FAQ

June 29, 2016

What are the steps in the naturalization application process?

There are three steps to applying for naturalization in Japan: filling out the application, review by the local branch of the Ministry of Justice and final certification of the documents in Tokyo.  Each of these stages can take months to complete so applicants should be forewarned that citizenship is not granted quickly in Japan.
June 13, 2016

Is there a legal aid system in Japan?

The Japan Legal Support Center (JLSC, also known as Houterasu, (法テラス) is public corporation providing legal aid loans to low income individuals.  The JLSC was established under the Comprehensive Legal Support Act passed in 2004.  Qualifying individuals can make inquiries to local law firms regarding civil, divorce or criminal legal issues or a variety of other potential legal problems and have their legal fees prepaid as a loan from the JLSC.
June 6, 2016

What happens after someone is detained by an immigration officer in Japan?

A Japanese immigration control officer can temporarily detain a foreign national if he or she reasonably believes that the foreign national has committed a deportable offence such as overstaying a visa or committing a crime.  However, this temporary detention is only allowed in situations that require urgent action and once the foreigner has been safely detained, the immigration officer must deliver the foreigner and any evidence relating to the offense to an immigration inspector within 48 hours from the start of the detention.
May 20, 2016

Does marrying a Japanese citizen automatically grant the spouse Japanese citizenship?

Simply marrying a Japanese citizen does not automatically grant Japanese citizenship to a foreign national.  Attaining Japanese citizenship must be done though the normal naturalization process.  While the naturalization process is somewhat easier for spouses of Japanese citizens, the naturalization application is quite time consuming and detailed.  In addition, there may be a waiting period of several years before the spouse can apply, depending on the circumstances.