Visa Application Services
ACROSEED Immigration Lawyer's Office

(Mon.-Fri. 9AM~6PM)
Contact us  

Which is Better, Naturalization or Permanent Residence?

Reviews from our clients
Visa Application Services >  Visa application Q&A > Which is Better, Naturalization or Permanent Residence?
Which is Better, Naturalization or Permanent Residence?
Naturalization and Permanent Residence are often regarded as basically the same as both have no expiration date. However, if you look closely at them, you see that they are in fact very different.

Characteristics of Naturalization

Application for naturalization is the process of acquiring Japanese nationality.

In many foreign countries it is possible to acquire a second nationality without having to forfeit the original. Because of this many people come to us with the intention of gaining Japanese nationality in addition to their own nationality.

In other words, you are forced to give up your original nationality if you want to become a Japanese citizen.

We therefore recommend that you consider the effect losing your current nationality will have.

Naturally, naturalization comes with benefits such as gaining a Japanese passport, the right to vote in Japan and the right to live here indefinitely and even live abroad for an indefinite period without losing this right.

However, this may lead to needing to get a visa to visit your home country and have negative effects when it comes to being able to look after your parents or other family members.

Occasionally, you may hear rumors that naturalization will allow you to bring your parents to Japan to look after them, however this is not guaranteed. We also hear stories about people who need to care for their elderly parents but cannot go back to their home country to do this because they lost that nationality.

Characteristics of Permanent Residence

On the other hand, while Permanent Residence means you can stay in Japan indefinitely, it is only a visa, and your nationality is not changed by its acquisition.

Therefore, even if you become a permanent resident, you will still need to obtain a re-entry permit and renew your resident card, and if you forget to follow these procedures, your status of residence may be revoked.

If you wish to live in your home country in the future it may be better to apply for Permanent Residence depending on how your country deals with people who have renounced their nationality.

Comparison of advantages and disadvantages of permanent residence and naturalization

Permanent Residence Naturalization
Advantages ・No restrictions on duration of stay or activities
・Can maintain nationality of home country
Acquisition of Japanese nationality
Obtain a Japanese passport
The same rights as Japanese nationals are granted.
Disadvantages There is a possibility of deportation.
Not granted the same rights as Japanese, such as the right to vote, social welfare, etc.
∙ Must renounce nationality of home country
May have difficulty living in home country depending on country of origin


To summarize, both Permanent Residence and Naturalization have their own inherent advantages and disadvantages, so we recommend that you consider which is best for you based on your situation. This means that you will need to consider whether you will return to your home country in the future and if so, would naturalization make this difficult.

Q&A Supervisor

ACROSEED Immigration Lawyer's Office
Representative Administrative Scrivener
Makoto Sano

1998 Graduated from Aoyamagakuin University
2001 Registered as an administrative scrivener

He has Over 20 years of experience as an international administrative scrivener, specializing in foreign employment consulting and residence procedures for foreign residents in Japan.

Click here to see information about his business achievements
Click here to see books he has authored

Related services
Q&A list for permanent residence visa application

Permanent Residence Guarantor

I am married to a Japanese person and got my permanent residency visa last year. Unfortunately, it looks like we might be getting a divorce. Will I lose my visa?

Please tell me the requirements for obtaining Permanent Residence in Japan

I am considering applying for permanent residence, but I have traveled abroad a lot for company business and I am concerned about my residency history.

I would like to apply for permanent residence, but will I be denied if I have a history of traffic violations?

Which is Better, Naturalization or Permanent Residence?

Google Reviews

Free consultation/inquiry for visa application

Since opening our practice in 1986, we have been involved in consulting on visa applications for foreigners for nearly 40 years as an immigration lawyer.
Telephone consultation, email consultation, online consultation, and consultation at our office are available.