【Case Study】The application for permission for permanent residence and the special provisions
Mr. A, who is Chinese, came to Japan 4 years ago and has worked as an interpreter on a visa for “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services.” 3 years ago, Mr. A got married to Ms. A, who is Japanese, but has not changed his status of residency to “Spouse or Child of Japanese National”.
Recently, Mr. A started to think of applying for a permanent resident visa because they are planning to purchase a new house and the possession of a permanent resident visa will be advantageous in regards to loan screening as Mr. A is the mainstay of the family.
A spouse of a Japanese person is subject to the special provisions regarding permission for permanent residence, which relax the requirement of years of stay to 3 years (a simplified version of permanent residence). Although Mr. A certainly has a status as a spouse of a Japanese person, he was not sure if he could apply for the simplified version of permanent residence because he had not changed his status of residence to “Spouse or Child of Japanese National.” So, he decided to talk to an administrative scrivener.
From time to time, we are asked questions concerning application for permission for permanent residence by people who are married to a Japanese but haven’t changed their status of residence to “Spouse or Child of Japanese National.” Is it necessary to change their status of residence for the application of the special provisions regarding the regular requirement of 10 year of stay?
2. What are the special provisions regarding the regular requirement of 10 years of stay?
In principle, to apply for permanent residence, you must have stayed in Japan for more than 10 years consecutively. It is also required that during your stay in Japan you have had work permit or the status of residence for more than 5 years consecutively.
However, “The Guideline for Permission for Permanent Residence” published by the Ministry of Justice provides the special provisions regarding the regular requirement of 10 years of stay for permanent residence. For more details, please refer to Requirements for permission of a permanent resident visa.
As you can see from these special provisions regarding permanent residence, the requirements imposed by the Ministry of Justice are not the same, depending on the situation of each foreigner.
You therefore should check if there are any special provisions apply for your case before proceeding to submit your application for permission for permanent residence.
3. To apply the special provisions on permanent residency concerning the requirement of 10 years of stay
Now, we would like to explain what are the requirements to be applied the special provisions concerning period of stay.
The special provisions include the following requirement.
The person has stayed in Japan for more than 5 years consecutively with the status of long-term resident.
This special provision requires the status of residence of long-term resident and the residence for 5 consecutive years or more with such status.
The following is another special provision (hereinafter we call this type of special provision the “simplified version of permanent resident”).
The person is a spouse of a Japanese national, special permanent resident or permanent resident, and has been in a real marital relationship for more than 3 years consecutively and has stayed in Japan more than 1 year consecutively. Or, the person is a true child of a Japanese national, special permanent resident or permanent resident, and has stayed in Japan more than 1 year consecutively.
Unlike the one above, this special provision does not specify any status of residence; and therefore, as long as the required status and years of stay are satisfied, this special provision can be applied regardless of status of residence as of the date of application for permission for permanent residence.
The same thing can be said as to the following special provision.
The person has a total score of 70 points or more based on the points calculation criteria prescribed in the Ordinance to Provide for the Criteria in the Right-Hand Column Corresponding to “Highly-Skilled Professionals as Specified in Appended Table I(2) of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act” (hereinafter referred to as “Ordinance of the Ministry of Justice”), and comes under one of the following.
a. The person who has continuously stayed in Japan as a “Highly-Skilled foreign Professional” for 3 years or more.
b. The person who has continuously stayed in Japan for 3 years or more, and who is deemed to have a total of 70 points or more when calculating with reference to the situation at 3 years before the date of the application for permission for permanent residence.
This one also does not specify any status of residence regarding the requirement provided in item (b); therefore as long as the required points are scored, this special provision can be applied even if the person is staying in Japan with a type of status of residence other than highly-skilled professional.
4. Case Study
Now, let’s focus on the case of Mr. A!
Mr. A came to Japan 4 years ago, so he cannot apply for permanent residence based on the regular requirement of 10 years of stay. We therefore need to check if the special provisions apply to his case.
Having been married to Ms. B, who is a Japanese, for the past 3 years, Mr. A has a status as a spouse of a Japanese person. If he is subject to the special provisions, 1 year of stay in Japan will be enough to apply for permanent residence.
Next step is confirming if Mr. A “has been in a real marital relationship for more than 3 years consecutively.” By “a real marital relationship,” it means living together and providing mutual cooperation and assistance.
We had an interview with Mr. A and Ms. B and found out the following facts.
– They moved in together before they got married and have never lived apart from each other since the marriage;
– Mr. A supports the family financially, and Ms. B supports the family as a housewife. Thus, they cooperate with each other;
– Mr. A is engaged in a work as a liaison concerning trading matters for Chinese companies, and his annual income has been about 3 million yen every year since he came to Japan.
A visa for “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services” provides 3 years of period of stay, and Mr. A had 2 more years until expiration.
From above facts, we figured that the simplified version of permanent residence can be applied to his case since he had more than 3 years of substantial marriage and also met all other requirements.
Based on the premise that Mr. A was qualified for the simplified version of permanent residence, we prepared necessary documents for application for permission for permanent residence. We thought the immigration office was probably not aware of Mr. A’s marriage to a Japanese person because he was still on the status of residence of “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services.” We therefore prepared more documents and materials concerning the substance of his marriage, than regular applications for permanent residence. As a result, Mr. A was able to obtain a permanent resident visa as well as his own dream house.
For the application of the special provisions regarding the requirement of 10 years of stay for permission for permanent residence, it is essential to precisely understand the situation of each person.
Such special provisions are a shortcut for a grant of a permanent resident visa. If you have any problem figuring out if you are subject to such special provisions, please feel free to contact us! We will provide you with the best scheme that fits each of you.