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G01 Which is better, Naturalization or Permanent Resident?

General Impressions of Naturalization and Permanent Resident

In the first place, naturalization is regulated under the Nationality Act, and Permanent Resident is regulated by the Immigration Control Act.
And within the industry, the two are considered to be completely different, and the mainstream argument is that simply comparing the pros and cons of them is nonsense.

However, as was the case with me before I started this business, if you are from other countries, thinking about Naturalization or acquiring Permanent Resident and are not very familiar with both, no wonder that you’re wondering which is better to apply for.
You are my clients and I’m not working for the legal system or the industry. I’ll always face our customers and be looking forward to working for and with them. Because it is an Immigration Lawyer business for customers in the first place.
I believe that it is my duty as an Immigration Lawyer to respond to what customers are looking for, so I run an Immigration Lawyer office focusing on two pillars, “Naturalization” and “Permanent Resident.”

So, I would like to explain the difference between the two statuses and why.

Difference between Naturalization and Permanent Resident

First of all, Permanent Resident is to acquire the status of residence of “Permanent Resident” stipulated by the Immigration Control Act while retaining the nationality of the home country, that is, as a foreigner.
Next, Naturalization is to give up the nationality of your home country and legally become a Japanese, that is, to acquire the nationality of “Japanese”
I will leave the pros and cons of each to another article, but in general, it is said that “Naturalization” is slightly easier to obtain than “Permanent Resident”.
On the contrary, there are far more documents to be submitted for “Naturalization”, and it is still mandatory to submit in paper form, so if the applicant becomes a company manager, the thickness of application forms will be several centimeters (appx. 1 inch or more).

The reason for this is that, simply speaking, if you are “naturalized” in Japan, you will be given exactly the same rights as other Japanese people in Japan, get the right to vote and be able to choose your job freely.
However, since renunciation of the former nationality is a requirement for naturalization permission, after naturalization in Japan, it’s necessary to obtain a short-term visa, etc. from the embassy in Japan even when returning to your home country for a while. So, you may find that part a little annoying.
(However, in the world passport ranking as of January 2022, Japan is ranked first in the world along with Singapore (192 countries do not require a short-term stay VISA for Japanese people), so there is a high probability that the above short-term stay VISA acquisition will not be necessary for you.)

On the other hand, if you get “Permanent Resident”, you will still be obligated to renew your Permanent resident card, but in other respects you will be able to live almost the same life as other Japanese people, just like if you were naturalized.
Furthermore, it goes without saying that you can freely return to your home country, and when you’re in your home country, you can live freely as a citizen of that country.

Based on these facts, it would be unavoidable for the Japanese Ministry of Justice to consider permanent residents as dual nationals who may return to their home country from Japan in the future, and to tighten the screening process.

Can you apply for both of them at the same time?

By the way, you may think that it doesn’t matter if it’s “Naturalization” or “Permanent Resident”, so why not apply for both at the same time?
At the very least, as long as you can live in Japan permanently, I can understand your feeling that either is fine, and in fact, there are quite a few customers who say so.

In conclusion, however, simultaneous applications are not recommended.

Judging from the sentiments of an ordinary citizen, I wonder what the problem is, but examinations for “Naturalization” and “Permanent Resident” are conducted in accordance with pure legal procedures.
As a legal procedure, the purpose of “Naturalization” is to become Japanese, and one of the purposes of “Permanent Resident” is NOT to become Japanese in the end.
In a sense, the two are contradictory, and it is understandable for the judges to struggle to decide which one you’d like. (In the first place, either is fine for you, but unfortunately, it is the current situation that it is not accepted.)
In practice, it is customary for both to be rejected, so we recommend that you always decide on one before applying.

However, it is okay to apply again for the other after one has been disapproved!

Thanks for reading.

If you are interested in “Naturalization” or “Permanent Resident”, please contact our office. We will treat you kindly and politely until you get permission.

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