Can a foreign national who came to Japan on a Temporary Visitor visa change it to a different visa?
The Immigration Control and Refugee-Recognition Law, in principle, does not allow change of visa from a Temporary Visitor visa.
However, there have been exceptions. For example, company employees who came to Japan from overseas and were required by the company to work more than 3 months. Applications for Change of Residence Status to Intra-company Transferee visa were made during their valid visa periods and approvals were issued without requiring them to return to their home country. Also, there have been some cases of foreign nationals who came to Japan on a Temporary Visitor visa, married, and were approved of change of their visas to Spouse or Child of Japanese National visa. There must be adequate proof that the marriage is on genuine grounds. Recently, these cases have become a little difficult. Then there were cases of foreign nationals who came to Japan to sit for examinations for universities on Temporary Visitor visa and were approved of change of visas to College Student. Similarly, there were cases of foreign nationals who came to Japan on Temporary Visitor visa, succeeded in getting a job and were approved of change of visa to Specialist in Humanities/International Services. Likewise, some were approved of change to Entertainment visas after entering into Japan with Temporary Visitor visas.
As a rule, though, it is difficult to change from Temporary Visitor visa to other types of visas. Please enquire our office, if you want to know whether you may have a chance of approval.