Japan – Permanent Residence Requirements to Change for Highly Skilled Visa Holders

What has changed

The Ministry of Justice in Japan has announced measures to ease requirements to apply for permanent residence (PR) for those who have highly skilled professional visas.

Under the existing system, highly skilled professional visa holders, who have continuously engaged in activities as a highly skilled professional for at least four (4) years and six (6) months, are qualified to apply for permanent residence in Japan. If the newly announced measures are enacted, highly skilled professional visa holders will be able to apply for permanent residence without having to wait four (4) years and six (6) months.

The implementation date of this change has not yet been confirmed.

Who is affected?

  • Companies with employees who hold a highly skilled professional visa

What to expect

The points-based highly skilled professional visa was introduced in May 2012 to promote the entry of foreign professionals in Japan by offering preferential immigration treatment. The points awarded are based on specific criteria, such as “academic background”, “professional career”, and “annual salary”. If the individual’s total points are seventy (70) points or higher, the highly skilled professional visa will be granted.

The new policy will shorten the required duration that an individual must hold a highly skilled professional visa in order to qualify for the permanent residence application, from four (4) years and six (6) months to three (3) years, for those who have seventy (70) points under the highly skilled professional visa. Those who have eighty (80) points may only require one (1) year to qualify.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Emigra Worldwide can assist with permanent residence applications.
  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.