain permanent residence if you have the support of our firm, so please first confirm the schedule for application.

 

① Meeting

First we will have a meeting and listen to the circumstances of your daily life. We will ask you about things about yourself, such as when you came to Japan and what kind of work you do.

Presentation of necessary documents

After listening to what you tell us, we will tell you what documents are necessary for an application and give you a list of the necessary documents. The documents that are necessary first differ according to the person. Nationalities are different and occupations are also different. Family circumstances also differ according to the person; therefore, we will give you a list of the necessary documents after being sure to listen to what you tell us.

Document collection

We will give you a list and then either have you collect those documents or, in the case of full support, also help with document collection.

Preparation of set of application documents, written reason for application, writtenexplanations for application, and various evidentiary materials

We will prepare all of these documents at our office. Basically, it is not necessary for you to prepare documents. We do not merely create application documents, but instead create application documents that fulfill the necessary permission criteria in order to obtain permission for permanent residence.

Application on your behalf

Our firm’s immigration lawyer will make an application at the Immigration Bureau on your behalf. It is not necessary for you to submit the application.

The screening period is approximately 6 months.

Sometimes there is contact from the Immigration Bureau during this screening period. Such contact includes questions about the content of the application, requests for more detailed explanations, and requests for submission of materials that prove certain things. Our firm will handle all of such things.

Notification of the result

Basically, it is expected that an application made through our firm will be granted permission for permanent residence with no problems.

Questions and answers related to Permanent residence visa

How do I apply for permanent residence together with a family member?
 

There are people who want to apply for permission for permanent residence simultaneously with their wife or child.
The following is an example.
The person has lived in Japan for at least ten years. In this case, ten years have not passed since his wife or child came to Japan.
The point for simultaneous application with a family member is that permission is possible if three years have passed since the people were married and the person has lived in Japan for at least one year.
This is because, at the time the man is granted permission for permanent residence, the family member will be deemed a “spouse or child of permanent resident,” and the requirement for the application will be lowered from “spouse or child of permanent resident” to “permanent residence.”
The conclusion is that, if you want to apply for permanent residence simultaneously with a family member, it will be possible if three years have passed since you were married and the family member has lived in Japan for at least one year.
In addition, in the case of applying for permission for permanent residence, it will be necessary to fulfill the requirement of having the longest period of residence for the status of residence that you currently have, but if you have a 3-year or a five-year visa, it is possible to make an application.

What about a case in which the person has lived in Japan for less than ten years?
 

An ordinary foreigner who has lived in Japan for less than ten years cannot receive permission for permanent residence. A requirement for permission for permanent residence is that the person has lived in Japan continuously for at least ten years. There are the following three patterns in which it is possible to apply with less than ten years.

 

●Spouse of a Japanese person
Living in Japan for at least three years after getting married
In the case of getting married in another country, three years have passed since getting married, and living in Japan for at least one year

●Spouse of a permanent resident
Living in Japan for at least three years after getting married
In the case of getting married in another country, three years have passed since getting married, and living in Japan for at least one year

●Long-term resident
Living in Japan for at least five years after obtaining permission for a “long-term resident”
In addition, in the case of applying for permission for permanent residence, it will be necessary to fulfill the requirement of having the longest period of residence for the status of residence that you currently have, but if you have a 3-year or a five-year status of residence (visa) it is possible to make an application.

 

The way of counting the number of years of staying
 

In principle, it is necessary to have lived in Japan for at least ten years (* for a foreigner who is married to a Japanese person, at least three years) in order to obtain permission for permanent residence.

For this, it is necessary that it is at least ten continuous years, without the status of residence (visa) being interrupted. In the event that it was interrupted during the ten years, calculation will be made by starting again from the time the status of residence (visa) was newly obtained.

In addition, this does not mean that it is okay to simply have an address in Japan for at least ten years. There will be a problem if the number of days of living in Japan during a year is too few.
The number of days of living in Japan during a year is also important. There is a tendency for foreigners who work in Japan to make many overseas business trips.
For women, there are many cases in which they temporarily return to their home country in order to give birth.
In such instances, there are cases in which the number of days they stayed in Japan becomes a problem.
For an application for permission for permanent residence, in the event that the number of days of being outside Japan in a year exceeds 200 days, there is a strong possibility that it will be judged that the stay in Japan was interrupted in that year.
In such a case, it is not “continuous,” and therefore the count will begin again as the first year.

About revocation of permanent residence
 

I am often asked by foreigners who are married to Japanese people if their permanent residence will be revoked if they get a divorce after obtaining a permanent residence visa.
To state the conclusion, once you have obtained a permanent residence visa it will not be revoked even if you get divorced.
Even if your Japanese spouse dies, it will not be revoked. You can continue to live in Japan as a permanent resident from now on.
The condition for renewal of a visa for a spouse of a Japanese national is continuation of the marriage; therefore, if you are considering obtaining a permanent residence visa in the future I recommend that you obtain it at an early time when it can be obtained.
If you get divorced or your spouse dies, it will not be possible to renew a visa for a spouse of a Japanese national.

What is the content of a guarantee by a personal guarantor?
 

In the case of applying for permission for permanent residence, it is absolutely necessary to arrange for a “personal guarantor.”
The only people who can be a personal guarantor for an application for permanent residence are Japanese people or, in the case of foreigners, permanent residents.
If you are married to a Japanese person it will be okay to ask your spouse to be a personal guarantor, but many foreigners who are not married to a Japanese person ask their company president or boss at work or a teacher from the time they were a student.
The three matters to be guaranteed by a personal guarantor are expenses for staying in Japan, expenses for returning to your home country, and compliance with laws and ordinances. Basically, economic compensation is not included. When you ask someone to be a personal guarantor, please have them correctly understand the matters to be guaranteed.
If you cannot find a personal guarantor, unfortunately the application for permanent residence itself will not be possible.

Is it necessary to renew the current visa after an application for permanent residency has been made?
 

Please think of an application for permanent residence and renewal of your current visa as separate applications.
The period of screening for an application for permanent residence is approximately 6 months.
If the time limit of the visa you currently have will expire during that period, you must be sure to conduct renewal procedures.
It is not okay to fail to renew your current visa because you have applied for permanent residence.
There are people who have applied for permission for permanent residence and have a misunderstanding.
They think that, as with an application to change status of residence or an application for permission for renewal, if they have made an application it will be okay until they receive the result, even if the time limit of their visa expires. Please be careful.

Is it okay even if there was a traffic violation in the past?
 

If you will apply for permanent residence, it will be disadvantageous if you have traffic violations.
If you drive a car or motorcycle, please be careful.
If you have traffic violations, it cannot be said that you have “good behavior.”
If you have approximately 4 to five traffic violations, it can be judged that there is no problem, but if you have frequent violations of ten times or more there is a strong possibility that it will be difficult to obtain permission.
If you do not know how many traffic violations you have, you can find out the past five-year history by obtaining a “certificate of driving record.”

Past illegal stay and application for permission for permanent residence
 

Basically, the Immigration Bureau’s screening for an application for permanent residence will be strict for a foreigner who has a background of staying illegally or overstaying.
However, that does not mean that it is not possible to apply for permanent residence for ten years.
Even if you had been staying illegally, it will be possible to apply for permanent residence if three years have passed since you married a Japanese person or if you currently have a visa with a valid period of three years.
There are no provisions stating that a person who has special permission for residence must wait until a certain number of years have passed before applying for permanent residence.
There have been examples in the past in which people obtained permission for permanent residence three years after obtaining a visa for special permission for residence.
Therefore, in such a case, rather than the number of years that have passed since a visa was obtained, the point will probably be the question of how stable your life has been as the spouse of a Japanese person.
Specifically, the points are the amount of annual income, payment of taxes, pension, and family relationships.

Information about free consultations

If you have any concerns about for a visa, we recommend that you first consult an immigration lawyer who has detailed knowledge about visa applications. Making an early consultation is the key to ensuring visa permission.

Samurai Immigration Law Firm accepts consultations about visa applications. We will search for measures that correspond to the circumstances of each client and suggest a path to obtain permission.

We conduct free consultations, so please feel free to consult us first.
There are two methods of applying for a consultation. * All consultations require an appointment.

1. Make a consultation application by telephone

2. Make an application through the website

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Ikebukuro・Shinjuku・Shibuya・Ueno and Nagoya.
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