Application For Change of Status of Residence in Japan

Here’s a glimpse of a procedure that seems nerve-racking, yet absolutely a necessary thing to do if you’re residing in Japan. Keep in mind that this is based on my experience so some things may not be applicable to you depending on your case.

I previously had a dependent visa, a type of visa given to spouses or children of people staying in Japan under the work visa and non-working visa (except for temporary visitors and trainees). It’s categorized as a non-working visa, but if you obtain permission from the immigration office and work below the limited hours per week (except for temporary visitor and trainee visa holders), it’s actually possible for you to work.

Since my husband’s application for the permanent resident visa was granted, we intended to advance my status of residence as well. Together, we submitted our application for Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident visa at the regional immigration office located in Saitama since I currently live in the area.

tokyo regional immigration bureau saitama branch office
Shimoochiai, Chūō-ku, Saitama, Saitama Prefecture 338-0002 — 9 min walk from the Yonohommachi Station.
9 min walk from JR Kita Yono Station.
16 min walk from Yono Station. 
18 min walk from Saitama-Shintoshin Station. Business hours: 9:00 to 12:00 and 13:00 to 16:00. Closed on Saturdays, Sundays and National Holidays.

This type of visa has no restriction on the activities to be engaged, so it’s likely to work in any field or industry. Furthermore, you’re allowed to switch jobs or to have more than one activity. The application could take 1 to 3 months to be processed but fortunately, I was granted the visa and received it in just about 3 weeks. Imagine me jumping from one cloud to another.

I’m sharing this experience with the intention to somehow ease your worries. This is the least I can do. Here’s how we applied for the visa. Links are inserted for your reference only.


  1. Application form (1 copy, A4 size)
  2. My recent photo 4cm×3cm (1 copy) — placed on the application form
  3. My residence card
  4. My passport
  5. Our Certificate of Residence
  6. My husband’s Certificate of Income
  7. Questionnaire (filled out by my husband) — You can get it from the embassy or download it (A4 size).
  8. Letter of Guarantee (by my husband)
  9. Our Marriage Certificate

PROCEDURE (at the immigration office)

  1. Go in line for a number.
  2. Approach the window where your number is called from and hand over your documents. Further instructions will be given to you.
  3. If you’re not asked for additional documents, you should now pay for the application and you’re off to go.


  1. The officer might ask you to submit some supporting/ additional documents, but don’t fret. I’m sure they’re not difficult to gather or maybe you already have them.
  2. Prepare 4,000 JPY for the application fee.
  3. Be there at least 30 minutes before the office opens to avoid the long queue.

Believe it or not, we only spent about an hour doing this activity and didn’t even experience any unpleasant situation with the officers. So I’ll give them the thumbs up sign for that! Now that you have the idea of what it’s like to do the application for change of status of residence, keep calm and pray for the result you desire. Best of luck!


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