Working Holiday visa
This is a special visa for citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Korea, France, Germany and the United Kingdom between age 18 and 30.
Foreigners who are married to a Japanese national or permanent resident of Japan can apply for a spouse visa. Spouse visa holders are allowed to engage in any paid activity. A spouse visa is valid for one or three years and needs to be extended before it expires.
Foreigners who are married to a holder of a working visa can apply for a dependent visa. A dependent visa is valid for between three months and three years and needs to be extended before it expires.
Holders of a dependent visa are not allowed to engage in any paid activities, unless they get the permission of the immigration office. Even then, dependent visa holders may work only a set maximum number of hours per week.
Foreigners who have resided in Japan for at least five consecutive years (less if married to a Japanese national) and fulfill a few more vaguely defined conditions, can apply for permanent residence. Permanent residents do not need to worry about extending visas anymore and are allowed to engage in any paid activity.
All foreigners who stay in Japan for more than 90 days, need to apply for an alien registration card within the first 90 days of their stay. Applications can be made at the local municipal office (e.g. city hall). The alien registration card is an important document required for opening a bank account and similar activities. Foreign residents are required to carry their alien registration card with them at all times.
Holders of working, student and spouse visas, as well as permanent residents need a re-entry permit in order to keep their status of residence when returning to Japan after a temporary absence from Japan. Without re-entry permit, a person who leaves Japan, will lose his/her status of residence. Re-entry permits for either single or multiple use can be obtained at immigration offices (and some airports in case of emergencies).
Foreigners who have resided in Japan for at least five consecutive years (less if married to a Japanese national) and fulfill a range of other vaguely defined conditions, can apply for Japanese citizenship. Japan does not allow multiple citizenship, which means that new citizens need to renounce their previous citizenship(s).
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