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I'm an Irish citizen and I got married to a Japanese citizen in Japan this year. My visa free stay expires in about 3 weeks, but I want to stay and live in Japan without having to leave and come back.

Should I apply for "Application for Change of Status of Residence", and if so can someone explain (or link) to the procedure for applying?

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Officially, if you are currently in Japan as a Temporary Visitor, you must leave the country to apply for a long-term visa. Embassy of Japan in Australia:

Q. Once I am in Japan, can I change my entry status? For example, can I change from a tourist to a work visa?

A. No. Once you are in Japan, in principle you cannot change your visa. If you want to work in Japan you must use a Certificate of Eligibility to obtain a working visa from a Japanese diplomatic mission in Australia or in a third country.

To make this extra annoying, you'll likely need to return all the way to Ireland to apply for your Spouse Visa, since Japanese embassies are typically quite picky about only accepting applications from local residents.

However! Anecdotal evidence indicates that in practice, it's possible to get an "extraordinary" change of status, although this seems to depend on the whim of the official you talk to. Getting married seems like a pretty strong reason though, so give it a shot?

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