For those who came from the Philippines to decide to stay in Japan
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P01 Pros and Cons of Permanent Resident

Pros of Permanent Resident Permission

As shown below, by obtaining permission for Permanent Resident, you can acquire almost the same rights as Japanese people.

1. There is no need to apply for renewal of status of residence, which was required when the period of stay expired.

Since the period of stay of a Permanent Resident is indefinite, you can continue to live in Japan without being bothered by applying for renewal for each period of stay as before permission for Permanent Resident. 
Also, there is no risk of accidentally forgetting to update, so you can rest assured in that respect.

However, the Permanent Resident Card must be renewed every 7 years.
It’s the same as renewing a driver’s license, and there’s no special examination, so it’s easy to do, though.

2. You can return to your home country as before

Since you will continue to retain your nationality in your home country, you are free to return to your home country at any time.

However, the application of “Deemed Special Re-entry Permit” is limited to returning to Japan within one year
So, if you plan to stay abroad, including your home country, for more than one year, please be sure to apply for a “Re-entry Permit” from the Immigration Bureau before departure.

And the validity period of the Re-entry Permit is 5 years at the longest.
If you do not return to Japan within one year, your Permanent Resident Permit will expire and you will have to apply for Permanent Resident again from the beginning, so please be very careful.

[Procedures for Deemed Special Re-entry Permit]
Simply fill out the ticket like below at the Immigration Counter at the departure airport,  and it will be treated as “Deemed Special Re-entry”.
Please check the 1. in the center of the “DEPARTURE” side (please see “Check here ✓ in blue in the center of the picture) when filling it out and hand it over to the Immigration Officer when it’s your turn.
Easy and convenient, isn’t it?

3. There will be fewer restrictions on your future resident activities in Japan

People from other countries residing in Japan with a status of residence are basically only allowed to act within the scope of the activities stipulated by their status of residence.
If you’d like to change the contents of your residence activities before you have not received permission for Permanent Resident, you must, of course, apply for a new status of residence or apply for permission to change your status of residence.

However, once you receive permission for Permanent Resident, there will be no restrictions on the contents of your resident activities, so you can get the job you want, just like Japanese people.

In addition, you will be able to take up occupations that are prohibited with other status of residence for work.  (for example, manual labor and night club business will also be possible).
In other words, if you receive a Permanent resident permit, you will be able to work and live more freely in Japan.

4. Even if you lose your job, get divorced, or lose your spouse, your status of residence will not be affected.

In the case of a status of residence for work, if you lose your job, you may lose your status of residence and be forced to return to your home country.
However, if you have a Permanent Resident permit, you can stay in Japan without any problems even if you lose your job.

In addition, in the case of the status of residence of “Spouse or Child of Japanese National”, it will expire if the Japanese spouse is bereaved or divorced, so you must change to another status of residence in order to stay in Japan.
However, in such cases, it is often difficult to obtain a new status of residence. 
Even though you really would like to continue living in Japan, you might end up giving up and going back to your home country.

Therefore, if you are thinking of staying in Japan for a long period of time indefinitely, it is recommended that you obtain a Permanent Resident permit in advance to avoid such disadvantages.

On the other hand, unlike Naturalization, if you are a Permanent Resident, you can eventually return to your home country due to unforeseen changes in your life plans.
By the way, in such cases, the tax system in the United States is based on individualism, so if a green card holder with permanent residency in the United States moves to another country, the tax liability to the United States government will follow.
However, the tax system in Japan is based on the principle of territoriality, so you can rest assured that you will no longer have to pay taxes to Japan after returning to your home country.  
So, you must feel comfortable  in that regard.

Finally, once you are “Naturalized” in Japan, it will not be easy to acquire the nationality of your home country again, although it is not impossible.

5. Family members who live together with you will be able to receive special treatment when applying for Permanent Resident themselves

If you are a Permanent Resident’s spouse or their children (including ordinary adopted children), requirements a. and b. below are exempt when you apply for Permanent Resident themselves.

a. “Good conduct” requirement (meaning to abide by the law and lead a life free from social criticism as a resident in daily life.)
b. “Independent livelihood” requirement (meaning to have sufficient assets or skills to live independently, not to become a public burden in their daily lives and to be expected to lead a stable life in the future in view of their assets or skills, etc.

Plus, requirement c. below is relaxed.

c. [one] of “Conformity to national interest” requirements (meaning that you have stayed in Japan continuously for 10 years or more, and have stayed in Japan for the past 5 years or more with a residence status for work during this period.)

Then,  the relaxed requirement c.  is that “the marriage life with substance has continued for 3 years or more and has been continuously residing in Japan for 1 year or more.
And in the case of the biological child and adopted ones etc., they have to be residing in Japan continuously for 1 year or more.”

6. It’s easier to get a loan from a bank for business or to purchase a house or car, or to rent a property

As a person who is expected to live in Japan for a long time in the future, it will be easier for you to receive loans from banks than before.   Considering the burden of collection in the future, this makes sense.
In addition, because the banks seem to regard the Permanent Resident application itself as a preliminary multifaceted examination of the applicant for a loan, it is said that the actual loan examination will be relatively easy to pass.
The same is true when renting a rental property, and as a person who is planning to stay in Japan for a long time indefinitely, you will be able to receive a certain amount of credit, so you will be able to proceed with the rental procedures relatively easily.

7. High possibility of receiving “special permission to stay” just in case

In the future, even if you fall under deportation, if you are a Permanent Resident, there is a high possibility that you will be able to obtain special permission to stay at the discretion of the Minister of Justice.
However, this is not a right, but  it is only at the discretion of the Minister of Justice, so it only increases the possibility compared to other statuses of residence.

*Article 50, Paragraph 1, Item 1 of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, “Exceptions to Decisions by the Minister of Justice”
Even if the Minister of Justice finds that the objection filed is groundless in making the decision set forth in paragraph 3 of the preceding article, if the suspect falls under any of the following items, he/she may be granted “special permission to stay”.
1. When the suspect has received permission for Permanent resident.
(Omitted below)

Cons of Permanent Resident Permission

As shown below, there are disadvantages to Permanent Resident permits, so please be careful.

1. It is necessary to obtain a “Re-entry Permit” when leaving the country for a long period of one year or more

Permanent residents retain the nationality of their home country, so they can freely travel back and forth to their home country, but unlike Naturalization, they may need a “Re-entry Permit”.
As I mentioned in “Pros of Permanent Resident Permit 2.”, the “Deemed Special Re-entry Permit” is only applicable to overseas stays of up to one year.
So, If you plan to stay abroad for more than one year, please obtain a “Re-entry Permit” from the Immigration Bureau before departure.
Also, the validity period of the Re-entry Permit is “5 years” at the longest, so if you do not return within that period, your Permanent Resident Permit will expire and you will have to apply for Permanent Resident from the beginning, so please be careful.

2. There is still a possibility of deportation just in case

A “Permanent Resident” in Japan is not a “Permanent Residency Right” holder, but a person who has received a “Permanent Resident Permit”.
Therefore, if you fall under the grounds for deportation, you may be granted “special permission to stay”, but you may be deported in the end.
In the case of “Naturalization”, domestic law is applied, but it is absolutely not a forced deportation, so this is one of the major differences between Naturalization and Permanent Resident.

3. Suffrage is not permitted (except for some local governments)

As of 2022, Permanent Residents in Japan do not have the right to vote or be elected.
This is also one of the major differences between “Permanent Resident” and  “Naturalization” which is fully given the right to vote.

4. If permission is granted, a revenue stamp fee of 8,000 yen is required

A revenue stamp fee of 8,000 yen is required at the Immigration Bureau when you receive your Permanent Resident card.
This is in contrast to the fact that the Legal Affairs Bureau does not charge any fees at the time of Naturalization permission.
Considering that the number of documents to be checked in the Naturalization application is several times higher, it feels a little strange.

5. If you have “highly-skilled professionals” status currently, once Permanent Resident is granted, you no longer meet the requirements for permission to “invite parents or domestic servants.”

Once a ”highly-skilled professionals” status holder is granted Permanent Resident, he/ she no longer satisfies the requirements for permission to accompany parents* or domestic servants** (see below for both of them) from other countries, which is conditionally granted to highly-skilled professionals.
In other words, Permanent Residents are basically not allowed to “let their parents or domestic servants” stay in Japan with them.

*Parents for the purpose of raising a child under the age of 7, or for nursing care during pregnancy or housework
**Domestic servants for the purpose of raising a child under the age of 13 or assisting a spouse or helping with household chores

However, family members of a “highly skilled professionals” holder are basically granted the status of residence of “Dependent”, so even if they get permission to engage in activity other than that permitted under the status of residence, they can only work part-time or part-time jobs within 28 hours a week.
But after you receive Permanent Residence Permit, your spouse and children can obtain the status of “Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident”, so they will have no restrictions on activities and will be able to work in any occupation without time restrictions.

Conclusion and advice from our office

In conclusion, Permanent Resident Permit is especially recommended for busy professionals who plan to stay in Japan for a long period of time, but who frequently travel back and forth between their home country and Japan.
For those who say, “I’m thinking about Naturalization, but I won’t know until I actually retire in the future,” I think it’s better to get Permanent resident for the time being and consider applying for Naturalization when the time comes
Also, for those who eventually would like to return to their home country for the rest of their lives, Permanent Resident will be a very convenient status of residence during their stay in Japan, so we recommend a Permanent Resident Permit to them.

Thanks very much for checking.

If you are interested in “Naturalization” or “Permanent Resident” that our office specializes in, or have any questions, please feel free to contact us!

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