When you have just arrived in Japan or when you have just been in your current status of residence, the “1-year” period of stay is often the case, but no matter how many years you have been in Japan or how many times you have renewed your status, the “1-year” period of stay may persist. If the “one-year” period of stay continues over and over again, there is probably some reason for it. In this part, we will explain the points that are examined when applying for a extension of the period of stay or a change of status of residence in the first place.
What is examined at the time of change of status of residence or extension of period of stay
The Immigration Service Agency examines applications for change of status of residence and extension of period of stay, and this examination “is mainly left to the discretion of the Minister of Justice, and such decision is made totally in view of various factors, such as activities in which an applicant intends to engage, the applicant’s residential status and necessity to reside, taking into account the requirements“. Specifically, the Immigration Service Agency’s “Guidelines for Permission for Change of Status of Residence and Extension of Period of Stay” states that the following points are to be comprehensively considered in the examination.
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.Guidelines for Permission for Change of Status of Residence and Extension of Period of Stay
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 residence４ Applicants must have good behavior
５ Applicants must have sufficient assets or ability to make an independent living.
６ Proper employment and working conditions must be met.
７ Tax obligations must be fulfilled
８ Obligations provided by the Immigration Control Act, including notification obligations, must be fulfilled.
When applying for change of status of residence (when changing from another status of residence), your past status of residence and future activities will be examined. When applying for extension of period of stay (when renewing the period of stay with no change in activities since the previous application), the past status of stay and future activities will also be examined.
Both change of status of residence and extension of period of stay have one thing in common: “past”, “present”, and “future” are the subject of examination. It is easy to think that you will be granted permission if there are no problems in the “future (content of planned activities)”, but if your past status of residence is not good, it will lead to “not being granted” or “a shorter period of stay than you requested“.
▶ Immigration Service Agency『Guidelines for Permission for Change of Status of Residence and Extension of Period of Stay』
How is the period of stay determined?
On the application form for status of residence, there is a section where the “desired length of stay” is stated, but even if the desired number of years is stated there, it is common for the period of stay to be shorter than that. This may be due to certain rules or the result of an examination.
The period of stay granted is fixed
To begin with, the period of stay that can be granted is determined by law.
For example, “Spouse or Child of Japanese National(日本人の配偶者等)” and “Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident(永住者の配偶者等)” can be “5 years”, “3 years”, “1 year” or “6 months”. In other words, even if you wish to receive “10 years” in the first place, you will only receive a maximum of “5 years”.
On the other hand, “Dependent(家族滞在)” will be granted so that the expiration date will be the same as that of the supporter, since the policy is to combine the period of stay with that of the supporter (family member residing on a work visa).
For a work visa, for example, “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services(技術・人文知識・国際業務)” and ” Business Manager(経営管理)” can also be “5 years”, “3 years”, “1 year”, “4 months ( Business Manager only),” or “3 months”. However, the maximum length of some “Specified Skilled worker 1(特定技能１号)” is originally set at “one year”. The maximum length of stay for “entertainment(興行)” is also set at “3 years”, which means that no matter how good your status of residence is, you will not receive a “5-year” visa.
Thus, it depends on whether a “3-year” or “5-year” period is provided for the desired status of residence in the first place.
Why do I only get a “one year” residency?
Simply put, if Immigration Service Agency wants to check up on you again after a year, it will be “one year”.
If they don’t think it’s necessary to check up on you after a year, then it’s ‘three years’ or ‘five years’.
The “content that Immigration Service Agency wants to check” will then be about the concerns that have emerged from the examination of the above eight screening points.As mentioned at the outset, the examination is mainly left to the discretion of the Minister of Justice, and such decision is made totally in view of various factors”, i.e. the application will be examined in its entirety.Even if you think you meet all the requirements, you may not be judged as such, or you may be allowed to continue your stay after an overall assessment, even if you have a few concerns.
It is important to emphasise here that it is not something that can be managed by making small changes to the content of the application in order to receive a “three-year” or “five-year” period of stay.It means that if you follow these guidelines and your “past”, “present” and “future” residency is conveyed as being fine, you will consequently receive a “three-year” or “five-year” residency.
Factors that lead to a shorter period of stay than desired
One of the common reasons for shortening the period of stay is that there is no way to improve the situation, such as a short period of stay in the first place. As a common case, “spouse or child of Japanese national”, “spouse or child of permanent resident”, and ” business manager” are often given “1 year” if they are in that status of residence for the first time. Also, it is common in such cases that a “one year” period of stay is issued twice, and if there are no problems in the next examination, a “three year” period of stay is also issued. The following is a list of factors commonly seen in cases where the applicant is not a newcomer to the country and the “one year” continues even after many renewals.
The following is not an exhaustive list of all cases, and depending on the circumstances, you may get “3 years” or “5 years” even if the following applies to you. We hope you will read this as an opinion of our firm.
１，Unstable activity in “the future.”
This relates to the first of the examination points.
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.
For example, in the case of “Spouse or Child of Japanese National” or “Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident”, the period of stay may be shorter if there are special circumstances such as living separately even if the marriage continues with the same person.
In addition, for those who have changed jobs on a work visa, depending on the nature of the work at the new company, this may also be a cause for a “one year” period.
２，There were problems with your “past” activities.
This relates to the third or fourth of the examination points.
Applicants must have engaged in activities that are in accordance with the current status of residence
Applicants must have good behavior
If your “past” from the last time a change or extension was granted to the present has been a problematic residency, then that is a “factor to shorten”. If you have done your residency as stated in your previous application and have not committed any crimes, etc., I think you are basically fine.
３，Is the “present” life stable?
This relates to the fifth or sixth of the examination points.
Applicants must have sufficient assets or ability to make an independent living.
Proper employment and working conditions must be met.
This will mean whether you have enough income and assets to lead a stable life.
Although it is not possible to say how much annual household income is enough to receive a “3-year” or “5-year” period of stay, it is easier to receive a longer period of stay if you are employed by a stable company and have an annual income that is commensurate with the size of your household, compared to a case with a small income.
It is also often said that larger companies (listed companies, companies that fall into categories 1 or 2) are more likely to have “3 years” or “5 years” in the first year after graduation, but leaving aside whether this directly affects this item, it is influenced in part by the size of the place of employment.
Other factors that can lead to a “one year” are employment contracts with short contract terms, even if the employment content and working conditions are appropriate. For example, in the case of a “6-month” employment contract period, it can be said that “1 year” is inevitably more likely to appear than in the case of indefinite employment. (There are cases where “3 years” or “5 years” of residency is given even if the contract term is “6 months”)
４，Are you fulfilling your tax obligations?
This relates to the seventh of the examination points.
Tax obligations must be fulfilled
Since tax payment is an obligation (something that must be done), it is unimpressive if it is not done, and in the wrong case, it may result in “disallowance”.
If there are special circumstances that prevent you from paying taxes, one can imagine that in many cases it also comes down to whether or not you have a stable living situation. In this case, non-payment of taxes is a factor that may shorten the period of stay.In the past, in the case of a person on a work visa who had a lot of outstanding payments, we managed to get permission for the application with a payment plan attached, but the period of stay was “〇months (less than 1 year)”.
５，Are you fulfilling your obligations provided by the Immigration Control Act, including notification obligations?
This is related to the eighth examination point.
Obligations provided by the Immigration Control Act, including notification obligations,
must be fulfilled.
As a common case, when you move, you must report your move-out or move-in at the municipal office, but you may have forgotten to make this report.In addition, those who reside in Japan on a work visa are required to submit a “Notification regarding the affiliated institutions, etc.（所属機関等に関する届出）” when changing jobs, but this is often forgotten to submit. Those who stay in Japan on a family visa may also need to report to the Immigration Service Agency if their situation changes.
Both of these notifications have deadlines, such as “within 14 days,” but it is not uncommon to find yourself in excess.This has been our experience up to now, but even if you submit your application late, it is better to do so than not to submit it at all. Even those who submitted their documents late have received a “3-year” or “5-year” period of stay.
▶Immigration Service Agency：「Notification procedures regarding affiliated institutions, etc.」
The above is an explanation of the period of stay.
This period of stay is often “1 year,” “3 years,” or “5 years,” depending on a variety of factors. For those who have only been in Japan for a short period of time with their current status of residence, such as those who have just entered the country, just married, just started a business, or just started working, it is not unusual for the period of stay to be “1 year” and there is no need to be concerned. If you have been in the country for the appropriate amount of time, you will likely receive a longer period of stay at your next or the next renewal.