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Naturalization vs Permanent Resident

Permanent Resident

Advantages

  • Obtaining the privilege of an indefinite period of stay.

  • Obtaining the freedom to work for any employer in Japan.

  • Obtaining the eligibility for bank loan and student loan from Japanese financial institutions.

  • A spouse with the status of "Spouse or Child of Japanese National" cannot continue staying in Japan if the partner is deceased, or there is a family breakdown

  • An applicant can individually apply for the "Permanent Resident".

Disadvantages

  • No suffrage.

  • A permanent resident is still subject to deportation.

  • Most jobs for public service require Japanese citizenship.

Naturalization

Advantages

  • Obtaining Japanese citizenship.

  • Gaining the right to vote.

  • Travelling overseas becomes more convenient because many countries do not require visa for Japanese citizens.

Disadvantages

  • Losing your current citizenship.

  • He/She may face difficulties if he/she applies for repatriation after naturalization.

  • In principle, the naturalization should be applied by family unit.

Recommendation

Before deciding to apply for naturalization, a foreigner needs to carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a Japanese citizen versus a permanent resident.

If a foreigner has any possibility to return to reside in your home country in the future, and moreover, he/she is just aiming for stable life in Japan without any restriction in terms of the scope of his/her activities, he/she should decide to become a permanent resident in Japan.

On the other hand, a foreigner who is planning to remain in Japan over his/her lifetime should choose naturalization. Becoming Japanese citizens by naturalization would lead some people to feel "belong" to Japanese society and culture. Consequently, he/she may be able to achieve the harmonization with Japanese in a shorter period.