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What is a family visa?The flow from application to acquisition

What is a family visa?

The number of foreigners in Japan is 2,561,848 (2017, Ministry of Justice website), which is said to be the largest ever.
If a foreigner stays in Japan for a long period of time, he / she must obtain a visa such as an advanced professional visa, work visa, general visa, specific visa, entrepreneur visa, diplomatic visa or official visa.
In this article, we will explain the flow from application/purpose to acquisition / change / update for a family visa (one type of general visa).

What is a family visa?
Family visa, a type of general visa, refers to a visa for foreign spouses and their children who have obtained a working visa and work in Japan. Parents are not eligible for a family visa.
Family visa can be 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 1 year and 3 months, 2 years, 2 years and 3 months, 3 years, 3 years and 3 months, 4 years, 4 years and 3 months, above 11 types are specified. However, because the period of stay is the same as that of the dependent's visa, the family stay visa expires after the dependent's period of stay expires.

Activities included in family visa.

What are the activities that people can do with a family visa?

Can receive education
You can go to school with a family visa. With family stay visas, “daily life as a spouse or child” is accepted as a condition of activity, so it is possible to attend school and receive education.

Employment is possible if certain conditions are met
As a general rule, with a family visa is not allowed to earn income.
However, if you apply for a non-qualified activity permit separately from your family visa, you can work up to 28 hours a week and earn income.

Examination points and requirements for family visa

What are the screening requirements for a family visa?

Being a spouse / child
The “family” framework defined in the family visa refers to the spouse and child of the worker. Please note that parents and siblings of work visa holders are not applicable.
A common-law wife / husband or same-sex marriage is not allowed as a spouse, but an adopted child or a recognized non-extracted child is allowed as a child.
When foreign parents with work visas stay in Japan, it is common to get a short-stay visa.
If you have special circumstances, such as your parents needing care or nursing, or are not familiar, you can apply for a visa in the form of a specific activity visa.
If you are divorced, you will not be able to stay in Japan with a family visa, but you may be able to find a place of employment and change to a work visa.

Both spouse and child are dependent
Family stay visas must be dependent on both the spouse and child. If you want to receive compensation on a family visa, you must apply for an off-qualification activity permit or obtain a work visa.

Stable income on the dependent side
A family visa cannot be obtained unless the income of the dependent person is stable.
Family members (spouse / children) who have a student visa can also obtain a family stay visa. However, there are some conditions for obtaining a family visa with a student visa, and it is necessary to have at least 2 years of study abroad, attendance and study status of international students, and whether you can support a person who has a family visa. If you do not clear all items, permission will not be granted.

Not applicable to entry reasons
This means that you have a valid passport and have entered the country with permission from an immigration officer. In other words, it means that you are staying in Japan with proper permission, so it will be no problem unless you are illegally entering the country.

Others
For short-term training, spouses and children of the trainee cannot obtain a family stay visa.

Documents required for family visa

What documents are necessary for family stays? We will introduce what is required at the time of application and what is required at the time of renewal.

Documents required for application
・ Certificate of Eligibility
・ Application reason book
・ ID photo
・ Reply envelope
・ Documents that can prove the identity (one copy of family register, certificate of acceptance of marriage, marriage certificate, birth certificate) * Japanese translation required

If you are a Chinese, you will need both a marriage certificate and a birth certificate. If you are a Korean, you will need a marriage certificate, basic certificate, and family certificate.

Documents about foreign dependents in Japan
・a copy of passport
・ Resident tax certificate (one year's total income and tax status are listed)
・ Real estate lease agreement * If you have purchased a house, certificate of entry
・ Deposit balance certificate in the name of dependent

Proof of employment
[A company employee with a work visa]
・ Work certificate and salary certificate (income can be seen clearly)
・ Company profile (what you can get an overview of where you work)

[President on business management visa]
・ Registration certificate
・ Copy of articles of incorporation
・ Copy of business license (only for industries that require permission)
・ Company Profile
・ A copy of the balance sheet and income statement for the most recent year
・ A copy of the statutory record totals table (with the receipt stamp) of the withholding slip of the salary income of the staff for the previous year
・ Copies of documents that show executive compensation (such as minutes of shareholders' general meeting)
[International students]
・ Part-time job salary certificate (last one year)
・ Certificate of scholarship benefits (if you have received a scholarship, specify the amount and duration of benefits)
・ Documents certifying remittance from parents (such as remittance certificate)
・ Livelihood certificate for the past year and the next year


Documents required for renewal

There are fewer renewal documents for family stay visas than application documents, but you should apply within the renewal deadline.
You can also download the residence certificate from the Regional Immigration Bureau or the Ministry of Justice website.

Common documents
・ Certificate of Eligibility
・ Original passport
・ Postcard for reply (fill in address)


Documents about foreign dependents in Japan
・ a copy of passport
・ Resident tax certificate (one year's total income and tax status are listed)

Proof of employment
[A company employee with a work visa]
・ Certificate of work and salary
[President on business management visa]
・ A copy of the balance sheet and income statement for the most recent year
・ A copy of the statutory record totals table (with the receipt stamp) of the withholding slip of the salary income of the staff for the previous year
・ Copies of documents that show executive compensation (such as minutes of shareholders' general meeting)
[International students]
・ Part-time job salary certificate (last one year)
・ Certificate of scholarship benefits (if you have received a scholarship, specify the amount and duration of benefits)
・ Documents certifying remittance from parents (such as remittance certificate)
・ Deposit and savings balance certificate

How to apply for a family visa

How to apply
The application flow is as follows: ①Confirmation of conditions → ②Preparation of documents → ③Document preparation → ④Submission → ⑤Notification → ⑥Update procedure.
Applicant
Application for a family visa can be made by a family or an administrative scrivener certified by the Immigration Bureau. Family application visas have many necessary documents, and administrative scriveners often act on their behalf.
If your child is born, you must apply to the Immigration Bureau within 30 days.
Apply
Bring your application documents and proceed.
Documents written in a foreign language must be translated into Japanese. As a general rule, submitted materials will not be returned.
If you move during application, be sure to apply to the Immigration Bureau. If you are asked for additional documents, apply within the deadline.
If you get a family visa
It takes about 1 to 3 months for the examination results to come out. If permission is granted, a Certificate of Eligibility will be sent in a reply envelope.
To enter Japan with a family visa, you need to send a certificate of eligibility to the home country and issue a visa to enter Japan at the Japanese embassy or consulate in your home country. The expiration date is 3 months, so be careful to enter the country within this period.

Application method at the time of renewal
Family stay visas can be renewed 3 months prior to the date of stay. Expiration is considered overstay, but it does not result in an illegal stay even if the period of stay expires during the examination.
The application method at the time of renewal is the same as when applying for a new application. You will be notified by postcard when changing or updating.
The family visa can be renewed / changed by the dependent, or by an administrative scrivener certified by the Immigration Bureau, as well as by the applicant.
The examination results will be notified in 1 to 2 months, so bring the postcard and the processing fee of 4,000 yen within the expiration date to change or update.

How to apply when changing to a family visa
If you already have a Japanese status of residence (visa) and you want to change to a family residence visa, you will need a change permit to change your status of residence.
Basically, the procedure is the same as the renewal application, and the review results will be sent by postcard. After the screening, you will need to go to the Immigration Bureau and complete the procedure by the deadline. A fee of 4,000 yen will also be charged for changes, so please bring it with you at the Immigration Bureau.

Summary of family visa
Family stay visas can only be applied for dependent spouses / children, and parents cannot obtain family stay visas.
The key points of a family visa are being dependent, being a family, and clear reasons. In some occasions that you might be denied, you can ask the Immigration Bureau about the reason. Even if it is not permitted, you may be able to obtain it if you prove it properly.
Also, when you work part-time on a family visa, make sure that you need permission for non-qualified activities and that you cannot enter Japan unless you have been issued a Certificate of Eligibility.