In recent years, many local governments have introduced a same-sex partnership system to treat same-sex couples in the same way as married couples. Overseas, the system for same-sex partners was introduced much earlier than Japan, and the Immigration Services Agency of Japan respects that situation. This article tells you about residence permits for same-sex partners.


〇Is same-sex partner status of residence (visa) permitted?

For cross-sex partners, there are statuses of residence such as family stay for spouses of people poses work visas, and spouses of Japanese or permanent residents for spouses of Japanese or permanent residents. However, this status of residence does not apply to same-sex partners. Therefore, although it does not fall under the existing status of residence, they are addressing it by permitting the status of residence of “designated activities” if certain conditions are met.


〇Conditions for being granted a specific activity visa as a same-sex partner

Currently, the Immigration Bureau grants a status of residence for specific activities based on a comprehensive assessment of other circumstances if the marriage relationship is valid under the laws of the home country. The point here is that the marriage is valid under the laws of the home country, so same-sex partnerships in Japan are not regarded as valid.

The same-sex partnership system in Japan is nothing more than a municipal system and is not recognized as a legal marriage.

In addition, if the marriage is not valid according to the laws of the home country and is registered as a common-law marriage in the home country, the examination will be conducted by comprehensively judging the actual situation of the country.


〇Is it possible to obtain permanent residency as a same-sex partner?

Even for a designated activity visa as a same-sex partner, it is possible to obtain a permanent residence permit if you meet the conditions. However, there are few cases of permanent residence permits for same-sex partner designated activity visas, so we feel that it is necessary to provide appropriate explanations and proof.


Recently, we have been receiving burgeoning inquiries related to same-sex partners and so the Immigration Services Agency have. Japan is required to respond flexibly according to international standards and the times.