As for the periods associated with the spouse visa, there is a period during which the spouse visa can be extended and a period during which you can stay in Japan with the spouse visa.
This article explains both the extension period and the stay period for the spouse visa.
What is the extension period for a spouse visa?
The extension period for a spouse visa is the period in which you can apply for an extension of your spouse visa.
A spouse visa is a residence status for a foreign spouse who is married to a Japanese national and wishes to reside in Japan.
The spouse visa has a specific length of stay that allows you to stay in Japan. Therefore, if you wish to stay in Japan beyond this period, you must apply for an extension of your visa.
If you do not extend your spouse visa and the length of stay expires by even one day, it is called an overstay and you may be subject to deportation and an entry ban.
The period during which the spouse’s visa may be extended (extension period) begins three months before the expiration of the period of stay.
Generally, the application review for spouse visa extension takes about 2 weeks to 1 month. Therefore, it is recommended to apply for the extension as soon as possible.
What is the length of stay for a spouse visa?
The length of stay for a spouse visa is the period you can stay in Japan on a spouse visa.
The spouse visa extension must be completed by the expiration date of the visa stay period, so the end date of the extension period and the expiration date of the current stay period are the same.
There are four types of residency periods for spouse visas: 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, and 6 months. In most cases, a 1-year stay is granted for the initial application.
The maximum length of stay for a spouse visa is 5 years, but if you qualify for a 3-year visa, there is a high likelihood that you can be granted permanent residency, and many try to apply for that instead.
The main requirements for a 3-year visa are that the couple has been married and living together adequately for several years, that there are no financial problems, and that the couple has a child.
The minimum length of stay for a spouse visa is 6 months, but 6-month visas are not issued through normal applications or extensions.
A six-month visa is issued only under special circumstances, such as during divorce proceedings.