Getting a Permanent Residency in Japan


Permanent residency is the status of a person in the country who chooses to live in an unspecified length of time aside from his home country. In Japan, if a foreigner fails in getting Japanese citizenship or doesn’t want to lose his first nationality, he may get a permanent residency. From the word itself, this means that you like to live and stay in Japan permanently. Your resident status will appear in your Residence Card and this is renewable every after 7 years.

When can a foreigner apply for a Permanent Residency in Japan? How to do it?

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Qualified for Permanent Residency in Japan

You will be allowed for permanent residency status if you:

Must have resided in Japan for at least a period of 10 years.

But if you get married a Japanese national, you can apply for a permanent residency after living at least 3 years in the country.

Must have a valid visa during the entire application process.

You cannot get a permanent residency if your previous visa has expired or you have overstayed in Japan.

Must have no criminal record.


Even a minor traffic violation can affect your application. Instead of being a problem, you should prove that you can contribute to the interest of the country and the Japanese people. Your professional award given by the school or a Japanese institution or organization can help your application be approved.

Have enough resources to support your stay in Japan.


You may show that you are permanently employed in a company, and your financial records will show that you can support your financial needs independently. The required minimum annual income is at least 3.3 million Yen for single, 4 million Yen for married, and 4.5 million Yen for a family with a baby.

Have listed as Highly Skilled Personnel (HSP).

For HSP, you should have stayed in Japan for at least 3 years. But if the assessment gives you a score of 80, you can then apply for a permanent residency after 1 year.

Factors to Disqualify

But beware! Even if you already have a permanent resident status, doing the following things will make you disqualified.

If you go out of Japan.

If you go out of Japan for 6 years or more after you receive your permanent residency, it will get invalid. Make sure that before going away from Japan, you have re-entry permits and 6 years of valid residential registration.

If you do any crime.

Committing any crime will risk your permanent residency. One of the crimes that will invalidate your permanent resident status is not paying taxes, and by doing this, the Japanese government will send you back to your home country.

Documents to Submit

You need to prepare everything that is required to make your application for Permanent Residency approved. A well-prepared set of documents will shorten the application process.

  1. Application form – 1 copy printed in A4 format. The application must be written in the Japanese language.
  2. Photo – 1 copy of 40mm x 30mm photo, taken within 3 months before submission of the application. Applicants under 16 years old are exempted.
  3. Passport 
  4. Residence Card
  5. Letter of Guarantee

All documents must be submitted to the Regional Immigration Office or Immigration Information Center and will no longer be returned to you.

A Guarantor is required in the application. He or she must be a Japanese national or a permanent resident as well, and must also submit the Letter of Guarantee with the following documents:

  1. Employment Certificate
  2. Proof of income or income certificate
  3. Residence Certificate

For employed applicants, you must submit a copy of an employment certificate. If you are a company executive, a certified copy of corporate registration is needed. But for self-employed applicants, submit a copy of your final tax return and payment statements of national pension and national health insurance.


  1. Easier bank transactions. It will also be easier for you to apply for credit cards and loans.
  2. No more visa renewal. You only need to renew your Resident Card if you change residence and get re-entry permit if you go outside Japan.
  3. You can do whatever job or business that you like to engage in.
  4. High chance of getting Permanent Residence for your family you wish to bring to Japan.
  5. If married to a Japanese national, even your spouse dies, you can still live in Japan as long as you want.

The only disadvantage that most permanent residents realized years after is paying taxes for all income they gain, not only in Japan but including whatever they have in their home country or anywhere else in the world.

Processing an application for Permanent Residency may take 4 to 8 months. During this period, you still need to renew your visa and other requirements. While waiting for its approval, you can do a lot of worthwhile things in Japan.


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