In order to stay in Japan over the limit of Temporary Visitors Visa, you need to apply for Certificate of Eligibility of a particular VISA STATUS which is applicable to your activity in Japan and receive RESIDENCE CARD based on the VISA STATUS granted to live and/or work in Japan.
RESIDENCE CARD allows you to stay in Japan under the VISA STATUS granted for the specific period of stay until the expiry date. You may extend the period of stay by applying for Extension of Period of Stay. If you want to change your activity while you are staying in Japan, you need to apply for Change of Visa Status before engaging in the different activity. Also, you need to process other visa-related application and notification and other administrative procedures when necessary.
IF YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH VISA PROCEDURES IN JAPAN, JUMP TO INTRODUCTORY PAGES BELOW FIRST:
Considering your eligibility in all aspects and based on the basic criteria below, the Immigration Office will grant you a VISA STATUS to engage in the activity you apply for;
1. You must have a reason or purpose to come and stay in Japan
First of all, the Immigration Office in Japan grants you a VISA STATUS only when you have specific reason or objectives to live and/or work in Japan. Also, you are recognized to satisfy requirements for one specific VISA STATUS you are applying. You cannot apply for any VISA STATUS if you are not going to live and/or work in Japan for your intended activity after you obtain the RESIDENCE CARD. You cannot apply for Permanent Resident status if you are currently living outside Japan and don’t live in Japan yet.
Generally, you need a VISA SPONSOR who can support your visa application and act as your proxy in Japan. If you don’t have any VISA STATUS in Japan yet, you need to find a proper visa sponsor who can sign your application form on your behalf to process the COE (Certificate of Eligibility) application to invite you to Japan.
In case of considering to set a business entity in Japan (branch office, subsidiary etc.), you should start with finding what types of business entity would be appropriate for your situation. Basically, a physical office space for the entity must be found in Japan and necessary registration for the entity has to be complete if you consider to relocate somebody from other country to Japan.
2. Your purpose and activity in Japan must be applicable to a particular VISA STATUS and you and your situation satisfy the requirements
Both of you and your situation (activity in Japan and visa sponsor etc.) must be recognized to be eligible for one particular VISA STATUS designated by the Japanese Immigration Office. There are around 30 categories of VISA STATUS categorized based on the purpose and activity in Japan.
To check the list of VISA STATUS, jump to the following page;
Each VISA STATUS has its own requirement. You need to certify your eligibility for the visa status by supporting documents. The Immigration Office discloses the list of basic documents required for each visa status, however, they may request different and additional documents case by case since each applicant has different situation, nationality, background, purpose of activity in Japan, visa sponsor etc. You should note that no one is exactly the same situation like you and each country has its own laws and regulation, format of official documents, manners and customs. All documents for application should be translated into the Japanese language.
Do not try to make a lie or commit a fraud – it is quite easy to find a fraud if we see all the documents you provide and if we hear your answer for our questions. It is important to keep consistency of each document and evidence. The Japanese Immigration Office or any immigration lawyer don’t process your case by taking money under the table.
3. You are not applicable to grounds for denial of landings
your entry into Japan will be denied if you are deemed to be likely to harm public health, public order, domestic security etc. of Japan. Specifically, the Immigration Office denies your application if you fall under the following situation;
- those who are likely to harm public health for health/hygiene reasons.
- those who are likely to engage in anti-social activity.
- those who have ever been deported from Japan.
- those who are likely to harm interests and national security of Japan.
- those who are deemed not to be allowed the entry into Japan based on reciprocity.
4. You and your visa sponsor (and guarantor when it is required) must be recognized as financially stable
You must be recognized as financially stable enough to make a living during your stay in Japan, and so is your VISA SPONSOR (and guarantor if any).
5. You must fulfill duties of administrative procedures as well as immigration/visa procedures, and follow the laws and regulations in Japan
You must fulfill responsibility and duties for your life in Japan and process relevant administrative procedures properly when necessary (e.g. any changes regarding residence address, job and visa sponsor, school, organization, marital status, or any other circumstances). Some procedures has to be done at the city/ward office and some has to be processed at the immigration office.
Also, you need to pay relevant taxes and to join in social insurance (health insurance and pension) or national insurance consistently while you are staying in Japan.
6. In case of working visa, the applicant’s labor condition must be appropriate, not against the laws and regulations in Japan
There are laws and regulations regarding labor conditions/standard in Japan. Your terms and condition must be prepared in accordance with the laws and regulations. In general, employer has responsibility for the conditions of their employees, so the Immigration Office will take it into consideration in case the employer violates the labor laws and regulations.
LIST of VISA STATUS
VISA STATUS can be divided mainly into 2 categories according to the activity.
- Activity Based Visa Status (work and non-work)
- Family-Related Visa Status and Permanent Resident
You need to find an appropriate VISA STATUS among them based on your activity in Japan and consider whether you and your situation can satisfy the requirements.
To check the whole list of VISA STATUS, jump to the following page;
REVOCATION of VISA STATUS
The following incidents are subject to REVOCATION of VISA STATUS (Article 22-4 of the Immigration Control Act, 入管法第22条の４);
- In case that you have received the seal of verification for landing (approval of entry into Japan) by falsifying the fact which you have grounds for denial of landing.
- In case that you have received the seal of verification for landing (approval of entry into Japan) by falsifying your activity in Japan and/or your background etc.
- Except the case which falls under 1 and/or 2 above, in case that you have received the seal of verification for landing (approval of entry into Japan) by submitting false/untrue documents.
- In case that you have received the Special Permission to Stay in Japan (在留特別許可, Zairyu Tokubetsu Kyoka) by deception and/or unlawful means.
- In case that you are obtaining one of VISA STATUS listed in Appendix 1 of the Immigration Control Act / 入管法別表第１の上欄の在留資格 (*) but you are not engaging in the activity of your current visa status and you have been engaging or are going to engage in other activities which is not applicable to your current visa status without reasonable grounds.
- In case that you are obtaining one of VISA STATUS listed in Appendix 1 of the Immigration Control Act / 入管法別表第１の在留資格 (*) but you have not been engaging the activity of your current visa status for at least 3 months consecutively without reasonable grounds.
- In case that you are obtaining VISA STATUS for Spouse of Japanese National or Spouse of Permanent Resident but you have not been engaging in the activity as a spouse (e.g. not divorced yet but living separately etc.) for at least 6 months consecutively without reasonable grounds.
- In case that you are obtaining one of VISA STATUS which requires registration of residence address in Japan but you have not been registering your residence address for 90 days or more after date of approval of VISA STATUS (date of issuance of Residence Card) without reasonable grounds.
- In case that you are obtaining one of VISA STATUS which requires registration of residence address in Japan but you have not been reporting new residence address for 90 days or more after moving out from your registered residence address in Japan.
- In case that you are obtaining one of VISA STATUS which requires registration of residence address in Japan and you made false/untrue registration of your residence address.
（*）VISA STATUS listed in Appendix 1 of the Immigration Control Act (入管法別表第１の在留資格); VISA STATUS listed on ACTIVITY BASED STATUS on LIST of VISA STATUS
You may claim a right to access to related material to state your opinion and to provide evidence against the immigration inspector in case you are subject to revocation of your visa status after the fact of the foregoing items is found.