• Shorter Residency Requirements for Permanent Residence
  • August 3, 2017
  • The Immigration Bureau has recently introduced shorter residency requirements for certain foreign professionals applying for Permanent Residence. With this change, applicants who score over 70 points in the points-based eligibility system will be eligible to apply for Permanent Residence after just three years of residency in Japan, while those who score over 80 points will become eligible after just one year of residency.

    The shorter residency requirements apply to all qualified foreign nationals holding any visa category as long as they meet the points criteria. These changes are expected to attract skilled talents from overseas.

    Applicants are required to provide the necessary documents to prove that they have met the points requirements, including documents evidencing their academic accomplishments, annual salary, etc.

    However, the system is only available to Work Visa holders and does not include their dependent family members. Once the foreign principal obtains Permanent Residence status, any dependent in Japan will be required to change their status to Spouse of Permanent Resident (for the spouse) or Long-Term Resident (for any accompanying child).

    Background

    Generally, foreign nationals are required to have stayed in Japan continuously for more than ten years and hold a visa valid for three years or longer. Previously, foreign nationals who held the Highly Skilled Professional (HSP) Visa had to wait for four and a half years before they were allowed to file a Permanent Residence application.

    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    The shorter residency requirements should benefit those foreign professionals who are currently waiting for the qualifying period to file their Permanent Residence applications in Japan, but who may already qualify under the points system.

    The requirement for family members to change their status after the foreign principal has obtained Permanent Residence status may also be advantageous to dependents since they will be permitted to work based on their new status.