Divorce-related issues

[Question]What happens to the Residence Status of a foreign national after divorce?

Mid- and Long-Term Residents who have “Dependent,” “Designated Activities,” “Spouse of a Japanese National, etc,” “Spouse of a Permanent Resident, etc.” status need to notify the Regional Immigration Bureau within 14 days in the event of divorce or the death of the spouse. 

<Divorcing a Japanese National>
If you divorce your Japanese spouse, you will lose eligibility for “Spouse of a Japanese National, etc” status. In accordance with the 1996 Immigration Bureau circular notice, you may be eligible for “Long-Term Resident” status if you are raising your child, who is a Japanese citizen.

<Divorcing Another Foreign National>
If your spouse is a Permanent Resident, you will lose eligibility as a “Spouse of a Permanent Resident,” and if your spouse has a work or study visa, you will lose eligibility as a “Dependent” if you get a divorce. If you wish to remain in Japan after the divorce, you will need to obtain a change in status. 

Following the July 9, 2012 reforms to the Immigration Law, foreign nationals with ““Spouse of a Japanese National, etc” or Spouse of a Permanent Resident, etc” status will be subject to revocation of Status of Residence if they fail to conduct activities as a spouse for six months, unless they have justifiable reasons.

[Question] I am a foreign nationla married to a Japanese citizen. We live in Japan, but my spouse has been unfaithful, so now I want a divorce. Can I receive payments an a share of our join property?

If you and your husband reach an agreement over the financial arrangement, you can make the agreement in writing and have it notarized at a notary public.

If you fail to reach an agreement, you can seek legal settlement and demand the payment of alimony and the distribution of property under Japanese law, which is the applicable law in cases of divorce between a couple composed of a Japanese national and a foreigner who have their domicile in Japan. The amount of alimony is determined based on the length of your marriage, fault in marital breakdown, spouse’s financial ability, and other factors. The property that you and your husband have acquired during the marriage can be divided equitably. Since April 1, 2007, retirement pension benefits accumulated during a marriage can be divided at the time of divorce. The non-contributing spouse is given entitlement to one-half of the benefits earned during the marriage.