This is Stephanie of IMS Legal Professional Corporation. Recently, we have received many inquiries from foreign professionals looking to apply for permanent residency using the Highly Skill Professional point system. If you have enough points based on your professional career, then you may be able to “fast-track” your permanent residency application and receive PR after 1 or 3 years!

What is the Highly Skilled Professional (HSP) Point System?

First, a brief explanation on the Highly Skilled Professional visa: The HSP visa is a working visa that provides preferential immigration treatment to foreign professionals with a high level of expertise in their field. HSP points are given for different items such as the applicant’s academic background, professional career history, and annual salary. Once the applicant reaches a certain number of points, they can receive preferential treatment.

For more information on the HSP visa, please see our website:

Basic Conditions to Apply for Permanent Residency

The Permanent Resident visa has basic conditions that must be met. In most cases, applicants need to meet the following criteria:

  • 10 years consecutive stay in Japan, with no long periods outside the country
  • At least 3- or 5-years period of stay on your residence card
  • An annual salary of 3+ million yen for at least 5 years; however, this minimum amount changes based on how many dependents in Japan you have

However, if you qualify for at least 70 HSP points, then you can apply before the 10 years have passed.

Applying for Permanent Residency Using HSP Points

What many applicants may not know is that you can apply for PR using HSP points, without applying for an HSP visa first. This is because the Immigration Bureau will recognize that you are a “highly skilled professional”, regardless of your current visa status!

If you currently have 70+ points

You must have 70+ points at (A) time of application and (B) 3 years prior.
Example: 75 points as of June 2023, and 70 points as of June 2020

If you currently have 80+ points

You must have 80+ points at (A) time of application and (B) 1 year prior.
Example: 110 points as of June 2023, and 90 points as of June 2022

Highly Skilled Professional Visa vs. Permanent Residency

There are some situations in which applying for the HSP visa over permanent residency is preferred. For example, HSP visa holders are able to invite their parents to Japan to assist with childcare for children under the age of 7. Domestic workers are also allowed to come to Japan under certain conditions.

※Permanent residents are not able to invite either their parents or domestic workers using their PR status.

Permanent residents may also have tax obligations on receiving inheritance that HSP visa holders do not. For more information, please contact a social insurance labor consultant or tax accountant.

Things to Keep in Mind

All permanent residence applicants must prove they are of “good conduct” in Japan. This means no serious traffic violations, imprisonment or fines, or delinquent payments of resident tax, health insurance, or pension. The Immigration Bureau is very strict regarding late or missing pension, health insurance, or tax payments for permanent residence applicants, and we’ve known of applicants with past denials because of this. For pension specifically, enrolling in the pension system is required for all residents (regardless of income level), and failure to do so will be considered as failing to meet PR requirements.

If there is a late or delinquent payment, we generally recommend waiting 2 years after making full payment before applying for PR.

You can easily check your pension status using the government website Nenkin Net ( There are two options for making an account:

  1. Use your MyNumber card via the Mynaportal
    ※Instructions: (Japanese only)
  2. Sign in with an access key
    ※You can request an access key and Nenkin Net will send you your login information via postal mail

For detailed information on the Permanent Resident visa, please see our website: