Change of Visa Status
If you are already in Japan with some kind of long term visa and wish to change it to another type of visa while staying in Japan, it is necessary to file the application for the change of your visa status at the nearest Immigration Office.
In the past, it was possible to change from the temporary visitor visa (tourist visa) to another type of visa if the Certificate of Eligibility (COE) was issued within the validity of your temporary visitor visa. However, the Japanese Immigration Office suddenly changed this treatment without prior notice from around August 2019, and this option is generally no longer available (with the exception of special cases with exceptional reason to justify the need to do this).
Thus in principle, applicants who have obtained a COE now must validate it and get the visa issued abroad.
It is necessary to apply for the change of visa status when...
- A student or a dependent visa holder has found a full-time work
- You are married or divorced with a Japanese national
- You have changed jobs to a different category or industry of work
If you submit the application for the change of visa status just before your current visa expires, your visa is automatically extended for another 2 months from its current expiration date, and the Immigration office will process the application and notify the result before this 2 months extension ends.
It is possible to travel outside of Japan while the application of the change of visa status is being processed as long as you will come back to Japan before the end of this 2 months' extension.
In case your application is rejected, a new temporary status will be given, which will allow you to prepare for the departure.
The application for the Permanent Residence is a completely separate procedure, and you will still need to extend your current visa if it will be expired while the application for permanent is in process (which takes generally about 10 to 12 months).
Please note, the fact that you have applied for the permanent resident visa doesn't automatically give you the right to stay, so make sure not to forget to extend your visa until the permanent residency is finally granted.
We are certified as Immigration Lawyers by the Japan Immigration Office, we can help you with obtaining an appropriate visa and with other Immigration procedures and services.