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Is it possible to keep Spouse VISA after you get divorce?

Most people choose their partners because they are convinced that they could keep their partnership until one of them end their life. Most people could continue their marriage life in Japan and then apply for Permanent Residence or Naturalization so they could keep their marriage life for life.

But unfortunately, there are some couples whose marriage life end up into divorce. When you are considering to end your marriage, you have so many choices to do. At least you need to make agreement on how you split couple’s asset. If you have child, you need to decide which person have custody on your child. There are so many legal issues and you need solve these to get divorced.

But if you are foreign citizens who have Spouse of Japanese VISA or Spouse of Permanent Residents VISA. You also need to care about your VISA status after you are no longer Spouses of Japanese or Spouses of Permanent Residents. Since you are allowed to live in Japan to engage in activity as Spouses of Japanese or Permanent Residents, you are not eligible for your current VISA status.

So, you couldn’t live in Japan anymore? In this article, I’ll explain what kinds of choices you have so that you could continue to live in Japan.

You can’t keep your VISA status 6 months after the divorce

If you get divorce with your Spouses, you can’t keep your VISA status for more than 6 months. Some people are successful to find new Spouses. In this case, you could apply for Extension of your Spouse VISA. But you will be required to submit additional documents as you prepared for Certificate of Eligibility or Change of your VISA status.

Applying for Working VISA

If you could not find your new spouse, unfortunately your current VISA status will be the targets of cancellation after 6 months of your divorce. If you are possible, I recommend you to find a job and apply for Working VISA. You need to meet the requirement to get the Working VISA and find an employer who spencer your VISA.

Long Term Resident

Long Term Resident VISA let you live in Japan for certain period. You don’t have limitation on choice, time and types of works So you could get much flexibility on life in Japan after you end your marriage. But Long-Term Residents VISA is not available for anyone. You need to have one of the following conditions and meet each of requirements.

1. Long Term Resident after divorce

2. Guarding child who is Japanese

For each of categories for Long Term Residents, there are also requirement you have to meet to be eligible. Here is the requirement.

1. Long Term Resident after divorce

If you get divorced with Japanese, Permanent Residents or Special Permanent Residents, you could get Long Term Resident VISA if you meet the following condition.

① having 3 years normal marriage life in Japan before divorce

② having enough economical ability

③ having enough language ability (Japanese) to engage in daily life without inconvenience and has no difficulty to engage in social life in terms of language ability

④ Obeying public duty or expected to do so

2.Guarding child who is Japanese

If you have a child who has citizenship of Japan, you might be eligible for Long Term VISA when you meet the following requirements.

① Having parent authority

② Having been guarding for certain period of time

Be careful on your VISA status before you made the decision

When you are moving to divorce. I know you have so many legal works to do. You might have to deal with litigation which usually spend so much time and money. Most people who’ve experienced divorce said it is one of the most stressful moment they’ve even had.

But you also need to care about your VISA status since you get VISA because you are spouse of Japanese or Permanent Residence. So you have to search what kind of VISA status you could get and prepare for change of qualification until the process of divorce is finished.

Daichi Ito

Immigration Lawyer (Gyoseishoshi)



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Kamakura International Legal Service is the boutique firm on Immigration Procedures. We are also eager to support foreign citizens who get rejection for their VISA application from the Immigration Bureau so they could get VISA again.

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1 Comment

Unknown member
Aug 18, 2021

Thanks for possting this

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