Japan Opens Long-Term Residency to 4th-Gen Descendants

Eligibility for long-term residency in Japan has been extended to fourth-generation ethnic Japanese immigrants, contingent upon fulfilling specific criteria. This development, confirmed by Japan's Immigration Services Agency, is poised to benefit individuals from diverse countries, including Peru and Brazil, as reported by VisaGuide.World.

Permanent residency for 4th-gen Japanese descendants

To enact these alterations, Japan will modify its residency status system, enabling these individuals to potentially reside in Japan indefinitely. Qualification necessitates a minimum five-year residence in Japan and proficiency in the Japanese language to a certain degree.

This policy revision, effective from Thursday, is designed to address Japan's labor shortages resulting from a dwindling population. Justice Minister Ryuji Koizumi has indicated that the criteria will be relaxed to encourage a higher influx of individuals into Japan.

Initially introduced in 2018, the system for fourth-generation descendants aimed to facilitate their employment and study of Japanese language and culture. The program grants a designated activities visa, allowing work for individuals aged 18 to 30 upon entry into Japan, supported by relatives.

Although Japan's Immigration Services Agency projected annual participation of 4,000 people, only 128 had utilized the program by the end of the previous year, prompting a system overhaul.

With the revised system, fourth-generation residents can switch to long-term resident status after a five-year stay in Japan, given they possess an N2 certificate or equivalent 

Japanese-Language Proficiency Test skills. Furthermore, they will be permitted to bring family members from their native countries.

The Japan Times highlights that the agency also plans to increase the entry age limit for the program to 35 and remove the support requirement for those residing in Japan for over three years.

Japan's designated activities visa caters to individuals 18 years and older with savings exceeding 30 million Japanese yen, held jointly with a spouse, as stipulated by Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.