Researcher

Activities that can be performed in Japan:

Participating in research through a contract with a public or private organization in Japan.
Applicants who fall under this criteria include researchers working for government agencies and private companies, etc.

Documents to be submitted

  Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4
Classification
(Institution of affiliation)

Institutions/organizations which:

  1. Companies listed on a Japanese stock exchange
  2. Mutual companies operating an insurance business
  3. Local government agencies (foreign or Japanese)
  4. Independent administrative agencies
  5. Semi-governmental and licensed corporations
  6. Locally or nationally approved charitable organizations
  7. Public corporations listed in Appendix 1 of the Corporation Tax Act
  8. Companies which fall under clause a or b as stated in the center column of the special supplemental table in Article 1, Paragraph 1 of the Ministerial Ordinance on Highly Skilled Professionals (also known as "innovation companies")
    * Please refer to the "List of Measures to Promote Innovation" in the link above.
  9. Companies that satisfy certain conditions (in Japanese)PDF

Institutions/organizations which:

  1. Individuals or organizations whose withholding records (as listed in the total statutory report) from the previous year totaled 10 million yen or more
  2. Institutions that have received approval to use the online residency application system
Individuals or organizations who have submitted documentation regarding their employees’ total income, such as their withholding records, for the previous year (excluding those who fall under Category 2) Those who do not meet any of the conditions listed in the other categories.
Documents to be submitted

General

  1. Application form for change of status of residence - 1 copy
    * This form is available at Regional Immigration Services Bureaus.
    You can also access it via this page.
  2. One photograph (4 cm long × 3 cm wide)
    A sharp, clear photo of the applicant facing forward with no hat, cap, or head covering taken against a plain backdrop with no shadows; must have been taken within three months prior to submitting the application.
    The photograph should be attached to the photograph section of the application with the name of the applicant written on the back of the photograph.
  3. Presentation of passport or residence card
  4. A document (or documents) certifying that the applicant falls under one of the categories listed above.

    Category 1 A photocopy of a quarterly report, or another document (photocopy) proving that the company is listed on a Japanese stock exchange
    A photocopy of a document certifying that the institution has been approved by the relevant authorities
    Proof that the "innovation company" falls under clause a or b as stated in the center column of the special supplemental table in Article 1, Paragraph 1 of the Ministerial Ordinance on Highly Skilled Professionals (ex. a copy of the grant approval notice)
    A document proving that the company meets the aforementioned "certain conditions" (ex. a copy of the relevant certifications)
    Category 2 A copy of a document related to one’s total income for the previous year, such as withholding records (stamped with the seal of the office that accepted it)
    Documentation proving that the institution has received approval to use the online residency application system.
    (emailed notices of approval, etc.)
    Category 3 A copy of a document related to one’s total income for the previous year, such as withholding records (stamped with the seal of the office that accepted it)
  5. In cases where work will be performed under a dispatch contract (the applicant is being dispatched)
    Documents outlining the applicant's activities at their intended destination (notifications of working conditions (employment contract), etc.) - 1 copy
In principle, no other documents are required for Category 1 and Category 2.
  1. One of the following documents that clearly defines the activities of the applicant:
    1. (1) In cases where a labor contract is being executed:
      Documents which state that the working conditions are compliant with Article 15, Paragraph 1 of the Labor Standards Act, and Article 5 of the Ordinance for the Enforcement of the Labor Standards Act.
    2. (2) In cases where the applicant is assuming a post as an executive member of a Japanese company:
      Copies of either the articles of incorporation which detail the remuneration for executive members, or the minutes from the general shareholders meeting in which the remuneration was decided upon (for companies with a compensation committee, then those minutes)
    3. (3) In cases where where the applicant is transferring to the Japanese branch of a foreign company, or assuming a post as an executive member of a Japanese non-corporate organization:
      Documents from the relevant organization which state the applicant’s position (job description), contract period, and remuneration
  2. A document certifying the applicant's academic background, work history, and other relevant background information:
    1. (1) One copy of a resume which clearly outlines the applicant’s skills, experience, and period of time in which they have been employed in their field
    2. (2) One of the following documents, in cases where the applicant is subject to Standard Ministerial Ordinance No.1:
      1. One copy of a graduation certificate from a tertiary institution, or a document certifying that the applicant has attained an equal or greater level of education, or a document certifying that the applicant has attained an advanced diploma
      2. One copy of a document that certifies the applicant’s length of experience as a researcher (including any period where the applicant conducted research at a graduate school or a university)
    3. (3) If the proviso to the standard ministerial ordinance applies to the applicant:
      1. One copy of a document which clearly outlines the applicant’s job description, position, and remuneration over the past year, issued by the foreign organization at which the applicant worked immediately prior to their transfer (includes any Japanese organizations at which the applicant worked during this period, if the applicant has resided in Japan within 1 year of the transfer while maintaining their status of residence as a researcher)
      2. One of the following documents, which indicate the relationship between the business office where the applicant worked prior to the transfer, and the business office where the applicant will work after the transfer
        • If the applicant’s transfer is taking place within the same company:
          One copy of the foreign company’s Certificate of Registered Matters, or any other document that certifies that the foreign company has an office in Japan
        • If the applicant is being seconded to a Japanese company:
          One copy of a document which clarifies the investment relations between the relevant Japanese company and the foreign company from which the applicant is being seconded
        • If the applicant is being seconded to a foreign company with an office in Japan:
          • One copy of the relevant foreign company’s Certificate of Registered Matters, or any other document that certifies that the relevant foreign company has an office in Japan
          • One copy of a document which clarifies the capital relationship between the relevant foreign company and the company from which the applicant is being seconded
  3. Documents that clearly defines the employment activities
    1. (1) Informative materials outlining the employer’s history, staff, structure and business operations (including major clients and accomplishments)
    2. (2) Other documents required to support/supplement the information provided in (1)
    3. (3) A certificate of registration
  1. One copy of the financial documents for the current fiscal year (if the applicant is transferring into a position as a researcher)
  1. Copies of recent financial documents (for the current fiscal year), or copies of financial plans (for new businesses)
  2. Any of the following materials which clearly explain why the withholding records from the previous year cannot be submitted:
    1. (1) For institutions that do not need to withhold taxes at the source:
      1. One copy of a certificate from a foreign corporation which proves that taxes do not need to be withheld at the source (or similar documentation)
    2. (2) For institutions that do withhold taxes at the source
      1. One copy of a notification of the establishment of a payroll office, etc.
      2. Either of the following materials
        • Statements (copies of dated receipts) which show that income taxes (for retirement, etc.) have been paid over the past three months
        • Documents which show that approval has been obtained for an exemption of payment
  • "Applicant" refers to a foreign national wishing to enter and reside in Japan.
  • All certificates issued in Japan must have been issued within three months prior to the submission of the application.
  • Presentation of proof of identity (certificate of permission to act as a proxy, family register, etc.)
    Regarding the above, if the application is being submitted by someone other than the applicant (the person submitting it should refer to this page ), proof of identity is required to confirm that they are qualified to do so. Even if the application is submitted by someone other than the applicant, presentation of passport or residence card of the applicant as written above in point 3 is required.
  • It should be understood that other materials may be requested after the application has been submitted.

Reminders

  1. If the submitted documents are in a foreign language, attach Japanese translations.
  2. As a general rule, submitted documents cannot be returned. If you wish for them to be returned for a special reason, such as difficulty obtaining new originals, make a request for their return at the time of application.
  3. If the scope of your activities changes, please apply for a change in status of residence as soon as possible. If you are not engaged in activities related to your designated status of residence for more than three months, then your status will be revoked.

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