Procedures for marriage: If getting married in
What happens when a Japanese national marries a foreign national?
If a Japanese national marries a
foreign national in Japan, they must comply with procedures in Japan, which is
their country of residence.
The Japanese national is required to submit a copy
of their family register, and the foreign national must submit his/her
passport, and a “Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage”.
on the foreign national’s home country, the required documents may differ.
Please ask about this at the municipal office where you will submit your
home country of marriage>
Marriages reported in Japan are
valid in Japan, and may not be recognized as a valid marriage in the foreign
national’s own country. Please check with your country’s Embassy/Consulate in
of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage>
This is something that certifies
that a foreign national satisfies the requirements for marriage specified by
his/her home country’s laws, provided by a government institution, etc. of the
In general, this is issued by an Embassy/Consulate in Japan.
the Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage, etc. is written in a
foreign language, a Japanese translation should be attached.
Embassies/Consulates in Japan（外部リンク）
Q. What procedures need to be
followed when two foreign nationals get married in Japan?
If two foreign nationals are getting
married, you should submit a Registration of Marriage certificate to the
municipal office of the person submitting the registration, in accordance with
the laws of Japan, which is the location of the marriage.
In this case, both
parties getting married must obtain a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract
Marriage from their Embassy/Consulate in Japan, and attach Japanese
translations. When this Registration of Marriage is received, the marriage will
be considered officially established by Japanese law.
Please inquire with your
embassy/consulate as to whether the marriage is valid in your home country.
in own country>
If the couple are from the same
country, it is possible to submit a Registration of Marriage certificate using
a method specified in the laws of the couple’s home country. Alternatively,
this can be done following the laws of either the husband or the wife’s home
country, if they are from different countries.
Some countries’ consulates may
not accept a Registration of Marriage. Please inquire with your country’s
embassy/consulate in Japan.
Embassies/Consulates in Japan（外部リンク）
Issues during marriage
Q. If a
foreign national experiences domestic violence, what kind of help is available?
Based on the
“Act on the Prevention of Spousal
Violence and the Protection of Victims”
(DV Prevention Law), in cases where there is physical violence from a spouse,
or language or behavior that results in a detrimental effect to one’s mind and body, there are systems in place for reporting
such behavior and for seeking consultation, protection and support.
the victim is a foreign national, this law applies. If you are affected by
violence, there are consultation services available.
Prefecture Women’s Consultation Center（外部リンク）
Nagamineminami, Higashi-ku, Kumamoto City
Inside Kumamoto Prefecture General Welfare
Issues associated with divorce
Q. What will
happen to the status of residence of a foreign national if they get divorced?
medium- and long-term residences, if a person who has a status of residence as
a spouse, “Dependent”, “Designated Activities”, “Spouse or Child of Japanese
National” or “Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident”, divorces his/her spouse
or becomes separated by death, you must notify the Immigration Services Agency
within 14 days.
<Divorcing a Japanese national>
a Japanese national, a foreign national will lose his/her applicability for
status of residence as “Spouse or Child of Japanese National”. However, it is possible to
grant a foreign national who is raising an underage, biologically Japanese
child a status of residence as “permanent resident”.
<Divorce among two foreign nationals>
spouse is a permanent resident, and you are a foreign national with a status
who as a “Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident”, or “Dependent”, you will lose
your status of residence due to divorce.
If a person
with a status of residence as “Spouse or Child of Japanese National” or “Spouse or Child of Permanent
Resident” remains in Japan for 6 months or
more after being divorced, he/she will be subject to a “Revocation of Status of
Q. If a child is born in Japan to a
couple where one spouse is a Japanese national and the other is a foreign
national, what is the child’s nationality? What about the Registration of
Birth? What would the child’s last name be?
The nationality of a child is
determined based on two principles—jus
sanguinis (nationality is determined by the parents’ bloodlines) and jus soli (birthright citizenship). Japan
adopts the principle of jus sanguinis
based on either parent, meaning that if either parent has Japanese nationality,
the child inherits Japanese nationality.
Depending on the nationality law of
the country of the other parent, the child may be able to possess dual
If the child is born in Japan, a
Registration of Birth certificate must be submitted to the municipal office.
the child is also acquiring the nationality of a foreign spouse, it is
necessary to register the child’s birth at that country’s embassy or consulate
in Japan. A certificate of residence for the child will be created based on the
Registration of Birth certificate.
As the child will be put onto the
family register of the Japanese parent, in principle, the child takes on the
surname of the Japanese parent. However, it may be possible for the child to
take on the name of the foreign spouse as well.
Q. I am a foreign national who has
been residing for a long time in Japan with my family, and I want to become
naturalized. Is this possible? What kinds of consultation services and
procedures are there?
Foreign nationals are able to obtain
Japanese citizenship through naturalization, and the requirements for doing so
are specified in the Nationality Act as follows.
requirement> Have continuously lived in Japan
for five years or more
<Capacity requirement> 20 years of age or more and have the capacity to act
according to his/her own national law
<Conduct requirement> Be a person of good conduct
<Livelihood requirement> Be able
to make a living through his/her own assets or abilities, or through those of a
spouse or another relative
<Lack of Nationality requirement> To not currently hold a nationality, or to be willing to
give up his/her nationality to take on Japanese nationality
Not having planned or advocated the destruction of the Constitution of Japan or
the government established thereunder with force, and not having formed or
joined a political party or other organization planning or advocating the same
(Exceptions to requirements)
has a family relationship with a Japanese national, such as having a Japanese
spouse, the requirements for naturalization of applicants who have a
territorial connection to Japan, such as having given birth in Japan, are
If naturalization is acknowledged, a new family register is created.
The Legal Affairs Bureau（外部リンク） provides
consultations on naturalization and assists with application submission
You must call in advance to arrange
Kumamoto Regional Legal Affairs
Bureau, Family Registration Section
Kumamoto Joint Government Building
No. 2, 3-1-53 Oe, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto City