Permanent Resident Visa in Japan – How-to Apply Guide and Explanation of Highly Skilled Foreign Professional Point System

Posted by on December 10, 2019 – Life in Japan
Permanent Resident Visa in Japan – How-to Guide and Explanation of Point Counting System

Looking to apply for permanent residency in Japan but clueless about how to do so?

In this blog, we will explain to you how everything works and share with you how you can calculate your points based on the Highly Skilled Professional scale!  Many articles on the internet do not do a thorough job of explaining who is eligible to apply for permanent residence in Japan – or when they are eligible.

Read this article to find out whether or not you can apply for the highly skilled track – and get your permanent residence in Japan.

 

What does Permanent Residence in Japan grant you? 

By obtaining permanent residency in Japan, you are granted the availability of preferential and more advantageous treatment. You would instantly get more benefits as compared to foreign nationals with other statuses of residences. With a permanent resident visa, you will no longer have any restrictions on a certain status holder’s activities or periods of stay.

To sum up, the benefits of being a Permanent Resident include the following:

  • No restrictions to engage in any kind of employment or activities

  • No need for visa renewal, because the Permanent Resident visa allows an unlimited duration of stay

  • Easier to get public housing loans or financing from a bank

 

Who is eligible to apply for Permanent Residence in Japan?

There are mainly 4 categories of people who are eligible to apply for the Permanent Resident visa.

  1. Foreign nationals who have lived in Japan for 10 years or more
  2. Foreign nationals who have a spouse of Japanese Nationality
  3. Foreign nationals who have lived in Japan for 3 years or more, and scored a minimum of 70 points on the Highly Skilled Foreign Professional scale*
  4. Foreign nationals who have lived in Japan for 1 year or more, and scored a minimum of 80 points on the Highly Skilled Foreign Professional scale*

Confused about this?  Don’t worry – We will be explaining more for point number 3 and 4 in this blog!

 

What is the Highly Skilled Foreign Professional scale* and How does it work?

The Highly Skilled Foreign Professional scale refers to the Points Calculation for foreign nationals who qualify as a Highly Skilled Professional (HSP) under one of the following three categories:

  1. Advanced academic research activities
  2. Advanced specialized / technical activities
  3. Advanced business management activities
highly skilled professional foreign national hsp points calculation table

Points Calculation Table for Highly Skilled Foreign Professional

You can refer to this link for the PDF version of the points calculation table above.

 

The points calculation system consists of a few mandatory categories and bonus categories where you can score points.

  • The mandatory categories include Academic Background, Professional Career, Annual Salary, and Age.
  • There are also 13 other categories that can give you bonus points, such as passing the JLPT N1 test, getting a degree from a Japanese institution of higher education, and more.

The relaxation of the permanent residence requirements could be confusing.

Below we have included infographics that hopefully will clear it up.

To qualify as an HSP, you could either possess an HSP visa already and have lived in Japan for the set duration, OR prove with your points that you score based on the table.

One important thing to note! For foreign nationals who have stayed in Japan for 3 years or more, and scored at least 70 points 3 years BEFORE and AT THE TIME of their application for permanent residence, they would either

  • have an HSP visa during those 3 years or more of stay in Japan; OR
  • prove with their points that they qualify as an HSP, and have a working visa that allows a minimum period of stay of 3 years AT THE TIME of application 

*This applies exactly to foreign nationals who have stayed in Japan for 1 year or more, and scored at least 80 points 1 year BEFORE and AT THE TIME of their application.

To better illustrate this, let’s take a look at the example below of 2 people, who are HSPs under Advanced specialized / technical activities:

Alex

December 2019: AT THE TIME of application 

(Qualifications – Points)

Master’s Degree – 20

Passed JLPT N2 – 10

30 years old – 10

Annual salary of 6 million yen – 20

6 years of work experience – 10

TOTAL score: 70

*With a score of 70 points at the time of application, Alex stands a chance at applying for permanent residence under the 3 years and 70 points criteria. Let’s take a look at her qualifications 3 years ago.

 

December 2016: 3 years BEFORE application

Master Degrees – 20

Passed JLPT N2 – 10

27 years old – 15

Annual salary of 5 million yen – 15

3 years of work experience – 5

TOTAL score: 65

*As Alex only has 65 points 3 years before the application, she DOES NOT satisfy the 70 points criteria to apply for permanent residence under the 3 year guideline.

 

Ben

December 2019: AT THE TIME of application

Master’s Degree – 20

7 years of work experience – 15

Passed JLPT N1 – 15

30 years old – 10

Annual salary of 5 million yen – 15

Acquired degree from a Japanese institution of higher education – Bonus 10

TOTAL score: 85

*With a score of 85 points at the time of application, Ben stands a chance at applying for permanent residence under the 1 year and 80 points criteria. Let’s take a look at his qualifications 1 year ago.

 

December 2018: 1 year BEFORE application

Master’s Degree – 20

6 years of work experience – 10

Passed JLPT N1 – 15

29 years old – 15

Annual salary of 5 million yen – 15

Acquired degree from a Japanese institution of higher education – Bonus 10

TOTAL score: 85

*Ben has a score of 85 points 1 year before the application, hence he SATISFIES the criteria to apply for permanent residence.

 

Documents needed for Permanent Resideney Application

Once you have scored enough points under the HSP scale, you can proceed with applying for the Permanent Resident visa in Japan.

The following consists of the documents you will need to for your application and for proving your scored points:

  • Permanent Residence application form
  • 4cm x 3cm photo
  • Certificate of residence
  • Proof of employment
  • Proof of income
  • Copy of ID page in passport
  • Copy of front and back of residence card
  • Tax records from the past 3 years
  • Copy of bank statement
  • Copy of relevant degrees 
  • Copy of relevant JLPT certificate
  • Guarantor letter (your guarantor must be of Japanese nationality)
  • Guarantor employment certificate
  • Guarantor proof of income
  • Guarantor residence certificate

 

Application Fee and Waiting Time

The fee to apply is 8000 yen, while the official waiting time for your application to be processed can take anywhere from 4 months to one year.  You will pay the 8,000 yen stamp duty if your application is successful.  Recently the Japanese government has become stricter about the permanent residence application and reported wait times have grown from an average of 4-6 months to 7-8 months. We have also been hearing of people being rejected due to unpaid pension and public health insurance back payments.

 

Want to improve your Japanese language skills and pass the JLPT exam to increase your points? Check out our intensive courses in the link below now!

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