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Mr. BURNS THOMAS RICHARD, who is of American nationality, has been working as an English instructor at Tokyo English Language School for 17 years since he came to Japan in 2006, and is now serving as the school’s president. He obtained a permanent residency visa in June 2023. We asked him about the process leading up to obtaining his permanent residency visa and his interactions with the Immigration Lawyer’s Firm SGX, at that time.



お名前 トム・バーンズ様( THOMAS RICHARD BURNS様)
国籍 アメリカ
入国 2006年4月
永住権申請 2022年10月20日
永住権許可 2023年6月30日
現住所 東京都豊島区
ご家族 独身

Renewing a work visa can be tiring, so many people recommend applying for permanent residency instead. This option has piqued my interest as well. (就労ビザの更新が大変で、みなさん永住権を申請するよう勧めてくれているので私も興味を持ちました。)

-First, when did you come to Japan and for what reason?まずはいつ頃、どういった理由で来日されたのでしょうか?

BURNS様:I have been to Japan three times in the past. The first time, I traveled to Kyoto and Tokyo on a tourist visa. The second time, I graduated from a graduate school in the United States and obtained a work visa in Japan to work at Yobiko School in Tokyo. After that, I moved to the Philippines and the United States. Then, in April 2006, I returned to Japan again, and this is my longest stay. On my third visit, I decided to continue living in Japan for a long time.


-Can you tell us about your current job?(現在のお仕事についても教えていただけますでしょうか?)

BURNS様:I am currently the principal of Tokyo English Specialists College, and I may be the first foreign resident to hold this position. I was appointed as president in June 2023, possibly due to obtaining a permanent resident visa. Although my official title is “President of Tokyo English Specialists College,” I am primarily known as a teacher with a strong interest in imparting knowledge to young people and shaping their minds. I am committed to maintaining a high standard of education and producing graduates who are ready to take on leadership roles in the world.


-When and why did you decide to obtain permanent residency in Japan?(いつ、どんなきっかけで日本の永住権を取得しようと決意されたのですか?)

BURNS様:A work visa usually needs to be renewed after 1, 3, or 5 years, but renewing it can be tiring. Many people recommend applying for permanent residency, which has piqued my interest as well. With permanent residency, you only need to update your ID photo every 7 years. There are many reasons to enjoy life in Japan, such as having many friends here and being able to use medical insurance. As I get older, I need to visit the hospital more frequently, and medical expenses are also high in countries like the US and the Philippines. Additionally, Japanese pensions are higher than those of other countries. Furthermore, buying a house in Japan is relatively inexpensive. I am considering retiring soon and purchasing a traditional Japanese house, called “ikenya,” and I would like to live in a detached house if possible. Overall, Japan offers a wonderful quality of life that is hard to find in many other countries.



I decided to request your company’s permanent residency application agency service because I received a very clear explanation during the online interview.(オンライン面談でとてもわかりやすい説明をいただけたので貴社に永住申請代行サービスの依頼を決めました。)

-When and where did you learn about our permanent residency visa proxy service?(弊社の永住ビザ代行サービスをいつ、どこで知りましたか?)

BURNS様:Previously, our school used to have a visa specialist who handled most of the paperwork but currently I don’t have any specialist I’m close with, so I searched for someone who can handle my permanent residency visa application on the internet. By chance, a colleague at work gave me the phone number of Immigration Lawyer’s Firm SGX, and I contacted your company in August of last year. You quickly set up a Zoom meeting, and I was very happy that we were able to discuss my detailed information in English.


-What was your first impression when you met with us for an interview?(弊社とご面談させていただいた時の第一印象はいかがでしたか?)

BURNS様:Mrs Miyajima was very friendly and helpful, and her responses to our questions were easy to understand. Thanks to your company’s advice, she even provided advice on renewing our work visa, which was about to expire. She did her best to explain complex technical terms.


-Did you compare our services with those of other companies when deciding to use our proxy service?(弊社の永住ビザ代行サービスをいつ、どこで知りましたか?)

BURNS様:There is no need. I feel satisfied after talking to you through ZOOM. Regarding the cost, I think it’s also comparable to other companies, so I don’t need to consult further.


-Why did you ultimately choose our company? Can you give us three reasons for choosing us?(なぜ最終的に弊社を選んだのでしょうか?選ばれた理由を3つ教えてもらえますでしょうか?)

BURNS様:I was impressed by the clear and easy-to-understand communication, as well as the friendly and efficient ability to conduct Zoom meetings. All these factors left a positive impression.



I am very satisfied that I received permanent residency earlier than expected. It was very helpful to have everything handled on my behalf.(予想よりも早く永住許可が出たのでとても満足しています。すべてを代行していただけてとても助かりました。)

-Was there anything unclear about our letter pack when you received it after your request?(ご依頼後に弊社からレターパックが届いた時にわかりにくかった部分などございませんでしたか?)

BURNS様:Easy to understand. Bilingual memo requesting signature and seal in the appropriate locations. You did a good job.


-What was your emotional state during the time between applying for the visa and receiving the results?(申請から結果が来るまでの間、どのような心境でしたか?)

BURNS様:I had a little concern and was feeling nervous.


-How did you feel when you received the results of your application?(結果が届いた時にどのような気持ちになりましたか?)

BURNS様:I am very happy with the service; it was faster than I thought. I was expecting it to take around a year. With your assistance, I didn’t have to go to City Hall, the tax office, or immigration. I don’t enjoy going to those places, so thank you for handling everything for me.


-What are your expectations for our company in the future?(弊社への今後の期待を教えてください。)

BURNS様:Please provide information on various topics such as healthcare systems, pensions, tax obligations, etc. related to legal advice.


-Can you give a word of advice to those who are considering using our services?(弊社に依頼するか迷われている方に向けて何か一言いただけますでしょうか?)

BURNS様:I was satisfied with the service, and I have already recommended your company to some friends. I hope that your company can assist my friends just as you promptly and politely helped me obtain my permanent residence visa quickly and easily.


-Finally, how do you plan on living in Japan in the future?(最後に今後どのように日本で生活されていきたいでしょうか?)

BURNS様:I want to open my own business. I will buy a house. After retirement, I plan to live in Japan for 6 months and then move to different places. I love the spring and autumn in Japan, the beautiful scenery, and the amazing weather. However, during the summer and winter, I will move to cooler and warmer places to live. (Laugh)





外国人本人に代わって、入国管理局へのビザ(在留資格)申請を代行しております、行政書士の杉森正成(すぎもりまさなり)と申します。年間300件以上の相談実績を生かし、スタッフ一丸となり、外国人の方のビザ(在留資格)取得を全力でサポートいたしますので、どうぞお気軽にご相談ください。中国語(中文)・英語(English)・韓国語(한국어)・ベトナム語(Tiếng Việt)でのご相談も可能です。→事務所紹介・スタッフ紹介【中国語(中文)・英語(English)・韓国語(한국어)・ベトナム語(Tiếng Việt)対応可】
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