I’m Takashi Akeyama, a representative of the Niseko VISA & Immigration Support Centre. As the only administrative 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….
Foreigners who leave their wives and children in their home countries and come to Japan alone to work or study may feel lonely and think of their faraway families every day. They want to call their families to come and live with them as soon as possible after settling down in Japan. When you invite family members from your home country, the status of residence they obtain is “Dependent visa (Family stay)”. The following is a quick and easy one-minute checklist that will help you check whether or not you are eligible for this visa. If you are interested in “Dependent Visa”, or if you would like to obtain “Dependent Visa” status as soon as possible so that you can live in Japan with your whole family, we recommend that you use this checklist to check your situation first.
- Checklist of Requirements for “Dependent Visa”
- ①You have a Working Visa or Student Visa.
- ②If you have a Student visa, must be enrolled in a graduate school, university, junior college, technical college, or vocational school.
- ③The applicant has sufficient income and funds to maintain his/her lifestyle, including that of the family members to be brought in.
- ★If the applicant is a student.
- ④The person you wish to invite is your “spouse” or “child”.
- ⑤ If the applicant is a “child,” the child must be under 18 years old.
- ⑥ In the case of a “spouse,” the couple must be officially married.
- ⑦A house of sufficient size and layout to live with the applicant’s family
- In conclusion
Checklist of Requirements for “Dependent Visa”
For the “Dependent Visa” to be obtained when an applicant wishes to invite family members from the home country, the family members must live together with the applicant in Japan and be dependents of the applicant. Based on this, the following SEVEN items can be briefly summarized so that the requirements for obtaining this visa can be determined in a short time. Of course, since each applicant’s situation and conditions differ, it is necessary to hear the details, so it is impossible to say that this list will be 100% accurate. However, if at a minimum these six items are met, the application requirements are probably met.
①You have a Working Visa or Student Visa.
First of all, the person inviting family members must have either a working visa or student visa and must be living in Japan for the medium to long term. People on short-term stays or working holiday visas cannot invite family members.
②If you have a Student visa, must be enrolled in a graduate school, university, junior college, technical college, or vocational school.
Unfortunately, if you are enrolled in a Japanese language school, you are not allowed to bring your family over. This will not be permitted even if all other requirements are fulfilled.
③The applicant has sufficient income and funds to maintain his/her lifestyle, including that of the family members to be brought in.
For the Family Resident Visa, the family members to be brought in must live with the applicant in Japan and must be dependents of the applicant. Therefore, the applicant must have sufficient income and funds to support and sustain his/her family. It is possible for family visa holders to obtain permission to engage in activities other than those permitted under the status of residence. In that case, the maximum number of hours of work per week is 28 hours, so the amount of money they can earn is limited. Therefore, it is not possible to expect income from family members from the beginning in order to maintain a livelihood with this visa.
★If the applicant is a student.
Since the purpose of a foreign student is to study, his/her employment is limited to part-time work with a Permit to Engage in Activity other than that Permitted under the Status of Residence. The maximum number of hours worked per week is limited to 28 hours, and the amount of money that can be earned is also limited. Therefore, it is not possible to apply for a part-time job in Japan as if you have enough income to maintain your livelihood. Therefore, you will need to show that you have enough money to cover your tuition and living expenses through savings, remittances from your parents in your home country, scholarships, or other means. Specifically, the amount of money required is enough to cover the applicant’s living expenses and tuition for the duration of the applicant’s remaining years of study. For example, assuming that the applicant and his/her spouse live together, the applicant will need about 150,000-200,000 yen per month for living expenses plus tuition and fees for the remaining years of schooling. Although it depends on the school tuition, it is assumed that 3-4 million yen would be sufficient for one year of schooling.
④The person you wish to invite is your “spouse” or “child”.
⑤ If the applicant is a “child,” the child must be under 18 years old.
⑥ In the case of a “spouse,” the couple must be officially married.
Only “spouses” and “children” can be brought in on a Dependent Visa. Unfortunately, it is not possible to bring in parents. If you wish to bring your children, they must be under 18 years of age, in other words, minors. In addition, if you wish to bring your spouse, he/she must be officially married to you, and cannot be a common-law or de facto spouse. The applicant must provide an official document such as a marriage certificate or birth certificate from his/her home country to prove the authenticity of his/her relationship with the applicant.
⑦A house of sufficient size and layout to live with the applicant’s family
The Dependent Visa is granted on the premise that the applicant will live with the applicant in Japan. If it is found that the applicant does not live with the applicant, the visa may be revoked. Therefore, the applicant must have a residence with sufficient space and layout to live together. For example, it is difficult to try to invite a spouse and three children to a 20m2 studio apartment, or to invite a wife who is currently living in a 1LDK apartment with three male friends to live there. Using common sense, one might ask, “How are you going to live there?” If the size or living environment is so questionable that the applicant is asked to explain the situation by submitting additional documents during the screening process, or the application may be disapproved.
Regarding the Family Resident Visa, the family members to be brought to Japan must live with the applicant in Japan and must be dependents of the applicant. In addition, they must have enough income to support the family and a living environment sufficient to live in. If these conditions are fulfilled and can be proven with official documents, there is a possibility that an application will be granted.
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 inviting your family with Dependent visa, please feel free to contact us by phone or via the ‘Free Consultation Form‘ on our website. 60 min. free consulting is available on Monday to Friday from 10am-10pm.