Permanent Resident




A permanent resident is the one who is approved of permanent residency by a Minister of Justice. Only foreigners who currently reside in Japan and wish to change their visa are eligible for permanent residency. First time visitors of Japan can not acquire permanent residency.

In this page,  the explanation is about the people who come to Japan for work or family-related reasons are generally targeted for this visa. Spouse or child of Japanese national, permanent resident, or special permanent residence are exceptions from the above-mentioned condition. If you are qualified for said status, please inquire us.


Lengths of Residence Terms

There is no limit to the length of the residence term of a permanent resident

Note: Although there is no limit on the residence term, if you leave Japan without receiving a re-entry permit, your status of “permanent resident” will be terminated. After leaving the country, you must return to Japan within the allowed time frame.



Even if you are a permanent resident, you may be deported from Japan, when you are grounds for deportation (For example if you were to be imprisoned for a year or longer for a theft crime).

There are also cases where you may be denied landing into Japan (Grounds for this are more extensive that grounds for deportation). Because it is possible that you may not be able to re-enter Japan after traveling for your own intentions, caution is necessary.

Example: If you were sentenced to 1 year or longer in jail for theft, but then received a suspended sentence, this is not grounds for deportation, but it would be grounds for denial of landing into Japan. (Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, Article 24, No. 4; Article 5, Clause 1, No. 4)


Requirement and Points

Approval of permanent residency from a Minister of Justice

*It has become clear that according to the“Guidelines related to approval of permanent residency”announced by the Ministry of Justice in 2004, the fulfillment of the following conditions is an important factor in the judgment process.

1. The person is of good conduct  (Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, Article 22, Clause 2, No. 1)

It is required that the applicant does not fall under ANY of the following:

(1) Person who has been imprisoned or fined (excluding traffic fines) for breaking Japanese law

(2) Person with continuous protective measures via juvenile law

(3) Person with special circumstance so that they may not be recognized for good behavior due to repeated illegal activity or public disturbance in daily life or at work. (Example: Person who repeatedly breaks minor traffic laws)

2. The person must have sufficient assets or skills to make an independent living

It is required that the person must not be a public burden in daily life and have assets or skills that can be expected to allow a stable lifestyle in the future. (Inspection point for entering and living in Japan. Please be aware of cases where income tax is tax exempt due to having many dependents.)

3. The person’s permanent residence is regarded to be in accord with the interests of Japan. (Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, Article 22, Clause 2, Introduction)

The person must fulfill ALL of the following:

(1) The person must have been living as a member of Japan for an extended period of time

The person has stayed in Japan for more than 10 years consecutively. It is also required that during his/her stay in Japan the person has had work permit or the status of residence (“Spouse or child of Japanese national,” “Spouse of Permanent Resident,” “Long-Term Resident, “) for more than 5 years consecutively

(2) The person has been never sentenced to a fine or imprisonment. The person fulfills public duties such as tax payment.

(3) The maximum period of stay allowed for the person with his/her current status of residence is to be fully used.

Example: A person living in Japan with a “Specialist in Humanities / International Affairs” visa must have the 3-year period visa. (1-year period visa does not fulfill the requirement)

(4) There is no possibility that the person could cause harm from the standpoint of public health.

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