To obtain a long-term stay period such as three or five years with a work visa

In many cases, the period of stay for work visas such as “Engineer/Specialist in Humanities/International Services" or “Skilled Labor" starts at one year. There are instances where a three- or five-year stay is granted from the beginning, but this is usually because the company has a certain scale or history, and there is little that the foreign individual can do about it.

The benefits of having a three- or five-year period of stay are not only that you don’t need to go through the renewal process frequently, but also that it meets the necessary conditions for applying for permanent residency. Conversely, those with a one-year period of stay cannot apply for permanent residency.

Here, we will explain how to obtain a longer period of stay of three or five years.

Conditions for a Three- or Five-Year Period of Stay

The following are conditions for receiving a longer period of stay. However, it is not necessary to meet all of these conditions. Please consider them as factors that are positively evaluated.

Long-term Employment Contract

If you want a three- or five-year period of stay, but your employment contract with the company is less than one year, it will be difficult to get a long-term period of stay. Ideally, the employment contract should be for more than three years, or even better, as a permanent employee.

High Salary

Depending on the family structure, a minimum monthly salary of around 250,000 yen is desirable. For foreign business owners, salaries are often set at 180,000 or 200,000 yen, but such amounts make it difficult to obtain a visa for more than three years.

Few Dependents

It is acceptable to have dependents such as a spouse or children, but sometimes people include their parents or siblings from abroad as dependents. If this is true, it cannot be helped, but if it is for tax-saving purposes without actual support, obtaining a long period of stay will be difficult. This is very important and should be carefully noted.

Not Exempt from Resident Tax

This also relates to the number of dependents. If the salary is low and the number of dependents is high, resident tax becomes exempt. In Japan, “resident tax-exempt households" imply low income, making it difficult to obtain a long period of stay in such an unstable situation.

Holding Titles or Positions

Positions such as section manager, department manager, manager, or director are also positively evaluated.

Long-term Employment with One Company

Stability is important, so frequently changing companies every year can be negatively evaluated.

Complying with Laws and Regulations

It is important not only to avoid committing crimes but also to adhere to the rules set by immigration law. Immigration authorities closely observe whether you report to them within 14 days if you quit your job or get a new job. Many people neglect this, so be careful.

Proper Management by Business Owners

Since it is a work visa, it is also important that the company is operated appropriately. This includes timely filings and submissions of reports as required by law or regulations. The preparation dates of documents related to the company submitted during the visa application process must also comply with the legally specified deadlines.

Enrollment in Social Insurance and Welfare Pension

Especially common among companies run by foreign business owners is the lack of enrollment in social insurance or welfare pension. This is negatively evaluated. Generally, you do not need to submit documents regarding social insurance or welfare pension enrollment during visa renewal, but submitting copies of insurance cards, etc., to show proper enrollment can be advantageous.

Directly Requesting a “Three-Year Visa" is Also Important

Often, people say, “I think it’s okay to have a visa for more than three years, but I can’t seem to get one." When I hear their stories, there are usually no significant issues, so it wouldn’t be strange for them to receive a visa for more than three years.

In such cases, it is helpful to attach a letter titled “Request for Granting a Period of Stay of More than Three Years" and earnestly express your desire for a visa longer than three years. In my experience, there is a high probability of receiving a period of stay of more than three years.