Permanent Residency in Japan

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Permanent Residency in Japan


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Old 13th March 2009, 01:24 AM
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Default Permanent Residency in Japan

Hi,

As of noon (or so) yesterday, I now have a visa stamp in my passport which bears no expiration date. Having accomplished this feat allows me to debunk a couple of the stranger myths about Japanese permanent residency that I've picked up along the way.

First, you obviously don't have to be a famous celebrity or a sumo wrestler. I'm neither.

Second, you don't have to have a Japanese spouse (although, from what I hear, that can make the application more of a formality than a hurdle).

And, lastly, you don't have to fit the apparent high standards suggested by the examples presented on the MOFA website.

You probably *do* have to be able to show some committment to living in Japan (there are no written rules but I've been here over 10 years now). You probably also have to show some reason why you want to live here forever, other than simply enjoying the parties in Roppongi. We have two kids who were born here but, because Japanese citizenship only transmits by parentage, they're both US citizens. They played a large part in the "reasons" essay I wrote as part of the application. It's not certain which of the reasons I gave turned out to be the winner -- they don't return the paperwork with grades on each point. But you can bet they at least considered the reasons before granting the visa.

The point is that if you're patient, stable, and have good intentions, you *can* obtain permanent residency in Japan -- even if you're just a working stiff like the rest of us.

I hope this information helps encourage others who may be thinking of applying. If anyone is in that position and has questions as to my personal process, contact me either privately or on this thread.
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Old 21st April 2009, 09:06 AM
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Thanks for that

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Old 30th November 2009, 12:16 AM
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Default Permanent Visa

Quote:
Originally Posted by larabell View Post
Hi,

As of noon (or so) yesterday, I now have a visa stamp in my passport which bears no expiration date. Having accomplished this feat allows me to debunk a couple of the stranger myths about Japanese permanent residency that I've picked up along the way.
First off let me say congratulations on your permanent resident status. It's something that I really want also.

Let me give you some background on me and then ask my question, since you seem to have more knowledge on this subject.

I have been married to a Japanese national for 19 years and have 2 elementary school boys. We have lived in Hokkaido since March 2008 and are on a 3 year spouse visa.

We are planning on starting the paperwork to renew our visa's at the end of 2010 which will give us 3-4 months before the current visa expires. I am sure our next visa will be either 3-5 years in length.

Our 2 sons are in Japanese public elementary school, and I have a full time job teaching English.

Now for the question: What are my chances of getting permanent residence on the next renewal period? Someone told me you have to be in country for 5 consecutive years before they will consider permanent, but with my status I am thinking this might can be done sooner.

Thanks for your advice.

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Old 1st December 2009, 07:09 AM
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Now for the question: What are my chances of getting permanent residence on the next renewal period? Someone told me you have to be in country for 5 consecutive years before they will consider permanent, but with my status I am thinking this might can be done sooner.
I've heard after 10 years and I've heard after 3 consecutive 3-year terms. I've never seen any written rule and, when I asked, I was told that's because there *is* no written rule. My guess is that, like so many other things in Japan, it's decided on a case-by-case basis.

I'd kinda be surprised if you were granted permanent status after only 3 years. But you've been married for 19 years which clearly shows the marriage is not for the purpose of obtaining a visa. I'm sure that's one concern of the Immigration guys. But the "feel" of the application process seems to also be about showing a commitment to live in Japan permanently... which isn't so clearly demonstrated after only 3 years.

You could try. I was told that a rejection doesn't prevent you from applying again. I was also told by the paralegal working for the attorney that handled my first couple of renewals that their usual trick was to apply for PR right after receiving the 2nd 3-year extension (which would be after 6 years with the new expiration date being 9 years after your original entry into Japan). So... you *could* try that trick after receiving your 1st 3-year renewal, on the assumption that by the time you'd have to renew again, you'd already be past the (mostly arbitrary) 5-year mark. Your marital status should help -- at least when it comes to the essay on *why* you want to live in Japan permanently.

You also have to write an essay about your "contributions" to Japan during your stay. I imagine that would be easier to do after 2 or 3 renewal cycles -- and you certainly don't have to worry about your interim extensions being rejected, given your marital status.

But the bottom line is that there isn't much knowledge in this area to be had. The Immigration website paints a fairly bleak picture but folks who have done it (and some who have helped others do it, like the aforementioned paralegal) claim that it's not all that difficult to get a PR visa. The truth lies somewhere between those two extremes and, quite possibly, more related to the whim of the official who processes your paperwork than any hard-and-fast rule. (Maybe the application process is the true test and anyone who actually submits everything they ask for is an automatic shoe-in -- that's certainly possible... they ask for a *lot* of stuff.)

This is probably the best time to try, though, while Japanese officials are officially worried about the declining population. If you have a job and pay your taxes, that's a huge point in your favor right now. If you have any sort of technical skill, they'll probably put your application on the top of the stack... maybe...

One question, though... other than not having to go to through the whole extension process every three years, is there really any need to rush in your case (as line as you intend to stay married, that is)? You already have about the best guarantee of continued extension you could get and, if memory serves me, a spousal visa gives you complete freedom over what you can do while you're here. I'd rather wait and not risk having to go through the process twice.

If you still want to give it a try, though, 3-4 months isn't enough lead time. The girl at the window said "6 months" when I submitted my application, the web site says "6 months", and my postcard arrived almost exactly 6 months later. Same for my wife. Same for another friend of mine when he applied. It's almost like the approval cards get stuffed in a tickler file and mailed out exactly 6 months after the application, even if the approval process is finished sooner than that. So either apply 6 1/2 months before your expiration, or right after you get your next extension, or submit two applications (which is what I did, based on my attorney's recommendation -- I had only two months to go on my current visa when I applied).

Sorry I don't have an exact answer. Possibly nobody does. I hope that at least helps some.

BTW... as far as I know, Immigration doesn't give 5-year visas. Only 1-year, 3-years, and permanent. A translated version of the current Immigration Law is online somewhere but I forget exactly where. Even my kids, who now hold "Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident" status, only got 3 years.

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Old 18th July 2011, 01:50 PM
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Default Maintaining permanent residency

Looks like it's been a while since any activity on this thread, but am hoping for some quick and simple answers here - may be too much to hope for?

Are there requirements for Americans with ei-jyuu-ken to spend a certain amount of time in Japan?
The US requires people with US "green card" to spend MORE than 1/2 the year in the US. Does Japan have some reciprocal requirement?

I am in the US right now, post earthquake, and having a hard time finding out.
My ei-jyuu-ken was just approved and I must go back to Japan to get it, but unsure what I will need to do to keep it, if anything. I know that if out of Japan, one must always return to Japan before re-entry permit expires.

Anything else? anyone have answers? you can also respond to
MaiyimBaron at JapaneseInterpreter dot com
Please HELP - as this is a vital question for my future plans!
Sincerely,
Maiyim

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Old 25th July 2011, 02:50 AM
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10yrs!! Real hard!!
Congrats!!

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Old 12th September 2011, 12:57 PM
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Default Retaining Permanent Residency

I've been living in Fukushima-ken, Japan for 15 years (exactly, from today) and got permanent residency about 4 years ago. My wife and daughter have now also got permanent residency (they are not Japanese, of course), but will return to Australia permanently next February. Maybe I too, will return to Australia in August 2012. I am just wondering if it is possible to retain permanent residency assuming I come back to Japan before the re-entry permit expires even if I have no fixed address in Japan, and have an Alien Registration Card which may not have expired but will have an incorrect address on it (where I no longer live)?


Last edited by Febjanza; 12th September 2011 at 01:02 PM. Reason: some additional info. needed
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Old 13th September 2011, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Febjanza View Post
I've been living in Fukushima-ken, Japan for 15 years (exactly, from today) and got permanent residency about 4 years ago. My wife and daughter have now also got permanent residency (they are not Japanese, of course), but will return to Australia permanently next February. Maybe I too, will return to Australia in August 2012. I am just wondering if it is possible to retain permanent residency assuming I come back to Japan before the re-entry permit expires even if I have no fixed address in Japan, and have an Alien Registration Card which may not have expired but will have an incorrect address on it (where I no longer live)?
Well, the minimum you should do is to return to Japan before the expiry of re-entry permit (currently 3 years) and take out another re-entry permit. You should be an ordinary resident of Japan so you should be paying compulsory health and pension levies. Your alien registration card requires renewal every 7 years, needing another trip (beware renewal window is only 30 days). Not having a proper local address will be an issue, though.

Even then, if your stay in Japan is considered too short, the immigration bureau may cast doubt over your resident status and can cancel your permanent residence permit. This can happen when you try to re-enter Japan.

In short, it's quite difficult to retain your PR status unless you are a genuine resident.

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Old 14th September 2011, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
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In short, it's quite difficult to retain your PR status unless you are a genuine resident.
Thanks for your reply. I knew that not having a place of residence in Japan would be a problem, but never considered tax and pensions etc. Surely there would be some permanent residents who are out of work from time to time, I would have thought.

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Old 20th September 2011, 10:05 PM
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Supposedly, beginning in 2012, PR holders will be able to leave the country for 1 year without a reentry permit, but after that they will need one. The whole reentry permit system is changing then. So are alien registration cards.
Bye-bye to the gaijin card, welcome to the Juki Net in '12 | The Japan Times Online

If you can't stay in Japan (or any country where you have PR or a green card) and hold a residence, how can you justify having permanent resident status? Sounds like you want your cake and be able to eat it, too.

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