Period of stay allowed by status of residence in Japan

6/29/2021 Updated

The period of stay is one of the most important things to check when hiring foreign nationals. In Japan, there are 2,576,622 mid- to long-term foreign residents (as of the end of June 2020). Foreign nationals residing in Japan for the mid- to long-term cannot stay and work in Japan unless they are granted a status of residence (working visa). There are various types of status of residence, and work is possible within the scope of the status. The period of stay is determined by the status of residence and must be renewed before the expiration date. In this article, I will explain about status of residence and period of stay.

The period of stay is determined by the status of residence.

Foreigners who wish to stay in Japan for a medium to long period of time must obtain a status of residence. Once you have obtained a status of residence, you will be issued a resident card (resident card) by the Immigration and Refugee Management Agency.

Foreigners who have obtained a status of residence are allowed to work within the permitted scope. However, each status of residence has an expiration date, and the period of stay is different for each status. Once the expiration date has passed, you cannot stay in Japan and cannot work.

On the front of your residence card, you will find the “expiration date of your period of stay” and the “expiration date of your residence card. Companies that employ foreign nationals should be sure to check this information.

Source: What is a resident card? Immigration and Residence Management Agency” http://www.moj.go.jp/isa/applications/guide/whatzairyu.html

Period of stay for each status of residence

The status of residence is divided by activity, and the period of stay varies.

status of residence (in Japan) corresponding case period of stay
diplomacy Ambassadors, ministers, consuls general, members of delegations, etc. of foreign governments and their families Period of diplomatic activity
official Employees of embassies and consulates of foreign governments, persons dispatched by international organizations on official business, and their family members. 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, March, 30 days, 15 days
Professor University professors, etc. 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, March
The Arts Composers, painters, writers, etc. 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, March
Religion Missionaries dispatched by foreign religious organizations, etc. 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, March
news Reporters and cameramen of foreign media organizations 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, March
highly specialized profession No. 1: Advanced human resources through a point system 5 years
No. 2: Advanced human resources through a point system indefinite
Management and administration Business owners and managers 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, March
Legal and accounting services Lawyers, CPAs, etc. 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, March
medical care Doctors, dentists, nurses 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, March
Research Researchers from government agencies, private companies, etc. 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, March
Education Language teachers at junior high, high school, etc. schools, etc. 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, March
Technical, humanities, and international services Engineers in mechanical engineering, interpreters, designers, language teachers in private companies, marketing professionals, etc. 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, March
corporate intra-company transfer Transferees from foreign offices 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, March
care (certified) care worker 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, March
show business Actors, singers, dancers, professional athletes, etc. 3 years, 1 year, June, March, 15 days
ability Cooks of foreign cuisines, sports leaders, pilots of aircraft, fabricators of precious metals, etc. 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, March
specific skill No. 1: Foreigners who are engaged in work requiring skills that require a considerable degree of knowledge or experience in a specific industrial field 1 year, June, April (maximum total of 5 years)
No. 2: Foreigners who are engaged in work requiring skilled trades in specific industrial fields 3 years, 1 year, June
technical training No. 1: First year of technical internship Period individually designated by the Minister of Justice (1 year or less)
No. 2: 2nd and 3rd year technical intern trainees who have completed Technical Internship No. 1 and passed the evaluation test Period individually designated by the Minister of Justice (2 years or less)
No. 3: 4th and 5th year technical intern trainees who have completed Technical Internship No. 2 and passed the evaluation test Period individually designated by the Minister of Justice (2 years or less)
Cultural Activities Researchers of Japanese culture, etc. 3 years, 1 year, June, March
short stay Tourists, conference participants, etc. A period of time based on days within 90, 30, or 15 days.
studying abroad (usu. at university level) Students at universities, junior colleges, vocational schools, high schools, junior high schools, and elementary schools 4 years, March, 4 years; 3 years, March, 3 years; 2 years, March, 2 years; 1 year, March, 1 year; June, March
Training Trainees (excluding Technical Internship 1 and Study Abroad) 1 year, June, March
dependent (e.g. in a family) Spouse and children supported by a foreign resident 5 years, 4 years, March, 4 years, 3 years, March, 3 years, 2 years, March, 2 years, 1 year, March, 1 year, June, March
specific activity Domestic servants such as diplomats, working holidaymakers, foreign nurse and care worker candidates based on economic partnership agreements, etc. 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, 6 months, 3 months, or a period designated by the Minister of Justice (5 years or less)
permanent resident Persons who have been granted permission for permanent residence by the Minister of Justice (excluding “special permanent residents” under the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act). unlimited
Spouse of a Japanese national, etc. Spouse, child, or specially adopted child of a Japanese national 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, June
Spouse of a permanent resident, etc. Spouses of Permanent Residents and Special Permanent Residents and children born in Japan who continue to reside in Japan 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, June
long-term resident Refugees settled in third countries, third-generation Japanese Americans, Japanese who have remained in China, etc. 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, 6 months, or a period designated by the Minister of Justice (5 years or less)
Source: List of status of residence, Immigration and Residence Management Agency, http://www.moj.go.jp/isa/applications/guide/qaq5.html

You must apply for the renewal of your status of residence before the expiration date. If you do not renew, your status of residence will be revoked.

The period of stay for “permanent residents” is indefinite, but the residence card itself has an expiration date. Even if you are a permanent resident, you need to be careful because you will become an illegal resident or illegal worker when your residence card expires.

As for the timing of renewing your resident card, you can apply for most statuses of residence from three months before the expiration date. For most statuses, you can apply three months before the expiration date.

How long does it take to apply for status of residence?

It takes about one to three months to obtain a status of residence. The application must be made in Japan, and a “Certificate of Eligibility” must first be issued. In most cases, the host company in Japan will handle the application for the Certificate of Eligibility, and after the certificate is issued, it will be mailed to the prospective foreigner living abroad.

After receiving the certificate of eligibility by mail, the foreigner must present it along with other documents at the Japanese embassy or consulate abroad, and apply for a visa before coming to Japan. A resident card showing the status of residence and the period of stay will be sent to the foreigner upon arrival in Japan or at a later date.

Please note that the “Certificate of Eligibility” has an expiration date. Please note that even if you have been issued a visa, it will not be valid unless you enter Japan within three months of the issuance of the “Certificate of Eligibility.

Be careful not to let your period of stay expire!

When hiring foreign workers, pay attention to their period of stay. If you allow a foreign worker whose period of stay has expired to work, it is considered illegal employment. Employers are required to check the resident card, so if you are found to be working illegally, you will most likely be charged with “encouraging illegal employment.

Make a copy of your residence card.

Be sure to check your resident card and keep a copy. Even after employment, it is advisable to check the status of your resident card from time to time using the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s “Residence Card Number Expiration Information Inquiry.

If you are in the process of renewing your stay, your stay will be extended.

If you are in the process of “applying for extension of period of stay” or “applying for permission to change status of residence,” your period of stay will be extended by two months even if it has expired. In such a case, the back of your resident card will say “Application for permission to change resident status” and you will not be required to work.

Finally.

Each status of residence has its own expiration date, and once the expiration date has passed, the foreigner is no longer allowed to stay in Japan. Since they will no longer be allowed to work, this is an important thing to check when hiring foreign nationals. When hiring a foreigner, do not neglect to check the expiration date on the resident card (resident card). Even after employment, it is necessary to regularly check the expiration date using the “Residence Card Number Expiration Information Inquiry” to prevent illegal employment.

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