永住ビザ事例13

I am married to a Japanese person and got my permanent residency visa last year. Unfortunately, it looks like we might be getting a divorce. Will I lose my visa?


 To give you a short and sweet answer… no. Once you have been granted permanent residency neither divorce or the death of your Japanese spouse will lead to your current visa being revoked. This is because simply put this is your visa and has literally no relation to your spouse. While being married to a Japanese national makes the requirements for obtaining permanent residency a lot lower once it is obtained there is no condition for being married. This is unlike the spousal visa. In that case if you divorce your spouse or God forbid, they were to die your visa would be revoked. This is why we always recommend those who are married to a Japanese national and who meet the requirements for PR to apply as soon as possible. Life rarely if ever goes to plan and you never know what will happen. Therefore, applying for PR as soon as possible is the best way to ensure your ability to stay in Japan without having your life turned upside down should the unthinkable happen.

 Getting back to the question at hand, a divorce will not lead to your visa being revoked. There are a few ways your visa may be revoked however, and it is important to be careful of these. Once you get Permanent Residency it may be tempting to think that you have the same legal standing as a Japanese person. Especially with regard to the ability to leave and enter the country as you please. However, this is not the case. You may have the ability to live in Japan permanently but just like any other foreign resident your right to freely enter Japan is not constitutionally protected. Further, just like any other visa if you leave Japan on the special re-entry permission system (usually you can fill out a little slip of paper at the airport for this) and you do not return to Japan within 12-months your visa will be revoked. And unless you go to the immigration bureau to apply the traditional way there is no chance of extending this time limit (through the traditional way this can be extended up to a maximum of 5 years).

 This has especially come to light recently with the swathes of people unable to return to Japan due to the current pandemic and Japan’s closed border policy of most of 2020. This has left many people unaware of whether or not their visas are still safe. Therefore, the only advice I can give you is to apply for re-entry permission if you plan to visit your home country.

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