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Marriage Visas and Marriage

Japan With Kids - Forums: Immigration/visas/re-entry permits/naturalization: Marriage Visas and Marriage
By Cornelia on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 10:43 pm:

It has been reported that some Embassies from some countries (apparently Catholic countries such as Portugal) will not cooperate in cases where a citizen is "divorced" and trying to re-marry in Japan.

Does anyone have examples of this? What did you do about it?

By Jane Yamaguchi on Monday, June 2, 2003 - 4:27 pm:

I got married to a Japanese last February and applied for a spousal visa last April 18 and still dont get any result up to now. Do somebody know how long will it take before I get the result of my application?

By Lisa on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 2:35 pm:

If I divorce my Japanese husband how will it effect my visa status. We have a child together. I want to stay and raise our child in Japan.

By Vicki on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 3:17 pm:

Hi Lisa,

If your child is a Japanese national he or she may be your sponsor for a long-term resident visa.

By Lisa on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 8:38 pm:

So I don't need to get a permenent visa before I divorce him to stay in the country? Whewww bring on the recon bells...

By Cornelia on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 10:32 pm:

Dear Lisa,
This is tricky. Please go slow on this one. If your husband sues for custody, then your lack of a visa might help him win the child. There is no such thing as joint custody in this country. Are you on year to year still or have you "graduated" to 3 year spouse visas yet? No matter what, if you need to get out of the marriage, try at least to hang on until your next visa renewal. What Vicki says is true, BUT if your divorce goes to family court for any reason at all, your husband's lawyer may advice him to go for the child. Once you no longer have the child the LT visa will no longer be available to you as an option. Then you conveniently have to get out of Japan, unless you can get a working visa (needs a college degree) and your husband may be rid of you (or the headache you represent) for good. Of course if there are no women in his family to take care of the child, it is unlikely that he will try for custody of the child.

In other words the LT visa depends on you being a custodial parent in a divorce settlement. (This gets complicated because there are two types of more at

By Lisa on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 9:53 pm:

Well then I guess I should stick it out and apply for the PR visa then. Anyone got any ideas on how difficult that might be?

By Natalie B on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 10:13 pm:

Hi Lisa, I've been following this thread and would like to add my experience in getting a permanent visa. My husband's father is Japanese so he is able to obtain a visa (child of a Japanese national). I was initially here on a humanities visa (for English teachers) but then switched to a spousal visa after getting married. Because we didn't like the insecurity of relying on my husband's company to be our guarantor every three years, we decided to apply for a permanent resident visa. We have both lived here for thirteen years, had a guarantor (husband's company) and steady jobs. It wasn't too difficult to get all the documents in place but it did take 11 months until we were approved. I have a copy of the application procedure in English and I would be happy to send it to you as either an email attachment or a fax. You will need your husband involved in the process (koseki tohon & his guarantee). It cost 8,000yen for the stamp and we are still required to get a 3-yr re-entry permit. Hope some of this helps.

By CRN Webmaster on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 2:23 pm:

Lisa. The better question to ask is, how will divorce effect custody of my child? I have only heard of one non-Japanese citizen ever getting custody in Japan when it was disputed by a Japanese parent. In that case, the Japanese father had no stable job and the non-Japanese mother had a very stable one in Japan. Reportedly, she used Japanese laws to keep him from seeing the child, just as your husband is likely to do if he disputes custody.

If possible, you may want to consider getting out of the country first for 6 months to a year so that laws outside of Japan apply. There are a number of parents in US court having some luck at getting restraining orders against Japanese parents to prevent them from bringing children back to Japan. Even then, there is incredible risk of abduction back to Japan. Its pretty scary.

You may also be interested in this petition to Justice Minister of Japan for a non-custodial parent of Japanese child visa category.

Although note that this petition campaign has not started yet.

Definitely PR is the best bet if you can get it. That also shows intent of staying in Japan, and so if your child is very young, you may have a chance if there is a custody dispute. (Overall, women do get custody 80% of the time in Japan.) To avoid a custody dispute, go for the kyogi rikon (divorce by mutual consent) and just check the box giving you custody. But make sure you are there when it is turned in so that the box is not conveniently altered. Forgery is common in Japan. And finally, if things get nasty, read about the anti divorce form on the crnjapan website, for your own protection.

By Lisa on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 9:22 pm:

Well, my husband is Japanese but holds no steady job and I work for a public school. He cannot read and write Japanese. (Even though he is Japanese) In fact I believe that I am more skilled in this area. He takes drugs and I have proof that he didn't want the child in the first place. Also he has been cheating on me. Hopefully I stand a chance. Also my daughter is still breastfeeding due to allergies that won't let her take soy or milk products. Do you think with this in mind that it would be better to sue for divorce while these things are still in place? I am sure that I could get visa sponsorship for my English teaching...

By Roxy Drake on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 11:22 pm:

IF your income is over 250,000 yen per month and you have a clear paper trail you can fairly much sponsor yourself. In short you do not need a sponsor, just a job and are paying your taxes (this is after a few years). The government need proof that you are not going to be a burden and that you can pay your way.

You can ask immigration about this point to verify things and if it is as I have stated I would suggest that you change your visa status ASAP, may be to a permanent resident and once this is done then proceed with any other legal steps that you may wish to take.



By CRN Webmaster on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 12:16 am:

First, I'd have to agree with Roxy. Get that visa in place before anything else. But even after that, who knows. I have heard so many people claim perjury by their spouse, and claim that the Japanese Family Court did not care, that I am very negative. I know one parent in court now who was able to show records in court to prove that the Japanese parent was lying about all sorts of things. Yet this foreign parent still cannot even get visitation and the whole things is still getting strung out for what seems like 6 months every time the Japanese parent tries a new trick. (The Japanese parent has had a couple lawyers who either quit or got fired. But there seems to always be another one willing to go along.) I base my opinions on evidence, and I have only seem negative evidence so far. So I am negative about a foreigner being able to get a fair shake in Japanese Family Court.

That said, if you go for it, consult a Japanese lawyer first, and be ready for a war. Make sure you get physical custody of the child first and are prepared to keep it. (The typical Japanese way is to pack up and leave while the spouse is away. Pretty disgusting if you ask me, but that seems to be the usual scenario in Japan.) You even have to be ready for the Japanese parent to try to snatch the child back.

If your Japanese is good enough, go out and try to get the following book. It is written by lawyers and talks about various possible situations. The people say it is a smoking gun. (And thanks to the japanwithkids Admin for letting me know about it in the first place!)

kodomo no ubaiai to sono taiou (entirely in Japanese)

You can find out how to get it from this site. Only one place in Tokyo has it.

Im working on reading it, but the Japanese legalese is pretty tough. If you may be able to read it, please contact me offline.
Good luck.

By Lisa on Saturday, July 10, 2004 - 9:18 pm:

Just curious. What if I want my husband to see our daughter? Everything sounds so final and nasty. I don't want full custody. I want my daughter to see her father, spend nights at his house and I want to stay at least on talking terms with him. All of this getting custody sounds very final. Does that mean that the father pays no support etc?

By CRN Webmaster on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 11:03 pm:

All this is certainly worst case. So it all depends on the Japanese parent. So its a risk you have to consider. Certainly what you want is the best for your child and the right thing. But it is extremely easy for the japanese parent to literally take all these rights away from you and deny them to you. Unless the Japanese parent is virtually jobless, a criminal, or similar. you WILL lose in japanese court if the japanese parent wants to fight.

ABout support, alimony is not common in Japan. Lump-sum payments are. If you do not do a kyogi-rikon, the alternative seems to be fault based. If you can claim infidelity or one of several other things, you may get a lump sum payment. Of course if he wants to fight it, he can threaten to take the child.

For child support, it used to be that it was not possible to have his wages garnished. People still say different things. But a Japanese father I talked to once said that yes it was possible. Takes a lot of hassle and paperwork, but possible if he is paid in Japan at a normal corporation. I.e. he is not a sole proprietor type of worker or a short term contract worker, and not paid overseas. But its not a large amount of money as you would expect.

During divorce though, you are entitled to a large amount of money every month. I dont know the details of who has to bring the divorce, or circumstance or what. But it was described to me as an incentive to the man to actually get the divorce over and done with. This can be garnished also. You should find out more about this, as it can be a powerful tool.

By Andriy Lesiv on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 6:39 pm:

My wife is Japanese. We registered marriage in my country, Ukraine. Now she went to Japan for delivery. We have asked Japanese embassy in Ukraine, and they said that according to Japanese law we are not married, we need to register marriage in Japan. Soon, our baby will be born. So, my wife will be regarded as single mother in Japan, and my baby cannot get my name, or citizenship of my country. How to solve this problem? Of course, I understand that the best way is to go to Japan and register marriage there, but practically it is very difficult for me.

By Sarah Yasuhara on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 7:47 pm:

Hi Andriy
You don't need to be in the country to register you marriage in Japan. My husband registered our marriage on his own. He took my passport and went to the ward office which held his family register. He was able to complete the process without me being present. Get your wife to inquire about this method.
Good luck, Sarah

By Natasha on Friday, January 28, 2005 - 9:41 am:

Regarding foreign spouses married to USA citizens but residing outside of the USA (from American Community Update - February 2005):

Q: My Japanese spouse is already a legal permanent resident of the U.S., a green card holder. I work here in Japan for a big U.S. company and so he can't meet the residency requirements that say he has to live in the U.S. to naturalize. Is there anything we can do?
A: For many foreign spouses whose American husbands or wives work for U.S. companies in Japan, or who serve in the military, the naturalization process can be expedited. "Expeditious Naturalization" refers to the fact that you will not be required to wait until you have three years residence and physical presence in the United States and you do not have to wait until you have been married for three years. The details are at

By Malinda Asada on Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - 6:58 am:

My Japanese national husband, myself and our US born daughter are going back to Japan.We were told we needed to have a "mimoto shoumeisho" which my husband can write. He does not have an impending job in Japan. Does this matter? Is this considered a "guarantor" letter? If not do we need one? We were not told to get one... Does my daughter need one that is separate from mine?
We have an old copy of his Koseki Touhon and Juminhyo, but they are from 8 years ago, does that matter? A little nervous before we make the 7 hour trek to the J. Consulate.

By Pato on Sunday, June 19, 2005 - 1:10 am:

Dear Malinda,
As a Japanese citizen your husband can return to Japan at any time with any dependents he might have regardless of his job status. There are some posts above that might help also in answer to your question. Just because your husband does not have a job lined up doens't mean he can't support his dependents. He might have savings; he probably has family to fall back on, etc. Maybe by now you already have it all figured out and can share it here?

By Jingjing on Monday, December 10, 2007 - 1:25 am:

I would like to ask if what is the first step or what can i do?
because i want to go back to japan together with my 11 years old daughter. Her father is Japanese and I am a Filipina. but the problem is i dont have VISA and my daughter because she is almost 8 years overstay here in Philippines. Me and the father of my children's was married in Japan and my children's was born in Japan. I also have son in he is together with his father in Japan. the reason why we need to stay long here in the Philippines because no one will take care of my mother because she was sick (stroke) and my father was sick and died in cancer last year. In 8 years to stay here in Philippines the father of my child can not give any support to her daughter. So now we have plan to go back in Japan because now my mother was take care of her sister. So what can i do?
Please help me. thank you and more power. GODBLESS US!

By Sandy on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 10:44 pm:

Hi Jingjing,
First, your daughter is a Japanese citizen if she was born to you and your husband, and if her name was entered into his Koseki at her birth. Secondly, if you are still married you may still be able to get a new spouse visa, but for that you would need the help of your husband. If in the meantime he has divorced you, then you may still be able to get a visa on the basis of being the mother of a Japanese National. But you would have to firmly establish your daughter's Japanese nationality. If she had a Japanese passport when you came to Philippines 8 years ago, then even if it is expired, you should still be able to get it renewed via the Japanese Embassy in Manila or one of the Japanese consulates.

* Japanese Embassy in Pasay City, Philippines
* Japanese Consulate in Cebu, Philippines
* Japanese Consulate in Davao, Philippines

Then you can start working on going with your daughter to Japan. You may need some paperwork from Japan, but I don't know this. However, you might be able to get help with this from your husband, or if he is not available perhaps one of the organizations like:

JFC Network:
(They have a branch in Manila.)

may be helpful.

By Mae20 on Sunday, October 13, 2013 - 6:15 am:

im maried with a filipino long term residence.. and we have children.. me and my children are also long term residence.. we decided to separate and my children is on my care.. can i still get visa? and file for single mother even if were not yet legally annuled.

By Mamochii on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - 7:00 pm:


my mother sister and i went here in japan for the court trial against my father
regarding child recognition. our father refuses to acknowledge us inspite of knowing
we are his real daughters. so he refuses to take dna test and kept delaying the trial
(coz thats all he can do).because of that, we were able to extend our TOURIST VISA for a long time as well.
so after 2 and a half years of fighting, we finally won our case.
my sister 18 and i was 20 when we first came here. now i just turned 22 and my sister turning 20.

my sister will be turned japanese soon while i will go under "naturalization" coz im over 20years old.
the problem is, my mother. our lawyer said there a big chance she wont be given a long term visa
because my sister and i are not minors anymore and wont need anyone to look over us. therefore, our mom
wont have anymore reason to stay in japan.

we are only a family of 3 and have always dreamt of living here in japan together.
is there anything we can do to assure the success of my moms long term visa application?

thanks in advance

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