Today, we would like to explain about an inquiry we received regarding Highly Skilled Professional visas.

The person who made this inquiry has been living in Japan- for about two years and obtained a Highly Skilled Professional visa more than a year ago with more than 80 points.
However, due to his annual income, his points are now less than 80, and he asked if he could apply for a PR Visa.

At first glance, it appears that this person may be able to apply for permanent residence, but unfortunately, he cannot apply for PR Visa at this time because his current Highly Skilled Professional visa points are less than 80 points. This is because when you apply for PR Visa, you must prove that you have more than 80 points by submitting a points calculation sheet or other documents. However, it is possible to apply for PR Visa even if you do not have 80 points or 70 points, but in this case, you must have been in Japan for at least three years. However, this person has only been in Japan for about 2 years, so it would still be difficult to apply for PR Visa now.

Highly Skilled Professional visa holders are entitled to preferential treatment in applying for PR Visa. If the points are 80 or more, the minimum period of stay in Japan is 1 year, and if the points are 70 or more, the minimum period of stay in Japan is 3 years (*). However, since the person who contacted us this time has less than 80 points, even assuming that he/she has at least 70 points, he/she has not been in Japan for more than 3 years, so the "minimum 3 years in Japan if 70 or more points" does not apply to him/her, and thus he/she cannot apply for PR Visa.

(*) Even if you do not actually have a Highly Skilled Professional visa, you can apply for PR Visa if you have continuously held 80 or more points or 70 or more points one year or three years prior to the time you apply for permanent residence, respectively. Please note that "1 year ago" or "3 years ago" does not include the period during which you were attending a university or other educational institution on a "college student" visa, which is not employment.

In addition, even if you lose points due to age or annual income after obtaining a Highly Skilled Professional visa, it will not affect your Highly Skilled Professional visa. However, please note that you will not be able to renew your Highly Skilled Professional visa in the future if you do not meet the required points. Of course, if you do not have enough points to renew your Highly Skilled Professional visa, it is possible to change to a regular work visa (such as a "technical, humanities, or international services" visa).

And, as one of the disadvantages of the Highly Skilled Professional visa, for example, if you are working for a general company and change your company, you will have to go through the process of changing your visa status to Highly Skilled Professional again. The Highly Skilled Professional visa is issued with a "Letter of Designation" attached to the passport, which designates the company to which the applicant is to work. However, for the Highly Skilled Professional visa, while the visa holder is granted a uniform five-year period of stay, he/she is required to re-calculate the points and submit all the necessary documents to the new employer. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of visa.

We have assisted many clients in applying for PR Visa from Highly Skilled Professional visa, changing from general working visa to Highly Skilled Professional visa, and applying for COE of Highly Skilled Professional visa (inviting someone who is overseas). If you have any questions about applying for PR Visa from Highly Skilled Professional visa, please contact us.