Permanent Residency In Japan: How You Can Get It?

Permanent Residency in Japan | FAIR Study in Japan

To find out if you can apply for a permanent residency in Japan, refer to this article. You will know the answers to the following questions, such as: 

    • What is a Japan residency visa?
    • What are the qualifications?
    • How to apply?
    • What are the necessary documents?
    • What are the benefits of having a permanent resident visa?

Let’s begin by answering the first question on the list.

What is a Japan Permanent Residency?

Permanent residency is a legal resident status given to a foreigner to live permanently in Japan. Although having such a privilege, a permanent resident continues to be a citizen of another country, not a Japanese citizen. 

Obtaining this type of status, you can:

    • work regardless of job type or industry 
    • receive more benefits

But applying for residency in Japan is not an easy process. So what are the conditions you need to meet?

What are the Qualifications to Become a Permanent Resident in Japan?

The Ministry of Justice listed three examination criteria for foreigners to obtain a permanent residency in Japan. Knowing them ahead will help you determine if you are qualified to get the visa or not. Here are the three conditions that you should need to know:

    • Good behavior
    • Have enough assets or skills to earn an independent living.
    • It is recognized that the person’s permanent residence is in the interests of Japan.

*Note that the spouse or child of Japanese nationals, special permanent residents are not required to comply with 1 and 2.

Qualified for Permanent Residency in Japan (Passport) | FAIR Study in Japan

1. Good behavior

Displaying good behavior means that you have not committed the following: 

  • criminal acts, such as theft, robbery, and more
  • traffic violations, such as driving without license, speeding, and more

If you have a record of any of such acts 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. 

On the other hand, the professional award given by the school or a Japanese institution or organization can support your good standing.

2. You must have enough assets or skills to earn an independent living.

One of the criteria that will be checked by Japanese immigration is your financial stability. It means that you must be stable enough to support your stay in Japan. They will check your:

    • assets
    • occupation
    • annual income 

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.

3. It is recognized that the person’s permanent residence is in the interests of Japan.

To be recognized as being in the interests of Japan, the person must satisfy all the conditions below.

  • Must have reached the required period of stay in Japan
    • If you have been married for three years or more to a Japanese national, you can apply after a year of staying in Japan.
    • Other types of visas can apply after staying for more than ten years and have been in Japan for at least five years with a work or residence status.
    • Nikkei, refugees, and foreigners who have divorced or divorced from their 
    • For HSP or Highly Skilled Personnel, you should have stayed in Japan for at least three years. But if the assessment gives you a score of 80, you can then apply for a permanent residency after one year.
  • Fulfilling public obligations, such as tax payments, pensions, national health insurance premiums, and more.
  • You have no risk of being harmful to the public due to infectious diseases.
  • A Guarantor who is a Japanese citizen or Permanent Resident.

What are the Necessary Documents for Permanent Residency in Japan?

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 Copy of application form for permission for permanent residence.
  •  1 Photograph (4 cm long x 3 cm wide) –
    • A clear photo of the applicant facing forward without wearing any head covering, such as a hat or cap, or hat; no shadows; with plain white backdrop; must have been taken within three months before applying.
    • It should be attached to the photo section of the application with the applicant’s name written on the back of the photograph.
    • Under 16 years old applicants, do not need to submit a photograph.
  • Passport (or Certificate of Eligibility)
  • If unable to present your passport (or Certificate of Eligibility), a written explanation noting the reason
  • 1 Copy of Certificate of Residence
  • Proof of employment
    • If 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.
    • For self-employed applicants, submit a copy of your final tax return and payment statements of national pension and national health insurance.
  • Copy of annual income
  • Bank statements from the past year, showing your savings amount
  • Residence taxes payments proof
  • Documents proving the payment status of national taxes
  • Guarantor Letter
  • The guarantor will also submit the following documents:
    • Certificate of employment, or a certified copy of a company’s registration certificate
    • Documents proving income (for the past year) – as required
    • 1 Copy of residence certificate

A document to prove the relationship:


(1) If the applicant is the spouse of a Japanese national:

Family register of the spouse (version with all information included) – 1 copy

(2) If the applicant is the child of a Japanese national:

Family register of the Japanese national (version with all information included) – 1 copy

(3) If the applicant is the spouse of a permanent resident:

Marriage certificate or Equivalent documents (those which prove the relationship between the applicant and their spouse)

(4) The applicant is the child of a permanent resident or special permanent resident:

Birth certificate or equivalent documents (those which prove the relationship between the applicant and their permanent resident or special permanent resident parent)

How to Apply for Permanent Residency in Japan?

  • Gather all the necessary documents for the permanent resident visa. You should also download the application forms and other forms you need to submit.
  • Submit your duly filled and signed application form together with required documents to the local Immigration Bureau. You need to attach the Japanese translation of your application form. Remember to submit your application before the expiration date of your current visa or status of residence.
    • Either you or your legal representative can submit your application. Even though your proxy will appear at the Immigration office on your behalf, you must remain in Japan during the application process. If in case you will need to make an appearance, you can do it right away.
  • Wait for the visa application result. The standard examination period for the permanent residence visa application is four months.

Common Causes Of Denied Permanent Residence Application

    • Committed crime
    • Multiple violations of traffic rules.
    • Low annual income.
    • Spend long overseas business trips and expatriates
    • Unpaid or delinquent pensions and social insurance premiums
    • Applying for a family member who is currently not residing in Japan for the purpose of tax exemption as a dependent.
    • The period of stay has been reset due to changes to short-term stay visas.
    • The other proof is insufficient.

Why should you apply for permanent residency in Japan?

There are several benefits if you are a permanent resident in Japan. Some are the following:

  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 a 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 a 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.


If you have any concerns, FAIR Study in Japan would be glad to assist you. Please use the form below to contact us.

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