Divorce and Residence in Japan


If you are filing for divorce from your Japanese spouse, but your “Spouse of Japanese National” visa is about to expire, here are the things you need to think about.

You can stay in Japan until your divorce is decided. If you do not change your residence status after the divorce, then you cannot stay in Japan.

I. Status of residence while processing divorce
While the divorce is still being processed, the visa must be renewed if it expires soon. Cooperation of both parties is required for renewal. If someone does not want to cooperate, usually the Immigration authorities will still recognize the renewal of the status of residence “spouse of Japanese” while the divorce is not final for you to stay in Japan.

II. Status of residence when the divorce is final

When your divorce is finalized, you will no longer be a “spouse of Japanese National” so that means you will also lose your status of residence as a “spouse of Japanese”. But if you decide stay in Japan as until your residency expires, it does not mean that you will be evicted from your illegal stay. So before it expires you need to change your residence status.

It is not easy for foreign residents to get residence status in Japan. If you are separated from your Japanese spouse, but you have a job that can support yourself enough to stay in Japan, you can try to apply for a “long-term resident”.

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