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Question Spouse visa extension for only 1 year

Anatol

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Hi!

This is my first post here. I'm just looking for some advice for my next visa extension in Japan. I'm here on a spouse visa. My first visa before entering Japan was a 1 year term which I heard is quite common. I just got my first extension done and received the new residence card today, but I was disappointed that it's only another 1 year term. I know it's a bit of a lucky draw, but when I asked I was just told, "oh, so that's your first renewal?" Apparently the officer tried to sell me that as the reason, but I don't buy it. Anyway, I guess it's no point arguing here, it's just bad luck.

My plan is to also apply for permanent residency. My wife and I have been married for 14 years, I bought an apartment in the first year here, my income is well sufficient to support myself and my wife, plus she's also working, I pay taxes, health care, etc. in Japan. With a 1 year extension, however, I don't think I'll be eligible to apply for PR. It just doesn't feel great to own property here and be on 1 year visa terms.

So, next time around I really want to get things right and increase my chances in the visa term lottery.

As this was the first extension I may have gotten a few things a bit wrong. I did my homework but all these forms and documents can be confusing if you've never done this before. E.g. I went to the city office to get the proof of paying tax which I got, even though the city office didn't know anything about this in terms of immigration, and also sent me to the local tax office where I got another similar document. At immigration when I applied they didn't care about any of those documents but instead wanted to see something that supports the income I listed on the form. Luckily I did bring my tax return and they made a copy of that instead. All other documents were straightforward. I can only imagine that handing in the tax return isn't exactly the most proper or official way to do, so maybe that's why I got just 1 year.

Also, the company I work for (in a permanent position) is in Australia and I just work remotely from Japan. So I get paid in Australia, but I do pay income tax in Japan. I don't think this should be a problem, but who knows. Maybe anything that falls outside the norm isn't really accepted that much. A good part of the people working in these types of governmental offices feel a bit like robots that can't compute anything that doesn't fit into a strictly defined pattern, but well, I don't want to complain too much. I'm glad that I'm able to live here.

So, does anyone have any advise how I can improve my chances next time around? Is anyone in a similar situation, remotely working from Japan for an overseas company that doesn't have an office here, and has this been a problem to get a 3 year term granted? Is there any other/better proof that I can organise?

Thanks in advance!
 

Glenski

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. With a 1 year extension, however, I don't think I'll be eligible to apply for PR.
Makes no difference. You can apply anytime. Apply vs get are the two differences.

I would speculate that your working remotely from Australia could be a stumbling block. Can you rectify that? Maybe they see it as not contributing to Japan or being too unstable a job.
 

Anatol

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Makes no difference. You can apply anytime. Apply vs get are the two differences.

I would speculate that your working remotely from Australia could be a stumbling block. Can you rectify that? Maybe they see it as not contributing to Japan or being too unstable a job.
Thanks for the reply Glenski. OK, so I could apply for PR, but I guess it's quite unlikely that it'd get granted.

With working from Australia, I think in my current employment I can't change this. There's no office in Japan, it's just me working from here remotely. It'd be strange as I pay full income tax plus all other taxes, NHI etc., so in a way not too different than being self-employed in Japan. But I guess you're right regardless.

Working remotely for me is a really good situation and the company is by far the best I've ever worked for, so I wouldn't really like to change that. The only other way would be to try to change the permanent position into contract work and be really self-employed in Japan, but that'd take away some job securities, things like long service leave, etc. I also doubt that my employer would agree to that.

I'll see if I can come up with some other options to improve my chances next time around. Thanks again for the reply.

Any further suggestions or info from anyone in a similar situation would be much appreciated.
 

Lotus9314

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If I'm not mistaken you can't apply for Pr if you pu don't have minimum 3 years extension visa. Also the first couple of years they do give one year visas. I think they flip a coin to see how many years you will get.
 

Anatol

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If I'm not mistaken you can't apply for Pr if you pu don't have minimum 3 years extension visa. Also the first couple of years they do give one year visas. I think they flip a coin to see how many years you will get.
Thanks for the reply. Well, this year I think the reason is likely my not 100% ideal supporting documents, and probably working for an overseas company without a local office. That the first year is a 1 year term seems common, but I read from a lot of people who are here as spouses of Japanese nationals that extensions are commonly 3 years as long as you are financially independent. We'll see. I'm hoping for better luck next time, but am also looking into adding things to my case that shows a better contribution/commitment to Japan which apparently can be a fairly important point, too.
 

Lotus9314

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Not necessarily I worked and was financially independent but the first 3 years they always gave me 1 year. Finally I changed where I applied snd and they gave me 3 years extension. I know other friends who were in a similar situation. I hope you can get a longer extension next time.
I applied Pr and been waiting almost 9 months already.
 

Anatol

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Not necessarily I worked and was financially independent but the first 3 years they always gave me 1 year. Finally I changed where I applied snd and they gave me 3 years extension. I know other friends who were in a similar situation. I hope you can get a longer extension next time.
I applied Pr and been waiting almost 9 months already.
Thanks for the reply. All the best of luck with your PR. 9 months sounds like a long wait.
With the decision it seems a lucky draw. I went to the Tachikawa immigration office but you hear so many conflicting opinions about the different offices, it's hard to tell which (if any) is the better choice. But if you don't mind me asking, where did you go initially and where did you have luck with the 3 year term?
 

Lotus9314

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Hahah the first 3 times I went to SHINAGAWA and they always gave me 1 year. Never asked me for additional documents. Then last year I went to Tachikawa and they asked me my husband's tax paper and i had his father as a guarantor and they have me 3 years. I applied Pr at Tachikawa but I'm not sure if they are processing it there.
Yea 9 months is a long wait. It's frustrating waiting hopefully an answer will come. Soon
 

Majestic

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I think what the officer said is correct. The first extension is usually (but by no means always) a one-year extension. As long as you are reporting your income and paying taxes locally, you should get progressively longer extensions.
I wouldn't view the one-year extension as a punishment for having an unusual job.
 

marley'sghost

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Don't sweat it. All sounds normal to me. I was told at my immigration office that it was 3 years on a spouse visa and then you can apply for PR. Sort of a hassle going in to the office and spending all that time and money on paperwork every year, but those are the breaks. At least you have a good start on your PR application homework, so when the time comes you'll be set.
When I got my PR, (some years ago) I don't think I even had to submit anything. It was simply a matter of checking the "Application for Permanent Residency" box instead of the "Application for Renewal of Spouse Visa" box on the form. I got the PR in like 2 or 3 months. Sounds like they are more careful these days.
 

Anatol

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Thanks for your replies. Yes, maybe I take the one year term outcome too seriously. It's just that due to the lack of a immigration policy the whole process isn't very transparent and we basically are left to guessing and getting confused by all the different experiences and posts from others. So my impression initially was that it should've been 3 years … ok, that sounds like I think I have an entitlement—I know I don't, it's just all part of the game. This forum and also some private replies have been very helpful. Thank you everyone for your responses so far!
 

Glenski

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If I'm not mistaken you can't apply for Pr if you pu don't have minimum 3 years extension visa.
That's not even mentioned on the application page. It may be a rule of thumb, but it's not cited as official.

When I got my PR, (some years ago) I don't think I even had to submit anything. It was simply a matter of checking the "Application for Permanent Residency" box instead of the "Application for Renewal of Spouse Visa" box on the form.
I don't think that's correct. I applied about 10 years ago, how about you? It's always been an application form with copies of several types of documents.
 

jt9258

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Also the first couple of years they do give one year visas. I think they flip a coin to see how many years you will get.
Way back when I applied for my first extension it was for 3 years until I received PR, in fact they asked me to apply for PR.
 

marley'sghost

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That's not even mentioned on the application page. It may be a rule of thumb, but it's not cited as official.

I don't think that's correct. I applied about 10 years ago, how about you? It's always been an application form with copies of several types of documents.
It was......12 maybe. I honestly do not recall submitting any additional documents. I am pretty sure that was my case though. A mate of mine applied for his PR a year or two after I did at the same office and he had to submit the whole armload of documents. I remember thinking, "Wow. I lucked out."

Way back when I applied for my first extension it was for 3 years until I received PR, in fact they asked me to apply for PR.
I had a similar experience. I went in to get my spouse visa renewed . I had a question about something and talked to one of the support staff. She looked at my renewal (for my 3rd year) and said, "Oh. Next year you can apply for your Permanent Residency."
 
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