Under current regulations, a resident who scores 70 points and above is eligible for permanent residency after five years. All other foreign residents have to wait ten years before being considered.
Under the new system, due to come into play sometime in March, those who score 70 points will be eligible for permanent residency after three years instead of five. If you have a score of over 80 points then this drops down to as short as one year.
There are numerous advantages that will build your score. Having a doctorate degree will score you 30 points, 20 points in the case of a masters. Other additions such as having an N1 level Japanese language certification will get you an additional five points. Being able to demonstrate a high level of achievement, such as winning well-known awards, conducting projects for a competitive fund or having a patented invention grants you up to 25 points.
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