4 things to consider when applying for a PERMANENT RESIDENT status in Japan

If getting a visa every few years is painful, or you want to do work beyond the status (like ENGINEER) allocated, you have been around for 10 years (average) in Japan, need a home loan, getting a Permanent Resident status in Japan might be an option to consider.

Last year I completed 15 years in Japan, but was still on work visa. My initial discussions with my friends gave me an impression of a long process with endless documents to create, but I believe that the process is actually simpler than what I heard. One of my friend at my company inspired me to apply for a Permanent Resident status and he helped me with things to prepare for which I am sharing here. I got my PR in a cool two and a half months (varies from application to application though) and hope that the below content is helpful if you plan to apply too.

[1] DISCIPLINE TO PREPARE : Well you need to make a few documents but honestly I did not think that was much of a pain. If you discipline yourself to do one to two documents everyday, you can get this done in 1-2 weeks time all ready for your application. See the table below as a checklist (or download an Excel here)

Prepare each step by step, two per day and you should be good in 6-7 days. The only documents which take time are usually the Guarantor ones which depend on the schedule and availability of your guarantor.
Permanent Resident Documents Requirement

[2] EASY TO USE DOCUMENT SAMPLES : Documents which you will need to prepare I am enclosing some formats which might be helpful. Download from below links. Using these formats the process was a breeze.
[a] FAMILY DETAILS (link to download)
[b] ADDRESS DETAIL(link to download)
[c] GUARANTOR FORM(link to download) 
[d] APPLICATION FORM(link to download)

[3] CONSIDER A PERMANENT RESIDENT AS A GUARANTOR (Friend in need is a friend indeed) : Either a Japanese colleague or a non-Japanese who is a Permanent Resident can be a guarantor. The Guarantor will need to fill in a form and provide his Gen-sen-Chou-Shuu-Hyou (witholding tax slip) and resident certificate. This is something which is delicate since the guarantor needs to provide these rather sensitive documents, so in many ways its about discovering your “real” friend. Friend in need is a friend indeed!
My own experience, two Japanese friends who politely refused, and an Indian permanent resident friend who instantly agreed, no questions asked!

Sample of Guarantor Document
docstoprepareSample of Family details documentdocstoprepare[4] REASON LETTER : ALWAYS GET IT REVIEWED BY A JAPANESE NATIONAL
An applicant needs to write a reason letter which should give the background like you are settled here, have a steady job, will be staying here for long term and have been contributing to the Japanese society (any contributions at work, socially etc.). Ensure that you necessarily get it reviewed by a Japanese national. Your Japanese friends should be able to help you out in that even though they may have politely declined to be the guarantor, right?

PR status is a simple and straight forward process and hope you too are successful with your application and get your resident card with the status as below “永住者” or Permanent Resident. All the best.Permanent Resident


  1. psiclopz@gmail.com'



    If you’re married to a citizen for 3 years you only need to have been a resident for 5 before you can apply for PR, FYI.

  2. Fredericmezailles@gmail.com'



    That’s if you succeed, if you don’t you can’t generally apply a second time.
    This is a one way ticket be sure to still be able to get a working visa or any other to avoid you troubles.

  3. kieran_green@hotmail.com'

    In Kyoto


    Hello there,

    Nice page. However, could you please post a sample reason letter?

    That would be very helpful.


  4. lcroft_99@yahoo.com'



    Nice write up. However, could you please post a sample reason letter as requested before?

    That would be very helpful.

    Thanks again!

    • Reply


      thanks for your support. I did not put the reason letter since it will become a copy-paste by many people and that will actually hurt than help. If you still want one for reference drop me a line at gaijin.blog@gmail.com, will send you a format of what I wrote. Once again, please use it as reference and write a story closer to your reason why you want the officials to consider your application.

      Look forward to your mail.


  5. lcroft_99@yahoo.com'



    Thanks Manish. A friend sorted me out. 🙂 will post my results …but how come 2 months? Wow…..

  6. estellerobin1312@yahoo.com'



    Thank you so much for sharing all those information. This is incredibly helpful!
    I’m currently working on preparing all the documents to apply myself. I’ve been living in Japan for over 12 years and worked in the same company during that time, so I’m hopeful.
    I’m struggling with the “reason letter”. I’m not quite sure how long, or how detailed it should be. Could you give me some more information about it? Thank you in advance!

  7. markzschiegnerii@yahoo.com'

    Mark Zschiegner


    Hi there I was wondering if my father was born in Japan to an American father and a Japanese Mother. Would my guide to permenant residency be simpler or would it be like everyone else’s?

  8. concon_pascual@yahoo.com'



    This article is a big help! May i ask about the reason letter, it should be in japanese? I am a spouse of a permanent resident and planning to apply for pr.. there is a space provided in the form about the reason of applying, should i write it in nihonggo? Or english will be ok? Hoping for your response..🙂

    • Reply

      Please do it in Japanese. Get some Japanese national to review it too. Thats my recommendation.

    • Reply

      Yes you can. No problem at all. I actually did two trips, one to London other to SanFran during that time I applied for the PR to come in.

  9. sajjamaneeshkarthik@gmail.com'



    Manish , Thank you this info.
    For reason of applying can you please send me the format of what you wrote .

  10. jishonline@gmail.com'



    Document number 9-(2) is the Guarantor Employment Letter.
    What if the Guarantor is running his own business? What ind of doc is needed in this case?

  11. kelley.benham@gmail.com'

    Archie K.


    Can you also shoot me a copy of your format (reason letter)? Mucho thanks in advance!

  12. maduchathupeiris@gmail.com'



    I’ve been living in Japan for over 9 years and worked in the same company during that time . There are 6 members in my family. I have 4 chidren and they only speaking japanes . elder one is going to japanes school in grade one. there for i want to get PR as soon as possible . I have to work hard and live free because of my big family. do you think can i get PR in 9 years . could you please post a sample reason letter?

  13. leimu999@yahoo.com'



    Hi thanks for this, it is truly useful. I hope you might be able to help clarify if I am planning to apply for PR. Can I do all at the same time together with my family (all are my dependents) or do I need to acquire PR for myself first then apply for theirs afterward? If at the same time possible do you have experience of what to submit for dependents? Cheers!

    • Reply

      I did apply separately. Honestly it would not matter if you did it all together. Actually saves time and document preparation. For dependents you can use the same documents, no change here. If you apply separately, you can become the guarantor since you already have a PR.

  14. bramesh.venkat@gmail.com'



    Dear Manish,

    I found this link at the right time. I am struggling to prepare the reason letter.
    Would you please send me a reference copy.

    Thank you so much Manish.

  15. jpena930@gmail.com'



    Hi Manish,

    Thanks for this! The excel checklist is what I needed. Like everyone else I’m struggling with reason letter. and not sure how I contributed to Japan Society. Can you post here things I get in now or I can put on my reasons too? or could you also send me a sample of what you used. I will just reference it.


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