Requirement, procedures and document needed for Japan PR application
When I was student, I used to live in Kyoto (and briefly Nara). As there weren’t that many foreigners there, it was pretty laid back. I have never had to wait longer than 30 mins at the immigration office.
It’s a total different story here in Tokyo. Tokyo immigration office is far and it’s always very crowded. I was qualified to apply for PR (eijyuken) last year but didn’t think of applying until my 3 years visa expired and I had to go to Tokyo immigration to renew it. My new 5 years visa was approved without any hiccups.
However, the waiting time was a nightmare. I need to go to immigration office twice (once for submission and another when the visa is approved) each time, I have to take a day off from work which was not fun at all.
So why not apply for PR and get out of this misery??
After my 5 years visa is approved, I started to prepare for PR application. It’s not so difficult in my case because both my husband and I have a stable income, we paid tax and have no criminal record.
FYI : to be qualified to apply PR as a spouse of Japanese citizen, you need to be married for at least 3 years and live in Japan at least 1 years consecutively.
Good thing about PR is, even if you get divorced, you can continue to live in Japan. (Not that I’m planning to divorce my husband or anything )
In my case, since both of us have a career, if my husband has to go somewhere far for work (単身赴任), I don’t have to quit my job and follow him. As you might know, if you have spouse visa, you have to live together otherwise your visa can be revoked. (Yes, immigration office randomly check sometimes to prevent fraud marriage). Not to mention I don’t have to renew my visa again, ever!, if approved.
List of required documents
1. Application with recent photo attached
2. passport, sairyu-card (resident card) they will check and return this to you
3. Koseiki tohon, a house registration document -need to get it from the district you are from, in my case, Kyoto. This document also presented as a document of married certficate as it indicated the date of marriage
4. Juminhyo (document verified place of residence – get from ward office)
5. Certificate of employment from company (if you are working)
6. Tax certificate for the past year
I don’t have this because I’ve just started working for a year. I called immigration office and they told me to submit my husband document instead
6. My husband documents (he is also my guarantor)
– certificate of employment
– tax certificate (1 years back)
– guarantee letter (can be downloaded online)
– salary statements (14 months in my case include bonus statement) to show much much I earn and also how much income tax I paid for the past year which did not appear in the tax certificate (it’s recommended by my colleague who works as company’s legal team)
tax system is complicated. From my understanding, there are two kinds of tax
1) income tax – paid to central government
2) residence tax – paid to the city I live
Residence tax is calculated from previous year total income. That’s the reason I haven’t paid any yet because my income last year didn’t reach the minimum requirement. I think I have been paying income tax every month with every paycheck though.
– copy of the bank book (3 months activity at least- I submitted the whole year)
– copy of saving account transaction (printed from internet banking as it doesn’t appear in my bank book)
– copy of my JLPT test certificate to prove that I know enough Japanese to live in Japan. If you have N1-2, it might be helpful.
That’s all I submitted today. They have my record when I was student as which school I attended and etc so there is no need to submit personal history. However, if you didn’t attend school in Japan, it might be helpful to provide them with information such as educational background and work experience.
It took me about 1 months to gather all documents. Koseki tohon took the most time because my husband had to apply by mail and had it sent from Kyoto to Tokyo.
If you submit the application as an individual, the requirements and documents required will be different. You can contact immigration office by phone if you have questions (but first please check the website)
Opening hour is 9AM but 45 mins before opening at least 100 people are lining up in front of immigration office already. Watch out some A**hole who comes later but get in the line in the middle anyway. These people need some hard slap in the face (mind my language! sorry but I am really pissed off)
You should come before 8.30 which is when the door open. Go straight to 2nd floor and have your documents checked.
Submit documents >> accept application from 9.00
You’ll get a blank postcard from the officer. Write your name and address. Once your new visa/PR is approved (or reject?) they will send this postcard to you.
Now go home and wait for 4-12 months
I was able to submit my document without any problem (well, the officer told me my signature was too neat she thought it was printed instead of signed haha) but I see many applicants have to rewrite their application or rearrange the document. If you are well-prepared, there is nothing you should worry.
According to ministry of justice, your application will be judge based on how much you contribute to Japan national interests. That’s why I said if you could provide a personal history it might be very helpful. We’ll see if mine will be approved or not. I’ll update the result when I know more.
To date I have never been rejected any visa application before so I’m quite confident. That being said, PR application is different. Many people got rejected and they were not informed of reasons so it’s hard to know. One of my professor in grad. school got his PR after a year in Japan but he was a diplomat before he retired. I assumed he has connections.
Most important thing,,
Remember, come early if you don’t want to spend all day at the immigration office.
Updated : My PR visa is approved in April 2016. 4 months after submission;)