Friday, 18 July 2014

Permanent Residency Application Submitted

Click to enlarge to see chart of submitted items.
As of July the 9th I've lived and worked in Japan for a whole 10 years. Big pat on the back for me, I'm officially one of those tired looking gaijin slumped at the bar in Golden Gai. People have been surprised that I can use "chopstick" about 3,500 times and I finally understand after being told 400 times that Japan has 4 seasons.

So to make housing loans easier down the line I decided to get my 永住権 or permanent residency.
I looked up the new points system chart and can see that I have enough points to meet the 70 required.

40 pts: from being age 38 and earning plenty of money
20 pts: from working in Japan for 10 years
10 pts: from having a degree

Here's what I submitted this morning at the Shinagawa middle of nowhere immigration centre:

1. Application form
2. 1 photo attached to application form with tiny bulldog clip
3. Certificate of residence (住民票)
4. Residence tax proof of payment certificate for the last 3 years
5. Proof of your guarantor's income for the last year.
6. Certificate of employment
7. 3 years of certificate of income and withholding tax
8. Letter of guarantee, signed by guarantor (wife).
9. Letter of recommendation written by hand - not required, but helpful.
10. Copy of your bank statement - not required, but helpful.
11. Colour copy of property deeds
12. Colour copy of degree certificate
13. Colour copy of residency card from and back
14. Colour copy of passport
15. Colour copy of all family member passports on one sheet

NOTE: Certificate of 'registered matters' (外国人登録原票記載事項証明書
gaikokujin touroku genpyo kisai jiko shoumeisho) was recently discontinued with the introduction of those new residency cards and now the 住民票 will do.

NOTE: I never got around to the 'Letter stating the reason you want to apply, in Japanese.'

NOTE: I was going to submit the family register 戸籍謄本 too, but I forgot to pick it up yesterday. What's on that that isn't on the 住民票 anyway?

NOTE: There are points if you have the Japanese proficiency JLPT level 1. I probably should have submitted proof of Japanese ability.

NOTE: I should have submitted proof of all volunteer work I've done. Japanese blogs say that stuff helps.

NOTE: Kuyakusho told me income tax payment certificate 所得課税証明書 / shotoku kazei shoumeisho is the same as 住民税の課税証明書  jyuminzei no kazei shoumeisho and wouldn't give it to me. So I only submitted 3 years of 住民税の課税証明書  jyuminzei no kazei shoumeisho.

NOTE: For bank statements I copied one 通帳 from Mizuho bank showing dates as 2004, and another recent 通帳 from SMBC showing the massive loan for a house we just got in 2014, ten years later. Shinsei bank that I use for my monthly pay is internet only, and totally awesome for a regular bank because they have free bank transfers, good forex rates, and free ATM withdrawals.

NOTE: My wife was my guarantor, she has no current employer so no certificate of employment.

NOTE: Did not supply map to my house.

NOTE: Permanent residency application submitted on Friday, July the 18th 2014.


1. Doors at the middle of nowhere Shingawa immigration centre open at 8:30am. At 8:30am there's usually a queue of about 50 people all after different things. When the doors open everyone runs in different directions to where they need to be. Be near the front of the queue and run upstairs to counter B.

2. Counter B is for all visa application stuff. Get to the counter before 9am and you collect a number.

3. With any luck you have a low enough number to be in the first flight of people being served. Write your address on a postcard, say thank you and you could be out of there by 9:10.

*** 2014/12/05 UPDATE ***
Got a letter from the immigration centre asking for:
1) Wife's Kosseki Tohon (戸籍謄本)
2) 3 years of tax statements including this year.

I'm sure I sent this stuff in the July application, but asking for this stuff rather than just failing the application is a great sign. Went straight down to the ward office, got the requirements, and sent back.

*** 2014/12/15 UPDATE ***
Phoned up the immigration centre to ask how the application is going. Bloke said: "Daibu susunde imasu ne, kongetsu-chu ni kekka ha deru to omou". Very promising!

*** 2014/12/22 UPDATE ***
Getting impatient so phoned up again. Bloke said: "Shinsei ha saisyuusteki na joutai desu. Koko ha 26nichi made kedo, girigiri nennnai ni todoku to omou"

*** 2014/12/25 UPDATE ***
Went to take the wrapping paper rubbish out on Christmas Day, and what a Christmas present in the post box! Postcard telling me to come to the immigration centre to pick up my permanent residence arrived!

*** 2014/12/26 UPDATE ***
Picked up my permanent residence card:
1) Arrived at the immigration centre at 11am
2) Got 8,000 yen's worth of revenue stamps at family mart
3) No queue so handed postcard, passport and gaijin card straight in at the counter
4) 5 minutes wait
5) Picked up old gaijin card with hole in it, new gaijin card with "永住者" on it, and passport.

1) So now what happens if I leave Japan? The permanent residency is held in my gaijin card. But when you leave Japan you have to hand that in.