Permanent Residency

For those based in Japan long term, changing from a normal visa to permanent residency can be a huge advantage. Not only will you be free from the stress and worries of visa renewals – you will also gain many other advantages, such as:

  • Freedom to carry out any kind of work (within legal limits)
  • Easier access to financial services such as credit cards and loans
  • No need to leave Japan upon divorce, loss of job or other conditions related to your visa (e.g. Spouse Visa, Working Visa)

Due to the prestigious status of permanent residency, however, the application process is much more detailed, with immigration authorities taking far greater interest in issues such as tax payments and the applicant’s personal conduct.

Is Permanent Residency really permanent?

The short answer is no, not necessarily.

Please be aware that despite the name “Permanent Residency”, it is not in fact guaranteed to be permanent. As the permit is issued on the premise that a person is based mainly in Japan, being out of the country for too long can result in your permanent residency permit being revoked.

Whether you are looking to apply for permanent residency from scratch, to re-apply after an unsuccessful application or if you are worried about losing your permanent residency status, please get in touch to find out about how we can help.


In order to be eligible to apply for permanent residency, you must generally meet the following requirements.

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

Length of Stay in Japan

Current Visa Requirements
Working Visa ・Resident in Japan for a minimum of 10 consecutive years, with 5 consecutive years spent working on a working visa

・Currently resident in Japan

Spouse Visa ・At least 3 years since marriage and 1 full year on a Spouse Visa

・Currently resident in Japan

Long Term Resident ・Resident in Japan for a minimum of 5 consecutive years as a Long Term Resident

・Currently resident in Japan

Highly Skilled Professional ・Must be active as a Highly Skilled Professional for a minimum of 3 years (for those with over 70 points) or 1 year (for those with over 80 points)

・Alternatively, holders of Highly Skilled Professional Visas can apply for Permanent Residency straight away if they already had 80 points one year prior to gaining their visa or 70 points from 3 years prior to gaining their visa.

※N.B. “Consecutive years” in this case means that there must have been no break in your possession of the relevant visa during this time.

Duration of Visa

You must currently hold a visa with the maximum duration period possible or more than three years.

※Please contact us for up-to-date guidance.

Household Stability

The applicant or the spouse/supporter of the applicant must have a stable income or assets sufficient to maintain a stable life in Japan. For a single person, a stable income is generally regarding as over ¥3m a year, but this can vary depending on personal circumstances such as actual living costs.

Personal Conduct

The applicant must:

・Be correctly paying taxes, pension contributions, social insurance and other compulsory contributions.

・Have a record of good personal conduct (i.e. no criminal record*).

*It is not impossible for those with a criminal record to gain permanent residency, but it is much more difficult. Even for relatively small traffic offenses, you may be asked to wait a number of years until after the crime until you can apply for permanent residency.

Other Points

Please be aware that depending on your case, you may be asked to meet additional requirements in order to acquire permanent residency status. In particular, even if you are able to meet all of the above criteria, the immigration authorities are interested in seeing the whole picture – including your intention and ability to lead a stable life in Japan following acquisition of permanent residency.

For any queries about gaining permanent residency or any other Japanese visas, 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.*