Q1. I am a foreign national who is eligible for employment. I would like to bring my wife and child who are overseas to Japan as soon as possible, what is the best way to ensure that all procedures go smoothly?
A1. It is recommended that you obtain Certificates of Eligibility for Status of Residence before applying for the visas.
A Certificate of Eligibility for Status of Residence is a document which certifies that the Minister of Justice has given preliminary acknowledgement that one the reason for entrance (residence) of a foreign national who is seeking to enter Japan falls within one of the statuses of residence stipulated by immigration regulations.
The merits of doing so is that the foreign national themselves or an appointed agent can apply for the document and if this certificate is presented by the visa applicant to a Japanese embassy in a foreign country, it will speed issuance of a visa and disembarkation permission will be easier to obtain when arriving in Japan. Issue of this certificate does not however guarantee automatic issuance of a visa. In addition, this procedure is not applicable for short term stays.
Certificate of Eligibility for Status of Residence Application Procedure Flow (For the situation of the submitter of Q1)
The question submitter should, as the representative of the prospective visa applicants, apply (no application fee) at the immigration office which has jurisdiction over the area in which the question submitter lives. The following 7 documents are necessary when applying.
①Certificate of Eligibility for Status of Residence Application Form
③A self addressed stamped envelope which has affixed postage stamps equivalent for the amount of 392 yen (for registered mail)
④Copies of the Residence Card or passport of the question submitter
⑤Documents which certify the relationship between the question submitter and his wife and child (marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc.)
⑥Documents which certify the question submitter's current employment (certificate of employment, etc.)
⑦Documents which certify the question submitter's annual income and tax amounts (tax certificate, etc.)
After obtaining the certificate, the question submitter should send it to his wife and child overseas and have them apply for issuance of a visa.
*The required documents will differ if the question submitter's status of residence is something other than an employment visa (e.g. exchange student).
Q2. At present I have a "Specialist in Humanities/International Services" status of residence and I work at trading company A. I would like to change jobs and move to trading company B before my current contract runs out, how should I go about doing this?
A2. Your current status of residence may not apply depending upon the details of the work which you perform at the new company, so it is recommended that you obtain a Certificate of Authorized Employment.
A Certificate of Authorized Employment is a document which shows that the Minister of Justice has certified that a foreign national living in Japan is allowed to "carry out activities such as operating a business which generates income" or "carry out activities for which one receives a salary". This allows an employer to verify that the foreign national in question is entitled to work in Japan as well as what type of work activities they are allowed to carry out, and allows the foreign national to easily prove that they are eligible to work as well as allowing for smoother processing in the event they wish to apply for a change in status of residence when they change jobs. However, not obtaining this certificate does not disallow a foreign national from working.
Certificate of Authorized Employment Application Procedure Flow (For the situation of the submitter of Q2)
The question submitter should prepare the following necessary documents ((1) Certificate of Authorized Employment Application Form, (2) the question submitter's passport and residence card (presentation only)) and other materials, and submit them are their regional immigration office. If the certificate is issued, there is a fee charged.
* The materials required to be presented will differ in other situations (e.g. application via a representative).
Q3. I am a Chinese exchange student. Can I have my mother and father come to Japan and live with me?
A3. There is no status of residence for a long terms stay by the parent's of a foreign national who resides in Japan, however they can come on a short term visitor's visa (up to 90 days).
＜Procedures for a Chinese National Residing in China to Apply for a Short Term Visitor's Visa "Family/Friend Visit"＞
For this situation the Chinese exchange student is the "inviter", and the family are the "applicants".
1. Documents to be prepared in Japan
① Letter of reason for invitation
② Schedule of stay
③ Letter of guarantee
④ Guarantor materials
⑤ (In the event the guarantor is not the inviter) Inviter materials
2. Once the above materials have been compiled, send them and 1 copy of all the documents to the applicants in China. It is also recommended that additional copies of these materials be kept for inquiries during screenings and other procedures.
3. The applicants in China must also prepare their passports, photos, and other required documents in addition to the above-listed materials. The required materials will differ depending on the application details, so the applicants should contact the Japanese Embassy or Consulate which has jurisdiction in the area they live beforehand.
4. Once all materials have been prepared on both the Japanese and Chinese sides, the applicants should apply for examination at the Japanese embassy or consulate which has jurisdiction in the area in which they live. (All submitted documents must be submitted within 3 months of original issue. Excluding passports, none of the materials submitted at the time of application will be returned.)
5. Once the application is accepted, it will undergo examination at the accepting Japanese embassy/consulate. The examination period will differ depending on the application details, however it will generally be 1 week (or more) after acceptance of the application.
6. The term of validity for the issued visa will be 3 months. The visa term of validity cannot be extended.
* If applying for a wife or child, rather than parents, the "Dependent" status of residence is applicable and the procedures will differ from the above.
◆Status of Residence
◆The Ministry of Justice webpage
Immigration Information Centers ＴＥＬ：0570-013-904／Weekdays8：30-17：15
（English, Korean, Chinese, Spanish, etc available）
The translation is based on the data available as of February, 2016. Please note that new systems, system changes etc. may have been introduced after this date. Responsibility for the linked websites lies with their creators. Kobe City accepts no responsibility for their content etc.