Permanent Residence In Japan

Permanent Residence In Japan: Expats Guide   

Mount Fuji isn’t the only pinnacle you can reach in Japan; securing permanent residence is another summit worth conquering. Ready to overcome this hurdle? Fret not! We’ve got your back!

With our streamlined guide, we’ll walk you through the ‘torii’ gates of bureaucracy straight into the zen garden of permanent residency.

Let’s dive in!

What Is A Japanese Permanent Residence Permit And How Is It Different From A Temporary Residence Permit?

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A Japanese Permanent Residence Permit, otherwise known as “eijuken” (永住権) in Japanese, is a legal status that allows a foreign national to reside in Japan permanently without the obligation to renew their visa or residence status. 

On top of this, it gives the holder plenty of the same rights and privileges as Japanese citizens. 

Apart from the right to vote in national elections and hold certain government positions.

Japan is an amazing country with a rich culture, stunning landscapes, and countless attractions to explore. To make the most of your trip, it’s important to obtain a Temporary Visitor Visa. 

The period of stay of temporary visitor status tends to be either 90 days, 30 days, or 15 days.

If you become a Permanent Resident of Japan, you will have many more benefits than those living on temporary residence status. The status of Japan Permanent Residency is valid indefinitely.

Benefits Of A Permanent Residence Permit In Japan 

There are several advantages, which include:

✅ You don’t need to apply for the visa renewal. 

✅ As a permanent resident, you can do any job you want. 

✅ You don’t need to worry about the visa status when you change your job. 

✅ You can do your business as self-employment, or you can run your company. 

✅ Additionally, a work visa is no longer required if you are a foreigner. 

✅You can apply for a mortgage/housing loan or business loan if you are a permanent resident.

✅ You are not required to change your residence/visa status when you divorce/marry a Japanese spouse.

✅ No change of your nationality.

✅ There is no need to renounce your nationality – you can live in Japan indefinitely with your current nationality.

✅ You can quickly gain social credibility, and it will be easier for you to get a job, change jobs, get married, sign a real estate lease, sign a bank loan contract, etc.

✅ Possibility of obtaining special permission for residence.

Can You Travel With Your Permanent Residence Permit?

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After introducing the Residence Card system in 2012, there is no visa stamp in your passport anymore, so there is no procedure that you need to go through even if you get a new passport.

You just need to make sure that you take your Residence Card with you each time you travel overseas and show the card at the Immigration counter when leaving and entering Japan.

Suppose you have lost your passport while traveling abroad and come back to Japan with an emergency passport /traveling document. 

In that case, you may still enter Japan with your existing visa status if you still have the Residence Card.

Suppose you have lost both your passport and Resident Card overseas. 

In that case, you will need to go through a relatively complicated procedure to get a document issued by the Japanese immigration office in advance so as not to lose your long-term visa upon arrival.

How To Maintain Permanent Residence In Japan? 

The status of Japan Permanent Residency is valid indefinitely. Remember that you still have to renew your Residence Card every seven years and get a Japan Re-Entry Permit if you leave the country for longer than one year.

Remember that you will need to obtain a re-entry permit or special re-entry permit before you depart from Japan in case you travel outside Japan and re-enter Japan again as a permanent resident.

Fees And Duration Of The Procedure Of Getting Permanent Residency In Japan?

It takes about six months for the Immigration Services at your local Immigration Bureau to process your application for Japan Permanent Residency.

However, in some cases, it may take longer, depending on the specific situation. As such, if your current visa is set to expire while your application is still being processed, you still have to get a Japan Visa Extension.

The fee for the Japan Permanent Residency application is 8,000 Yen, which you have to pay through revenue stamps.

Getting A Permanent Residence Permit In Japan With Reduced Waiting Time

The standard rule to qualify for the Permanent Resident visa is to have lived in Japan consecutively for 10 years.

However, under the points-based system, it is now possible to apply for the Permanent Resident Visa if you can show that you score 70 points at the time of application.

Additionally, you must have been doing so at all times during the most recent 3 years of residency leading up to the application. 

If your points are above 80, you only need to live in Japan for one year before you can apply for permanent residence status.

This applies to applicants who currently hold:

  • Any type of work visa listed in one of the Highly Skilled Professional sub-categories (e.g., Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services, Intra-Company Transferee, Business Manager, Researcher, Professor).

If you have less than 80 points, you’ll be eligible for permanent residency after living in Japan for 3 years.

  • Spouses of Japanese citizens or permanent residents become eligible after 3 years of marriage and one year of living in Japan.
  • The person has stayed in Japan for more than 5 years consecutively with the status of long-term resident.
  • The person has been recognized as a refugee and has stayed in Japan for more than 5 years consecutively after recognition. 
  • The person has been recognized to have contributed to Japan in diplomatic, social, economic, cultural, or other fields and has stayed in Japan for more than 5 years.

Requirements For A Permanent Residence Permit In Japan

Please note that when applying for Permanent Residency, several requirements must be met. For example:

  • You need to have a job in Japan that satisfies the point requirements at the time of application.
  • You need to have had a job in Japan 3 years or 1 year ago (as the case may be) that satisfies the point requirements.
  • You need to have paid taxes and contributions to the official Japanese social security system during the required period.
  • Based on a salary that is at least the same amount as the salary declared on the point chart.
  • You need a guarantor to support the application. This guarantor should either be a Japanese national or a non-Japanese national with Permanent Residency in Japan. The guarantor needs to provide a few personal documents relating to his/her identity and income.
  • The applicant needs to have spent a significant amount of time physically in Japan during the years leading up to the application (more than 6 months usually)
  • The applicant needs to have abided by laws and needs to be in compliance with the Immigration related procedures.
  • The applicant must have at least a 3-year visa at the time of the application, etc.

Documents Required For Permanent Residence Permit

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It is vital to have all the necessary documentation so as not to cause any issues for yourself and the embassy. 

While some additional documents may be asked for according to your situation, documents that are typically asked for are as follows:

  • Passport-size photo taken in the last three months.     
  • Valid passport and residence card.
  • Letter of Guarantee.
  • A filled and signed application form.
  • Annual income statement — bank statements, an employment contract, or both.
  • Employment status certificate, which is your employment contract, tax statements, or a business permit if you’re self-employed.
  • Your current residence certificate.
  • Proof of resident tax payments.
  • Bank statement from previous months.

You’ll also need to present a few additional documents if you’re applying for permanent residency as a spouse of a Japanese citizen:

  • Family registry papers of your spouse (if they’re a citizen).
  • Your marriage certificate.
  • A letter that describes your relationship, written by your spouse (if they’re a permanent resident).
  • Proof of employment of your spouse, along with a letter stating they are financially responsible for you (if you won’t be working in Japan).

Lastly, a few documents are required from your guarantor as well:

  • The guarantor’s residence certificate should not be older than 3 months.
  • A signed letter by the guarantor.
  • The guarantor’s proof of employment.
  • The guarantor’s tax certificate.

Remember that you’ll need to submit all of these documents in Japanese, either officially translated from or along with the originals.

The Application Process For A Permanent Residence Permit

You have to gather the required documents for Japan Permanent Residency applications and then submit them to the local Immigration Bureau (the one responsible for the region of Japan in which you live and work). 

You can submit the documents yourself or authorize your sponsor or a legal representative to submit them on your behalf. 

You can find a list of the locations of Japan’s Immigration Offices on the website of the Immigration Services Agency of Japan.

Afterward, you simply have to wait for the application to be processed. 

If your application is approved, go to your local municipality office (also known as a Ward Office) to exchange your current Residence Card for one that names you as a Permanent Resident.


As the ‘shinkansen’ of your Japanese residency journey comes to a graceful stop, you’re now ready to embrace the full spectrum of life in Japan, from cherry blossoms to cultural deep-dives.

With your new status, every alley in Tokyo and every temple in Kyoto is a step in your own enduring story. May your life in Japan be as fulfilling and constant as the flow of the Sumida River.

Home Found!

But wait! There’s lot more that you might be interested in following:

  • Temporary Residence In Japan
  • Work Employment Visa In Japan
  • Types Of Visas In Japan

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