Question: If someone has a working visa in Japan, will they become eligible for Permanent Residency after some time? When and how can people transition from a Working Visa to Permanent Residency Status?
A. In principle, one may apply for permission for Permanent Residence under the following conditions: 1) They have stayed in Japan for more than 10 years consecutively and 2) during their stay in Japan, they have been granted work permission, such as Business Manager, for more than 5 years consecutively.
However, PR is not automatically granted even if one fulfills these criteria because the Japanese Immigration Bureau decides on whether or not to accept an individual application depending on several factors.
To get accepted for Permanent Residence it is important for the applicant to continue to be familiar with Japanese society as a citizen, observe Japanese laws, earn sufficient income, and fulfill public duties such as pay taxes.
Another possibility for gaining Permanent Residence in Japan would be if someone were to have held a Highly Skilled Professional Visa, such as professor, office worker, business manager, etc. Then they would be eligible to apply for Permanent Residence under the condition that they have stayed in Japan between 1 to 3 years consecutively.