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

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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.

However, marrying a Japanese citizen does allow the foreign national to immediately obtain a spousal visa.  This visa grants the foreign national the right to stay and work freely in Japan without time restrictions or limitations on what type of employment the foreign national may accept.  By staying in Japan on this visa, the foreign national may eventually meet the requirements to apply for Japanese nationality.

It is important to note that spousal visas are not automatically granted and foreign nationals applying for this visa must still take care to prepare a detailed and complete application.  If the application lacks detail or is not completed correctly, there is a chance that the visa may be denied.

If you would like to apply for a spousal visa or have any questions about acquiring Japanese nationality, please contact our office to set up a consultation.