【FAQ】Can I get a family visa even if I have a “Designated Activities(特定活動)” visa?


Under the “Designated Activities” residence status, some of those who are in Japan for the purpose of activities that allow them to work are allowed to have their family members accompany them.

In this case, the residence status available to family members is not a “dependent visa” (家族滞在), but they will be residing under the same “designated activities” as supporters, and the content is almost identical to that of a “dependent” visa.
This part of the report explains what kind of ‘Designated Activity’ visa allows a person to bring a family member with them, and what the requirements are.

Visas for family members of those with “Designated Activities” status of residence

Foreigners with “Designated Activities” status who are allowed to bring their family members with them are mainly those who are residing in Japan for work-related designated activities. Conversely, it is difficult for those with “Designated Activities” status who are staying in Japan for the purpose of “preparation for departure”(出国準備) or “job hunting”(就職活動), for example, to bring their family members with them.
In addition, for those who have a stipulation in the “Notification”(告示), it is possible to land with the status of residence of “Designated Activities” by applying for a “Certificate of Eligibility”(在留資格認定証明書交付申請) or a visa at a Japanese embassy abroad, in other words, it is possible to invite family members from abroad. The following list shows what you can invite your family members under the “Designated Activities” status.

Status of Residence of supportersStatus of Residence of the familysupplementary information
” Designated Activities (No. 6, Amateur Athlete).”” Designated Activities (No. 7).”
Highly Skilled Professional 1(「高度専門職1号」)
Highly Skilled Professional 2(「高度専門職2号」)
・Designated Activities (No. 33)
・Designated Activities (No. 34)
・Spouse who wishes to work can obtain Designated Activities (No. 33, Spouse of Working Highly Skilled Professional Foreigners(33号・高度専門職外国人の就労する配偶者)).
・Designated Activities (No. 34, Parent of Highly Skilled Professional foreign national or spouse(34号・高度専門職外国人又はその配偶者の親)) can be obtained by the parent under certain requirements.
Designated Activities (No. 36, Specified Research Activities)(36号・特定研究等活動)
Designated Activities (No. 37: Specific Information Processing Activities)
Designated Activities (No. 38)
Designated Activities (No. 39)
・Spouse can obtain Specially Designated Activities (No. 38, Spouse of Spefic Research Activities, etc.(38号・特定研究等活動の配偶者))
・Designated activity (spouse or parent of No. 39 and specific information processing activities(39号・特定情報処理活動又はその配偶者の親)) can be acquired by the parent under certain requirements.
Related to EPA, Nurses and Care Workers
Designated Activities (No. 16, No. 17, No. 19, No. 20, No. 21, No. 22, No. 27, No. 28, No. 29)
“Designated Activities (No. 18, No. 19, No. 23, No. 24, No. 30, No. 31)”
*Select the corresponding one for each
The basic concept is the same as “Dependent”.
” Designated Activities (No. 44, Foreign Entrepreneur)(44号・外国人起業家)”.Designated Activities (No. 45).”The basic concept is the same as “Dependent”.
Designated Activities (No. 46, Graduates of Japanese universities)” Designated Activity (No. 47).”The basic concept is the same as “Dependent”.
「Specially Skilled Worker 1」(「特定技能1号」)Designated activities other than notifications(「特定活動」
Must have been a family member residing in Japan before becoming Specially Skilled Worker 1.
As a rule, bringing in a foreigner from abroad is not allowed.
Other than that, the basic concept is the same as that of “Dependent”.

It would be a ” Designated Activity” instead of a “Dependent,” but the content would be the same.

The most familiar visa status for family members of working foreign nationals is “Dependent”, but the visa for family members of foreign nationals residing in Japan under “Designated Activities” is also “Designated Activities”. The basic concept is the same as that of “Dependent”.

Who can be called as family members?

Foreign nationals working on a work visa may invite their “spouse (wife/husband)” or “children” to live with them in Japan.

Spouse must be married. Divorced or deceased spouses are not included. Also, common-law spouses are not recognized. Children” includes adopted children (both legally adopted and specially adopted). 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.

*Some, such as “Highly Skilled Professional 1 and 2” and “Designated Activities, Specific Research Activities, and Specific Information Processing Activities” may also call their or their spouse’s (wife/husband’s) parents under certain conditions. (This is not explained in this volume).

3 points to consider when applying for a Dependent

There are three particularly important points that must never be left out of the ” Designated Activities” requirements that allow family members to accompany you.

Point 1: Marriage must be established (in the case of a wife/husband)

When applying for “Dependent,” a marriage must have been consummated. A common-law marriage or engaged status is not acceptable. The marriage must be legally valid and subsisting.

Marriage procedures need only be validly consummated in either the foreign country or Japan. For example, if you are inviting family members from your home country, you do not need to register your marriage at the Japanese municipal office as long as the marriage certificate has been consummated in the home country,

Conversely, if the couple got married while in Japan, there is no problem even if the marriage certificate has not been submitted to the administrative office in the home country, as long as the marriage certificate has been submitted to and accepted by the Japanese municipal office.

Point 2: Ability to support/receive support

The “Dependent” status of residence requires the applicant to be a dependent of a worker with a work visa. (excluding designated activity No. 38)In other words, you must “have the ability to support your family” and your family must be willing to receive support and stay in Japan in that condition”.

First of all, the person who is calling his/her family must have a regular job. In the first place, those who are in Japan on a working visa are (in most cases) working full-time and receiving a salary that is sufficient to support at least one adult. If they are unemployed, they do not have the necessary conditions to stay in Japan on a “work visa,” and therefore cannot invite family members to stay.

We are often asked, “How much salary do I need to have in order to be allowed?” but there is no clear standard. This is because it depends on the number of family members, assets, and other factors. As long as your current salary is sufficient to live with your family in Japan, there is 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 acceptable, while a monthly salary of 300,000 yen may be inadmissible.

Next, regarding “receiving support,” the called person can work part-time by obtaining a “permission to engage in activities other than that permitted under the status of residence(資格外活動許可)” in addition to the “Dependent” permit, but only within the scope of “support”.
If a person residing in Japan on a “Dependent” visa obtains the “permission to engage in activities other than those permitted under the status of residence,” he/she can work part-time up to 28 hours per week. If the salary from this part-time work exceeds the salary of the supporter working on a work visa, the “dependent” has exceeded the “coverage” and will be assessed as “not receiving support”.

Point 3: Must live together.

Especially in the case of married couples, they must live together in principle. The Japanese Immigration Service Agency focuses on “living together” as one of the criteria for determining “marital status”. If the couple does not live together, the application will not be denied in all cases, but it is necessary to explain the circumstances.

Possible examples include the case where one of the parents moves out on his/her own for reasons such as not being able to move his/her child to a new school, or where a child starts living alone to go to college. In particular, it is important to note that a clear explanation is required for the separation of a husband and wife.

Can I invite my family members if I stay in Japan for Designated activities other than notifications(告示外特定活動)?

Up to this point, we have explained “Notified Designated activities. The following is an explanation of “Designated activities” that are not included in the above list.

What are Designated activities other than notifications?

The status of residence “Designated activities” can be divided into “Notified Designated activities(「告示特定活動」)” and “Designated activities other than notifications(「告示外特定活動」)”.
Designated activities are those for which the content of the activity is predetermined and for which the Minister of Justice has issued a public notice (i.e., the content of the activity, requirements, etc. have been determined), and “Designated activities other than notifications” are those that do not fall under this category (e.g., when the Minister of Justice permits residence for humanitarian reasons under special circumstances).

The activities that those with “Designated Activities” status of residence can engage in during their stay in Japan are specified for each individual foreigner.

The Designated activities can be confirmed in the “designation(「指定書」)” attached to the passport.
In addition, among the “Designated activities”, those “specified in the public notice” are the “Designated activities” that are subject to landing permission. They range from ‘No. 1’ to ‘No. 50’, although some have now been deleted.

The Notified Designated activities are listed below.

quotation:Immigration Service Agency「Status of Residence “Designated Activities”

Can I call my family if I am staying on Designated activities other than notifications?

The “Notified Designated Activities” are those statuses of residence that are subject to landing permission, and you can apply for “Application for Certificate of Eligibility” or you can make a visa application at Japanese embassies abroad.However, this is not possible in the case of “Designated activities other than notifications.
If you wish to live with your family, you are required to apply for ” Application for Change of Status of Residence(在留資格変更許可申請) ” after having them come to Japan once for a short-term stay or the like. The examination will be conducted according to individual circumstances, but since there are cases in which family members are not allowed to accompany the applicant, it is advisable to consult with the nearest immigration office in advance regarding the application for status of residence for family members of those who are engaged in Designated activities other than notifications.


The above explains the status of residence of family members of those who stay in Japan under the “designated activities” category.
For those who are in “Notified Designated Activities” and are allowed to call their family members, their family members can also live in Japan under “Designated Activities”. For other people, basically, the examination is conducted according to individual circumstances, and some are approved, while others are not. In the first place, in the case of “Designated activities other than notifications”, it is not possible to apply for a certificate of eligibility, so the procedure is for those already in Japan to change from a different status of residence.

【Advice from an administrative scrivener】
Because the name “Designated Activities” is similar to ” Specified Skilled worker”, it is often mistakenly believed that family members cannot be invited, but they may be able to live as if they were “Dependent”.




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