For Your Information

Japan Immigration - Applying for Permanent Residence Visa (P.R.) (includes some additional information)
Researched By Cornelia [15 May 2008]

Immigration Information Centers:
Sendai: 1-3-20 Gorin, Miyagino-ku, Sendai City,Miyagi Pref. 983-0842, tel: 022-298-9014
Tokyo: 5-5-30 Konan, Minato-ku, Tokyo Pref. 108-0075, tel: 03-5796-7111, -7112
Administrative Office: 03-5796-7250 (this is also the number you call for lost & found)
Permanent Residence Applicants Inquiry: 03-5796-7255
Yokohama: 37-9 Yamashita-cho, Naka-ku, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Pref. 231-0023, tel: 045-651-2851, 2
Nagoya: 4-3-1 Sannomaru, Naka-ku, Nagoya City,Aichi Pref. 460-0001, tel: 052-973-0441, 2
Osaka: 1-9 Rokumantai-cho, Tenouji-ku, Osaka City,Osaka Pref. 543-0074, tel: 06-6774-3409, 10
Kobe: 29 Kaigan-dori, Chuo-ku, Kobe City, Hyogo Pref. 650-0024, tel: 078-326-5141
Hiroshima: 6-30 Kami-hacchobori, Naka-ku, Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Pref. 730-0012, tel: 082-502-6060
Fukuoka: 778-1 Shimo-usui, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Pref. 812-0003, tel: 092-626-5100

Advice in English Provided by Immigration [Tokyo]

There is no such thing as applying for a permanent residence visa upon first entering Japan. Permanent Residence visas are earned after first spending a number of years in another visa category.

There are a few pages about applying for the P.R. visa available in English on the official immigration web site. They appear to be primarily from 2006. Many of the items in these web pages may not apply to your case, for example, if you are married to a Japanese National, or if you've been here on a continuous visa for 10 years, then you don't need to worry about qualifying as an exception. In other words I found these pages to be confusing more than helpful. But since they are there, it's only right that I include them here! Links to those English pages follow:

Guidelines for Permission for Permanent Residence (March 31, 2006)
www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/tetuduki/zairyuu/guide_residence.html

Successful/Unsuccessful Applicants for Permanent Residence Status based on their Contribution to Japan (as of July 1, 2005)
"By evaluating applicant's contribution to Japan, the immigration control authority has granted or denied the permanent residence status to the following cases." (A list with explanations follows.)
www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/tetuduki/zairyuu/eizyuu.html

Guidelines for Contribution to Japan (March 31, 2006)
www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/tetuduki/zairyuu/contribution.html

A Set of Instructions (this is incomplete. Refer to the accompanying documents lists linked to below.)
www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/tetuduki/kanri/shyorui/05.html
This appears to be a translation into English from: www.moj.go.jp/ONLINE/IMMIGRATION/16-4.html

Tranferring from Work Visa to P.R.

You can apply for Permanent Residence as early as 6 months - 1 year before accumulating 10 consecutive years of which up to 5 years can be accrued on a student visa and the rest have to be on a working visa. It used to have to be the same working visa type throughout but now it appears that it can include a change from one working visa type to another working visa type.

The instructions for accompanying documentation were re-written in November 2007. There are 3.5 pages available in Japanese only directly from the Konan (Shinagawa, Tokyo) immigration office. I've scanned them and made them available below. If anyone has a working copy translated into any other language, please donate them for publication here (email: jwk.forums.support [at] gmail.com)
page one (Work Visa to P.R. Visa)
page two (Work Visa to P.R. Visa)
page three (Work Visa to P.R. Visa)
page four (Work Visa to P.R. Visa)
These are .jpg images for now. The best way to print them is to copy the images to your computer (With Mac you click on the image and drag it to your desktop. With PC you right click and select "save image as".), and then print the files.

There are 5 links referenced in the above document. They are:
www.moj.go.jp/ONLINE/IMMIGRATION/16-4.html
www.immi-moj.go.jp/tetuduki/index.html
www.moj.go.jp/NYUKAN/nyukan50.html
www.moj.go.jp/NYUKAN/nyukan36.html
www.moj.go.jp/NYUKAN/nyukan16.html

Tranferring from Spouse Visa to P.R.

You can apply for Permanent Residence after 5 consecutive years of marriage. The spouse visa maximum length is three years. If you renew, you can get an extension of 3 years maximum per renewal, but in some cases they only give one year extensions. With P.R. you never have to renew again, even if you get a divorce. You will, however, have to get re-entry permits (maximum length for the multiple re-entry permit is 3 years).

The instructions for accompanying documentation were re-written in November 2007. There are 3 pages available in Japanese only directly from the Konan (Shinagawa, Tokyo) immigration office. I've scanned them and made them available below. If anyone has a working copy translated into any other language, donate them for publication here (email: jwk.forums.support [at] gmail.com)
page one (Spouse Visa to P.R. Visa)
page two (Spouse Visa to P.R. Visa)
page three (Spouse Visa to P.R. Visa)

Tranferring from Long Term Visa to P.R.

This is a rare visa type (maximum length 3 years), and I did not do the research for it. I'm happy to add the information if anyone can contribute a translation their experience.

The instructions for accompanying documentation were re-written in November 2007. There are 3 pages available in Japanese only directly from the Konan (Shinagawa, Tokyo) immigration office. If anyone has a working copy translated into any other language, donate them for publication here (email: jwk.forums.support [at] gmail.com)
page one (Long Term Visa to P.R. Visa)
page two (Long Term Visa to P.R. Visa)
page three (Long Term Visa to P.R. Visa)
These files have not yet been added.

Can I Lose My Permanent Residence Permission?
Yes, you can.
The most likely way to lose your PRP is to exit Japan without a re-entry permit or to leave Japan and allow your re-entry permit to expire while abroad..
Criminal acts may cause immigration to re-consider your status.

Forms
Application for permanent residence
www.moj.go.jp/ONLINE/IMMIGRATION/16-4-1.pdf
or as an .xls file:
www.moj.go.jp/ONLINE/IMMIGRATION/16-4-1.xls

Application for certificate of eligibility (This .pdf file is 25 pages long and includes all the pages needed for various visa types, for example, "entertainor" or "spouse or child of a Japanese National". Not all pages are necessary. Only use those pages that are pertinent to your visa type.)
www.moj.go.jp/ONLINE/IMMIGRATION/16-1-1.pdf

Application for change of status of residence (This .pdf file is 27 pages long and includes all the pages needed for various visa types, for example, "designated activities" or "Trainee". Not all pages are necessary. Only use those pages that are pertinent to your visa type.)
www.moj.go.jp/ONLINE/IMMIGRATION/16-2-1.pdf

Application for extension of period of stay (This .pdf file is 27 pages long and includes all the pages needed for various visa types, for example, professor/instructor or dependent. Not all pages are necessary. Only use those pages that are pertinent to your visa type.)
www.moj.go.jp/ONLINE/IMMIGRATION/16-3-1.pdf

Application for re-entry permit
www.moj.go.jp/ONLINE/IMMIGRATION/16-5-1.pdf

Application for recognition of refugee status
www.moj.go.jp/ONLINE/IMMIGRATION/16-6-1.pdf

Application for refugee travel document
www.moj.go.jp/ONLINE/IMMIGRATION/16-7-1.pdf

Application for permission to engage in activity other than that permitted under the status of residence previously granted. This is often needed by English teachers when they were hired as Eikaiwa teachers and then perhaps obtained a position as a University instructor. The visa type for an Eikaiwa teacher is "Specialist in Humanities/International Service" whereas the visa type for University Instructor is "Instructor" and for University Professor is "Professor". Likewise a University Instructor who wishes to take a position at an Eikaiwa language school, also has to use this permission request form. You can see more about visa categories here: http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/03.html#categories
www.moj.go.jp/ONLINE/IMMIGRATION/16-8-1.pdf

Application for certificate of authorized employment
www.moj.go.jp/ONLINE/IMMIGRATION/16-9-1.pdf

Certificate for payment of fee
www.moj.go.jp/ONLINE/IMMIGRATION/16-4-2.pdf


Related links:

Japan With Kids - Forums: Immigration/visas/re-entry permits/naturalization
Ministry of Justice web site, English portion: http://www.moj.go.jp/ENGLISH/index.html
Ministry of Justice official web site (Japanese only): http://www.moj.go.jp
Visa types for Japan (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Did you know that as of about November 2008 there are about 440,000 Permanent Residence Permission holders in Japan? Compare this to the estimated 12.1 million legal permanent residents (LPRs) living in the United States on January 1, 2006! (Source: Department of Homeland Security)

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