If you are a spouse or parent of a Japanese national, you may be able to get Special Permission for Residence even if you are overstaying. Cases of this permission have increased since a relaxation of regulations in the 1990s.

If you are a spouse, you will need proof of your marriage, such as a copy of your marriage registration. Immigration officers will conduct an investigation and a hearing concerning your overstaying. During the hearing, you can make an objection, saying, for example, “I need to stay because I am married to a Japanese national.”

If the Immigration Bureau decides that there is a humanitarian reason for you to stay in Japan, they will issue Special Permission for Residence to you. If your marriage is considered fake or unstable, you may not get the special permission and be deported. If you are deported, you cannot re-enter Japan for at least five years.

If you get the permission, your status would be Spouse or Child of Japanese National or Long Term Resident. Your Period of Stay would be three years, one year, or six or three months.

Another way to get Status of Residence is to use the Departure Order procedure. If you appear at the Immigration Bureau with a willingness to leave Japan, and if you have no other history of violating the law besides overstaying, you can get a Departure Order and leave Japan. People who leave Japan with a Departure Order can re-enter Japan one year later as long as they get a new visa.