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Permanent Resident

"Permanent Resident" & "Naturalization"

Permanent Resident: Foreigners who wish to maintain their nationality but engage in any activities without any restriction in Japan.

Naturalization: Foreigners who are willing to acquire Japanese nationality by giving up their nationality.

Advantages for Acquisition of "Permanent Resident"

  • No restriction in terms of the scope of activities,
  • Obtaining indefinite period of stay, and
  • Gaining social credibility.

There are following REQUIREMENTS for foreigners who apply for the "Permanent Resident".

  1. A person is of good conduct (※1),
     

  2. A person has sufficient assets or skills in order to make an independent living in Japan (※1), and
     

  3. A foreigner’s permanent residence is regarded to be in accord with the interests of Japan;

    1. ​​A person has stayed in Japan for more than 10 years consecutively (※2).
       

    2. A person has had any work permit or any status of residence for more than 5 years consecutively during his/her stay in Japan (※3).
       

    3. A person has been never sentenced to be a fine or imprisonment.
       

    4. A person fulfills public duties such as tax payment including health insurance and pension payment.
       

    5. A person fulfills duties to give notifications to the Regional Immigration Services Bureau (※4).
       

    6. A person is currently granted his/her work permit or status of residence with the maximum period of stay (※5).

(※1)

  • If an applicant is a spouse or a child of a Japanese national or Permanent Resident, the above requirements 1 and 2 do not be applied.
  • If an applicant is a welfare recipient, the permission of "Permanent Resident" will not be granted unless there are "special circumstances" such as an applicant currently holds the long -term resident.
  • The requirement of "sufficient assets or skills" is confirmed on a household basis of an applicant. The annual household income of more than 3 million yen is desirable. 

(※2)

  • If an applicant is a spouse of a Japanese national or Permanent Resident, and has been in a martial relationship for more than 3 years consecutively and stayed in Japan for more than one year consecutively, this requirement is exempted. Moreover, if an applicant has stayed in Japan for more than 5 years consecutively with the status of long term resident, this requirement is also exempted.
  • If an applicant's total holding period of status of residence of the "Long-Term Resident" and either "Spouse or Child of Japanese National" or the "Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident" becomes in five years after divorce, the permanent residence status may possibly be granted.
  • If an applicant satisfies any of the requirements in "Guidelines for Contribution to Japan" and has stayed in Japan for more than 5 years, this requirement is exempted.
  •  The "highly skilled professionals" holders who have 70 points or more will be able to acquire the permanent resident status in 3 years, and one year for those with 80 points or more. The applicant needs to maintain these points when applying for the permanent resident. 

If an applicant does not currently hold the "highly skilled professionals" but satisfy the following condition, he/she is still eligible to apply for the permanent resident earlier.

  • applicant has/had a total score of 70 points (*1) or more according to the point calculation table and has been staying in Japan for over 3 years, or

  • applicant has/had a total score of 80 points (*2) or more according to the point calculation table and has been staying in Japan for over one year.

    (*1) Applicant needs to have a score of 70 points or more at 3 years before the date of the application and on the date of filing application for the permanent residence. 
    (*2) Applicant needs to have a score of 80 points or more at 1 year before the date of the application and on the date of filing application for the permanent residence. 
     

  • Even a foreign national who has continuously stayed in Japan for more than one year as a highly skilled professional with 80 points or more is granted permission for permanent residence, his/her spouse and children will not be granted permission for permanent residence at the same time. They will be eligible to apply for permanent residence after they have continuously lived in Japan for more than 3 years. Therefore, they have to change their status of residence from the "Dependent" to the "Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident" for his/her spouse and "Long-Term Resident" for children after highly skilled professional is granted permission for permanent residence.

(※3)

  • An applicant has had any of the working visa or the status of residence for the most recent five-year period.

Work Permit: Business Manager, Researcher, Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services, etc.
(excluding Technical Intern Training and Specified Skilled Worker(i))

Status of ResidenceSpouse or Child of Japanese National, Long Term Resident, etc.

(※2) & (※3)

  • If an applicant had stayed overseas on a long-term basis during the count period, he/she needs a reasonable explanation for his/her stay history. If an applicant had stayed overseas for extended periods of time, and his/her personal residence history in Japan is questioned in terms of "continuity", he/she is better to file an application after he/she makes some residence record in Japan.
  • If an applicant entered Japan with his/her parents and finished most of his/her compulsory education in Japan, the permission of "Permanent Resident" may be granted in some cases nevertheless these requirements are not met.
  • If the permission of "Permanent Resident" is granted to a foreign parent (an applicant), there is the possibility the permission is also granted to his/her spouse and/or child belonging to the same household. Therefore, there is a case that it is better to apply for the permission by a whole family.

(※4)

  • Cases when notification to the Regional Immigration Services Bureau is required.

(※5)

  • For time being, a period of stay of 3 years shall be regarded as the maximum period of stay.
Number of Permanent Resident, 2015 -2019
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

Increasing Rate

2015 - 2019

700,500 727,111 749,191 771,568 793,164 + 13%
Number of Permanent Resident as of 2019/12 - by Age
0-19 20-39 40-49 50-59 Over 60
105,535 196,365 205,310 182,471 103,483
Number of Permanent Resident as of 2019/12 - by Nationality (Top 20)
China Philippines Brazil Korea Peru
273,776 131,933 112,440 72,391 33,614
Taiwan Thailand USA Vietnam Indonesia
22,235 20,526 18,043 17,186 6,662
India UK Pakistan Nepal Russia
6,466 6,163 5,015 4,909 4,070
Canada Bangladesh Sri Lanka Australia Bolivia
3,787 3,500 3,249 3,001 2,973
Number of Permanent Resident as of 2019/12 - by Prefecture (Top 20)
Tokyo Aichi Kanagawa Saitama Osaka
150,603 89,320 83,628 62,883 52,702
Chiba Shizuoka Hyogo Gunma Ibaraki
50,961 38,176 25,881 20,588 19,500
Gifu Mie Fukuoka Tochigi Nagano
19,331 17,899 14,214 13,957 13,702
Hiroshima Shiga Kyoto Yamanashi Hokkaido
13,701 9,965 9,226 6,417 5,719
Number of Foreign National Granted Permission for
Permanent Resident during 2019 (Top 20)
Ranking Nationality Number of Foreigners Component Ratio
1 China 15,542 48.3%
2 Philippines 2,998 9.3%
3 Korea 2,521 7.9%
4 Brazil 2,318 7.2%
5 Vietnam 1,405 4.4%
6 Taiwan 880 2.8%
7 USA 865 2.7%
8 Thailand 577 1.8%
9 Nepal 475 1.5%
10 India 463 1.5%
11 Peru 388 1.2%
12 UK 328 1.0%
13 Indonesia 301 0.9%
14 France 234 0.7%
15 Bangladesh 199 0.6%
15 Canada 199 0.6%
17 Sri Lanka 195 0.6%
18 Russia 168 0.5%
19 Myanmar 157 0.5%
20 Australia 156 0.5%
- Others 1,781 5.5%
TOTAL - 32,150 100%

Required documents at the time of the application

If you are planning to apply for the Permanent Resident in the near future, it may be useful to check the required documents you will need to submit in advance.

※ If a current status of residence expires during an examination period of permanent resident (i.e., the residual period of less than 3 months when applying), a foreigner needs to separately apply for its extension of period of stay. The "special exception on the period of stay" does not apply in this case.