What is ”Status of Stay” or ”Visa” in Japan ?

The legal systems of immigration and administration of foreigners with "status of stay" in Japan are defined by Immigration Controls and Refugee Recognition Act ("ICRRA", hereafter), 「出入国管理及び難民認定法」, or the immigration law of Japan. 

We hereby describe the outlines of the legal system on "status of stay" in Japan.

"Status of stay" is often called "visa" or "visa status" by foreigners in Japan, as it is called popularly in their countries.

We also let you know the reasons why you had better hire an immigration lawyer or visa lawyer like us for the legal process on visa in Japan.

I. Immigration or Visa Systems in Japan

A "foreigner", which is defined by ICRRA as "other than a citizen of Japan", who stays in Japan should generally stay in Japan with a "status of stay" which has been obtained by the foreigner or with the "status of stay" which has been changed after the obtaining.

ICRRA also defines that a "status of stay" should be determined by an immigration examiner at the same time when the examiner permits for landing to a foreigner, while a foreigner should legally carry the passport and a visa issued by a consular officer or others of Japan, to apply for landing. 

It is thought that the immigration examiner shall practically permit for status of stay in accordance with the visa carried by the applicant for landing, so a "status of stay" is popularly called as a "visa".

It is principally necessary to apply at an embassy or a consulate general of Japan in the country where the applicant lives, in order to get a visa before arriving or landing Japan. 

Currently, it is common to get a certificate of eligibility from a regulated immigration office in Japan before applying for a visa at a diplomatic office in the country where the applicant lives.

Please see "Certificate of Eligibility" page of ours.

Statuses of stay or visas have many types, like many other countries.

ICRRA defines thirty types of statuses of stay or visas. 

The visa with which you are permiotted to live in Japan may restricts activities or the job of yours in Japan.

These types of visa are called as "activities visa"s .

Otherwise, you might be possible to apply for a visa based on your family relations in Japan.

These types of visas are called as "resident visa"s and you can basically choose your job in Japan freely, if you are permitted for a resident visa. 

Please see "Type of Visa" page of ours.

You might be permitted for change of the visa for which is permitted when you started living in Japan, in such a case that you are starting working, changing your job or marrying with a citizen of Japan and so on.

Moreover, if you bear or have a baby in Japan, your baby also needs to be permitted for acquisition of a visa.

As almost all types of visas, except for two, should be permitted with conditions of durations.

If you are willing to continue living in Japan beyond the maturity of the visa for which you are permitted, it is basically necessary to be permitted for extension of the visa for which you have been permitted.  

In order to permitted for a certificate of eligibility, change of a visa, acquisition of a visa or extension of a visa, you need to apply to the minister of justice in accordance with procedures regulated in ICRRA and related regulations made by the ministry of justice.

Immigration Services Agency of Japan ("ISAJ", hereafter) is an external bureau of the ministry of justice, which is responsible for immigration and administration on stays of foreigners in Japan. 

It is actually necessary to apply to a regional immigration bureau or its branch office under ISAJ, when you are willing to have visa processing. 

ISAJ currently has eight regional immigration services bureaus, which are defined by ICRRA, Sapporo, Sendai, Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Takamatsu, Hiroshima and Fukuoka.

The regional immigration services bureaus have several branch offices. 

II. How to Apply for Visa and "Immigration Lawyer" / "Visa Lawyer"

In order to apply for visa processing, the applicant or its legal representative, such as a mother or a father of a child, is principally required to attend a regional immigration services bureau or its branch office and to submit the visa application, there.

The applicant for a certificate of eligibility or regulated agent defined by the ministry of justice is also principally required to attend a regional immigration services bureau or its branch offices and to submit the application for a certificate of eligibility. 

The applicant for visa processing or a certificate of eligibility or the legal representative just can apply to the regional immigration services bureau or its branch office, which governs the place where the applicant lives or is planned to live, not to any other regional immigration services bureau far from the place of the living.

It is principally required by ICRRA and related regulations that the applicant or its legal representative should submit a signed application form in a regulated format with supplemental documents required by regulations made by the ministry of justice, when applying for visa processing or a certificate of eligibility.

Please refer to our "Required Documents" page which shows required documents by regulations made by the ministry of justice, for each visa status. 

We think that it is difficult to prepare the application form and supplemental documents for visas, even for Japanese people, much more difficult for people from overseas.

It is also difficult to negotiate or to communicate with officials of a regional immigration bureau without knowledge on legal or governmental practices in Japan.

ICRRA admits that a registered legal specialist such as a registered "gyoseishoshi" lawyer (we call it as an immigration lawyer or a visa lawyer here) or a registered attorney at law("bengoshi"), can attend a regional immigration services bureau or its branch office and can submit regulated documents in place of the applicant or the legal representative for many types of visa application or application for a certificate of eligibility.

We, Nihonbashi Prime Legal Office, as an immigration or visa lawyer office registered by Tokyo Immigration Services Bureau, can any visa application form or application form for a certificate of eligibility and documents to be attached to the application form.

We can also submit the prepared visa application form and attached documents to a regional immigration services bureau on behalf of the applicant.

You don't need to go to or negotiate with the immigration bureau by yourself, if you hire us. 

From March 2022, it has come to be possible for us, immigration visa lawyers or visa lawyers, to submit some visa applications via internet, without going to a regional immigration services bureau .

We, Nihonbashi Prime Legal Office can accept requests of visa application from clients throughout Japan, not only living in Tokyo area but also living other than in Tokyo,

as long as it is possible to apply via internet. 

Please refer to "Online Visa Application" page of ours for more details.

III. How to Contact Us

If you need any supports or have any problem or trouble on your visa or certificate of eligibility, please feel free to send your request or inquiry to us via "contact us" page

You can also contact us via instant messaging service, WhatsApp or Telegram.

@ +81 90 6188 1648 

Otherwise, please contact us by phone or by email !  You can contact us either in English or in Japanese.

Mobile : 090-6188-1648

Email : nihonbashiprime@gmail.com