If you obtain a spouse visa, you can stay in Japan as the spouse of a Japanese citizen (a person with Japanese citizenship).
However, the spouse visa has a specific duration of stay, so you must apply for an extension before it expires.
This article is about the length of stay for a spouse visa.
Length of stay for spouse visa
If you obtain a spouse visa, you cannot stay in Japan forever as the spouse of a Japanese citizen.
The length of stay for a spouse visa is determined in advance when your visa is approved, and you can only stay in Japan for the specified period of time.
There are four types of stays with a spouse visa: 6 months, 1 year, 3 years and 5 years.
In other words, the minimum stay for a spouse visa is 6 months and the maximum stay is 5 years.
Who decides the length of stay for a spouse visa?
The maximum length of stay for a spouse visa is 5 years. So, if possible, most would like to obtain a spouse visa that allows them to stay for 5 years.
However, the length of stay for a spouse visa is set by the immigration authorities, so you cannot decide on the length of stay yourself.
For example, if you apply for a spouse visa and the Immigration Bureau consider a stay of one year to be appropriate, the length of stay you can stay on a spouse visa will be one year.
Factors that determine the length of stay for a spouse visa
The length of stay for a spouse visa is determined by the Immigration Bureau based on the following factors.
- Family structure
- Duration of marriage
- Household income
- Tax payments
In general, the more family members you have (the more children and other family members you have to support), the more likely you are to obtain long-term residency.
Also, the longer the marriage has lasted, the more likely it is that the marriage has continued properly and is not a sham.
If your household income is stable, staying in Japan for a longer period of time should not be a problem, making it easier for you to obtain a long-stay visa.
On the other hand, if you do not pay your taxes properly, it will negatively affect the length of your stay. So, make sure that you do not miss any tax payments.
How to extend the period of stay with a spouse visa
To extend the period of stay on a spouse visa, you need to apply for a spouse visa extension.
You can apply for a spouse visa extension 3 months before your visa expires. So, apply in time before your period of stay expires.
In general, the more often you extend your spouse visa, the more likely you are to receive a longer period of stay.
Even if you are initially granted a short stay, the likelihood that you will be granted a longer stay will gradually increase as you stabilize your life through proper tax payments.