How to fill in the ‘Letter of Guarantee’「身元保証書」 required for visa applications.


Among applications for status of residence, applications for ‘Spouse or Child of Japanese National'(「日本人の配偶者等」), ‘Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident'(「永住者の配偶者等」), ‘Long Term Resident'(「定住者」) and ‘Permanent Resident’ (「永住者」)require a ‘Letter of Guarantee’ as an attached document.When you hear the term ‘letter of guarantee’, you may be wondering who can be the guarantor and what level of liability the guarantor will have. In this part, the explanation about the Letter of Guarantee and how to write it concretely are explained. If you only want to see an example of how to fill in the form, please jump to “How to write a Letter of Guarantee” from the table of contents.

What is a Letter of Guarantee?

This section explains the contents of the Letter of Guarantee and the responsibilities that arise.

What the guarantor guarantees.

As of 2023/8, Letters of Guarantee are divided into two categories, one for ‘Application for permanent residence permit’ (永住許可申請)and the other for other purposes.

in the case of Application for permanent residence permit

In the case of Application for permanent residence permit, the guarantees include.

In connection with the person applying for permission for permanent residence
above, I hereby guarantee to provide him/her with necessary support to fulfill
his/her civic duty and to abide by Japanese laws and regulations during his/her
stay in Japan.

LETTER OF GUARANTEE(For applications for permission for permanent r esidence)

In other words, it is a guarantee that they will support you in fulfilling your obligations, such as complying with Japanese laws and paying taxes.

Spouse or Child of Japanese National, Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident, Long Term Resident (other than Application for permanent residence permit)

For statuses other than “Permanent Resident”, guarantees include.

1 Living expenses while in Japan
2 Transportation fee for repatriation
3 To abide by the Japanese law

LETTER OF GUARANTEEs (Excluding applications for permission for permanent residence)

In most cases, except for ‘permanent residents’, the guarantor is the spouse (wife/husband), parent or relative. Families are expected to support each other in life.

Who can be a guarantor and their responsibilities

Not everyone can be a guarantor under the Immigration Control Act. The Immigration Service Agency’s website also describes the scope of their responsibilities.

Who can act as guarantor

Basically, a Japanese or, in the case of a foreigner, a permanent resident or special permanent resident can act as guarantor.
In the case of ‘Spouse or Child of Japanese National’, ‘Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident’ and ‘Long Term Resident’, the guarantor may be limited to a spouse (wife/husband or parent).

Scope of responsibility

The Immigration Service Agency website states the following about the scope of responsibility.

Q52The submitted documents include a letter of guarantee, but what is a “guarantor”? Also, what are the responsibilities when providing personal guarantee?

A A guarantor under the Immigration Control Act is a guarantor who provides financial guarantees for foreign nationals and compliance with laws and regulations as necessary so that foreign nationals can stably and continuously achieve their intended purpose of entry into Japan. A person who promises the Minister of Justice that he or she will provide lifestyle guidance. Regarding the nature of the personal guarantee, the guarantees promised to the Minister of Justice are not legally enforceable against the guarantor, and even if the guarantee is not fulfilled, the authorities will only guide the guarantor to fulfill the promise, but in that case, If the guarantor fails to fully fulfill his or her responsibilities, he or she will be deemed unsuitable as a guarantor in subsequent applications for entry and residence, and will lose social credibility, so this imposes a moral responsibility. It can be said that there is.

▶ The Immigration Service Agency「Immigration inspection/Residency inspection Q&A

When you hear the word ‘guarantor’, you tend to recall that you will be in trouble if you do not provide financial compensation, but ‘guarantor’ in the Immigration Control Act is not legally enforceable. As stated here, if something goes wrong and you are not guaranteed as per this guarantee, it will be something that could affect your next application.

If a ‘guarantor’ cannot be found.

As stated above, the ‘guarantor’ in the Immigration Control Act has no legal enforceability. Since it is different in character from a ‘guarantor’ or a ‘joint guarantor’ in civil law, it is advisable to explain this politely to gain understanding and ask to become a ‘guarantor’ as much as possible.

If you still can’t find it, you will have to explain it, supplementing it with a statement of reasons, but it is best to avoid this if at all possible.

How to write a Letter of Guarantee

Although the guarantees are different, the content is the same, so the format for ‘Common application (Excluding applications for permission for permanent residence)’ is explained as an example.

  1. Date: write the date of the day on which you are making the entry.
  2. Nationality and name: Enter the name as it appears on the residence card or passport.This should be the name of the applicant (foreign national).
  3. Name (handwritten): the name of the guarantor must be written in his/her own handwriting. Rubber stamps are not acceptable.
  4. Address: it is better to state the address as per the certificate of residence. Telephone numbers can be either landline or mobile.
  5. Occupation: enter ‘company employee’, ‘company director’, ‘sole trader’, etc.
  6. Nationality/region: for foreign nationals, enter as per residence card. For Japanese nationals, just ‘Japanese nationality’ is sufficient.
  7. Relationship to guarantee: state the relationship to the guarantee (applicant/foreigner). If you are applying for permanent residence permit and have a company to fill in the form, state ‘employer’, etc.

The format of the ‘Letter of Guarantee’

・For permission for permanent residence Click here
・Except for Application for permanent residence permit Click here


The above explains the Letter of Guarantee, which is required to be submitted in applications for permanent residence, spouse or child of Japanese nationals, spouse or child of permanent residents and Long Term Residents.
A ‘guarantor’ in the Immigration Control Act only acts as a person who supports a proper life in Japan, and does not have any significant enforcement power. The contents of the guarantee and who can be the guarantor depend on the status of residence being applied for, so please fill in the form while also checking the notes on the form and the Immigration Service Agency website.

【Advice from administrative scrivener】
We are often asked about the Letter of Guarantee, who can act as guarantor and the extent of their responsibilities. Although you may find it difficult to ask someone to be your guarantor, please do not choose the option of ‘not submitting’ a Letter of Guarantee if at all possible. Please contact us if you need to explain to your guarantor.




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