How to get a three-year spouse visa
We sometimes receive inquiries from those who have obtained “Spouse of Japanese National” or “Spouse of Permanent Resident” status after marrying a Japanese national or permanent resident, asking why they receive only a one-year period of stay, although they have renewed their status several times and received permission to stay.
We will explain the common reasons for not being granted a 3-year period of stay.
This article in Japanese 配偶者ビザの更新 「３年」もらえないよくある理由
Period of Stay
The period of stay for so-called “spouse visa” and “marriage visa” such as “Spouse of Japanese National” and “spouse or child of permanent resident” is either 5 years, 3 years, 1 year or 6 months.
You may apply for renewal at the immigration office with jurisdiction over your place of residence from 3 months prior to the expiration of the period of stay on your residence card.
If you are granted “Spouse of Japanese National” or “Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident” status for the first time after marriage, you will most likely be granted “one year” as the period of stay. Even in cases where there is no particular problem, “1 year” is often granted again at the first renewal, and “3 years” at the second renewal.
1 year (at acquisition) => 1 year (first renewal) => 3 years (second renewal) is a common pattern when there is no problem.
On the other hand, there are cases where only 1 year is granted for the third and subsequent renewals, 1 year => 1 year => 1 year => 1 year.
How to get 3 years
In order to be granted 3 years of residency, you must meet the following two main criteria:
1．Marriage must be stable and expected to continue.
If the Immigration Bureau consider that there is a problem with the stability and continuity of your marriage, they will not grant you 3 years of residency, as it is necessary to confirm the continuity of your marriage once a year.
- You will be examined in terms of whether you have a stable income and can maintain a livelihood as a household. If your income is judged to be low and your livelihood unstable, it is unlikely that you will be granted the “3-year” visa. For example, if the household income drops significantly due to a job change, or if both of you and your spouse are unemployed, there is a high possibility that you will be judged to have a problem with stability of life.
- Your frequent return to the home country or not living together is likely to be considered a problem with the continuity of married life. On the contrary, the birth of a child and the number of years of marriage with living together are factors that will be judged positively.
2. You need to comply with legal obligations
Payment of taxes and social insurance premiums and fulfillment of notification obligations stipulated in the Immigration Law are also important in order to receive three years at the next renewal.
- If your spouse and you are a company employee and taxes and social insurance premiums are deducted from your paycheck, you do not need to worry. However, if you are a sole proprietor and must pay your own taxes and social insurance premiums, unpaid or overdue payment will greatly damage your credibility, which has negative impact on your renewal. In such cases, you need to the tax as soon as possible.
- Regarding the obligation to notify, it is often the case that you are not aware of when you are required to notify, nor are you aware of the importance of such notification. One of my clients had difficulty in applying for permanent residence because of the violation of the obligation to fulfill the notification.
When are you obliged to notify?
Since there are often cases where people are not aware of the importance of the obligation to notify, here is a summary of when you are obliged to notify.
It is necessary to report at the municipal office or regional immigration office in the following cases
- Matters related to the place of residence
When there is a change in the place of residence, such as moving to a new residence, you must notify the municipal office of the new place of residence within 14 days.
- Matters related to the information on the residence card
When there is a change in name, date of birth, gender, or nationality/region, it is necessary to notify the regional immigration office with jurisdiction of the change within 14 days.
- Matters related to the organization to which you belong
If there is a change in the organization you belong to, such as if you change jobs during your period of stay, or if there is a change in your marital status, such as if you get married or divorced, you must notify the regional immigration office with jurisdiction of the change within 14 days.
By receiving a three-year period of stay, you will reduce the time and financial burden of applying for renewal. Furthermore, if you are considering applying for permanent residence, one of the requirements is that you have been granted a period of stay of at least three years. Therefore, there are many people who would like to get 3 years for the second renewal. The screening process at the immigration office is a comprehensive one, so it cannot be said that you will always receive 3 years if you clear all the requirements explained so far, but the possibility of receiving 3 years is high.
We have been helping many people with their spouse visa applications and we are also happy to offer you a consultation on ZOOM or in person. Please contact us!
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