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How to apply for Spouse VISA outside of Japan

The number of international marriages is increasing gradually because of globalization. People who are likely to get a chance to communicate with people from different backgrounds. So, they have more chances to get married with the Japanese, but the procedure itself might be easy in Japan. You just have to submit a marriage report to a local City Hall and proceed in your country. That also might be just submitting one document to the embassy of your country.

But the next procedure might be a little bit troubling. That is getting a VISA. You might think you could get a spouse visa automatically since you get married to a Japanese. But that is not the case when you apply for Spouse VISA. You have to prove that you actually engage in married life with Japanese.

If you live outside of Japan, you have no idea how to apply for Spouse VISA from outside of Japan.

There's two ways to get Spouse VISA outside of Japan. One is applying for Entity VISA at the Japanese embassy or consulate general. But most people do not use this way since embassies are managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affair which does not have jurisdiction over immigration procedures. It takes so much time to get the results. So best way to get Spouse VISA outside of Japan is applying for Certificate of Eligibility (COE), then applying for entity pizza with Certificate of Eligibility

Certificate of Eligibility is the certificate issued by a Japanese immigration bureau which proves you meet the requirement for Spouse VISA. If you attach this certificate to Entity VISA application, embassy officials could automatically know you meet the requirements to get Spouse VISA.

Here are necessary documents you need to submit for COE application.

1 Application

2 Photo (length 4 cm x width 3 cm)

3 A copy of the family register of the spouse (Japanese) (certificate of all matters)

4 One marriage certificate issued by the institution of the applicant's nationality (foreign country)

5 Documents certifying the cost of staying in Japan

(1) Certificate of taxation (or tax exemption) of residence tax and tax payment certificate of the person who pays the applicant's living expenses (one that describes the total income and tax payment status for one year)

(2) Other

A copy of the bankbook

B Employment schedule certificate or employment offer notice (issued by a Japanese company) as appropriate

C Similar to the above, as appropriate

6 Spouse (Japanese) identity guarantee

7 A copy of the resident's card with the description of all the spouse's (Japanese) households

8 Questionnaire

9 Snap photo (photographed by a married couple, whose appearance can be clearly confirmed. App-processed ones are not allowed.) 2-3 leaves

10 Envelope (one copy of a standard envelope with the address clearly stated and a stamp for 404 yen (for simple registered mail) attached

To get a certificate, you have to submit an application and some attached documents to Japanese immigration Bureau. You can’t submit an application by mail from outside of Japan. So, you have to designate your spouse as your representative or hiring a legal professional to handle your COE applications.

If you feel it is difficult to finish the procedures by yourself or by your spouse, I recommend you to hire a legal professional to handle your COE application.

Daichi Ito

Immigration Law Practitioner(Gyoseishoshi)




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