What documents are needed for Japanese and foreign couples marrying outside Japan?

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A Japanese person marrying a foreign national in a foreign country obviously must first obey the laws of that foreign country.  While laws and regulations regarding marriage are generally similar in most developed countries, it is important to check with local authorities to ensure that all of the correct procedures are being followed.

One of the requirements for marriage in a foreign country is likely to be the submission of a “certificate of eligibility to contract marriage.”  This certificate is often required because the foreign country must confirm that the Japanese citizen is not currently married in Japan and that there is no other reason why the marriage would be illegal.  The certificate can be issued by the local Japanese embassy or consulate.  When applying, the Japanese national should be sure to bring a copy of his or her family registry.

However, in order for the marriage to be deemed valid in Japan, the couple must also register the marriage in Japan.  To do this, the couple should submit the marriage certificate to the local Japanese embassy or consulate along with any other documents requested by the consulate officials.  All documents in a foreign language should be translated into Japanese.  In order to be effective, the marriage must be registered with the embassy or consulate within three months.

If you have any questions about marriage in Japan, please contact our office to set up a consultation.