Visa

For those seeking Long-Term Resident due to a divorce [Part 1]

Divorce Decree

I want to apply for a Long-Term Resident because my spouse and I are considering a divorce…

Many of these questions are sent to us, Asakusa Legal Support.

It is true that the status of Long-Term Resident makes one's residence very "stable" as there are no limitations on the activities one can carry out while residing in Japan.

However, obtaining the Long-Term Resident is not so simple.

Please discuss your options with your spouse again before filing for divorce.

A list of applications for Long-Term residents made public by the Immigration Bureau. The list demonstrates the cases in which the applications were granted or denied.

The examples below might make it clearer to you why obtaining the Status of Long-Term Resident is not always simple.

Examples of those who were granted permission to change status of residence to “long-term resident”

Case 1: Granted
A woman who was married to a Japanese man for six years and six months before their marriage ended in divorce

  • The woman has a Japanese child and has parental authority and had a good track record in taking care of her Japanese child.
  • The woman had a regular income as a home care worker.

Case 2: Granted
A woman who had a factually failed marriage after three years to a Japanese man

  • The marriage had factually broken down due to domestic violence by her former husband
  • The husband and wife had lived apart and both had made it clear they intended to get a divorce, but no legal action had been taken
  • The woman had a regular income as an assistant nurse

Case 3: Granted
A man who was married for six years and one month to a woman who was a special permanent resident before losing his wife.

  • The man needed to continue to run his metal welding business
  • The man had a regular income from his business

Case 4: Granted
A woman who was married to a Japanese man for four years and five months before their marriage ended in divorce

  • The woman has a Japanese child and has parental authority
  • The woman divorced due to domestic violence by her former husband
  • The woman suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by the domestic violence
  • The woman had a good track record in taking care of her Japanese child

Case 5: Granted
A woman who had a factually failed marriage after eleven years and five months to a Japanese man

  • They had no children
  • The woman had lived separately from her husband for 8 years due to domestic violence
  • The husband and wife had lived together for a total of 2 years
  • The husband refused to contact with the woman
  • To move forward with divorce proceedings, the woman consulted a lawyer

Case 6: Granted
A woman who was married for six years and to a man who was a permanent resident before their marriage factually had broken down

  • They had a child who is a permanent resident
  • She had lived separately from her husband over three years due to domestic violence
  • There has been a dispute over custody over the child
  • The mediation had failed, and the husband and wife were preparing to file to divorce

Case 7: Granted
A man who was married to a Japanese woman for seven years and nine months before their marriage ended in divorce

  • The husband and wife had a child
  • The man continues to pay 30,000 yen per month as a support for the Japanese child
  • The man had a regular income as a company employee
  •  The wife has parental authority

In many cases, it is challenging to maintain residency as a Long-Term Resident if the marriage is brief, such as one or two years.

In a Long-Term Resident application, it is also particularly important that the applicant has a regular income.

If Domestic Violence led to the divorce, these circumstances will be considered for the foreign national on the victim's side when applying for permanent resident status.


In the second part, we will discuss the cases in which the applications for Long-Term Residents were not granted.

Author: Asakusa Legal Support

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