There are several qualifications in order to apply for the Permanent Residency Visa. Aside from the number of years spent in Japan, which can be as short as 1 and as long as 10, there are several other important factors that come into play when it comes to the screening of potential future permanent residents. You can find many of the known criteria below.
You can also find the potential reasons as to why your application got rejected on this page.
1. You must have shown a good behavior during your time in Japan
When filing in the various documents (see the list here), you will have to write about your criminal past in Japan. This means that you will have to disclose any arrests and traffic infractions. Too many traffic infractions can hinder your chances to receive the visa, as it means that you have not assimilated well and are not able to respect the rules and laws of Japan. In some cases, even one traffic violation may mean a rejected visa application. Note that they will usually only look up for the past 5 years for traffic violation.
Normally, any type of arrest leading to imprisonment will make you lose the chances to receive a Permanent Visa. However, some minor cases may still be accepted depending on what and when it happened, but the chances are extremely low.
Having overstayed your visa can also cause a problem. Even if you went to apologize and still received an extension, it doesn’t mean that you’re safe. When you overstay they will take note of that and it will be taken in consideration when applying for a Permanent Visa. Depending on the reason and time you overstayed, it may affect your chances to get the visa.
All in all, you need to be a good citizen who obeys the laws and regulations of Japan.
2. You must be financially stable
This means that you need to make enough money per year to support yourself, and your family if you have one in Japan. They will look at your and your spouse’s (if you are married) salary and assets.
If you are alone, your annual salary should be around 3 million yen. If you’re married, it is not only your income that counts but the entire yearly household income. If you only have a spouse, you should add 600,000 ~ 800,000 yen to the initial 3 million yen, and an additional 600,000 ~ 800,000 yen per child.
For example, if you are married and have two children, the yearly salary of your entire household should be between 4.8 and 5.4 million yen. But beware that the household is not the only important thing. They will look at the individual income and whether you are stable or not. It is entirely possible that you are within the acceptable range, yet not deemed qualified enough to receive your permanent visa.
The Immigration Office will not only look at your and your spouse’s salary, but also at your job’s stability. Changing jobs too often or working as at a baito instead of as an employee are potential reasons for a refusal. If you are married and one of you is completely stable with enough income, you should be able to receive your visa. However, if both of you are not in a stable working situation, your visa application may be rejected until your situation becomes more stable and they believe you can continue to support yourself in the long run.
Note that the Immigration Office will look up your salary from the past three years when applying, sometimes even up to four years. However, they may only look up to the past year of you have a Spouse Visa.
3. You must have performed your tax and other public obligations
Even if you are financially stable but somehow manage not to pay taxes legally, this may be a problem. Paying taxes to a country is one of the reasons that helps the country stay stable and use your money in the best of the public interest, so you also need to do your part. Failing to do so may get your application rejected.
There are ways of receiving your Permanent Residency Visa without paying taxes. One of the few acceptable ways is to be a house-wife, or in certain cases a house-man. If your spouse pays enough taxes for both of you that satisfy the demands of the ministry, you should be able to have your application approved.
Public obligations mean that you should pay for your National Health Insurance (NHI), pension,and other required social security systems. If for some reasons you did not pay for those yet, your application may be rejected. In order to pay, go to your local ward or city hall and ask them about it. You will likely have to pay for the last three years. If you are unable to pay, you can get payment facilities that drag the payment over a certain time span. Ask your local ward or city hall for more information.
4. You have obtained the longest period of stay allowed by your current visa
The current visa you’re holding should have the longest possible period of stay. For example, if you have a Spouse Visa (6 months, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years) and only obtained a 1-year visa each time you extended it, your application for a Permanent Visa will not be accepted. The reason why is that if you are not able to get a 3-year or a 5-year Spouse Visa after being here for 3 years (minimum time to apply for a permanent visa in this case), it means that there might be some kind of problem. Make sure to have a long period of stay or even the longest if possible before applying for your Permanent Visa.
5. Your permanent residence is in accordance with the public interest of Japan
What this means is that in giving you the Permanent Residency Visa, Japan recognizes that you will be beneficial to the Japanese society and economy. This requirement might seem kind of redundant, as having fulfilled every other requirement will mean that you should be worthy of receiving your visa. However, in addition to all the above it also means that you should not be seen as a burden to the public, and that you have assimilated as a member of the Japanese society.