I have lived in Japan since April 2009 and speak intermediate level Japanese. Currently, I work at a national university full time (since April 2016); immediately prior to this, I had been working at a private Japanese university full-time (April 2013 – March 2016). Because I had been simultaneously working part-time at my current university (where I worked part-time from September 2012 – March 2016), I have just been told that my contract will conclude at the end of August this year, having reached five years (the upper limit set by this university) of employment with them by this date).
I understand that my full-time experience working at Japanese universities may qualify me to apply for permanent residency under “Contribution to Japan” guidelines. If I apply now, would there be enough time for my PR application to be processed prior to my full-time employment at my current university ending (at the end of August)? Are there any particular disadvantages of getting PR (as an Australian citizen), especially in regard to potential additional tax liabilities either here in Japan (I own no significant assets here) or in home country (where I have a mortgage on an investment property and superannuation)?
– Evelyn, Tokyo
1. If I apply now, would there be enough time for my PR application to be processed prior to my full-time employment at my current university ending (at the end of August)?
An application for the Permanent Resident (PR) is usually accepted at the Regional Immigration Bureaus (Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka). After the examination and trial by the official at the office, the Director General of the office must file the PR case attaching the opinion about his/her decision to the Headquarter of the Immigration Bureau, Ministry of Justice at Kasumigaseki since the PR case must be filed to the Headquarter based on the regulation. The Director General of the office has no right to determine it by oneself same as other cases. Then, the case will be determined finally in the name of the “Minister of Justice” and the applicant will be notified the result after it is addressed to the Director General of the Regional Immigration Bureau. Therefore, it is usually required about six months to one year from acceptance to the decision (notice of a result to the applicant) although it depend on the status of residence, the contents of a case etc.
2. Are there any particular disadvantages of getting PR (as an Australian citizen), especially in regard to potential additional tax liabilities either here in Japan (I own no significant assets here) or in home country (where I have a mortgage on an investment property and superannuation)?
An application for PR differs the criteria/standard applied for each status of residence. According to the Immigration Law, in the case of the “Specialist in Humanities and International Services” given to you in the past and the status of residence “Professor” given actually, one of the requirements is that “the continuous residence term in Japan must be ten years or more in principle”. It means that you do not conform to the standard/criteria since your resident term from April, 2009 is a little less than eight years. On the other hand, you explained me and have your own view that “I would be well treated as a special case since I am a person who contributed to Japanese society/people as an educational job”. It is actually “Yes” or “NO” since there are so many persons who are working for the university, college, school by the status of residence “Professor” or “Instructor” like you in Japan. Some applicants were granted it, but the others were not though it was the same status of residence.
Are the “Person who contributed to Japanese society/people” automatically granted the PR? No, they were not, but the judgment of whether to be the “Person who contributed to Japanese society/people” must be considered individually and determined it case-by-case concretely. The authority will investigate and examine the fountainhead in Japan within the past three years, and it is indispensable requirements absolutely that an applicant must not be behind with public obligations/charge, such as an income tax, a resident tax, and social insurance tax. Besides, if your spouse worked at a part-time job temporarily without getting permission, your application may be disapproved because of this reason only.
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