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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, 2014 -2018
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

Increasing Rate

2014 - 2018

677,019 700,500 727,111 749,191 771,568 + 14%
Number of Permanent Resident as of 2018/12 - by Age
0-19 20-39 40-49 50-59 Over 60
103,739 198,028 204,329 171,174 94,298
Number of Permanent Resident as of 2018/12 - by Nationality (Top 20)
China Philippines Brazil Korea Peru
260,963 129,707 112,934 71,094 33,789
Taiwan Thailand USA Vietnam Indonesia
21,601 20,142 17,580 16,043 6,438
India UK Pakistan Nepal Russia
6,090 5,930 4,940 4,480 3,956
Canada Bangladesh Sri Lanka Bolivia Australia
3,652 3,344 3,093 2,946 2,892
Number of Permanent Resident as of 2018/12 - by Prefecture (Top 20)
Tokyo Aichi Kanagawa Saitama Osaka
144,808 88,476 79,881 60,913 50,449
Chiba Shizuoka Hyogo Gunma Ibaraki
49,391 38,000 25,247 20,388 19,198
Gifu Mie Tochigi Fukuoka Nagano
19,163 17,905 13,889 13,713 13,598
Hiroshima Shiga Kyoto Yamanashi Hokkaido
12,985 9,648 8,798 6,409 5,450
Number of Foreign National Granted Permission for
Permanent Resident during 2018 (Top 20)
Ranking Nationality Number of Foreigners Component Ratio
1 China 14,626 46.5%
2 Philippines 3,077 9.8%
3 Korea 2,764 8.8%
4 Brazil 2,255 7.2%
5 Vietnam 1,343 4.3%
6 USA 960 3.0%
7 Taiwan 839 2.7%
8 Thailand 582 1.8%
9 India 462 1.5%
10 Nepal 366 1.2%
11 Peru 334 1.1%
12 UK 331 1.0%
13 Indonesia 300 1.0%
14 France 245 0.8%
15 Canada 233 0.7%
16 Australia 200 0.6%
17 Bangladesh 193 0.6%
17 Russia 193 0.6%
19 Sri Lanka 175 0.6%
20 Malaysia 141 0.4%
- Others 1,832 5.8%
TOTAL - 31,451 100%

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.