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Applying for a permanent residence

Davey

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I have been thinking about it for years but never applied to it. With the new year coming it is the moment to finally apply for it.

As I have paid my taxes, pension and have been here for 10 years on a spouse visa it shouldnt be too hard to get it. In this thread I would like to go through the process of getting the permanent residency visa. What to be careful of, the papers that are needed etc.

Please share your experiences.

I will update this post to make things clearer, and hope it will help others to apply although the government website should always be checked as well.
 

thomas

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Good timing, Davey! Let's walk down this path together.
 

Mike Cash

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Has it been ten years already? Time certainly does fly!

You won't have any trouble.
 

Glenski

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First of all, it is not a PR visa. It is a status of residence.

Second, the paperwork needed is dirt simple. Just remember to bring it in duplicate to immigration.

Third, where it asks you to state your reason for applying, say simply that you wish to remain with your J spouse and continue working.

Fourth, renew your spousal visa when it's time. If you apply for PR when your visa is up, you will be told that because there is no guarantee of getting PR, and that processing could take 3-6 months, they will tell you to renew the visa at the same time. Basically, you can apply for PR anytime. You pay for it (8000 yen) only when you receive it, so if you are turned down, you aren't out any money.
 

mdchachi

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A friend of mine told me it was actually easier to become a citizen than get PR status and that's what he did. He was originally from Hong Kong and I don't think he was married at the time although he later married a Japanese person.
 

Mike Cash

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A friend of mine told me it was actually easier to become a citizen than get PR status and that's what he did. He was originally from Hong Kong and I don't think he was married at the time although he later married a Japanese person.
The requirements regarding length of stay and things like that are less stringent but as far as the paperwork required there is no comparison between the two, with PR being the easier of the two. Also, unlike PR citizenship actually has a (very minimal) Japanese language proficiency requirement.
 

Glenski

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My contributions to society are as follows:

I continue to remain employed full-time (the job itself doesn't matter; the point is, I'm not a burden on society by being unemployed).
My job is at a university, so that has direct societal benefits. In my case, aside from the obvious duties in teaching the workers of tomorrow, I will have to take part in community lectures, whether to a public crowd once a year or to high/junior high schools.
I also have been a neighborhood leader (chonai hancho), which may not have much in the way of responsibilities but is still a contribution.
As a member and officer of an English teachers' professional organization, I help other teachers (foreign and Japanese) by sharing my research, critiquing theirs, and serving as an editor to a journal.
I give annual speech contest training to members of the Self-Defense Forces.
I give training in making presentations to participants in the JICA program. They come from various African and SE Asian countries.
I also stay out of trouble with the law.

Good enough for ya? :)
 

Mike Cash

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I don't contribute squat and I got approved. Apparently the bar isn't too terribly high.
 

Mike Cash

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Oh dear. If I have to demonstrate anything beyond the ability to order a beer, I'm doomed ...
You're expected to know kanji to about the level of a third grade elementary student and to submit a handwritten essay on why you wish to naturalize.

Whether you envision seeking citizenship or not, if you intend to live here someday then you are doing yourself and your spouse a monstrous disservice by not learning the language.
 

nahadef

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I got it a year or so back, and it was no trouble, but it took time. I had ten years employed in the country, and five years married to a national. I filled the forms. waited and got it. No explanation necessary. That was about it, I had a permanent residency visa.
 

KyushuWoozy

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You're expected to know kanji to about the level of a third grade elementary student and to submit a handwritten essay on why you wish to naturalize.
Actually I can do more than order a beer in Japanese but not sure I'm up to essay writing and kanji stroking. Just asking (hopefully), can it be written at home ... with my wife? Or do I have to perform under test conditions?

Whether you envision seeking citizenship or not, if you intend to live here someday then you are doing yourself and your spouse a monstrous disservice by not learning the language.
Agree.
 

Majestic

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I didn't quite tick all the boxes when I applied for PR, yet they gave it to me. I came close to satisfying all the requirements, and I had a clean record and had all the appropriate income and tax documents. I think I missed the "length of residency" requirement, but not by much. I only mention this to say that if you have most of the important requirements filled, you lose nothing by applying for PR and seeing how far you get. I think the government is lenient (to some extent) towards foreign partners of Japanese citizens*.

* Excepting the very obvious "sham" marriages.
 

Davey

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First of all, thank you for all the replies ! It's interesting to read them.

I have started filling in the application, as I wanted to start doing it this year and apply for it in January.

Was wondering what to fill in here:
Period of residence after new arrival.

I have been here almost ten years and have only left the country twice for a total of 3 weeks (yeah.... I know). So should I fill in the last time I arrived at the airport (2013) or the moment my spouse visa started in 2006?
 

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Majestic

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I have been here almost ten years and have only left the country twice for a total of 3 weeks (yeah.... I know). So should I fill in the last time I arrived at the airport (2013) or the moment my spouse visa started in 2006?
Fill in with the time you entered the country to establish your current residency. If you arrived in, say, May 1st of 2005 and established your residency immediately after that, use May 1st 2005. Immigration doesn't care about you leaving the country for holidays or business trips.
 

Mike Cash

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If you're in doubt, just leave it blank until you get ready to hand it in. You can ask the official for clarification and it will take only a second to fill in the blank.
 

Akakubisan

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I just had mine approved. Started the process in July.
I used a 行政書士 to do the application, saved my wife and I a fare amount of time. He did all the trips to immigration and requests from city hall.
 

Davey

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I just had mine approved. Started the process in July.
I used a 行政書士 to do the application, saved my wife and I a fare amount of time. He did all the trips to immigration and requests from city hall.
First of all, congratulations to you.

It might indeed be an idea to do it that way but I would like to learn from it myself as well so I can help others in the future and understand the process of it myself.

Got certain documents although I didn't pay taxes 3 years ago as I was doing an internship in a programming company, besides that I have always paid my stuff.
 

Davey

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I'm asking my company to write me a letter of recommendation, but are there any specific things I should ask them to write? Also whom should they address it to? I will also include a letter in it stating why I want a permanent residency status and my contributions, so the same question for this.
 
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