Q What are the conditions for changing or extending the status of residence?
A Newest guideline is as following.
The Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act (“Immigration Control Act”) stipulates permission for change of status of residence and extension of period of stay shall be granted only when there are reasonable grounds to allow the Minister of Justice to deem it appropriate to do so.
In other words, “whether or not there are reasonable grounds” is left to the discretion of the Minister of Justice. However, this is too vague, so the Immigration Services Agency has published the following guidelines.
Guidelines for Permission for Change of Status of Residence and Extension of Period of Stay
1. Activities in which an applicant intends to engage must correspond to any status of
residence listed in the Appended Tables of the Immigration Control Act.
2. Applicants must conform to the landing permission criteria provided for by Ordinance
of the Ministry of Justice, etc.
3. Applicants must have engaged in activities that are in accordance with the current status of residence.
※. For example, a technical intern trainee who has absconded or an foreign student who has stayed in Japan after being expelled from or leaving school and engaged in activities not in accordance with their status of residence is evaluated negatively except in cases where there is a justifiable reason for doing so.
4. Applicants must have good behavior.
5. Applicants must have sufficient assets or ability to make an independent living.
※However, even in the case where an applicant’s living situation is a burden to the public, when there are humanitarian reasons to grant permission to stay in Japan, the decision will be made giving due consideration to such reasons.
6. Proper employment and working conditions must be met.
※When it is found that recommendations have been made due to violation of any
labor-related law, it is generally considered that the relevant foreign national as an applicant
should not be held responsible for such violation, and the decision will be made giving due
consideration to such fact.
7. Tax obligations must be fulfilled.
※In the case of applicants who are obliged to pay taxes, they must fulfill their tax payment obligations.
8. Obligations provided by the Immigration Control Act, including notification obligations, must be fulfilled.
※Foreign nationals who reside in Japan under a status of residence listed in the Immigration Control Act for a medium to long term must fulfill their obligations provided by related acts or described on the residence card etc.
Foreign nationals staying in Japan under a status of residence listed in the Immigration
Control Act for a medium to long term who do not fall under any of the following items
(1) Those who are granted permission to stay “within 3 months”
(2) Those who are granted permission to acquire the status of residence as a “temporary
(3) Those who are granted permission to acquire the status of residence as a “diplomat”
(4) Those who are specified as foreign nationals corresponding to the above (1)-(3) by
Ordinance of the Ministry of Justice
(5) Special permanent residents
Reference home page: Immigration service Agency of Japan