Living in Japan

Getting Permanent Residence in Japan: New Rules Announced

The Japanese Ministry of Justice has decided that it is going to amend the rules for becoming a permanent resident in Japan to allow foreigners to apply for permanent residence after as little as one year in Japan. These rules will become effective as of the end of March 2017.

The current rules require a minimum of five years of residence in Japan, so the amendment will represent a big change to Japan’s immigration policy.  The Ministry began the public comment process on the new rules on January 17th, and plans to implement the new rules through ministerial ordinance by the end of March this year.

At present, foreigners wishing to receive permanent residence status must live in Japan for a minimum of ten years, although the minimum residence period is reduced to five years for “highly-skilled [foreign] professionals” (高度人材). “Highly-skilled [foreign] professionals” are defined as foreigners who receive at least 70 points on the Ministry’s immigration scorecard. The scorecard is based on an assessment of criteria such as professional qualifications, education level, and annual salary.

The Ministry plans to change the rules so that after merely three years of residence a foreigner may qualify for permanent residence, with the minimum period reduced to one year for “highly-skilled [foreign] professionals” who can score at least 80 points on the Ministry’s scorecard.

The Ministry also has plans to expand the criteria it uses in its immigration scorecard. In the future, foreigners with special skills in information technology (IT), wealthy investors, and graduates from top international universities will receive additional points, making it easier for them to reach the 80 point threshold. The Ministry plans to amend the immigration scorecard concurrently with its scheduled March changes to the minimum residency period.

Source: Nikkei Shimbun, January 18, 2017

52 thoughts on "Getting Permanent Residence in Japan: New Rules Announced"

Raj Sharma



Is there any one who can tell me how much point I will get if I have Executive MBA and bachelor degree

Executive MBA=20 or ?

Is it rigt

Beth Brown

I will be right there Ariell!


I seriously need to find work in Japan. Oy.

Patrick Behuhuma

The coolest thing ever hehe 🙂


so you get points for being privileged enough to simply be associated with a “top” university? this years top? last years? 5 or 50 years ago? and IT skills- how about skills in crypto currency like mt. gox and bitcoin?! sounds like japan wants to open the doors to more mark karpeles types lol. in case you haven’t been, universities are full of the most mindless and useless people you will ever meet; that’s why they must go there in the first place. just pay the $$, do the time, and do whatever they’re told, for that credential name. their own statistics tell them that the more they are willing to pay beyond the peak of the curve, the less intelligent they are and the greater their need to mask it. the more they excel at the memorization to pass exams game, the less intelligent they are. sounds like a recipe for a huge influx of memorization master chinese language brains. natural intelligence is from birth/youth. your richest people are nowhere near your smartest. btw, its not your wisest who are the ones who so easily throw their $$$ into “economy”, its their exact opposites who do! do like the USA and allow for the import of the worlds lowest quality immigrants, least educated, big socialist govt preference, most likely to make babies, dump $$, and chase after obtaining more “stuff”. all while maintaining monkey pride and allegiance to some other gangs flag. mindless legacy monkey business.

Psofa Dopoulos

Well in IT universities people are certainly not among the most useless or mindless , nobody excels there by chance. Regarding the natural intelligence thing, I have seen that real intelligence is to keep working and learning, because hard work and dedication to learning constantly vastly outweigh any natural talent. Lastly, top universities students will receive additional points, but that’s it,they won’t be given 80 points at once, they will have to keep proving their efficiency, and I doubt anyone at Japan keeps giving money at someone who is not effective at work and constantly just tries to mask his incompetence – if someone does manage to pull that off, he gets away anywhere in the world,it’s not like it’s easier to be done in Japan.

Gul Akbar

Definetly Japan will prefer their own intrrst not yours…


well that’s rather rude… I’m sorry you’re as mindlessly educated as you are. Now I could be wrong but… I doubt it.


Your inability to punctuate or form proper sentences is not helping your argument. The two largest influences on an individual’s intelligence are the books they read and the people they spend the majority of their time with. Obviously this starts with immediate family, as children immitate their parents’ thought processes and behaviour. It is not a magical gift from birth.

The value of university is that your peers and professors challenge your preconcieved notions and assumptions. Being exposed to new concepts is more difficult than ever thanks to the echo-chamber of social media. The additional benifits are the resources available to students from the library and direct engagement with the lecturers.

It is an egregious mistake to think that higher learning can be achieved through simple rote memorisation. Most freshmen who believe such nonsense end up dropping out before the year’s end. This is because they do not bother to engage with the classes, discuss with their peers or make the effort to visit the library.

Out of the many friends I’ve made over the years, the ones without degrees are often the most closed-minded and angry individuals. Correlation might not always be causation, but there is certainly a noticeable pattern!


I just checked out this excel point calculator they got on their page, and if we would take the current point system, then it would be almost impossible to reach 80 points, unless you earn minimum 20M YEN. Are they nuts? They are definitely aiming only for 0.00001% of people.


That’s completely incorrect. If you’re a researcher, you get 45 points just from phd and publications (that any researcher would have). Then depending on your age anything between 6 and 9 million will do, which is not unrealistic


Actually I noticed there are multiple sheets in that excel file. What I looked at was business management. Happens when you got a crazy resolution and the sheet tabs are just somewhere at the bottom


Not all researchers have a PhD. I’m employed as a researcher and I, like many others, do not possess a PhD.


Then you have a master’s and it’s still 20 points instead of 30 for the phd… did you actually look at the tables?

Flávio Nunes

Sorry guys, but where is this excel you´re talking about? Can’t find it.


Here at the bottom of the page – this is the current system:

Flávio Nunes

Thank you!!


What do the tables have to do with my comment? All I said was that researchers don’t necessarily have a PhD.


Original point : you have to make more than 20m yen to fit within the parameters.

My point : that’s not necessary, as a researcher with a PhD you can get in with a more modest salary

Your point : you don’t have to have a PhD to be a researcher

My reply : even without the PhD you can still get enough points to enter the scheme.

I don’t particularly care about the definition of researcher, I brought up the PhD example because that’s my situation. The point I was trying to get across is about who can benefit from the scheme

Gul Akbar

Its unrealistic…

Martin Axios Ờ White

@laurakurotobi:disqus You are currently employed in japan in a lab? I have so many questions as a foreigner. If you could let me ask you some questions that would be awesome. You can email me at Please and thanks


I wouldn’t say a lab, I don’t do that kind of research.

Martin Axios Ờ White

@laurakurotobi:disqus But can you email me, many questions! It would be extremely helpful!

Gayan Munasinghe

Hmm, I just got this visa. Yeah it is not easy, but not impossible.


Once you become permanent resident, you are taxed on world wide income rather than just Japanese sourced income. This appears to be a ploy to raise revenue rather than to keep workers…strange how the article doesn’t mention the reason for this change….


it’s true for US but is it true for Japan? Do you have source?

Peter Payne

I think you’re taxed no matter what, as a resident. But how many here have rental properties in the U.S. that Japan taxes? Oh yeah, I do.

The Real Deal

You’re doing something wrong or you need a better accountant. Maybe some more moxie on your part would help?


You are confusing permanent resident status for immigration and full residence for tax. The two are not connected. Japanese citizens resident in Japan and foreigners who have spent more than 5 of the last 10 years in Japan are fully resident for tax. Foreigners who have spent less than 5 of the last 10 years in Japan are not and are only taxed on Japan source income (or amounts remitted in). This is true regardless of whether the foreigner holds a permanent resident visa.


Once you become permanent resident, how easy is it to become a Japanese citizen?


Virtually impossible


Do you know anyone who has succeeded at it?




And this man as well.

The Real Deal

Only about 10,000 people a year.

Jayson Samson

not easy! you need a N1 License, and you must be included in a Japanese family tree (not necessarily have Japanese blood- marrying Japanese gets you to be included in a Family tree)
and during the duration of you entire stay in Japan you must have followed all their rules such as paying taxes on time. I got lots of friends that are now Japanese citizen.


Does anyone know if you can apply to this if you are a sole-proprietor/個人事業?


a sole-proprietor of what, may I ask?


I need a help which alive to job. I have some skill about physics and mathematics. In this country has prejudice for a depression. I very hard alive by naturaly because if I got a job, the saraly is too much cheap because of the depression. I was closed my future by phychopath professor, but he could exempted about the sin using the power under Japanese justice. I am at least to teach or to introduce basic physics and mathematics for junior and high school students. Please give to me a chance for survive.


My physics level is not creative, but as anology proved including aboundary conditon on anihilation electron-positron with two-ganma relationship by using Naver-Storks and Euler equations with classical analysics. The result was to give the first point above of anihilation. Indeed, I recently solved Onsager’s problem using complex funtion, super fluid helim-4 and classical mechanics, namely it was proved the solution of the problem on Maxwell equation. I don’t have Ph.D, can’t create a new theory by modern mathematics, however I can support to many students without high leve schoolers.


The people this plan targets are the same people most any country would want to attract, and Japan would not be first on the list of attractive places to live and work for most of this population.

Tekkon Takyon

I really want to meet the individual willing to jump through all these hoops to become a permanent resident of Japan. The type of person their targeting could literally work any where in the world, make more money, and with less hassle immigration wise


Hi, nice to meet you. The thing is, it really isn’t difficult: one form to fill in that takes about two minutes and copies of documents you already have. It’s basically a freebie if you meet the criteria

Gul Akbar



Presumably people who enjoy paying a 55% tax rate.


Does anyone know if this has officially come into effect yet?


Awesome to hear, I know a few friends with PR already.

Raphael Leray

According to this page (ministry of justice) linked on the immigration site: nothing has change. You still need 10 years of residence including 5 years of activity to be able to apply for permanent residency.

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