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I want to bring my husband to Japan. What are my options for visas?

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Visa Application Services >  Visa application Q&A > I want to bring my husband to Japan. What are my options for visas?
I want to bring my husband to Japan. What are my options for visas?
There are many options for bringing family members to Japan.

However, since you are talking about your spouse I will focus on these options. The methods available to you will depend on two things.

1.Your visa status.
2.Your spouse’s status (i.e., do they want to work or will they be supported by you)
1.First Option- Dependent Visa

This is the first and most obvious option for your spouse to be able to live in Japan. This visa allows the holder of a working visa to sponsor an immediate family member i.e., a spouse, child, or parent to come and live in Japan.

However, as this visa requires you to support your spouse, there is no ability to work. This is however, unless special permission is applied for and even then, they are only allowed to work within restrictions i.e., fewer than 28 hours a week etc.

The second and main real issue with this visa is that it depends heavily on your visa status. Although technically anyone with a valid working visa can sponsor their spouse or child for this visa this is very unlikely to be accepted unless you hold a HSP (Highly Skilled Professionals) visa. That brings us to the second option; a working visa.

2.Second Option- A Working Visa

Although this doesn’t involve sponsoring your spouse’s visa this could potentially be the best option. If your partner is able to find a job that fits under the scope of one of the many working visas, they may find this the most practical way to get here.

One of the main benefits being that they can work and earn money. Another positive is that your finances and visa status won’t become the basis for whether or not they are eligible for a visa. So even if you don’t have a highly skilled visa this is still a possible route.

3.Third Option- Spouse of a Permanent Resident

Similar to Japanese nationals, holders of Permanent Residence are able to sponsor their spouses to be able to come and Live in Japan. This is one of the strongest family visas because there are no work limitations meaning your spouse can work in any field and change jobs without having to report to the immigration bureau. Further, similar to the spouse of Japanese national visa, this loosens the period of residence in Japan required before your spouse is able to apply for their own Permanent Residence.

Currently the requirement to be eligible for PR is to have been living in Japan for 10 consecutive years. However, for spouses of Permanent Residents this can be obtained after 1 year living in Japan (providing you have been married for 3 years prior to your application).

4.Fourth Option- Designated Activities

Recently with the increase in global acceptance for same-sex marriage, the potential for sponsoring same-sex spouses for visas in Japan has started to come into the limelight. This is an issue because save for a few local municipalities with their own special situations, same-sex marriage is yet to be legally recognized in Japan. This means that the dependent visa which is limited to family i.e., spouses and children isn’t an option.

In this case there is a recent trend of the immigration bureau issuing the designated activities visa as a work around. This isn’t an officially recognized route for a visa and so it is not guaranteed. However, unlike the dependent visa there are abundant cases of people with the humanities visa having this accepted for their same-sex partner. Similar to the dependent visa though this visa does not allow the holder to work. However, you can still apply for permission in order to engage in a part-time Job (up to 28 hours a week).

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