I began the application process for permanent residency in Japan. As a rule of thumb, you should have lived here at least ten years before you apply, although there are exceptions. My present unbroken run in Japan is 13 years, and it was only inertia that kept me from applying earlier.
The night before, I first rang a good Japanese friend of many years standing, who had agreed to be the guarantor for my apartment when I first moved to Tokyo, and asked him if he would be my sponsor for permanent residency, which he kindly assented to.
The following afternoon, I went to the Immigration Office in Tokyo’s Minato ward, a short bus ride from Shinagawa station. I had printed out and filled in the form from the website of the immigration office and submitted it for preliminary approval at a counter on the second floor.
The only bit that required any real thought was the "Reasons for application" bit. I pulled out the "social" and "cultural" stops and crafted a 50-or-so word appeal.
The poor guy I handed it to was extremely polite, but inept at describing what had to be done, and I had to ask him several times to slow down and start again when it came to describing the bit about copying the number that would be entered into my passport onto the front of the envelope that I was given in which to send the documents that would be needed later. (Actually, perhaps it’s no wonder I couldn’t understand the Japanese: it makes for pretty turgid English, too!)
I then went to the main application counter, took a number, 464, and waited my turn, all the way from 322. It took about an hour and a half. Once summoned, the procedure was, again, very polite, explained very lucidly, and I was given all the information I needed in the form of a pamphlet (pictured at top).
The documents that must be submitted include my tax records for the past three years, and a certificate of residency. The next morning, therefore, I went to my local ward office and got those documents – all within the space of half an hour (but 2,100 yen poorer) - and still made it to the office on time.
I now need to get a certificate of employment in the name of the company, and get my sponsor to supply me with an certificate of identification, a certificate of employment, last year’s tax records, and a certificate of residency. Poor guy. My shout this Friday.
Stay tuned for the next move.
Read more about visas in Japan
Yahoo Japan Auction Service
Book a Japanese Hotel with Bookings
Rough Guide To Japan
Japan Tokyo immigration permanent residency application
Thursday, July 02, 2009