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Permanent Resident ( PR) and Long Term Resident Visas

Japan With Kids - Forums: Immigration/visas/re-entry permits/naturalization: Permanent Resident ( PR) and Long Term Resident Visas
By Kent Yamachi on Thursday, May 10, 2001 - 4:54 pm:

Hello-
I just came back from a frustrating bout at the Immigration office, and was wondering if anyone out there knew the answer to this little puzzler.

Among the myriad of forms required for applying for the permanent visa is a kon-in shomesho (marriage certificate from a foreign country) or other proof of residence from a foreign country.

Well, as an American married to a Japanese in Japan, there are 2 problems:
1. According to the US Embassy, the Japanese marriage certificate is the only proof of marriage, and
2. there is no 'official' proof of residence for an American, other than a driver's license, which was laughed off at the immigration office.

So, to any Americans out there who where successful with the application process, what did you do?
Thanks!


By Ronald Kaloostian on Friday, August 9, 2002 - 6:46 am:

I lived in Japan 4 years, got married, returned to the US for law school with my Japanese wife and have been residing in the US since graduation. We are considering moving back to Japan, and I have an offer at a law office in Tokyo. Thinking long term, I am hoping to apply for permanent residency in Japan so that we can have access to home loans and to protect my legal rights. Can one apply for the permanent resident visa outside of Japan if intending to return to Japan?


By Naomi Smith on Friday, August 9, 2002 - 10:57 pm:

I don't think you can apply for the permanent resident visa from overseas. Basicaly, those who have thier residency in Japan over three years with a valid one year spouse visa are eligible to apply. Also, you need to have a re-entry permit if you leave Japan during that three years. So, you should just apply for a one year spouse visa for now. It is better to get your marrige certificate in U.S. since you might need it when you try to apply for the permanent residence in the future.
Anyway, it is best to call Japanese Embassy to get a right imformation. http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/05.html


By Robert Goforth on Friday, August 9, 2002 - 11:50 pm:

Hello,

Could someone please tell me what my first step in trying to obtain a Permanent Visa should be? I am not sure where to begin. I now have a Spouse Visa that I have to get renewed every year. Someone please help.

Thanks


By Natasha on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 11:37 am:

I just got off the phone with immigration help line (which is now 03-5796-7112). First I got a lady who was interrupting me every 3-4 words, but finally she put me through to someone in the Permanent Resident visa section, and the conversation went much, much better.

Long-term resident visa can be applied for at any time but is very unlikely to be granted. PR is more easy to be granted than long-term resident, but can only be applied for after 10 years of residence on (a series of) valid visas. (if you are married to a Japanese national, the time requirement is shorter.)

Long-term residence visa maximum term is 3 years. After 5 years a long term residence visa holder can apply for permanent residence visa. An extenuating circumstance that may make a long-term residence visa possible would be if the applicant is raising a child whose other parent is Japanese (and who has recognized paternity or maternity of the child, called ninchi) Another extenuating circumstance would be if one has adopted a Japanese child. [ comment: The definition of "special relationship with Japan" seems to be more heavily defined along the lines of raising children in Japan! ...at least for the most part]

The advantage of a long-term resident visa over a regular 3 year working visa: You are not required to work to keep the visa. The way I understand it is that if, for example, I were required to return to my home country for an extended period (I am anticipating the illness and death of one remaining, aging parent), I may go "home" to care for my parent, without losing time accumulated towards my PR application, if I am on a long-term resident visa. On the other hand, if I quit my job and leave I would have to start over again when I come back.
At the new immigration center (Nearest JR station is Shinagawa), the information center is on the ground floor.
The Permanent section which also handles long-term resident visas is on the 2nd floor, Room D, color coded purple.

Now I still have to go in person to pick up the list of stuff to get together to apply for one of these visas. Unless someone out there has such a list and is willing to type it up for this conversation ???? I searched the MOJ website without luck...

note from admin: They swtiched things around within the new immigration center since this post. Please check when you get there to verify the location and color coding of the Permanent Visa section.


By Natalie B on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 - 9:01 pm:

Natasha, I can fax you both lists for long-term resident and permanent resident in English/Japanese. If anyone else needs a copy, send me an email. If I have time, I'll try to type them up for the board.


By Cornelia on Tuesday, December 9, 2003 - 9:16 am:

Someone asked some questions about the PR visa (eijuuken), basically if it is worth the trouble to get one, what the tax advantages/disadvantages would be and so on. Basically if you are married to a Japanese national and have children, then you really want that PR. There are many parents who have had to leave Japan after a divorce because they no longer could stay on a spouse visa, did not have a university degree so could not get a work visa, and had not bothered to get PR status while things were still good. The ensuing departure from Japan effectively ends any possibility of continued contact with the children. This is not something that just happens once in a while, it happens hundreds of times a year, and anyone who has lived here more than 5 years will know of someone to whom this has happened.

The single most wonderful thing about PR status is that you are no longer tied down to a particular job category or employer.

IF you are not planning on keeping a long-term presence in Japan, are not in a relationship with a Japanese national with whom you have children, do not have semi to permanent economic ties to Japan, then the PR visa status is not terribly important.

By the way I read that until about 1985 only foreign wives got spouse visas. Foreign men could not get them. So things have been changing here in Japan even though it does not always appear so to us.

For more details you can check out the following web sites:

http://www.debito.org/permres.html Of Hokkaido, Otaru onsen case fame.

http://www.d-sekimoto.com/english/english8.html (somewhat useful delineation between the PR process and the Naturalization process)

http://www.metro.tokyo.jp/ENGLISH/LIVINGIN/contents2_1.htm (the Tokyo City page on immigration -- good English but not all-inclusive and very bureaucratic)

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2221.html (a rundown of all the visa categories)

http://www.moj.go.jp/ENGLISH/index.html (the English part of the MOJ website -- I could find nothing about PR visa here, but there was other interesting info in case you have time to kill)

http://www.lawyersjapan.com/enpermanent.html (this link should not be included because of the nearly unintelligible English -- if you decide to look at this link anyway get ready to choke up your coffee due to laughter or shock. And this is written by a law office presumably fishing for clients!)


By Caroline on Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - 6:03 pm:

Permanent Residency - What are the actual advantages of having it, aside from not having to depend on work or spouse for visa renewal? For instance, can someone with PR invite a relative (parents, in-laws, siblings)to stay for a period of more than 3 months? Thanks!


By Scott Hancock on Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - 6:45 pm:

As I understand it, your example is actually at a disadvantage. There have been other discussions here (and I've confirmed with others) that PR status people cannot sponsor a domestic helper. Realize this is different than your question, but seems to indicate a disadvantage. The other advantage is if you want to borrow money at a bank. They would be more favorable to PR status person. (maybe required?)


By Cornelia on Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - 10:49 pm:

I think if you were to get PR as a single person, you can then become the guarantor for a spouse visa for a foreign spouse. That would be an advantage. Not so long ago it was actually much harder for single people or foreigners married to foreigners to get PR. They seem to have loosened up on that.

There are numerous welfare benefits only available to Japanese nationals or foreigners with PR, but this would only apply if you hit economic lows.

As for sponsoring domestics: I think that even if you can not sponsor a domestic you might be able to form a company that can then sponsor a domestic (with or without PR status). A woman mentioned it in the discussion on sponsoring a helper. Another woman spoke about forming a company in Japan cheaply in a seminar she was giving at the Pink Cow.

I would have assumed that the question was really about tax responsibility. I think that once you have PR, your assets are taxed as a Japanese person's would be in the case of death (if you are a US citizen, these will appear shockingly high. If you are from France and numerous other countries, they will appear about right).

The PR gives you (and ultimately your dependents) the right to reside in Japan regardless of what work you do or do not do and regardless of whether or not you are married or stay married, etc. So in essence it is the closest you can come to becoming a national in terms of job freedom and flexibility in personal lifestyle. The case of inviting family over for extended periods would be the same for a Japanese national that wishes to invite a family of another nationality to stay for a while. I think that you can get a dependent visa for some relatives (for example, a disabled/aging parent that can no longer support him/herself) but I think you can get this without a PR visa.

Given the current deplorable state of Japanese Family Law, having PR would make it possible for you to kidnap your child from the other parent anywhere in the world, to Japan, and not get into any trouble for it under Japanese law (Japan is a child abductor's haven, if the abductor is happy staying in Japan for the rest of his/her life.) Then again if you have PR, and you and your Japanese spouse get divorced, you can not be kicked out of the country, which allows you to stay and fight things in courts such as divorce settlement and child custody. (I do highly recommend that foreigners married to Japanese get PR as soon as possible, as insurance against this particular brand of very sad story).

OK, I admit, there must be a bigger "wow" factor to the PR visa. Maybe if I have some time I'll give immigration a call tomorrow and try to pin something down! By the way there are now two banks that will loan on a piece of real estate without PR visa (Lloyd's is one, and I'm still waiting on the gossip to come through on the other, Japanese, one).


By Anne Bergasse on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 8:47 am:

Cornelia, you, as always, have hit on almost everything relevant to this PR topic. If I had to site the 'wow' feature of the PR it would be simply that I don't have the drudgery of going back to the immigration office every 3 years pleading to stay in this country.

..and I was able to achieve a mortgage here which was refused by my countryside bank initially when I didn't have the PR status. If you have PR status you are not
limited to the banks that loan without (Cornelia sites only 2). This is especially important for anyone living outside of Tokyo because when you find yourself wanting a loan, you may need to visit a few banks before someone will even consider working with you, married to a Japanese national or not.

I personally don't see a down side to the PR visa if you qualify. Getting the papers is not that difficult - there are just more to get. The immigration office will give you a list in English of the necessary papers and even sit down with you and explain them all. Your local ward office will tell you where to get them all since most of them have to do with your residency and tax.

So I guess in summary the biggest feature of the PR visa is its freedom. Its quite a nice visa to have.

BTW, I was the one who posted about sponsoring a helper if you have your own business. If anyone wants more information on this please don't hesitate to email me directly. As long as your helper has a legitimate University degree, and surprisingly most of them do, you will be able to change their status to 'Specialist in Humanities'. This status is the general miscellaneous category that Immigration gives to foreigners working here in jobs that can't be done by Japanese nationals. In other words, jobs that require a native or high level of English. Its a better visa status than 'designated housekeeper' which can only be sponsored by diplomats, professionals, and business investors. Once your helper has the more general SIH status, she can be employed by anyone, even an English school. I, for one, am all for helping this minority group to get out of their visa category because many of them have to work free in exchange for their visa sponsorship. A situation that should change.

(Cornelia, I know this part of the post doesn't belong here but it was relevant to your post. Please move it to a more relevant area if it should be)


By Caroline on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 8:57 am:

Great info. By the way, we (my husband and I plus our 2 kids, all Canadian) were recently granted PR. Aside from the immediate advantages for us (visas, loans, etc), PR will allow our children to live in Japan if they wish to do so later in life (correct me if I am wrong, anyone). To apply for PR, we prepared a very complete profile of our family and submitted the documents in May. The positive response came in late October, just 5 months later. No interview or additional documents were required.


By Admin on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 8:41 pm:

Wow, this thread has pulled some nuggets out of the closet! I am, however, moving the two posts (by Bethan and Victoria) on bank loans to Real-Estate in Japan http://www.tokyowithkids.com/discussions/messages/333/169.html

Please post bank loan info there.


By Cornelia on Friday, November 12, 2004 - 8:01 am:

Gosh, Caroline! I didn't know you had been here for 10 years already! Well, I have been here for that long, but the first 3 don't count since they were on tourist visas. So I am patiently waiting until my 10th year is up to apply for PR. (I'm unmarried with one dependent.) I see the "freedom" factor as very important. For one thing, I would like to be able to make as much or as little money as I wish without having to worry about the immigration minimum income requirement. Although you still have to renew your re-entry permits every three years, at least that can be done in one visit. It wasn't so bad when they were in Otemachi, though we all disliked it at the time. Now that they are at the end of container town south of Shinagawa, Otemachi is a pleasant memory (for those of us in and about Tokyo).

Did you apply earlier than 10 years? (Is there something crucial that I missed?)

I personally have a few other questions about holding a PR visa. What about living overseas for a year or so while on PR visa? Do you get to keep it or do you lose it? (I'm looking at the possibility of caring for an aging parent at some point.)

Also, I think the tax issues would be different for example for Canadians vs. USA citizens. There is a discussion about financial planning in the General Discussions section that has not seen enough discourse (IMHO). USA citizens have to file tax returns every year and pay taxes in the USA regardless of their overseas status. I heard that the only other country with this requirement is the Philippines (?). Anyway, I think this would have a bearing on inheritance tax as well. Yesterday one of my friends said that she believes her estate will have to pay inheritance tax in the USA and in Japan. I said that I had heard or read somewhere that there is a sort of "bonafide" long term point in Japanese taxes where it doesn't matter if you have PR or another visa other than "temporary", you are still taxed like a Japanese citizen would be. (Any comments?)

I don't harbor the strong superstition prevalent here in Japan that to even talk about planning for my death is inviting it, so I really want to plan on behalf of my dependents. If anyone else wants to chime in on this subject the discussion is at: http://www.tokyowithkids.com/discussions/messages/8/348.html
At the moment there are only four messages all with a distinct USA bent, but I think there is room for further elaboration ;-)


By Jack Bayles on Friday, November 12, 2004 - 8:41 am:

I believe that after 5 years we are all permanent in the eyes of the taxman
with a 3 year rentry permit you must be in japan at least once every three years. (in answer to Cornelia)


By Scott Hancock on Friday, November 12, 2004 - 9:40 am:

My understanding is that the same phrase of "permanent resident" has different meaning, context and result for tax office vs immigration. They don't seem to be linked at all, but they both use this phrase.
Most prominent aspect of taxman's use is that he will want to tax worldwide assets once one stays five years. I think this starts to eat into corporate tax compensation schemes. But, that's another world.


By Steve K on Friday, November 12, 2004 - 2:38 pm:

From personal experience, immigration officials have become much more lenient re. granting PR visas. I definitely didn't qualify if all of their guidelines were taken into consideration, but with a Japanese wife, child and mortgage, I probably didn't seem to the guys-in-charge like the type who can skip town quickly.
(Of course, it helps that my wife wrote the application and didn't include the bad personal details that she throws at me during our arguments.)


By Randy Jones on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 7:26 am:

I am American and have my permanent residence visa here in Japan, but plan to return to the US for work. It's not clear when I can come back. Maybe in 1 year but maybe it will be 2 or 3.

I would like to keep this Visa. Am wondering if that's possible and what I need to do to keep it valid. I was told that all I need to do is return to Japan once every 3 years to renew my Re-Entry Permit. But it's clear to me what to do about my Alien Registration card. Also it's not clear if I should continue to file taxes in Japan even while in the US.

Any advice offered is appreciated. Or source of more info. Any expert around that I can consult with on this?

Thanks in advance.


By Tia Tanaka on Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 2:00 am:

Hi,
I want to reinquire what Cornelia has asked. If you do hold a PR, are you allowed to be out of Japan for a long time, like close to a year, and the visa not get forfeited?

But before that, as I have just applied for PR, and am waiting for results, can the applicant leave Japan while still waiting for the PR to be approved? As I understand the PR takes at least few months to be approved, what if the applicant leave the country once or twice, to return to his original country or is out of Japan for quite a few months? Will that affect the approval of the PR?

Many thanks for any insight.
Tia


By Steve B on Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 9:06 am:

Tia,
Re: leaving the country during the PR visa waiting period
I asked specifically about it when I applied for a PR. The counterperson said it was no problem to leave the country while waiting. I imagine a problem could arise if the postcard comes and one does not show up at the immigration office by the designated date to pick up the visa.
Steve


By Pato on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 7:43 pm:

By the way, there are two kinds of Permanent Residence. This thread is about kind number one:
1. permanent residents (ippan eijuusha).
2. special permanent residents (tokubetsu eijuusha)


By Kalyanezweb on Sunday, November 25, 2007 - 11:39 am:

anybody knows what are the differences between the permanent resident-PR and Special Permanent Resident in Japan?

thanx

message from Admin: The Special Permanent Resident is a specific category created just for Korean and Chinese families who have been in Japan for many generations but have not naturalized. It's a historical leftover in a way.


By Admin on Friday, May 16, 2008 - 6:39 pm:

Hi,
There is a new page up on P.R. visa applications at:
www.tokyowithkids.com/fyi/immigration_pr.html
Seeking help from those who have been through the process recently to fill in some of the information gaps.
There are three different instruction sheets being handed out at Konan (Tokyo) Immigration office in Shinagawa (all in Japanese of course).
going from Spouse Visa to Permanent Resident Visa
going from Long Term Visa to Permanent Resident Visa
going from Work Visa to Permanent Resident Visa
I am working on getting information on what these information sheets say translated into English.
Thanks for any help!


By May_chan on Sunday, June 30, 2013 - 9:18 pm:

Hello,

Im a filipino-japanese descendant but belong to 4th generation. My great grandfather was pure Japanese. I am already 34 yrs. old and since our status are not yet upgraded, or perhaps because my relatives in japan have no more time to work it out, so I can only stay in Japan within 90 days the most for a visiting relative visa. I envy my cousins of lower ages (still in 4th generation) as they were given long term visas and even some are now already permanent and now staying in Japan. I wanna ask advice how can I get the chance to have the same visas that my cousins legally have. My father is already a Permanent Resident too, does he has a choice to apply for a Japanese citizenship so we can have our own kosekotohon or family tree? And we do not need to use the koseketohon of my great grandfather anymore. And in that case I can be considered a daughter of a japanese citizen (2nd generation) where age is not mattered in ordered to get a long term visa? If this can be an option for us, how and what are the requirements in order for him to be granted of the citizenship and the expenses that might cost him. I really appreciate if you can give me an idea the soonest possible. I'm really getting out of time as my father is already retiring sooner or later as he has already stayed and worked in japan for more than 15 yrs already and he is already old. I'm thinking I want to give him a break and take a rest then it is my turn to help and raise our family.


By May_chan on Sunday, June 30, 2013 - 9:28 pm:

Hello,

Im a filipino-japanese descendant but belong to 4th generation. My great grandfather was pure Japanese. I am already 34 yrs. old and since our status are not yet upgraded, or perhaps because my relatives in japan have no more time to work it out, so I can only stay in Japan within 90 days the most for a visiting relative visa. I envy my cousins of lower ages (still in 4th generation) as they were given long term visas and even some are now already permanent and now staying in Japan. I wanna ask advice how can I get the chance to have the same visas that my cousins legally have. My father is already a Permanent Resident too, does he has a choice to apply for a Japanese citizenship so we can have our own kosekotohon or family tree? And we do not need to use the koseketohon of my great grandfather anymore. And in that case I can be considered a daughter of a japanese citizen (2nd generation) where age is not mattered in ordered to get a long term visa? If this can be an option for us, how and what are the requirements in order for him to be granted of the citizenship and the expenses that might cost him. I really appreciate if you can give me an idea the soonest possible. I'm really getting out of time as my father is already retiring sooner or later as he has already stayed and worked in japan for more than 15 yrs already and he is already old. I'm thinking I want to give him a break and take a rest then it is my turn to help and raise our family.


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