Japan’s Entry Restrictions and its Effect on Permanent Residence Applications

This is Yuka of IMS.As Japan gradually relaxes its initially strict entry restrictions, foreign nationals with mid-to-long term statuses of residence have begun returning to Japan. Although this may be good news, the opening of borders may also raise a critical question for those who wish to apply for permanent residence in Japan.

To be eligible for permanent residence application, the Immigration Bureau of Japan states that applicants must reside in Japan for a consecutive number of years, which may differ based on your status of residence. However, due to entry restrictions, many foreign nationals have been unable to return to Japan and may be wondering if this absence from Japan means that they will have to restart the count of their consecutive years of residence.

The answer, in short, is a conditional no.

According to the guideline linked above, the Immigration Bureau announced special measures that states that they will disregard the time spent outside of Japan due to entry restrictions if the applicant fulfills the following two conditions:
1. The expiry date of the Permission of Re-Entry or Temporary Permission of Re-Entry to Japan issued to the subject is between January 1, 2020 and the month after entry restrictions are completely lifted.
2. The subject enters Japan within 6 months after the entry restrictions are lifted.
Since entry restrictions have yet to be lifted, no one at the moment falls under any of these two conditions.Feel free to contact IMS if you require any help, including everything from understanding current measures set forth by the Immigration Bureau to permanent residence applications, and many more immigration-related concerns.