How to invite your family to Japan with your student visa
We often receive inquiries from foreign students who are currently in Japan with “Student” visas and wish to invite their wives (husbands) and children in their home countries to Japan.
Is it possible for a foreign student to invite his/her spouse to Japan?
This article in Japanese: 「留学」ビザで家族を日本に呼びたい 「家族滞在」ビザ
Can any foreign student invite family members?
To invite your family to Japan, you need to apply for a “Dependent visa”. Even if you have a student visa, you may or may not be able to apply for a “Dependent visa” as a sponsor. It is not a question of whether or not you will get approval, but whether or not you can apply in the first place.
Cases in which you can apply
- University or equivalent institution students
- Graduate school students
- Professional training college students
Cases in which you cannot apply
- High school students
- Japanese Language School Students
Note that although a professional training college is positioned as a “higher education institution” like a university or junior college, a Japanese language school is not treated as a professional training college, and therefore, foreign students from Japanese language schools cannot invite their family members on a Dependent Visa.
The following are the two main points that will be examined.
1. Sponsor’s current status in Japan
Your current status in Japan will be examined. The immigration office will look into your attendance and grades at school, and whether there are any violations such as overwork in their part-time job. If there are no problems with these matters, applications from students at national universities, students at prestigious private universities, and government-sponsored international students tend to be approved.
2. Financial ability of the sponsor
Proof that you (the student) can support your invited family is the most important point of screening. If you are an international student, even if you can do a part-time job, you are limited to work up to 28 hours per week (40 hours per week during long vacations), and if your only source of income is a part-time job, your application is often denied because the immigration officials do not believe you can support your family financially or they think you might do overwork.
If you have income other than from a part-time job, such as having large savings, receiving a scholarship, or receiving remittances from your parents in your home country, it is important to prepare proof documents and prove that you can support your family.
It is possible for your family members invited to Japan on a “Dependent visa” to work part-time. However, even if you include your family member’s expected income from their part-time job, you will not be taken as having a financial ability. This is because the immigration office will examine whether you can support your family based on your past income and expenditure record.
Documents proving the ability to support dependents
You can submit the following documents as proof.
- A copy of the bankbook of the bank account
- Pay slips for part-time work
- Documents proving remittance from abroad
- Certificate of receipt of scholarship
- Lease agreement showing rent
- A balance sheet of living expenses for the next year
You are not overworking regarding your part-time job, are you? For example, if you are working part-time at two locations, the total hours of your part-time work at the two locations is 28 hours per week or less. Please note that it is not 28 hours or less at each location. The immigration office may check with the company where you are working part-time.
We have also heard that the immigration office has detected cases in which a person has separated the paychecks for each part-time job into different banks and only submitted the bankbook for one of the banks.
This is a violation of Japanese Immigration Law and may result in deportation, or may be disadvantageous in the next renewal of your visa.
Unfortunately, it is not easy for foreign students to invite their spouse or children to Japan on a Dependent Visa due to their ability to support their family. However, it is not impossible.
We have had cases where a university student with a Student visa could invite his spouse and two children to Japan on a Dependent visa. It is important to prove the financial ability to support your family to the immigration office.
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