Can Permanent Residency in Japan Be Revoked?

Many people who visit Japan never want to leave. 

Luckily for non-residents, there is a path to staying long-term. 

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If you’re looking to change locations for an extended period of time, or even for good, seeking permanent residency can be your answer. 

But that’s a lot of work to go through if your home can be taken away.

Every country has varying residency rules, so read on to find out if permanent residency in Japan can be revoked. 

How can you achieve permanent residency in Japan?

Can Permanent Residency in Japan Be Revoked? 1

There are many ways to achieve permanent residency in Japan, and they all have various time commitments that future residents must hit.

Here are a few of the ways to become a permanent resident in Japan:


If your spouse is a citizen or permanent resident, you can become eligible to become a permanent resident after one year of living in Japan.

For this to work, you must be married to your spouse for at least three years. 

Also, if you are adopted, you can marry your Japanese sibling and gain permanent residency. In this sense, Japan and China have similar cultures and laws, as both allow adopted siblings to marry.


If you are a child of a citizen or permanent resident, you can receive permanent residency after one year of living in Japan. 


The amount of time spent in Japan also can lead you toward permanent residency. If you have a visa and have also used a work visa for five consecutive years, you can be eligible for permanent residency after ten years.

Can permanent residency in Japan be revoked?

Yes, permanent residency in Japan can be revoked.

Permanent residents are not Japanese nationals, so they are still able to be sent back to their home country. 

There are many reasons why residency can be revoked, including:

  • Leaving the country without re-entry permission
  • Submitting fraudulent information when applying for permanent residency  
  • A new address is not reported within 90 days of making the change
  • Convicted of a drug violation
  • Prostitution

This list is not exhaustive.

Learn more about what you need if you want to move to Japan without a degree.

Can I lose my permanent residency after divorce? 

Once permanent residency is obtained, it cannot be taken away because of divorce. 

Once a person has been married to a Japanese national or foreign resident for three years, and they have resided in Japan for three years, their permanent residency is their own and they are not only in the country because of the spouse. 

If a divorce occurs before permanent residency is obtained, then the non-native partner will not be able to renew the spousal visa.

The non-native partner can obtain a different type of visa, like a work visa, if they wish to remain in the country. 

So, even if you became a permanent resident in only three years by means of marriage, your residency will not be revoked simply because of divorce.

It can certainly be revoked for other issues, but divorce is not one of them. 

You can learn more about divorce in Japan at the US embassy.