Long Term Resident Visa

Long Term Resident Visas are visas awarded due to special circumstances taken into consideration by the Minister of Justice.

Cases in which Long Term Resident Visas are awarded include:

  • When a parent wants to bring a child from a previous marriage to Japan.
  • When a person previously married in Japan wants to remain in the country after divorce.
  • When a person is granted Refugee Status.

Visas for Children from Past Marriages

For those married to a Japanese national or resident who want to bring a child or children from a previous marriage to Japan, this is sometimes possible on a Long Term Resident Visa.


The following will be examined as part of the visa application process.

N.B. These are general requirements and do not necessarily reflect the reality of what may be needed for your specific application.

① The Child or Children’s Age

According to Japanese law, minors include all under the age of 20 (18 from April.1, 2022).

② Parental Custody

It is difficult – and sometimes impossible – to gain a Long Term Resident Visa should their other parent outside Japan hold custody.

③ Ability to Provide Financial Support

As part of the application process, you must be able to demonstrate your ability to provide them with financial support.

④ Consistency with Parent’s Past Visa Application(s)

Should the contents of a child’s visa application contain information that differs from that of their parent’s past visa application(s), this is likely to cause trouble during the application process.

An example of how information may differ is when the parent has previously failed to declare the existence of any children in a visa application.

Should such problems arise, the outcome of the visa application is greatly affected by how well your case is presented, including not only the documentation submitted but also how well you are able to explain your situation.

Should a Long Term Resident Visa prove to be difficult, it may be possible to bring your children to Japan through other means such as a Study Abroad Visa.

As Long Term Resident Visas are given out only in exceptional circumstances, applications must be carried out with the utmost care for every detail, nuance and of course the requirements stipulated by the Immigration Bureau.

Visas for Remaining in Japan Following Divorce

If you get divorced while in Japan on a Spouse or Child of Japanese National Visa, you will typically not be able to remain in the country.

However, should there be special circumstances which mean you need to be in Japan, you may be allowed to remain on a Long Term Resident Visa.


The main points that are typically examined as part of Long Term Resident Visa applications are:

① Whether the applicant has circumstances that require them to be in Japan.

② Whether the applicant is able to financially support themselves in Japan.

For point ①, reasons such as the following are considered circumstances in which you may need to remain in Japan.

  • Having a child of Japanese nationality who needs to be brought up in Japan.
  • Having lived in Japan for 7 years or more, with at least 5 years of that time spent married to the person with whom you have divorced.
  • You life being otherwise based in Japan.*

*Examples of ways in which your life may be considered to be otherwise based in Japan include having no family in your home country or needing to remain in Japan for medical care.

When applying for a Long Term Resident Visa, the entirety of your time spent in Japan up until this point (including any misdemeanors, tax issues etc), your age, the situation in your home country and more will all be taken into consideration.

As Long Term Resident Visas are given out only in exceptional circumstances, the success of your application is by no means guaranteed. While your own personal circumstances form the base of your application, the manner in which your case is presented will also have a significant effect on the decision of the Immigration Bureau.

About Refugee Status

If you have fled your country for fear of persecution or due to other circumstances which have made you a refugee, you may be given official Refugee Status.

Upon gaining Refugee Status, you will be given a Long Term Resident Visa.

For any queries about any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact us!

*Please be aware that the contents of this site are naturally subject to change, meaning that we cannot guarantee their accuracy at the point of access.*
*For up-to-date information, please contact us directly.*