Immigrate to Spain from Japan
Updated on Friday 22nd May 2020
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Spain is one of the top locations in Europe for expats. Japanese who move to Spain do so largely for employment purposes or for study purposes, with many of them residing in Barcelona. However, some Japanese also choose to come to Spain’s Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where they retire or simply enjoy the beautiful Islands long-term, not only for the permitted three months without a visa.
Regardless of their reasons, in order to immigrate to Spain from Japan, individuals will need to submit an application to the Embassy of Spain in Tokyo or another Consulate of Spain, such as that in Osaka or Nagoya.
Our team of immigration lawyers in Spain can assist all interested Japanese nationals who wish to know how to apply for a proper employment or study visa and how to obtain the subsequent residence permit. The process is not complicated, however, our team can help you throughout the needed stages and when filling in the application form. It is recommended to handle some of the steps in advance, so you can reach out to us as soon as you decide to study or work in Spain.
Applying for a residence permit for Spain immigration
Japanese citizens can enter Spain and stay without a visa for a maximum period of three months. During this time they must be in the possession of a valid passport. However, the visas that allow foreign nationals to stay in the country for longer periods of time are awarded according to the purpose of the stay. Thus, they can be for employment, study or even family reunification purposes. The application for these types of visas can be downloaded from the embassy’s or the consulate’s website and the visa applications are filed in person, along with the required or supporting documents.
Below we describe the main types of visas that can be awarded to Japanese nationals who wish to live in Spain:
- for working in Spain: Japanese nationals can work either as employees or self-employed individuals in Spain; many of the positions occupied by them are management ones in international Japanese companies that are also present on the Spanish market; a highly skilled professional's visa is also available.
- for studying in Spain: a student visa is an option for Japanese nationals who wish to spend more than three months in the country in order to enroll in a lengthier study master’s or Ph.D. programme; the visa can be extended if the study period needs to be longer.
- the non-lucrative visa: it allows foreign individuals with a reliable source or income to reside in Spain for more than three months; the visa application will also need to include proof of income for the applicant and for the family members, if applicable.
- the investment visa: this is a type of residence permit offered to foreign nationals who make a substantial investment in Spanish property.
The supporting documents for the visa application differ from one type of visa to the other, however, in general, the applicant will need to provide the confirmation letter (for study) or the employment contract, as well as proof of approval for the investment. Other general documents will include a valid passport, travel insurance, proof of address and proof of income (when required), a criminal record and health certificate as well as two photographs.
Post-arrival requirements for Japanese citizens in Spain
Once they arrive in Spain, Japanese nationals can begin to handle the post-entry formalities. These include obtaining a foreigner identity card and a foreigner’s identity card (applications are submitted with the Provincial Brigade of Immigration and Borders) and the foreigner’s identification number or NIE (applications are submitted at the Consular Post in the district in which the foreigner resides).
Japanese citizens who have been temporary residents in Spain for five consecutive years and meet the applicable conditions can obtain long-term residence. One of our agents who specializes in Spain immigration can give you more details about the long-term residence permit checklist. Japanese who have been living in the country for ten years following the first residency application can acquire Spanish nationality. This is possible for many Japanese expats living in Spain and the period can be reduced if, at the time of the application, the Japanese national has been married for one year to a Spanish national. The application for nationality is summited to the Civil Registry of Consulate.
For more information about emigrating to Spain from Japan, please contact our immigration lawyers. We can help answer any questions and assist you during the visa application procedure and once you arrive in the country, with complete services for expats in Spain.