Japan Permanent Residency (PR): Is it right for you?

If you’re planning on applying for permanent residency in Japan, it’s crucial to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of doing so. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect:

Advantages of Japan Permanent Residency:

  • No restriction on the kind of activities you can engage in: With permanent residency, you’re free to pursue any activities you wish without any limitations.
  • No more visa renewal: Unlike other visas, a permanent residency visa is valid for life, so you don’t have to worry about making visa renewal applications.
  • Easier to get loans from Japanese banks: Being a permanent resident in Japan can help you qualify for loans at Japanese banks due to your long-term commitment to residing in the country.

Disadvantages of Japan Permanent Residency:

  • Potential tax implications: You will be subject to individual tax not only on income earned within Japan (domestic source income), but also on income earned outside of Japan (foreign source income). See more about this below.

The requirements that must be satisfied for Permanent Resident visa application in Japan include :

  • Good behavior and conduct: ensuring no criminal records or traffic offenses and paying taxes.
  • Having sufficient assets or an ability to make an independent living: an established career or adequate savings.
  • Satisfying all the requirements to maintain the current visa status: maintaining appropriate employment in case of a work visa, for example.
  • 10 years of consecutive residence in Japan: including at least 5 years of residence under a work visa or family status.
  • Currently having the longest period of stay.
  • Having paid taxes and contributions to the official Japanese social security system during the required period and respected the payment deadlines at all times.
  • Having submitted all the required notifications to the Immigration Office.
  • Having a guarantor to support the application.
  • Having stayed physcially in Japan for more than 6 months in total in a 12 month period prior to and during the application process.

If you do not meet the 10-year consecutive residence requirement, there are some other exceptions that could potentially apply to you. These exceptions include:

  • Spouses of Japanese nationals and Permanent Residents having been married for more than 3 years and lived more than one year consecutively in Japan.
  • Children of Japanese nationals and Permanent Residents having lived more than one year consecutively in Japan.
  • Holder of Long Term Resident visa or Refugee status having lived more than 5 years consecutively in Japan.
  • Applicants who score 70 or 80 points in the Point Calculation Table at the time of application and at all times during the most recent 3 years of residency leading up to the application.
  • More than 5 years of consecutive residency in Japan for those who have been recognized for making a considerable contribution to - Japan in diplomatic, social, economical and cultural fields.
  • When you apply for a Permanent Resident visa, you will need a guarantor who must be a Japanese national or Permanent Resident visa holder. The guarantor has a moral obligation to support applicants but is not legally responsible for any of their actions or fees.

In terms of taxation, residents of Japan are divided into two categories, which have nothing to do with the actual visa type:

  • permanent residents
  • non-permanent residents

In terms of taxation, a permanent resident is defined as either a Japanese national or a resident of non-Japanese nationality who has lived in Japan for more than five of the previous ten years. Regardless of whether your actual visa status is permanent resident or not, you are subject to individual tax not only on income earned within Japan (also known as domestic source income) but also on income earned outside of Japan (also known as foreign source income).

Non-permanent residents, on the other hand, are subject to income tax in Japan only on their domestic source income and any foreign source income paid in or remitted to Japan.

To summarize, permanent residency in Japan has its pros and cons, including tax implications and a set of requirements that applicants must fulfill. While it also comes with some disadvantages, the benefits of having permanent residency in Japan, such as greater freedom and no visa renewal, can make it a worthwhile option for those without significant income sources outside Japan.

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