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Japanese Citizenship

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Japanese Citizenship


What is Naturalization?

  • The act of making a person a citizen of Japan who was not born with that status. An application for citizenship is an application for Naturalization.
  • Non-Japanese citizens can obtain Japanese citizenship when they complete the process of naturalization.

Benefits of Becoming a Japanese Citizen

  • The Right to Vote in both Eligibility
    Being a citizen of Japan provides many privileges. Voting in elections is one such privilege. New citizens are expected to participate in elections.
    You may be elected the prime minister of Japan.
  • International Travel Made Easier
    Permanent Residents can lose their status if they leave the country for 3 years or longer, and in the event of an extended absence, must obtain a re-entry permit.
    However, as a Japanese Citizen, you are not restricted on the amount of time you can spend outside of Japan. Additionally, travel can be more convenient as many countries do not require Visas of Japanese Citizens.

Requirements for Naturalization

  • 1.Continued residence in Japan
    The applicant must have lived in Japan for more than 5 years.
  • 2.Must be over 20 years old
  • 3.Be of good moral character
  • 4.Financial stability
    You or your spouse must be financially independent.
  • 5.Agree to hold only Japanese citizenship
    You would lose your own nationality once you gain Japanese citizenship.
  • 6.Respect the Japanese Constitution
    Not involved in political violence against Japanese government.

Required Documents

  1. Application form (with 2 photos 5cm x 5cm)
  2. Reason why you want to become a Japanese citizen (hand-written in Japanese by the applicant)
  3. Resume
  4. Written oath
  5. Description of your relatives
  6. Description of how you make your living in Japan
  7. Maps of the vicinity of your residence and workplace
  8. Description of your business (If you or your family member is a business owner)
    • Financial statements
    • Business license
    • Company registration
  9. Diploma
  10. Domestic family documents
  11. Proof of citizenship (birth certificate)
  12. Certificate of employment
  13. Certificate of residence card
  14. Certificate of tax payments (with hold slip, income tax returned record)
  15. Certificate of your assets (bank deposit, real-estate, securities)
  16. Driving record
  17. Others upon requirement

Actual Procedures for Naturalization

  • First, consult the Citizenship Division at your local Legal Affairs Bureau
  • Collect all the required documents
  • File an application in person
  • Acceptance of application
  • The Legal Affairs Bureau checks the application
  • Interview at the Legal Affairs Bureau (a few months later)
  • Permission will be given by the Minister of Justice
  • Announcement through the Official Gazette
  • Effective as of the announcement day
  • Naturalization certificate will be issued
  • Return your alien registration card
  • Report to the municipal office to create the family registration
  • Change your name (bank account, driver’s license etc.)
    As you see, the application for naturalization is so complicated and requires lots of documents.

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