Many foreigners living in Japan want to obtain a permanent residence visa because there are no restrictions on the length of stay for permanent residence visa holders and the scope of activities, such as the type of work, is greatly expanded. However, if you do not meet certain requirements, you will not be able to obtain this visa. In this article, you will learn more about the mechanism, requirements, and review period for a permanent residence visa.
What is a permanent residence visa?
A permanent resident visa gives foreigners the right to reside in Japan without restriction on the length of stay while retaining the citizenship of their home country.
It is a type of residence status and is referred to as a “permanent residence." Article 22 of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act defines the term as a “permanent residence permit"
A person who has obtained a permanent residence visa is called a “permanent resident".
Requirements for a permanent residence visa
- Good behavior
This means that you have no traffic violations or criminal record in Japan and that your daily life is not criticized by society.
- Independent living
This requirement means that you have the assets or ability to make a living independently in Japan. The criterion for evaluation is whether you can continue to live in Japan with a stable income.
Your annual income should be at least about 3 million yen for a family of up to three people.
Note that not only the assets of the applicant for a permanent resident visa but also the assets of the spouse and relatives are used as evaluation criteria.
- Conformity with national interest
The requirement of conformity with the national interest means that the issuance of a permanent residence permit can be recognized as beneficial to Japan. All of the following requirements must be met.
- Normally, you must have resided in Japan continuously for at least 10 years (within this period, you must have resided in Japan for at least 5 years on a work visa or a residence status based on your status, such as a long-term resident).
- Fulfillment of public obligations
- You have not been sentenced to a fine or imprisonment
- You have resided in Japan with the longest period of stay stipulated in the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act
- You are not harmful to public health
- Exceptions to the 10-year residency requirement
In some cases, there is an exception to the 10-year residency requirement in Japan. Therefore, if you meet certain conditions, you are exempt from this requirement.
For more information, visit the Japan Immigration website.
(Reference: Immigration Services Agency “Guidelines for Permanent Residence Permit (Revised May 31, 2019)")
The review period for the permanent residence visa
According to the Japan Immigration website, the standard processing time for a permanent resident visa/residence status application is four months.
However, the review of this type of visa is much stricter and it is at the discretion of the Minister of Justice whether the application is approved or not. Furthermore, the review period varies depending on the circumstances of the applicant and their family.
The permanent residence visa gives foreigners the right to reside in Japan without limitation on the length of stay while retaining the citizenship of their home country.
To obtain a permanent residence visa, you must meet the requirements of good behavior, independent living, and compatibility with the national interest.
However, due to the rigorous review process, it is at the discretion of the Minister of Justice whether or not to approve such an application.