I’m Takashi Akeyama, a representative of the Niseko VISA & Immigration Support Centre. As the only Administrative scrivener(行政書士) office in Hokkaido specializing in VISA & Immigration and tourism, we help foreigners living in Hokkaido, mainly in Niseko, Otaru and Sapporo areas, to apply new or extend VISA, to change the status, such as working visas and spouse visas etc.

In this article, I will explain the application form for a Permanent Resident Visa, which is often requested by foreigners who wish to stay in Japan for long term. As explained in another article, in order to obtain a Permanent Resident visa, the applicant must have lived in Japan for a certain period of time. Therefore, newcomers to Japan cannot suddenly obtain a permanent residence visa. If you would like to know more about these requirements for a Permanent Resident visa, please read this article (Japanese and English versions). This article explains in detail how to fill in the application form.

Application form for Permanent Resident Visa

The application form for Permanent Resident is only used when applying for Permanent Residence. When you apply the Certificate of Eligibility, extend the duration of an existing visa or change the type of visa, the application form differed according to the type of visa. This time, there is only one type of application form for Permanent Resident, and everyone will use the same form to apply for it, regardless of the type of visa they currently have.

How to fill in the Application form

The following section explains the key points on how to fill in this application form. First of all, when you fill in the form, make sure that the information you provide is accurate and truthful. Also, do not dare to say anything that is inconvenient or unfavorable in order to hide it. Give the facts requested in the questionnaire exactly as they are. Fill in all the boxes and do not leave any blank. If there is nothing to fill in or it does not apply, write ‘none’. Otherwise, the assessor may not be able to decide whether you have simply forgotten to fill in the form or whether there is nothing to fill in, which could lead to an incorrect assessment and a false mark.

The First Page

(0) Photograph: 4 cm long, 3 cm wide.

Photo of the applicant only. / Frontal view without hat. / No background (including shadows) / Must be clear. / Taken within three months of the date of application / With the name on the back.

There are many detailed rules for photographs. If you take a photo in a photo studio with your details, you can be sure it will be taken correctly. Alternatively, you can take a photo with your smartphone and print it at a convenience store. If you do this, be sure to check the size, area and border settings when printing. Too big or too small is not acceptable. Most importantly, do not use old photos. If the photo is the same as your passport or previous residence card, you may not be able to apply. Don’t just take a photo – follow the instructions and prepare it properly.

(1) Nationality/region: please use the official name.Please note that countries are usually referred to by abbreviations, e.g. ‘People’s Republic of China’ for China, ‘United States of America’ for the USA, ‘Socialist Republic of Viet Nam’ for Viet Nam.  

(2) Date of birth: fill in the western calendar year.     

(3) Full name: Family name, given name, in the order in which they appear on the passport. For European and American nationals, who write their name first, be careful not to write in the wrong order. If the Chinese characters are also written in the passport, they should be written in Chinese characters as well.

4) Gender: enter the gender as it appears on the passport

5) Place of birth: fill in the name of the country and city.

6) Marital status:check whether you have a spouse who is officially married to you

7) Occupation: indicate current occupation.

8) Hometown / city:state the name of the country and city. Detailed addresses and street numbers need not be provided.

9) Address in Japan: enter the place where you live in Japan = the address shown on the residence certificate. Fill in your telephone number (home phone) and mobile phone number. If you do not have a home telephone, enter ‘none’.

(10) Passport: (1) Passport number (2) Date of expiration in Western calendar year.

(11) Current status of residence: enter the name of the status of residence currently held, the period of stay and the date of expiry of the period of stay.

(12) Residence card number

(13) Criminal Record (in Japan/overseas)

If you have a criminal record, please tick ‘Yes’.

★The Immigration office has a database, so they can check all criminal records by themselves. However, they dare applicants to declare his/her criminal record. In other words, it can be said that the applicant is checked to ensure that he/she has not written any lies, has not concealed anything and has filled in the facts accurately.

(14) Reason for applying Permanent Resident

As there are only two lines in this column, it should be briefly summarized here and detailed on a separate sheet of paper, see Statement of Reasons for more information. For more information on how to write a statement of reasons, please refer to this article.

(15)Past entry / departure from Japan with nationality/region, name and date of birth different from above-mentioned.

If “Yes”, provide nationality, name, date of birth and most recent date of entry or departure.

(16)Personal History

The educational and employment history of the applicant since entering Japan. There are only six lines, if there are lot of information to fill in, attach a separate sheet, and stating ‘See separate sheet’.

Period of residence after new arrival :The total number of years of residence in Japan should be stated here. Generally, 10 years or more for working visa holder, 3 years or more for spouse of Japanese, 1 or 3 years for highly skilled professionals. For more information about residence requirements in Japan, see this article.

Date of mariage:Enter the registered date the marriage. Those applying for permanent residence as the spouse of a Japanese national have stayed in Japan for at least three years since marriage. Or, the marriage must have lasted at least three years, of which the most recent one year must be in Japan. Counting of 3 years starts from this date.

The Second Page

17)Main householder

(1) Relationship with the applicant,

Check the relationship of the main household income earner (= dependent). In the case of a non-married person, this should be the ‘self’. For those married with a Japanese or a foreigner, you should be ‘self’. Or if you are dependent on your spouse, you it should be  ‘husband’ or ‘wife’. If a child is applying for permanent residence, it is either ‘father’ or ‘mother’.

(2) Place of employment

The name, branch name, address, and telephone number of the company that main householder is employed.

(3)Annual Income

Enter the amount of income shown on the taxation and tax payment certificate.

The Immigration office does not publish a clear standard amount for this annual income. However, it is generally 3 million yen for one person and an additional 400,000 yen per person if there are dependents, which is the standard for approval.

18)Family in Japan or co-residents

Fill in the form if any of the “father, mother, spouse, children, siblings, grandparents, aunts/uncles, uncles/aunts, etc.” listed as examples are in Japan. Also, the person(s) living with the applicant must be written.

Enter the relationship, name, date of birth, nationality/region, whether or not they plan to live with you, the name of their place of work or school, and their residence card number/special permanent resident certificate number. If you have too many relatives to fill in this column, please attach a separate sheet of paper, and fill in all the information accurately and without omission.

★The Immigration office has a database, so they can check all the family members and co-residents. However, they dare to make you fill in and report on the application form. This is also a check to ensure that the facts are declared accurately and without false.

19)Guarantor in Japan

(1) name; (2) nationality and region; (3) address, telephone number and mobile number; (4) occupation; and (5) relationship to applicant.

*A guarantor is always required for Permanent Resident applications. This must be a Japanese or, in the case of a foreigner, a person with Permanent Residence status. The guarantor should generally have a regular job and a stable income. The main householder may be the same person as the Japanese spouse.

20) Legal Representative

(1)name(2)relationship with applicant(3)address、Tel. No., Cellphone No.

The applicant of Permanent Resident must be living in Japan, so, the document should be filled in and signed (signed) by the applicant, not by a representative. In this case, 20) does not need to be filled in. When applying for Permanent Resident for young children together with their parents, the parent or guardian may act as a representative.

Finally, the applicant (the foreigner applying for Permanent Resident himself/herself) signs the application in his/her own handwriting and the date the application was made.

In conclusion

in this article, I’ve explained how to fill in the application form for a Permanent Resident. The application form is only two pages, it is sufficient to state the facts accurately and honestly. As you will be submitting a separate CV and certificate of residence etc., you must be very careful to avoid any difference or inconsistencies with these documents. The annual income of the main householder is very important as it directly affects whether a Permanent Resident permission, so make sure you fill in the form correctly.

The Niseko VISA & Immigration Support Centre help and support foreign nationals who are trying to overcome language, cultural and custom barriers and live as a member of Japanese society. If you have any questions or enquiries about this article, or about the conditions or procedural aspects of applying for Permanent Residence, please feel free to contact us by phone or via the ‘Free Consultation Form’ on our website.