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FAQ

"Letter of Guarantee" for Permanent Residence

Foreigners who apply for the "Permanent Residence" usually ask to submit the "Letter of Guarantee" in addition to other application forms. (Note: Letter of Guarantee is not required to submit for the "Naturalization".) 

  • "Guarantor" should be either a Japanese citizen or a foreigner who is holding the Permanent Residence.

  • "Guarantor" should submit a certificate of his/her employment, certificate of incomes and certificate of residence.

  • If the income of "Guarantor" is not sufficient to demonstrate his/her ability to fulfill his/her responsibilities as "Guarantor", he/she may not be recognized as "Guarantor".

Question:

What kind of responsibilities would a guarantor assume?

Answer:

In the context of Immigration Control Act, the term "guarantor" means the person who promises Minister of Justice to guarantee a foreign national's economic conditions and provide lifestyle guidance including compliance with applicable laws if necessary so that the foreign national would be able to stably and continuously fulfill his/her intended purpose for visiting Japan.
Even if a guarantor gives assurance to Minister of Justice with the certificate of fidelity guarantee, Minister of Justice may not legally bind the guarantor to make good on his guarantee.
If a guarantor fails to make good on his guarantee, the immigration control authority only instructs the guarantor to meet his commitments. However, as the authority regards him as not fulfilling his responsibilities in this case, the guarantor will lose his eligibility as a guarantor for entry/residence application process in the future.
From these viewpoints, the certificate of fidelity guarantee imposes so-called moral responsibility on the guarantor in this manner.

Tax Obligations for "Naturalization"

Evidential Documents

Organization to

Obtain Certificate

Company

Employee

Proprietor

Owner or

Manager

(incl. Director)

of Company 

Withholding Tax Slip Employment  
Certificate of Local Inhabitants Tax Local Municipal Office 
Certificate of Individual Income Tax Tax Office    
Copy of Individual Income Tax Return  -  
Certificate of Corporation (Individual) Enterprise Tax Prefectural Tax Office  
Certificate of Consumption Tax Tax Office  
Certificate of Corporation Tax Tax Office    
Certificate of Corporate Prefectural Inhabitants Tax Prefectural Tax Office    
Certificate of Corporate Municipal Inhabitants Tax Local Municipal Office     
Copy of Withholding Tax Book and Tax Payment Slip -    

Foreign Resident Registration Ledger

The alien registration system has been abolished on July 9, 2012, and the new residency management system has been applied. Under the new system, foreign residents are registered into the Basic Resident Registration system, and they are then able to obtain the "copy of certificate of residence". However, the "copy of certificate of residence" issued from municipal office which authenticates your address, name, gender and date of birth, etc., does not show the history of residence before July 8, 2012, changes of name and nationality, names of parents or spouse and date of landing permission.

With the start of this new system, the Ministry of Justice manages the "foreign resident registration ledger". Accordingly, when you need information concerning the details of the previous foreign resident registration ledger including the history of residence, changes of name and nationality, names of parents or spouse and date of landing permission, you must directly request the Ministry of Justice for disclosure. The request must be filed by a foreigner or his/her statutory representative, and it normally takes one month to acquire the ledger.

National Pension

All registered residents of Japan aged between 20 and 59, irrespective of their nationality, must be covered by the National Pension system by law and must pay contributions.

When a foreigner applies for "Permanent Resident" or "Naturalization", the Legal Affairs Bureau usually verifies his/her current payment status of the National Pension as a part of application procedures.
If a foreigner is planning to apply for "Permanent Resident" or "Naturalization" in the near future and does not currently pay contributions for the National Pension, it is highly recommended to take immediate action in order to acquire an approval of "Permanent Resident" or "Naturalization" successfully. The longer term of payment prior to application may give a great advantage to an applicant. 

General Requirement for "Naturalization"

Article 5 of Nationality Act: "A foreign national has been continuously residing in Japan for 5 years or more."

There are arguments how we should comprehend the terms "continuously" and "for 5 years or more" in the text of Article 5 of Nationality Act.

"Continuously"

In practice, if a foreigner who has stayed overseas for more than 100 days in one year during any relevant time period, the "continuously" requirement is not probably satisfied. However, if his/her stay in a foreign country is attributable to business trip by order of his /her company (his/her stay overseas is not by preference), he/she should try to explain the fact rationally with any proof upon the filing.

"For 5 Years or More"

In case a foreigner has graduated from a Japanese university and subsequently hired by a company located in Japan, he/she should spend at least 3 years in Japan subsequently to obtaining a relevant working visa until the filing.
For example, if he/she has worked for 1 year in Japan with a working visa after university, the total length of his/her stay in Japan is numerically calculated for 5 years (4 years at university plus one year at work). 
However in practice, the legal Affairs Bureau does not count his/her period of stay in Japan with "Student" visa for his/her total period of residence in Japan. Therefore, in this case he/she should wait for another 2 years for the filing. 

Case 1

If a foreigner is currently residing in a foreign country, a spouse (Japanese national or permanent resident) shall apply for the "Certificate of Eligibility" on behalf of the foreigner. The foreigner then applies for a visa in his/her home country before entering Japan following the issuance of "Certificate of Eligibility".

Case 2

If a foreigner is currently residing in Japan with a valid status of residence, the foreigner shall apply for the "Change of Status of Residence" in order to acquire new status of "Spouse or Child of Japanese National" or "Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident".

If foreign nationals residing in Japan under this status of residence have failed to continue to engage in the activities of a person with the status of spouse for over 6 months, their status of residence shall be revoked in principle.
However, if there are any "justifiable grounds" for not engaging in such activities, they may apply for permission to change their status of residence to "long-term resident"
In this regard, the Immigration Services Agency of Japan published in July, 2012 as attached below "Cases of those who were granted or not granted permission to change status of residence from "spouse or child of Japanese national" or "spouse or child of permanent resident" to "long-term resident" in order to illustrate the "specific examples" of the "justifiable grounds".

Permission to Engage in an Activity OTHER THAN That Permitted by the Status of Residence Previously Granted

When a foreign national intends to engage in an activity to operate profit-making businesses or an activity for receiving consideration other than the activity permitted under his/her current status of residence, he/she must obtain permission to engage in an activity other than that permitted under the status of residence previously granted, in advance.

There are TWO types of permission;

  • 1
    Comprehensive Permission

    This type of permission may be granted in such cases where a foreign national stays in Japan with the status of residence of "Student" or "Dependent". (A foreign student with the "Cultural Activities" status is also eligible for this permission.)
     
    ・The foreign national is able to engage in the activity for not more than 28 hours a week* (unskilled occupations are allowed under this permission).
    *The time constraints are calculated from any day of the week and should be limited within 28 hours a week.

    ・The foreign national with the status of residence of "Student" is able to engage in the activity up to 8 hours a day during his/her summer, winter, and spring vacations (no restriction of "less than 28 hours a week" during these periods). Furthermore, a foreign student is allowed to engage in the activity only during his/her enrollment period.

    ・The name and location of the company and the details of the duties are not designated.

    ・The permission is not required to renew even if his/her employer is changed.

    (※) If foreign students are participating in an internship, they may need to separately apply for the "Non-comprehensive Permission".  

    (※) Foreign students (excluding secondary school students) who have been granted the "Student" status are able to apply for this permission following acquisition of landing permission at the airport. However, the "Non-comprehensive Permission" should be separately applied at the immigration services bureau. 
  • 2
    Non-comprehensive Permission

    This type of permission may be granted in such cases where a foreign national stays in Japan with the status of residence of other than "Student" or "Dependent". (As an exceptional case, a foreign national with the status of residence of "Student" or "Dependent" is able to obtain this permission.)
     
    ・The name and location of the company, etc. that employs the foreign national and the details of the duties are designated.

    ・The permission may be granted if he/she finds reasonable grounds to do so to the extent that there is no impediment to the original activities (unskilled occupations are not allowed under this permission).

    ・The permission is required to renew if his/her employer is changed.

    ・If a foreigner with the status of residence of "Dependent" is seeking to enter employment and earn more than his/her supporter, permission will not be granted in principle. In such case, a foreigner needs to change his/her status of residence to any suitable working visa.

    ・A foreigner with the status of residence of "Student" is able to obtain permission if:
    A) the intended activities are for compensating school expenses, and
    B) the intended activities have a close relation with his/her major in university, or it is considered to be appropriate in general societal terms that the contents of part-time jobs are usually undertaken by students.

Certificate of Qualification for Employment

  • A foreigner who is officially permitted to work in Japan is able to apply for the certification.

  • The certificate is a document to verify that a foreigner is able to engage in the intended working activities.

  • The certificate includes the details of the working activities that a foreigner is able to engage in.

  • If a foreigner is planning to change his/her job with the current status of residence, both the employer and the foreigner are able to confirm that the foreigner is legally able to engage in the intended working activities in advance by obtaining this certificate. Moreover, if the certificate is issued to a foreigner, the foreigner may go through his/her next application procedures of the "Permission for Extension of Period of Stay" smoothly.

Certificate of Eligibility for a Status of Residence

  • "Certificate of Eligibility" is issued before a visa application as evidence that the foreign national meets the conditions for landing in Japan, including the requirements that the activity in which the foreign national wishes to engage in Japan under a status of residence (excluding Temporary Visitor Status) such as "Status of Worker" or "Status of Family Relationship".
    ※ The statuses of residence of "Diplomat", "Official", "Temporary Visitor" and "Permanent Resident" are excluded from the "Certificate of Eligibility" system.

  • A foreign national in possession of a "Certificate of Eligibility" can get a visa issued more easily at an embassy or consulate. Furthermore, there is the advantage that if the certificate is shown to the immigration officer at the time of the landing application, the foreign national can more easily demonstrate that their status of residence conforms to the conditions for landing in Japan. (*"Certificates of Eligibility" is valid for only 3 months after it is issued, and it will become invalid if the applicant cannot enter Japan during this period.) -List of Embassies-

  • Applications for "Certificates of Eligibility" are generally made by a representative/agent of the applicant or may be processed by administrative solicitor authorized by the Minister of Justice.

  • Even the visa application can be made directly to the embassy or consulate without this certificate, but please be aware of the fact that in this case the processing will take a longer time.

Denial of Landing

  • A person who has been convicted of a violation of any law or regulation of Japan, or of any other country, and has been sentenced to imprisonment with or without work for 1 year or more shall be denied permission to land in Japan.

  • A person who has been convicted of a violation of any law or regulation of Japan or of any other country relating to the control of narcotics, marijuana, opium, stimulants or psychotropic substances, and has been sentenced to a penalty shall be denied permission to land in Japan.

  • A person who has departed from Japan under a departure order shall be denied permission to land in Japan for the period of 1 year from the date of departure.

  • A person who has been deported from Japan shall be denied permission to land in Japan for the period of 5 years from the date of deportation.

  • A person who has been deported from Japan and who has previously been deported from Japan or has departed from Japan under a departure order before the aforesaid date of deportation shall be denied permission to land in Japan for the period of 10 years from the date of deportation.

Individual Number (My Number)

  • Foreigners registered as residents in Japan are assigned the “My Number”.

  • Foreigners who enter Japan will receive the “My Number” at the time of resident registration.

  • The “My Number” is required to present when filing a tax return and sending/receiving money to/from foreign countries. The “My Number” is also required to present to an employer for tax and social security purposes.

  • Once foreigners obtain the “My Number”, the same number is applied throughout their life.

  • The “My Number” is still valid when foreigners move to foreign countries and reenter Japan. 

  • The “My Number Card” serves as an official identification card like a residence card.

  • Whether to obtain the “My Number Card” is optional. There is no application period set for the “My Number Card”.

Revocation of Status of Residence

The Minister of Justice may revoke the status of residence if a foreign national is under any of the following conditions without justifiable reason;

*1excluding a child of a Japanese national or a child of a permanent resident

  • ​If a foreign national who has newly become a mid- to long term resident, or is a mid- to long term resident has failed to notify his/her place of residence to the Minister of Justice within 90 days from the day on which he/she obtained said permit or moved out of his/her former domicile.

Notifications to Immigration Services Agency

Matters to be Notified Current Status of Residence Procedures

・Change of Occupation

・Change of Name/Address of Organization

・Extinguishment of Organization

・H.S.P (i) (a)/(b)

H.S.P (ii) (a)/(b)

Engineer/Specialist in

Humanities/International Services

Researcher

・Nursing Care

Skilled Labor

Entertainer

Notification of Contracting Organization

Change of Occupation

Change of Name/Address of Organization

Extinguishment of Organization

H.S.P (i) (c)

H.S.P (ii) (c)

Professor

Business Manager

Legal/Accounting Services

Medical Services

Education

Intra-Company Transferee

Technical Intern Training

Student

Trainee

Notification of Organization for Activity
・Divorce from/Death of Spouse

Spouse or Child of Japanese National

Spouse or Child of Permanent

Resident

Dependent

Notification of Spouse

H.S.P: Highly Skilled Professional