Permanent F'ing Residency.
Permanent F'ing Residency.
That's four words with a four letter word in the middle :P
Congrats. I got mine in late February, just before doomsday.
Well done :)
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Congratulations! How bad was all the paperwork and bureaucracy in the end?
Last edited by Giel; 05-26-2011 at 03:13 AM.
Just never get a speeding ticket / arrested
It's all a bit mysterious. I wasn't sure how it was going to play out in the end. I have a bit of a unique situation.
I started a Japanese corporation with me as the President, then I sponsored my own visa. I had a business/investor visa so that allowed me to do online sales. I can tell you that owning a Japanese corporation is a constant learning process. You do the best you can, but in the end you don't know everything, mistakes get made, etc. Personally I was fine...my income was good, no trouble with the law, taxes fully paid every year, plus I did exporting which brought a lot of cash into Japan. But even 5 years into doing taxes I'm finding small mistakes because I didn't know what I didn't know.
And this is where immigration comes into play...and the randomness begins. The immigration officer can really look it at two different ways: 1) The company isn't perfect, amended tax returns, late paying city tax in 2008, etc. or 2) Holy shit this gaijin actually went out and started a company and sponsored himself. He put in the time and paid the lawyer and accounting fees and seems to be playing by the rules.
In the end it probably came down to which immigration officer I got and how he felt during the process. If his girlfriend had broken up with him I could be sitting here reapplying for a business visa. A few years ago I went in to renew my business visa and I had 3 years of financial documents, which was a requirement. The guy took one look at the binder and said, "I don't want to read through all of that." WTF am I supposed to say to that? I told him he had to take it and left thinking there was no way in hell I was going to get approved. A few days later I got a call from a nice lady and she said the case had been transferred to her. She eventually approved me.
I guess you can say that there's no way of really knowing what happened within immigration....heh. I used a lawyer for the process. The fee was 150,000 yen (50,000 of which was a "bonus" that only had to be paid if I got approved.) He also said he throw in a free application to renew my business visa if my permanent residence got declined. I think lawyers help a lot. At the end of the day the immigration officers don't want to have to deal with stupid people who don't understand the law. He can also help with the little things like telling you you still need to get a re-entry permit if I ever leave Japan or else my visa gets canceled.
Beyond the initial application they didn't ask for any more information. My lawyer thought they'd need to see updated financial statements but they didn't ask for anything. I applied in the middle of June and got accepted yesterday. Still a bit surprised by it all...
Permanent residency is mostly about convenience and security. I don't have to apply for new visas every 3 years. When you're self employed the trip to the visa office each time meant I was putting my entire future on the line with their decision. A "no" answer means I have to shut down my business. It caused me a lot of stress.
And I don't even need a corporation anymore. Before, the sole purpose of the corporation was just to sponsor my visa, but you ending up spending a lot of time managing the paperwork and paying extra for lawyers and accountants. Now I can just operate as an individual.
I can also get any job. Your visa limits the type of work you can do. Permanent residency means I can have any job I want. My buddy who works for an English school has jobs once a year where you go in and do interviews which pays about $250 a day. It's just seasonal, usually 6 or 7 times over 2 months. It doesn't really get in the way of my other work and you can make $2,000 just sitting in a chair asking questions. I always had to pass on stuff like that since I didn't have the right visa for it.
It also means things like getting a credit card, a loan, buying property, getting licenses (for business), etc., all become easier. And I can leave Japan for a few years and come back and not have to worry about getting a new visa.
It like living in a box and suddenly you're out of the box and you can do whatever you want...
What J-G said. Also, you can leave for an extended period and come back somewhat hassle free. Moving in to Japan (even after you've lived here for years) is still a pain in the cock w/o a visa. You're technically not human until you get some type of non-tourist visa. Nobody wants to rent to you.One question, why ? :P
Remember that you *DO* have to renew your re-entry permit every 3 years. If you're out of the country when it expires, you're fucked.I don't have to apply for new visas every 3 years.
Last edited by GaijinPunch; 05-26-2011 at 09:43 PM.
Yeah, I've been warned about re-entry. Is there any way to do that at an embassy or consulate overseas? Or I must physically be in Japan?
Having said that, make sure you get all your mail taken care of and have a somewhat fake but valid address. My friend found out the hard way with a Shinsei bank account, once your mail is returned to them they freeze your account. Being gone for X years and coming back (without a spouse) will probably require some finesse. Technically, I don't think there is any law or rule against it, although PR is generally issued for people "that want to live in Japan through retirement". You can always bullshit something about it being work or family related and you had to be gone for an extended period. Technically your kuyakusho is supposed to have tabs on you at all times though.
Let me rephrase my question, why did you go to Japan in the first place and started your company. Not asking details, just the reason, i hope not to play videogames only :P
Congratulations! Permanent residency makes a lot of things much easier. I'm currently waiting to be granted PR status in Canada, just had my medical evaluation done last Tuesday. Now it's only 6-12 more weeks and I'll be a permanent resident of Canada if everything works out well. It was quite a lot of work and just like you I/we needed to have a lot of patience, but I believe it will be absolutely worth it.
PR status in Japan must feel really great considering it's the country you like the most. I've always felt that I needed to get away from Germany, from Europe even, but I still can't imagine what it'll be like to be, essentially, a citizen of another country.
<- can someone please make this as a repro and sell it so me?
Being a Permanent resident isn't being a citizen or at least not in Japan. You still can't vote (not that it would really matter) and you are still classed as a "gaijin" which is why you need the re-entry visa. I have a friend from Nepal who did become a Japanese citizen and he honestly thinks life will be much better for him because he's now Japanese. The truth is though, he'll never be fully accepted because he isn't Japanese as in the race. Still, I guess being a Japanese citizen beats the hell out of being a Nepalese citizen.
I'm not too concerned about the the re-entry permit. Long term I have plans to go back to the US but nothing really in the near future. It's a nice option to have but I wasn't really anticipating leaving tomorrow and coming back in 10 years or anything....heh. And if I ever do come back home I'm sure I'll visit Japan again in the future. I know some law firms will act as your "home base" and accept mail on your behalf for a small monthly fee.
Why did I move to Japan? We'll save that conversation for another day...heh. Short version is that I wanted to live in a foreign country and see what it would be like. After 10 years it's still pretty amazing to me. A day doesn't go by that I'm not really interested in the fact that I live here, and I mean that literally.