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What is the requirements of Naturalization for IT engineers who works in Japan?

There are many IT engineers who is considering for getting Japanese citizenship after they build their basis of living in Japan. And If you visit Tokyo Legal Affair Bureau, the authority which inspect the application of Naturalization(帰化許可申請) for residents of 23 wards in Tokyo, you will find that there are many foreign citizens visited there to apply for naturalization.

However, when it comes to the process of naturalization in Japan, there is an abundance of information available. However, navigating through this wealth of resources can often be confusing, especially for IT engineers whose mother tangue is not Japanese. You might feel difficulty to find the proper information especially when you try to find the requirements of Naturalization in Japan.

In Japan, the Minister of Justice has broad authority regarding the Naturalization. The Nationality Law(国籍法) states the requirements for the citizenship of Japan. But these requirements on the law are minimum requirements. So, the Minister of Justice also check un written requirements other than these requirements when he/she inspect the application of naturalization.

In order to provide clarity and guidance, this article aims to explain the requirements for naturalization(both requirements on the law and unwritten requirements )specifically tailored for IT engineers in such circumstances.


The requirements of Naturalization under the law


According to the nationality law, here are the written requirements for obtaining the citizenship of Japan.


1.Living in Japan continuously for 5 years or more



The law requires the applicants to live in Japan continuously for 5 years. I need to mention that even your residence status is valid for 5 years, the Minister of Justice will not consider you meet this requirement if you have the history of departure from Japan for longer period.


2.Being 18 years old or older and being adult under the law of your home country



You need to be 18 years old older. And you have to be adult under the law of your country.


3.Good conduct



You need to be the person who follow the law of Japan. You need to be the person who has no criminal record. About traffic violation, having the record of minor violation a few times in past 5 years will not be huge problem when it comes to inspections of Naturalization. The Minister of Justice also see the condition of payment for public duty (pension, health insurance and tax). And they will also check condition of your own business regarding public duty.


4.Having enough assets or skills to sustain your life in Japan or having the spouse who could provide enough assets or skills to sustain your life


You need to have enough income or assets to sustain your life in Japan. Even if you don’t earn enough income, you are considered to meet this requirements if your spouses have enough income or assets to sustain your life in Japan.


5.Not having nationality of other country or losing the nationality of other country after getting Japanese citizenship



The Nationality Law does not allow Japanese citizens to have double nationality in principle. So, if you get the citizenship of Japan, you need to give up your nationality of other countries.


6.Not planning to destroy or claim to destroy the government of Japan under the Constitution of Japan or not joining or organizing an organization which plan to destroy or claim to destroy the government under the Constitution of Japan



If you joins the anti- government organization in Japan, you don’t meet this requirements


7.Habing 3 years Residence status or 5 yearing Residence status



Until last year, the Minister of Justice approve the application of Naturalization even the applicants have 1 years Residence status while the Immmigration Services Bureau does not issue Permanent Residence for 1 year Residence status holders.

But now, the Minister of Justice requires applicants to have at least 3 years Residence status. So, you need to have 3 years VISA or 5 years VISA if you want to get the nationality of Japan.


8.Having enough language proficiency of Japanese



You need to have enough language proficiency of Japanese. Since you will also have the right to vote for election after you get the citizenship of Japan, the government want to grant the citizenships for the applicants who could understand manufests of candidates, the documents written in Japanese.

In general, you will meet this requirement if you are fluents in Japanese as 3 rd of elementary schools.



By clarifying the requirements for naturalization in Japan, you could start the first step to apply for Naturalization. I hope that this article will help you to finish the first step for Naturalization process.


Daichi Ito

Immigration Law profession(Gyoseishoshi)

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