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The Dependent (Family Stay) Visa Part 1

The acquisition of the visa is necessary for foreigners to live in Japan for long period of stay. We will give insight to one of the visa types—the Dependent Visa in today’s article.

1. The Dependent Visa as One of General Visa Types

For foreigners who has the residence status of “Professor”, “Art”, “Religion”, “Media”, “Investment/Management”, “Legal/Accounting”, “Medical”, “Research”, “Education”, “Technology”, “Humanities/International work”, “Intra-company transfer”, “Entertainment”, “Skills”, “Cultural activities”,  or “Student” are eligible to support a family member in Japan (which is limited to the spouse and children). When we talk about the dependent visa, it is one type of general visa, and it is for foreign spouses and children to receive support from the one who is working in Japan with eligible working visa. In this case, parents are not eligible for dependent visa.

2. Period of Stay of Dependent Visa

The period of stay of dependent visa is divided to 11 types, which are 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 1 year 3 months, 2 years, 2 years 3 months, 3 years, 3 years 3 months, 4 years, 4 years 3 months, and 5 years. However, since the period of stay is the same as that of the family supporter’s visa, the dependent visa will expire when the family supporter’s period of stay expires.

3. The Content of Activities of Dependent Visa

  • It is allowed to attend school or to receive education because the activities are recognized to fulfill daily life needs of spouse or children.
  • As a general rule, dependent visa holders are not allowed to work and earn income. However, they can work up to 28 hours a week and earn income if he/she applies for an activity permit outside of residence status.

4. Requirements of Dependent Visa

  • It has to be applied for spouse and children. Non-registered spouse and homosexual spouse are not accepted, but adopted children and children not from original wife are accepted.
  • Both spouse and children are dependent on the family supporter. If the person wants to get income with dependent visa, he/she will need to apply for an activity permit outside of residence status or to obtain a work visa.
  • The family supporter has a stable income. Family members (spouse/children) of students who have student visa can also obtain the dependent visa, but there are strict conditions, for example, the study period has to remain for two years or more. If you do not meet all the requirements such as study status, attendance rate, or ability to support family members, you will not be granted the visa.
  • You must have a valid passport that does not fall under the reasons for entry refusal.
  • For short-term training, spouses and children of the trainees cannot obtain dependent visa.
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