[Visa Application] Status of Residence for Spouses, Children, and Parents of Highly Skilled Professionals(高度専門職)

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Foreign nationals working in Japan with the status of “Highly Skilled Professional” may live in Japan with their family members. In addition to the spouse (wife/husband), family members can include children and, if certain conditions are met, parents. In addition to the “Dependent(家族滞在)” visa, the spouse (wife/husband) may also choose the status of ” Designated Activities (No. 33, Working Spouse of a Highly Skilled foreigner(特定活動(33号・高度専門職外国人の就労する配偶者)))”, which allows full-time employment. The “Highly Skilled Professional” visa is also the only one that allows a parent to accompany the foreign national, albeit on a conditional basis.
In this part, we will explain visas for family members of Highly Skilled Professionals.

There are two types of status of residence for spouses (wife/husband)

Unlike other working visas, the spouse (wife/husband) of a foreigner working in Japan with “Highly Skilled Professional” status can choose between “Dependent” and “Designated Activities (No. 33, Working Spouse of a Highly Skilled Foreigner)”.

Residing in Japan with “Dependent” status

This section explains the conditions and procedures for a spouse (wife/husband) to stay in Japan under the “Dependent” status.

Conditions for obtaining a “Dependent”

Dependent” is a status of residence (visa) to live a married life in Japan while receiving support from one’s spouse (wife/husband working as a “Highly Skilled Professional”). This status of residence (visa) basically does not allow the holder to work (part-time work within the scope of the “Permission to engage in activities other than those permitted under the status of residence(資格外活動許可)”, which will be explained next).

The requirements for obtaining a “Dependent” are as follows.

Conditions for applying for Dependent as a wife/husband
・Marriage must be true.
・Must be able to make a stable living .
・Must live together.

We are often asked, “How much salary do I need to earn in order to be allowed to live a stable life?” However, there is no clear published standard. The required annual income depends on the number of family members, assets, and other factors. If your current salary is sufficient to live with your family in Japan without any problems, there is generally no problem.
Some “rumors” that come to our office say that a monthly salary of 250,000 yen is necessary, but this information is generally false. Depending on the family structure, a monthly salary of 200,000 yen may be approved, while a monthly salary of 300,000 yen may be denied.

Permission to engage in activities other than those permitted under the status of residence

As explained earlier, “Dependent” cannot work. By obtaining a “Permission to engage in activities other than those permitted under the status of residence”, part-time work is possible as long as it is within the scope of the permit and within the limits of support.

There are two main types of “Permission to engage in activities other than permitted under the status of residence”: one called “blanket permission(包括許可)” and the other called “individual permission(個別許可)”. Many people obtain the “blanket permit” because they are told that they can work up to 28 hours per week.

If you obtain a blanket permission to engage in activities other than those permitted under the status of residence, you may engage in part-time work, including simple labor, in any industry not regulated by the Act on Control and Improvement of Amusement Business(風営法), for up to 28 hours per week. The “28 hours per week” means 28 hours or less per week at any time, no matter what day the week begins.
In addition, since “Dependent” is a status of residence for married life with the support of a spouse (wife/husband) working on a work visa, one should be careful not to earn too much. If your income exceeds your spouse’s income, you cannot be said to be receiving support, and if it exceeds the scope of support, you may not be allowed to renew your visa depending on the Immigration Service Agency. Please be careful.

Required Documents for Application

In the case of spouse (wife/husband)
・Application for Certificate of Eligibility(在留資格認定証明書交付申請書)/Application for permission to change status of residence (在留資格変更許可申請書)
・Photo
・Marriage certificate(結婚証明書)
・Documents proving the dependent’s occupation and income(Examples: certificate of employment (在職証明書),resident tax taxation (or tax exemption) certificate and tax payment certificate(住民税の課税・納税証明書))
・Presentation of passport / Residence card(In the case of application for change of status of residence)

※Click here for more information
※In addition to the above, documents may be submitted to provide additional information about your life and past residency status. The above information is the minimum required documentation.

Staying in Japan with the status of residence “Designated Activities (No. 33, Working Spouse of a Highly Skilled foreigner)”

The “Highly Skilled Professional” status of residence has preferential points, one of which is that a spouse (wife/husband) who lives in Japan with the applicant can work full-time within certain conditions.

Conditions for obtaining ” Designated Activities (No. 33, Working Spouse of a Highly Skilled foreigner)”.

In the case of a spouse of a “Highly Skilled Professional”, in addition to the “Dependent” status, which is restricted to working, the spouse may also apply for ” Designated Activities (No. 33, Working Spouse of a Highly Skilled foreigner)” which allows full-time work if the spouse’s place of employment is fixed at the time of application and the work falls under the status of residence “Researcher(研究)”, “Instructor(教育)”, “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services(技術・人文知識・国際業務)” or “Entertainer(興行)”. This status of residence does not allow an unlimited choice of jobs, but it does allow full-time employment without a limit of 28 hours per week. It is also not required to be within the scope of support, as is the case with the “Dependent” status.
To obtain the status of residence of “Researcher”, “Instructor“, “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services,” or “Entertainer,” there are requirements for academic and professional background, etc. However, there are no academic or professional background requirements when applying for “Designated Activities (No. 33, Working Spouse of a Highly Skilled foreigner)”. You must earn remuneration equal to or greater than that of a Japanese national and live together with your spouse (Highly Skilled Professional).

About the work you can work in
(1)Activities to engage in the business of conducting research
(2) Activities to provide language education and other education at elementary schools, junior high schools, high schools, secondary schools, special-needs schools, vocational schools, or other educational institutions equivalent in terms of facilities and organization in Japan
(3) Activities to engage in work that requires skills or knowledge in the natural sciences or humanities, or work that requires thinking or sensitivity based on foreign culture (excluding activities listed in the Research, Education, and Entertainment sections of the table in Appended Table 1-2 of the Immigration Control Act)
(4) Performing arts activities other than those pertaining to entertainment, which fall under any of the following
(a) Activities pertaining to the promotion of goods or business
(b) Activities pertaining to the production of broadcast programs (including cable broadcast programs) or movies
(c) Activities pertaining to the taking of photographs for commercial use
(d) Activities to make sound or video recordings on records, videotapes or other recording media for commercial use

If you work full time and meet the academic and work experience requirements, it is better to obtain a regular work visa. Please contact our office for more information.

Required Documents for Application

This status of residence cannot be applied for unless the place of employment has been decided.
Permission to engage in activities other than those permitted under the status of residence can be applied for even if the applicant “wants to work part-time somewhere” (the place of employment is undecided), but in the case of Designated Activities (No. 33), the application should basically be made after an employment contract is concluded.

In the case of spouse (wife/husband)
・Application for Certificate of Eligibility/Application for permission to change status of residence 
・Photo
・Marriage certificate(family register(戸籍謄本),marriage registration acceptance certificate(婚姻届け受理証明書), Marriage certificate(結婚証明書))
・A copy of the residence card or passport of the Highly Skilled Professional
・Documents that clarify that you will be living together with the Highly Skilled Professional *If you are not yet living together and will be doing so in the future.
・Documents other than those showing academic or professional background, which are among the required documents when applying with the status of residence of “Researcher”, “Instructor”, “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services”, or “Entertainer”.
・Presentation of passport /Residence card(In the case of application for change of status of residence)

※Click here for more information
※In addition to the above, documents may be submitted to provide additional information about your life and past residency status. The above information is the minimum required documentation.

Resident status of the child

Children of “Highly Skilled Professionals” stay in Japan under the “Dependent” status.

Conditions for obtaining a “Dependent”

Conditions for applying for Dependent as a child
・Must be the child of a Highly Skilled Professional (biological child/adopted child, regular/special adopted child, child with acknowledgment)
・Must be able to make a stable living

Adopted children (regular and special adopted children) are also recognized as “children”. Children born before marriage and children born shortly after marriage (illegitimate children) are also recognized as “children” if they are acknowledged. A child is also recognized even if he or she has reached the age of majority.
Basically, the child must live with the parents, but if there are certain circumstances, such as a college student attending school in a rural area, the child may be recognized even if the parents do not live together.

Permission to engage in activities other than those permitted under the status of residence

Although there are differences in culture and values among countries, in Japan, there is one idea that “a child goes to school while being supported by his or her parents”. Of course, the age of independence and self-sufficiency varies from 16, when one finishes compulsory education, to 22, when one graduates from college, but working is considered as independence and self-sufficiency from parents.
The status of residence of “Dependent” basically means “living with the support of one’s parents” . It is possible for a child to engage in part-time work with ” Permission to engage in activities other than those permitted under the status of residence”. However, even in this case, it is basically “within the range of pocket money”. One of the requirements for “Dependent” is “to be able to lead a stable life”, but the “child’s” income cannot be used as a source of income, and if the “child” cannot lead a stable life without the “child’s” part-time income, basically “Dependent” will not be granted.

If you want to work in Japan, you must obtain a status of residence that allows you to work that is not “Dependent” and stay in Japan.

Required Documents for Application

In the case of children
・Application for Certificate of Eligibility/Application for permission to change status of residence 
・Photo
・ Birth certificat(e出生証明書)/Certificate pertaining to recognition(認知に係る証明書)
・Documents proving the dependent’s occupation and income(Examples:certificate of employment, resident tax taxation (or tax exemption) certificate and tax payment certificate)
・Presentation of passport Residence card(In the case of application for change of status of residence)

※Click here for more information
※In addition to the above, documents may be submitted to provide additional information about your life and past residency status. The above information is the minimum required documentation.

Status of Residence of Parents

Highly Skilled Professionals may be allowed to have a parent accompany them under certain conditions

Under certain conditions, “parents” of “Highly Skilled Professionals” may be able to live together in Japan by obtaining the status of residence ” Designated Activities (No. 34, Parent of Highly Skilled Professional Foreigners or their Spouse)“.
The case in which a parent can be invited under this status is when the parent is taking care of childen (including stepchildren and adopted children) under 7 years old of a person residing with “Highly Skilled Professional” status or his/her spouse, or when the parent is providing assistance, housework or other necessary support to the pregnant spouse of a person residing with “Highly Skilled Professional” status or the pregnant “Highly Skilled Professional” herself. In addition, the following requirements must also be met.

Requirements for approval of parental accompaniment
1,The annual household income of the Highly Skilled Professional must be at least 8 million yen.
2,Must live with a person residing with a “Highly Skilled Professional” status.
3,Only one side of the parents of either the “Highly Skilled Professional Foreigner” or his/her spouse can be invited.

Parents of a person residing in Japan under “Highly Skilled Professional” or his/her spouse (wife/husband) may be invited to Japan to assist in raising their child until the child turns seven years old. One caveat to this system is that the parents must return to their home country when the child turns 7 years old.

Household income is basically the compensation (salary) you receive from the company you are employed by or manage. Remuneration includes bonuses, position allowances, and other compensation for work, but does not include commuting, housing, or dependent care allowances. The spouse’s salary is the sum of the annual amount of remuneration received when working with work visas.
Note, on the other hand, that profits earned from investments, etc. are not included in the annual household income.

▶Reference: Ministry of Justice, “Advanced Human Resources Point System Q&A

Required Documents for Application

In the case of parents
・Application for Certificate of Eligibility
・Photo
・Document evidencing the (expected) annual household income of the Highly Skilled Professional foreign national

・In the case of a parent who intends to take care of a child under 7 years of age of a Highly Skilled Professional or his/her spouse.
(1)One of the following documents proving the status relationship between the applicant and the Highly Skilled Professional or his/her spouse, and that the child to be fostered is a child under 7 years old of the Highly Skilled Professional or his/her spouse.
 a Family register
 b Marriage registration acceptance certificate
 c  A copy of Marriage certificate
 d  A copy of Birth certificate 
 e Documents corresponding to (a) to (d) above as appropriate
(2)A copy of the residence card or passport of the Highly Skilled Professional, the spouse of the Highly Skilled Professional, and his/her child under 7 years old.

・In the case where the parents wish to provide assistance, housework, or other necessary support to the pregnant spouse of a Highly Skilled Professional or to the pregnant Highly Skilled Professional during her pregnancy.
(1)One of the following documents proving the status relationship between the applicant and the Highly Skilled Professional or his/her spouse
a Family register
 b Marriage registration acceptance certificate
 c  A copy of Marriage certificate
 d  A copy of Birth certificate 
 e Documents corresponding to (a) to (d) above as appropriate
(2)Document certifying that the Highly Skilled Professional or his/her spouse is pregnant (medical certificate(診断書), copy of maternal and child health handbook(母子健康手帳), etc.)
(3)A copy of the residence card / passport of the Highly Skilled Professional and the spouse of the Highly Skilled Professional

※Click here for more information
※In addition to the above, documents may be submitted to provide additional information about your life and past residency status. The above information is the minimum required documentation.

Conclusion

The above explains the status of residence for family members of foreigners working with “Highly Skilled Professional”.
For spouses (wife/husband), there are options of “Dependent” or ” Designated Activities (No. 33)” which allows them to work full time. In the case of children, they can apply for “Dependent”. Highly Skilled Professionals” are also allowed to accompany their parents (with conditions).

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