Permanent Visa

永住ビザ

What is a "Permanent Resident Visa"?

If you are viewing this page, you may be thinking, "Let's get a Permanent Resident visa!” Or “How can I get a Permanent Resident visa?” You may have heard about it from your friends or from the community, but you are not sure how much of the information is true.

As the name implies, a Permanent Resident visa is a visa that allows you to continuously reside in Japan unless it is revoked, and there are no restrictions on your activities (work restrictions) or period of stay in Japan. In short, it is a visa that allows you to stay in Japan without the need to renew your period of stay, just like a Japanese national (excluding the right to vote).

Some people often misunderstand that a Permanent Resident visa allows you to bring your family and relatives from your home country to Japan. Please note that a Permanent Resident visa is granted only to you.

For example, if you are living in Japan on an "Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services" visa and your spouse or child is living in Japan on a "Dependent" visa, and you are granted a Permanent Resident visa, your spouse and child's visas will not be automatically changed to "Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident" visas.

In recent years, the number of applicants for Permanent Resident visas has been increasing, and the screening process at the Immigration Bureau has become much stricter. Likewise, the rejection rate has also increased. If your visa application is rejected, it will also affect your subsequent visa applications. This page provides detailed information on Permanent Resident visas. The details of applying for a Permanent Resident visa vary depending on your individual situation, so if you have any concerns at all, please feel free to contact us.

Page Contents
Permanent Resident Visa Merits
・Permanent Residency Requirements:
 -Work Visa holders
 -Highly-Skilled Professional Visa holders
 -Spouse/Dependent Visa holders
Required Documents
Application Process
Permanent Resident Visa – Required Documents
Frequently Asked Questions
Information Regarding Guarantors
 -Financial Guarantors
 -Guarantors for PR Visa

Permanent Resident Visa Merits

No renewal application required

The Permanent Resident visa has no period of stay, so there is no need for apply for renewal.
You only have to renew the residence card itself every 7 years (for those 16 years and older).

No restrictions on activities

You will not be required to submit a notification to the Immigration Bureau when you change jobs, and you will be able to start a business, be self-employed, or work part-time, etc. without any time restrictions.

No effect on permanent resident status, even after death or the loss of one's spouse

If, after obtaining permanent residency, a permanent resident or spouse of a Japanese national then divorces or experiences the death of their spouse, the Permanent Resident visa that has already been acquired will not be affected.

By comparison, if you are the holder of a Dependent visa and subsequently divorce or experience the loss of your spouse, you will need to go through the procedures of changing your status of residence.

Smooth applications for mortgages and loans in Japan

While many people use mortgages to purchase homes in Japan, the majority of foreigners cannot apply for a mortgage at most banks unless they have a Permanent Resident visa.

If you get a Permanent Resident visa, it will be easier to get a mortgage and receive many other merits other than visa-related aspects.

Permanent Residency Requirements

If you have a work visa

  1. Be of good conduct
    • No delinquent payments of resident tax, national health insurance, etc., no traffic violations or punishments such as imprisonment or fines, etc.
  2. Have sufficient assets or skills to make a living
    • Have an annual income of at least 3 million yen, own a home, etc.
  3. Continuous stay in Japan of 10 years or more, 5 years or more of which were on a working visa status
    • No more than a few months out of Japan in a 10-year period, etc.
  4. The current status of residence must have a period of stay of 3 or 5 years
    • If you have a visa with a 1-year period of stay, you cannot apply for a permanent residence permit even if you meet the above conditions

If you have a Highly-Skilled Professional visa, or meet the qualifications of a Highly-Skilled Professional

  1. Be of good conduct
    • No delinquent payments of resident tax, national health insurance, etc., no traffic violations or punishments such as imprisonment or fines, etc.
  2. Have sufficient assets or skills to make a living
    • Have an annual income of at least 3 million yen, own a home, etc.
  3. Be in possession of 70 points or more, according to the highly-skilled professional point calculation table, AND have been in possession of 70 points or more 3 years prior
  4. Be in possession of 80 points or more, according to the highly-skilled professional point calculation table, AND have been in possession of 80 points or more for at least the last 1 year

If you have a Spouse of Japanese Resident visa, Spouse of Permanent Resident visa, or Dependent visa

  1. Be in a bona fide marriage for a continuous 3 years or more, and have lived in Japan for at least 1 continuous year
    In the case of biological children, must have lived in Japan for at least 1 continuous year
  2. The current status of residence must have a period of stay of 3 years or more
    • If you have a visa with a 1-year period of stay, you cannot apply for a permanent residence permit even if you meet the above conditions

What does it mean to be of "good conduct"?
Most people are worried about the "good conduct" requirement for a Permanent Resident visa. Parking violations requiring fees are acceptable, but having to pay a court-ordered fine due to speeding violations are likely to result in being denied permission.

What does it mean to have "sufficient assets or skills to make a living"?
This means whether or not you have enough income to live in Japan or have a stable life in the future based on your assets and skills. Single (unmarried) applicants with a working visa need to have an annual income of 3 million yen or more. Applicants with a family need an annual income of 3.2 million yen or more.

For example, if you have a large number of dependents, and your parents overseas are included as dependents, you are likely to result being denied permission even if your annual income is high.

If you are considering applying for a Permanent Resident visa, job continuity may count against you if you recently entered your current company. We recommend that you refrain from changing jobs immediately before applying for a Permanent Resident visa. Job continuity can also be a problem if you have had frequent career changes in the past, or if you have long periods of unemployment.

Required Documents for Permanent Resident Visa Application

  • Permanent Resident visa application form
  • Photo (4 cm x 3 cm)
  • Letter of Reason
  • Certificate of Residence for all family members (household) of applicant -- as appropriate
  • Certificate of Employment
  • Documents certifying the applicant's latest income and tax payment status (for the past 5 years)
  • Documents certifying the applicant's payment status, or the applicant's public pension and public medical insurance premiums
  • Documents certifying the applicant's assets (copy of deposit/savings passbook, real estate registration certificate, etc.)
  • Original passport
  • Original residence card
  • Documents required for Guarantor
    • Letter of Guarantee
    •  The following materials related to the guarantor(Documents that clarify the identity of the guarantor (copy of driver's license, etc.))

※ The above required documents are for applicants who have a general work visa.
※ The above required documents are the basic requirements. Documents will differ depending on things like the applicant's circumstances, status of residence, and history of job transfer, etc.

IMS Legal Professional Corporation supports Permanent Resident Visa applications!

We have a large number of Permanent Resident Visa applications, with a success rate of 96%. Our clients range from company presidents who switched from a working visa to a Business Manager visa, to Highly-Skilled Professional visa holders, and more! We consider the unique circumstances of each client and tailor our consultation to their needs. After thorough preparations, we then submit the Permanent Resident Visa application on their behalf. The Immigration Bureau has become stricter on these applications in recent years, so it is necessary to thoroughly check the details of the applicant's situation in advance and take appropriate action.

Multi-Language Support

Here at IMS Legal Professional Corporation, we value communication with our clients. That's why we offer consultations in multiple languages. If you are worried about explaining your situation in Japanese, feel free to contact us in Chinese, Korean, or English. Our native speakers on staff are always available.

Focus on Sincerity

We recognize that the Permanent Resident visa is not a simple visa application that only requires submitting basic documents. We will comprehensively analyze the current status of residence of our clients, confirm details before applying, and consider how to apply for permanent residency according to the client's situation. We strive to be honest about the possibility of receiving a visa. If, unfortunately, we determine that your situation makes it difficult to apply for a Permanent Resident visa, we will tell you honestly.

Guidelines for applying for permanent residency (Ministry of Justice website)
http://www.moj.go.jp/nyuukokukanri/kouhou/nyukan_nyukan50.html (Japanese)

https://www.moj.go.jp/isa/applications/procedures/16-4.html?hl=en (English)

Application Process

Thank you for reading this far. We hope this has given you an idea of whether or not you are ready to apply for a Permanent Resident visa, and whether or not you have a chance of getting one. Everyone's life and career are different. The following is a brief explanation of the process of applying for a Permanent Resident visa through IMS.

1. First, please contact us by e-mail (ims-info@attorney-office.com) or phone (03-5402-6191).
2. The administrative scrivener or our office staff will ask you some questions about your situation.
3. Once it is determined that you are ready to apply for a Permanent Resident visa, we will provide you with information regarding preliminary consulting.
4. During the preliminary consultation, we will ask you about your living situation and background in detail. We will also provide you with information about the contract.

※Having a consultation is not the same as requesting an application on your behalf. There is no problem at all if you just want to receive consultation and then change your mind about applying.
5. IMS officially receives a request for proxy application on behalf of the applicant
6. Conclusion of contract and issuance of invoice (contract can be concluded online)
7. Payment of agency fee (cash, bank transfer, or credit card payment is available)
8. Information on necessary documents
9. Applicant prepares and gathers the necessary documents
10. The administrative scrivener in charge of the application prepares the application form and Statement of Reason
11. Applicant signs application documents and confirms contents of materials to be submitted
12. IMS submits the completed application documents to the Immigration Bureau
13. Immigration Bureau reviews the application

(During this examination period, there may be additional documents to be submitted due to inquiries from the Immigration Bureau, etc. Please be assured that the administrative scrivener in charge of your application will handle the communication with the Immigration Bureau.)

※The examination period takes approximately 10 to 12 months
14. After the examination is completed, IMS Legal Professional Corporation will pick up the application results.
15. If the Permanent Resident visa is not approved, the administrative scrivener in charge will confirm the reason at the Immigration Bureau.

Permanent Resident Visa – Required Documents

The following are the basic documents required when applying for a Permanent Resident visa.
※Depending on the applicant’s status of residence at the time of application, other documents may be required in addition those listed below.

  1. Application form
  2. Photo (4 cm x 3 cm, 1 copy affixed to application form)
    ※ Photo not required for applicants under the age of 16.
  3. Resident card (original), passport (to be shown only)
    ※ If you cannot present your passport, a statement of reason is required.
  4. Supporting documents (in addition to the following, additional materials may be required depending on the applicant's status of residence)
    (a)Certificate of Residence (juminhyo) for all family (household) members including the applicant
    (b)Documents certifying the occupation of the applicant and the applicant's dependents, as required (Certificate of Employment, etc.)
    (c)Documents certifying the most recent income and tax payment status of the applicant and their dependents (documents certifying the payment status of resident tax, documents confirming the payment status of national tax, and others such as a copy of a bankbook of a savings account)
    (d)Documents certifying the payment status of public pension and public medical insurance premiums for the applicant and their dependents (printout screen of "Pension Record for Each Month" from Nenkin Net (online Japan Pension Service website), health insurance card (copy), etc.)
  5. Personal reference documents
    (a)Letter of Guarantee
    (b)Documents pertaining to the guarantor (Certificate of Employment, proof of recent income, Certificate of Residence, etc.)
  6. Written consent form

Documents 1-6 above are required to apply for a Permanent Resident visa. Other additional documents may be required depending on the requirements of the applicant (e.g., if the applicant is (1) a spouse of a Japanese national, permanent resident, or special permanent resident, (2) a permanent resident, or (3) in possession of 70 or 80 or more Highly Skilled Professional points, etc.).

In addition to the basic required documents, we will prepare a customized list of required documents based on the applicant's individual situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If I leave my current company during the application period, will it affect the outcome of my application?

A: Your application for a Permanent Resident visa is based on your current job, so if you change jobs, you will need to submit a new notification and Statement of Reason to the Immigration Bureau.

Q: If I marry a Japanese citizen while I am applying for Permanent Residence, do I need to take any action?

A: You will need to notify the Immigration Bureau. Specifically, you will need to submit a copy of your family register (koseki tohon) and Certificate of Residence (juminhyo). In some cases, you may also be asked to submit documents related to your spouse's social insurance and taxes.

Q: I have delinquent tax payments. Can I apply for a Permanent Resident visa?

A: It is difficult to obtain a Permanent Resident visa if you have any delinquent tax payments within the past three years.

Q: “My Number” is important personal information, so I've heard that if it is listed on my Certificate of Residence, the Immigration Bureau will not accept it, and they may return my documents, is this true?

A: Yes. The Immigration Bureau will not accept documents with My Number information listed on them.

Q: I had a traffic violation (illegal right turn) while applying for a Permanent Resident visa. I paid a penalty fee of 7,000 yen. What kind of problems will I face?

A: The penalty fee is not a punishment, so it will not usually affect your application for a Permanent Resident visa. However, if you receive a "red ticket" for a traffic violation such as drunk driving or speeding, your punishment will be more than a fine. A red ticket traffic violation will have a significant impact on your application for a Permanent Resident visa.

Q: If I change jobs during my application for Permanent Residence, will this have any effects?

A: Please note that if you change jobs during the application period, you will be required to enroll in the National Health Insurance and National Pension plans. Please note that failure to pay during this period will affect your application for Permanent Residence.

Q: I am the guarantor for a friend's Permanent Residence application. I need a Certificate of Employment, but what should I do if I am an individual business owner?

A: Instead of a Certificate of Employment, please submit a copy of the Notification of Opening a New Individual Business (個人事業主開業届).

Q: I don’t know which part of Nenkin Net is necessary. What exactly should I submit?

A: From the top page of Nenkin Net, click (1) Check your pension record, (2) Check your monthly pension record, and (3) "Print" in the upper right corner to obtain a copy of your pension record.

Information Regarding Guarantors

A "personal guarantor" is required when applying for permission for permanent residence.

When you hear the word "guarantor," you may be reminded of a financial guarantor, which is typically designated when lending or borrowing money, or a co-signer.

Therefore, I will explain the difference between a guarantor for permanent residence applications and other types of guarantors.

Financial Guarantors

First, let's go over the guarantee contract, which is often concluded in conjunction with loan agreements, so-called contracts for lending and borrowing money, through discussing the case of financial loans.

The "responsibility/obligation" here refers to the responsibility of the guarantor to return the money borrowed instead of the debtor when the principal debtor (= the person who borrows money) does not perform the obligation (= when money is not returned) to the creditor (= the person who lends money).

The guarantee contract is usually one in which a person who becomes a guarantor is first commissioned (= asked to become a guarantor) by the debtor, and is then concluded by the creditor after consent to becoming a guarantor.

The guarantee contract is usually one in which a person who becomes a guarantor is first commissioned (= asked to become a guarantor) by the debtor, and is then concluded by the creditor after consent to becoming a guarantor.

The responsibility as explained above is generally what is referred to as "responsibility" in civil law.

In addition, while you may often hear of the word "co-signer", please understand that co-signing is merely an option attached to a guarantee contract.

There seem to be many people who hold the image that co-signers are made to assume severe responsibility. This image stems from the fact that co-signers are deprived of means of defense including the right to the defense of demand and defense for execution that regular types of guarantors have.

The former form of defense refers to the right to say, "Before claiming the money from myself, the guarantor, please demand the money from the principal debtor." The latter refers to the right to say, "Please collect the money from the principal debtor since they have the financial means to return the money and because it is easy to collect the money from the principal. 

So far, this is the explanation of guarantors in civil law.

Permanent Residency: Personal Guarantors

Now, let's go over "guarantors", or personal guarantors, required when applying for a permanent residence permit.

According to the response on the website, the definition of a "personal guarantor" is "a person who promises to the Minister of Justice that they will provide financial guarantees and lifestyle guidance, such as compliance with laws and regulations, to the foreigner concerned as necessary so that the foreigner can achieve the desired purpose of entry into Japan in a stable and continuous manner."

In addition, "with regard to the nature of a guarantor's letter of guarantee, there is no legal enforcement against the guarantor with regard to the guaranteed items promised to the Minister of Justice, and even if the guarantor does not fulfill the guaranteed items, the authorities will only instruct the guarantor to fulfill their promise. In this case, it can be said that the authorities are imposing a moral responsibility on the guarantor, since the guarantor will lose social credibility by not fulfilling their responsibilities as a guarantor and will be considered unqualified as a guarantor in subsequent applications for entry or residence.”

In light of the above explanation, the biggest differences between the two types of guarantors comes down to whether or not legal liability arises and whether or not there is a legal basis for the occurrence of liability.

First, personal guarantors do not have any legal disadvantage such as being obligated to compensate for any money or being criminally prosecuted for not performing the expected act as a guarantor.

The only consequence may be that in the future, if you are asked to be a guarantor for another foreign national applying for a permanent residence permit, you may not be able to respond to the request due to your disqualification as a guarantor.

Second, the basis for civil liability for "financial guarantors" and "co-signers" is found in the Civil Code, whereas "personal guarantor" is not a legal requirement when applying for a permanent residence permit, nor is its basis found in the Immigration Control and Refugee Act.

As a general rule, when the national or local government takes any action that disadvantages the people, it must have a legal basis, so it is impossible to pursue the moral responsibility of "personal guarantors", which is not a legally recognized role. Based on these matters, you will not be subject to any serious disadvantages just because you have accepted the role "guarantor", and you will not be liable for any harsh compensation.