Is there a faster way to get permanent residency in Japan?

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In 2012, the Ministry of Justice, Immigration Bureau introduced a new system for certain highly skilled foreigners to obtain Japanese permanent residency.  The new system is a points based system that gives preference for higher levels of education or salary.  Under this system qualified individuals are given preferential immigration treatment such as the ability to obtain permanent residence faster than other foreigners.

The three categories of “highly skilled foreigners” that qualify for the Ministry of Justice’s new point-based preferential immigration treatment are foreigners involved in academic research activities, advanced specialized/technical activities and business management activities.  Each category has a different allocation of points for different types of achievements that could add up to a reduced burden in applying for Japanese permanent residency.


The application to apply for “highly skilled foreign professional” is similar to a normal visa application.  However, foreign professionals already living and working in Japan can also apply to change their status and receive qualification as a “highly skilled foreign professional” to obtain the preferential immigration treatment.

If you have any questions about residence in Japan, please contact our office for a legal consultation.