We often receive inquiries about applications for permanent residence permits. Many applicants believe that having legally resided in Japan for ten years or more is a sufficient condition to obtain permanent resident status. Many of our clients are unaware of the “independent livelihood requirement.” To prove that you meet the independent livelihood requirement, you must submit a certificate of taxation or a certificate of tax payment of residence tax. The following describes the tax-related documents required when applying to become a permanent resident from various other residency permit statuses.
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Application for a permanent residence permit from a work-related status
When applying to change residence status from a work-related permit to a permanent residence permit, the applicant is required to submit a tax payment certificate showing the last five years of his/her income and income tax payments plus his/her dependents’ income and income tax payments for the previous 5 years.
Application for a permanent residence permit from the status of Spouse or Child of Japanese National or Spouse or Child of a permanent resident.
When applying to change residence status from Spouse or Child of Japanese national to a permanent residence permit, a certificate showing the applicant’s and his/her dependents’ income and tax payments for the last 3 years are required. The same requirement applies to applications to change status from Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident to Permanent Resident status.
Application by Highly skilled foreign professionals.
Those with the status of Highly Skilled Professional （高度専門職） with 80 points or more at the time of application for a permanent residence permit are required to submit documents proving the income and tax payment status of the applicant for the most recent one-year period.
Those with the status of Highly Skilled Professionals with 70 points or more at the time of application for a permanent residence permit are required to submit documents certifying the income and tax payment status of the applicant for the most recent 3 years are required.
The above requirement is not restricted to “Highly skilled professionals” （高度専門職）. Those with another status of residence, such as: Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services（技術・人文知識・国際業務）or Spouse or Child of Japanese National（日本人の配偶者等）) who have 70 to 80 points and have been continuously residing as a “Highly skilled foreign professionals” （高度人材外国人） for 3 years (with 70 points or more) or 1 year (with 80 points or more) are also eligible to apply for permanent residence with submission of correct income tax documentation.
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Of course, some clients’ situations are a combination of those presented above. Such cases present complex questions. Take, for example, a highly skilled foreign professional with over 80 points who have a non-Japanese wife and has lived in Japan for more 5 years. To apply for a permanent residence permit as a household, how many years of income and tax payment certification is he/she required to submit with their application? Here at Legal Associates Boston, we provide consulting services to address such complex cases and are tailored to each client’s specific situation.
Permanent residence does not happen in a day.
Even if you have lived in Japan for ten years, there are cases where permanent residence is not granted. It is essential to understand the requirements for a permanent residence permit application beforehand and to continue living in Japan with an awareness of fulfilling the requirements. We hope that your life in Japan will be blessed with fruitful experiences.
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure that the information on this article is accurate at the time of posting, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ. If you do require advice or wish to find out more about the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.
Text by: Masayo Boston (Certified Administrative Procedure Legal Specialist), December 2022
Legal Associates Office Boston (Fukuoka City)
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