1. General Information (Types of Status of Residence)

In order for foreigners to stay in Japan, it is necessary to obtain some kind of status of residence, except for those related to the U.S. military etc. In order to obtain a status of residence, a foreigner must be recognized as being engaged in a legally defined activity in Japan (Compatibility with Status of Residence). Some of the resident statuses require not only compatibility with status of residence but also with landing permission criteria.
A visa is issued by the Japanese embassy or consulate in your country before you enter Japan, and is used to confirm the legality of your passport and to recommend the legality of your entry and stay in Japan. On the premise that the visa exists, the foreigner will be granted a status of residence through an immigration inspection, and can stay in Japan legally. Depending on your nationality, you may be granted "Temporary Visitor" status at the time of entry even if you do not have the visa.

Website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

https://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/short/novisa.html(Exemption of Short Stay visa)
https://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/short/novisa.html(Work or long-term visa)

Types of Status of Residence

(1) Status eligible to work (2) Status ineligible to work
(a) Status not restricting type of work (b) Status restricting type of work
(Landing permission criteria is not necessary) (Permission is required to work.)
(Landing permission criteria is necessary)

“Designated Activities” are divided into work-allowed ones and non-work-allowed ones.

There are two types of status of residence: (1) work-allowed status and (2) non-work-allowed status.
(1) work-allowed status are divided into two categories: (a) unlimited work type and (b) restricted work type. (b) Some of the restricted work types require not only the compatibility with status of residence but also with landing permission criteria such as academic background and work experience.
(2) In order to work with non-work-allowed status , you need to obtain a permission to engage in another activity . Holders of “Student” and “Dependent” can work up to 28 hours per week (regardless of industry, except for adult entertainment industry).
The decision of the Immigration Bureau is illegal only when "the facts lack a basis or the evaluation of the facts is clearly unreasonable due to misidentification of material facts" (Supreme Court decision in the McLean case, October 4, 1978).

2. How to obtain resident status

(1) Application for issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility
Foreigners are allowed to stay in Japan once they have been admitted to the country by getting granted a status of residence. For that the following conditions must be met.
(a) Validity of passport and visa
(b) Non-falsity of the activity, compatibility with status of residence, and compliance with landing permission standards
(c) Conformity of Period of Stay
(d) Non-applicability of reasons for refusal of landing
Of the above, (b)compatibility with status of residence, and compliance with landing permission standardsis difficult to examine substantively at the time of entry into Japan, so in principle, it is treated as having been proven by submitting a certificate of eligibility to the immigration inspector. In addition the Certificate of Eligibility is also used as evidence for visa applications at the Japanese embassy or consulate in your country. The Certificate of Eligibility system is available for statuses other than "Temporary Visitor," "Permanent Resident," and "Long Term Resident(non-notified).
Application for a Certificate of Eligibility is made at the Immigration Bureau. Once the Certificate of Eligibility is issued by the Immigration Bureau, it will be mailed to the applicant in the applicant's home country.
The applicant will then go to the local embassy or consulate to obtain the visa, and present the visa and the Certificate of Eligibility when entering Japan.
There is another system similar to the Certificate of Eligibility System, which is The Visa Advance Consultation System. In the case of issuing a visa without using the Certificate of Eligibility system, it is not desirable to have a difference between the visa issuance examination conducted by the embassy or consulate(under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and the landing examination conducted by the Immigration(under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice). Therefore, in order to reconcile the two, the Ministry of Justice receives consultations from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding whether or not to issue visas to certain foreign nationals, and responds to these consultations after determining whether or not they meet the conditions for landing. The advance visa consultation system is used only in cases where it is difficult to use the Certificate of Eligibility. For example, if you plan to stay in Japan with the status of "Spouse or Child of Japanese National" and you do not have any relatives living in Japan, or if you cannot get the cooperation of your relatives, you should use the Advance Visa Consultation System.

(2) Acquisition of resident status
The acquisition of a status of residence is a process of granting a status of residence to a foreigner who will reside in Japan due to the occurrence of any of the following reasons, without having to go through immigration procedures. This is the process of granting a status of residence to a foreigner who will be staying in Japan due to the occurrence of any of the following reasons without having to go through immigration procedures.
Acquisition of status of residence is a process of granting status of residence to a foreigner who will be staying in Japan due to the occurrence of the following events without landing procedures.
(a) Birth
(b) Persons who have left the military of the Japan-US Status of Forces Agreement or the United Nations Status of Forces Agreement
(c) Renunciation (due to the entry into force of the Peace Treaty) or loss (due to the acquisition of foreign nationality) of Japanese nationality
It is possible to legally stay in Japan for 60 days after the occurrence of the above event. However, if you wish to stay longer than 60 days, you must apply for acquisition of status of residence within 30 days of the occurrence of the above event.
If your stay in Japan is illegal, you will have to apply for special permission to stay in Japan instead of applying for acquisition of status of residence.

(3) Change of Status of Residence / Extension of Period of Stay
a. The law states that the Minister of Justice may grant permission only when the Minister finds that there are reasonable grounds to grant the Change of Statue of Residence / the Extension of the Period of Stay. In this regard, it is judged to have reasonable grounds if there are compatibility with state of resident and with the landing permission criteria.
However, even if you do not meet the criteria for landing permission, Change of Status of Residence / Extension of Period of Stay may be permitted if you have "reasonable grounds" in consideration of humanitarian or other special reasons. For example, a foreigner who has divorced a Japanese national may be allowed to change his or her status of residence to "Long Term Resident" even though the Minister of Justice has not specified this in the public notice.
In addition, if the stepchild of a foreigner married to a Japanese national is an adult, he or she cannot enter Japan as a "permanent resident" because he or she does not meet the conditions specified by the Minister of Justice in the public notice, but even if he or she has reached adulthood at the time of the extension of the period of stay, he or she will be permitted as having "reasonable grounds”.
b. On the other hand, even if you meet the criteria for resident status and landing permission, you may be denied permission as there is no "reasonable cause" in consideration of the following circumstances.
In order to promote the enrollment in social insurance, you may be asked to present your insurance card when you apply, but the application will not be rejected(as of February, 2020).
(a) To have been engaged in activities in accordance with the status of residence.
(b) No bad behavior.
(c) To possess assets or skills sufficient to earn an independent living.
(d) Employment and working conditions must be appropriate.
If it is found that administrative guidance was given due to a violation of labor-related laws and regulations, the decision will be made with full consideration of the point that the applicant is usually not responsible for the violation.
(e) Fulfillment of tax payment obligations.
For example, the taxpayer is regarded to have neglected the obligation if he/she is sentenced for failure to pay tax. Even if you have not been sentenced, malicious cases such as non-payment of a large amount of money or non-payment for a long period of time will be treated in the same way.
(d) Fulfillment of obligations such as notification as stipulated in the Immigration Control Act
c. Timing to apply for Change of Status of Residence
An application for change of status of residence must be filed before engaging in activities that do not correspond to your current status of residence, and you will be able to engage in new activities after the change of status of residence is approved by receiving the new resident card.
For example, if a foreigner working at a company with “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services” wants to start a business, he or she can establish a company and make preparations for the business such as renting the office and making purchases, even before the change of status to "Business Manager" is approved, but the company can not be allowed to make any sales and the foreigner can’t be allowed to receive any executive compensation.
On the other hand, since the foreigner has the status of “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services " until the change of status to "Business Manager" is approved, he/she can apply for the change of status to "Business Manager" while still employed and can work at the company until the change is approved.
However, you will not be able to work at the company from the time your application for change of status of residence to "Business Manger" is approved, that is, from the time you receive your the resident card. Therefore, it is necessary to notify the company of your resignation at the latest when the change of status become sure to be approved by receiving the notice of result from the Immigration Bureau.
As mentioned above, it is possible to apply for change of status to "Business Manager" while you are still employed, but since you need to have resigned by the time the permit is granted, you should bring materials to prove your resignation, such as the form of separation from employment, when you receive the new resident card, and you should explain this in writing in the application.

Information publicized by the Ministry of Justice

https://www.moj.go.jp/isa/content/930005096.pdf(Change of Status of Residence / Extension of Period of Stay)
https://www.isa.go.jp/en/publications/materials/nyukan_nyukan66.html(Rejected cases)

Introduction of lawyer(Gyouseishoshi)

Born in Ube City, Yamaguchi Prefecture in 1973. After graduating from the Faculty of Law, Sophia University, after working at Isuzu Motors Ltd., opened an lawyer(Gyouseishoshi) office in 2010 (registration was the previous year).
Qualifications are lawyer(Gyouseishoshi), Eiken 1st grade, financial planner (AFP), etc.
Gyouseishoshi is the lawyer or solicitor specializing in creating legal documents and administrative procedures such as the visa application, not the one such as the attorney and barrister representing people in court.


3-2-21 Maizuru, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka 810-0073 Streamline Maizuru 5th floor
6 minutes walk from Akasaka Station on Fukuoka Municipal Subway Airport Line
Fukuoka Immigration Bureau 1 minute walk, Fukuoka Notary Public Office 4 minutes walk


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