I am a graduate student studying here at a Japanese college. I heard from a friend that if you work at a university or other jobs, you can acquire permanent residency after 5 years. Is this true? Do you count 5 years from when you come to Japan or after you start working?
I believe the 5 years is based on the “Guidelines for Contribution to Japan”. These guidelines outline requirements for foreign residents who have lived in Japan for 5 or more years but less than 10 years who desire to apply for permanent residency. For those people who work for universities and other high level university educational organizations and undertake educational and research activities or who have specialized skills in the private sector it is relatively easy to obtain.
On the other hand, it is more difficult for people in the entertainment, sports fields and business sector. For reference, at the bottom of this paragraph we introduce situations in which applications for permanent residency were allowed or not per this guideline.
Next is about “whether one can obtain permanent residency after working for 5 years”, there seems to be some misunderstanding even about this.
For example, a person entered Japan as an international exchange student. In the case that person finds employment after finishing their studies, the permanent residence permit application is recognized when he/she has continuously worked for 5 years or more after the change to work visa from student visa.
However in regards to this, this means that residency as a student is (residence history + employment eligibility) 10 years or more, AND that more than 5 years have passed since changing the status to employment.
For this reason, there are situations in which people who obtain a job after staying for 8 years or more as a student but unless that person works for 5 years after obtaining employment they cannot obtain permanent residency.
Example from the “Guidelines for Contribution to Japan” in which permission has been given or not given for permanent residency. According to the “Guidelines for Contribution to Japan”, an individual who satisfies certain requirements and has stayed in Japan for more than five more years without causing any problems in his/her social life can apply for permission for permanent residence.