What to do if a foreigner divorces on a spouse visa
A spouse visa is issued based on the status of the spouse when a foreigner is married to a Japanese (person with Japanese citizenship).
If a foreigner on a spouse visa divorces their Japanese spouse, they are no longer eligible for a spouse visa because they are no longer married.
Therefore, if they wish to continue to stay in Japan after a divorce, they need to consider options other than a spouse visa.
This article is about what to do if a person who has a spouse visa gets divorced.
If you divorce, your eligibility for a spouse visa expires
If a foreign national on a spouse visa divorces their Japanese spouse, the spouse visa becomes invalid.
A spouse visa is a qualification issued based on the status of the spouse of a Japanese national. Therefore, if you divorce and are no longer the spouse of a Japanese citizen, you will lose your eligibility for a spouse visa.
Apply for another visa to continue your stay
To continue to stay in Japan after a divorce, you need to apply for a visa other than the spouse visa.
The main ways to obtain another visa are:
- Find a job in Japan and apply for a work visa.
- Start a business
- Marry a Japanese citizen and apply for a spouse visa
- Marry a permanent resident (a foreigner who has the right to live permanently in Japan) and apply for a permanent resident spouse visa
It is common to find a job in Japan and apply for a work visa, but certain educational requirements and work experience are required.
If it is difficult to obtain another visa after the divorce, for example, if you are not in a situation where you can obtain a work visa, you can also apply for a long-term residence visa before the divorce.
You may be able to obtain long-term residence
If you are divorced and lose your eligibility for a spouse visa, you may be able to obtain a long-term resident visa depending on your circumstances.
A long-term resident visa is a visa issued primarily for humanitarian reasons to foreigners living in Japan.
To obtain a long-term resident visa, you usually need to meet the following requirements.
- You have a child with your divorced spouse and that child is a Japanese citizen
- You have been married for at least 3 years (if you do not have children)
- Good behavior (no criminal record or unpaid taxes)
- Your primary residence is in Japan