If you married a foreign national, to bring your partner to Japan, he/she needs a status of residence (visa). If your partner has already decided on a job after coming to Japan, it is possible to obtain a work-related visa such as a “Technical/Humanistic/International Services” visa. But it is often the case to acquire the “Spouse of Japanese National” status of residence, so called “marriage visa”.
I would like to explain about this visa and how to acquire it.
What is “Spouse or Child of Japanese National” status of residence?
This status of residence is not only for spouses married to Japanese nationals, but also for foreign children born to Japanese nationals and specially adopted children to live in Japan. In this article, I will explain about spouses of Japanese nationals.
- “Spouse” refers to a person who is married to another person. It must be a legally valid marriage in Japan, so de facto marriages and same-sex marriages (for now) do not apply. It also does not include cases where the Japanese spouse has died or divorced.
For more information on same-sex marriage, please click here. https://amie-visa.com/2021/03/19/how-to-bring-my-same-sex-partner-to-japan/
- Living together as husband and wife, unless there is a reasonable excuse not to.
Characteristics of “Spouse or Child of Japanese National” status of residence
- No restrictions on activities during your stay in Japan.
You can do so called “simple labor” such as line work at a factory, work at a convenience store and so on.
- You do not need to be supported by your Japanese spouse.
For example, if a Japanese husband becomes a full-time housewife and his foreign national wife supports him, the wife can still apply for “Spouse or Child of Japanese National” visa.
Documents to be submitted (for inviting a spouse living abroad to Japan)
- Application for a Certificate of Eligibility
- A copy of your spouse’s (Japanese) family register (certificate of all matters)
- Marriage certificate issued by an organization in the applicant’s country of nationality
- Documents proving the living expenses in Japan
- Certificate of taxation (or exemption from taxation) and certificate of tax payment for the latest year of the person who will support the applicant
- Guarantee letter of Japanese spouse
- A copy of the certificate of residence showing all members of the Japanese spouse’s household
- Pictures of the two of you
Points of Screening
There are two principal things that are examined in the screening of a Japanese spouse. One is the credibility of the marriage itself (i.e., whether it is not a fake marriage), and the other is whether the couple has the financial ability to continue the marriage.
- Credibility of the marriage
- Financial ability
Let’s look at what is checked on each document.
A copy of the family register
- Legal validity of your marriage
- Whether or not there have been any adoptions or divorces.
- If there have been repeated adoptions or divorces, a reasonable explanation must be provided.
Tax payment certificate
- Existence of tax exemption for dependents
- If you are married at the time of filing your tax return but do not have a spousal exemption, the possibility of a fake marriage will be examined.
- Checking for non-payment of taxes
- You describe the language spoken with your spouse. The credibility of the marriage will be checked through how you communicate with each other, in other words, whether there is a good communication with each other.
- You will also be asked to state whether you have held a wedding ceremony. If only one of the relatives attended, the credibility of the marriage may be questioned.
In principle, a Japanese spouse is required to be the guarantor. If someone other than the applicant’s spouse, such as a relative of the applicant, acts as the guarantor, it is important to prove the guarantor’s ability to guarantee the applicant’s identity with documents such as a tax certificate.
- When there is a large age difference between the spouses
This is a case where the credibility of the marriage is likely to be questioned. If there is an age difference of more than 20 years, the applicant will be screened very strictly. Such couples need to prepare detailed documents on how they met, how they got together, and why they got married and so on to clear up any doubts.
- If you get married through a marriage agency.
This is another case where the credibility of the marriage is likely to be questioned. There is a high possibility that the stability of the marriage will be questioned and it will be difficult to obtain permission. In order to prove the authenticity of the marriage, it is necessary to prepare detailed documents on the background of the relationship, how the relationship started, and the reason for the marriage, and also submit a letter of appeal from a relative of the foreign spouse.
As you can see, it is not always possible to obtain a status of residence only by marrying a Japanese person and submitting a marriage certificate.
It is also necessary to prove that the credibility of your marriage and that you have the financial ability to continue the marriage.
At Amie Immigration Law Office, we interview Japanese nationals and their spouses abroad using ZOOM, etc., and prepare documents through careful interviews to prove the authenticity of the marriage and financial ability. Please feel free to contact us for more information.