U.S. Visas

English

U.S. Visa: Reciprocity and Civil Documents by Country

Japan

Japan
Japan

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 60 Months
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 120 Months
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 120 Months
E-1 2 None Multiple 60 Months
E-2 2 None Multiple 60 Months
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None Multiple 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 60 Months
N-9 None Multiple 60 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 60 Months
R-2 None Multiple 60 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8

Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

ALL /

Visa Category Footnotes

  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

ALL / ALL /

General Documents

General Document Information:

Civil documents and records in Japan are reliable. All civil records for Okinawa prefecture were destroyed during World War II, except those records maintained on the islands of Miyako and Yaeyama. The destroyed records were recreated, based on the testimony of the persons involved.

The Japanese family register generally covers all current information regarding birth, adoption, marriage, divorce, or death records. Therefore, a married person's family register can serve as evidence of both birth and present marriage, for example.

The full version of the family register (Koseki Tohon / Zenbujiko Shomeisho) covers all household members, while the extract version (Koseki Shohon/Kojinjiko Shomeisho) covers events related only to one individual of the household. Please also note that once someone changes his/her domicile (honsekichi), as a head of family register, the past records will not be transferred to the new domicile municipal office. Therefore, the past records may not be shown on his/her family register obtained from the new domicile municipal office. In addition, past records may not be transferred when the municipal office changes its record system from the Koseki Tohon or Koseki Shohon (older format that is hand-written or typed vertically) to Zenbujiko Shomeisho or Ichibujiko Shomeisho (digitized format typed horizontally).

Also, in cases where an individual was removed from one family register and placed into another family record by adoption or marriage, the current family register sometimes does not indicate the person's place of birth. If the omitted portion is required, an extract from the canceled koseki (joseki shohon) must be obtained from the Municipal Office holding the applicant's previous family register.

Note: Records of civil actions pertaining to non-Japanese citizens, such as marriage, adoption, divorce or death are available from the municipal office where the action was registered, in the same manner as the birth record of a Japanese citizen. However, they can only be registered on a Japanese family register when one party is Japanese (e.g. non-Japanese citizen married to a Japanese, non-Japanese citizen adopted by a Japanese). Therefore, records for non-Japanese citizens are normally issued in the form of a certificate of acceptance of report. This document is not considered valid without the seal from the Municipal Office. Please note this document is sometimes issued on non-security paper.

General Issuing Authority Information:

Municipal (city, ward, town, village and etc.) office:

Family register (both full and short versions) can normally be obtained from a government office in the registered domicile (Honsekichi). However, some cities and ward offices have expanded their administrative capabilities and may offer access to family registers from other cities or wards. Some Japanese city and ward offices have also started offering family register issuance through convenience stores. Applicants may learn which municipal offices provide this service by using the search function at the following Government of Japan website: lg-waps.go.jp. It is expected that this system will be further expanded in the future following the full implementation of “My Number” system/cards, which is similar to a Social Security Number (SSN). (For updated information regarding the My Number system, please refer to the Government of Japan Cabinet Office website: kojinbango-card.go.jp/en/kojinbango/index.html or cas.go.jp

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Available

Fees: Depends on Municipal (city, ward, town, village and etc.) Office.

Document Name: Full version of family register (Koseki Tohon/Zenbu jiko shomeisho); Short version of family register (Koseki Shohon/Kojin jiko shomeisho) or Certificate of Acceptance of Notification of Birth (Shussei juri shomeisho).

Issuing Authority: The Municipal (city, ward, town, village and etc.) Office of the applicant's legal domicile (honseki-chi). Family register (both full and short versions) can normally be obtained from a government office in the registered domicile (Honsekichi). However, some cities and ward offices have expanded their administrative capabilities and may offer access to family registers from other cities or wards. Some Japanese city and ward offices have also started offering family register issuance through convenience stores. Applicants may learn which municipal offices provide this service by using the search function at the following Government of Japan website: lg-waps.go.jp. It is expected that this system will be further expanded in the future following the full implementation of “My Number” system/cards, which is similar to a Social Security Number (SSN). (For updated information regarding the My Number system, please refer to the Government of Japan Cabinet Office website: kojinbango-card.go.jp/en/kojinbango/index.html or cas.go.jp

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Varies depending on Municipal Office. Civil actions in Japan become legally effective only when notification is accepted by the municipal office where the action was performed. Each office uses its own security background paper, but the issuing Mayor’s name, title and seal of the municipal office can usually be found at the very end of the document. The security features include, but are not limited to, regular watermarks, hidden watermark words, and thermochromic ink.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Mayor / Principal of Municipal Office

Registration Criteria: There are no registration criteria

Procedure for Obtaining: Varies depending on Municipal Office.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: The Japanese family register generally covers all current information regarding birth, adoption, marriage, divorce, or death records. Therefore, a married person's family register can serve as evidence of both birth and present marriage, for example.

The full version of the family register (Koseki Tohon / Zenbujiko Shomeisho) covers all household members, while the extract version (Koseki Shohon/Kojinjiko Shomeisho) covers events related only to one individual of the household. Please also note that once someone changes his/her domicile (honsekichi), as a head of family register, the past records will not be transferred to the new domicile municipal office. Therefore, the past records may not be shown on his/her family register obtained from the new domicile municipal office. In addition, past records may not be transferred when the municipal office changes its record system from the Koseki Tohon or Koseki Shohon (older format that is hand-written or typed vertically) to Zenbujiko Shomeisho or Ichibujiko Shomeisho (digitized format typed horizontally).

Also, in cases where an individual was removed from one family register and placed into another family record by adoption or marriage, the current family register sometimes does not indicate the person's place of birth. If the omitted portion is required, an extract from the canceled koseki (joseki shohon) must be obtained from the Municipal Office holding the applicant's previous family register.

Note: Records of civil actions pertaining to non-Japanese citizens, such as marriage, adoption, divorce or death are available from the municipal office where the action was registered, in the same manner as the birth record of a Japanese citizen. However, they can only be registered on a Japanese family register when one party is Japanese (e.g. non-Japanese citizen married to a Japanese, non-Japanese citizen adopted by a Japanese). Therefore, records for non-Japanese citizens are normally issued in the form of a certificate of acceptance of report. This document is not considered valid without the seal from the Municipal Office. Please note this document is sometimes issued on non-security paper.

According to the Tokyo Legal Affairs Bureau (part of the Tokyo Municipal government), all birth records for non-Japanese citizens are maintained by the municipal office where the reports were filed. Birth records (shusshou todoke kisaijiko shomeisho) for foreigners are not permanently retained. The retention period may differ from office to office, and can be as short as ten years. In general, parents report each birth at the municipal office where they reside or where the child was born.

The following documents are not acceptable in lieu of family register or Certificate of Acceptance of Notification of Birth:

  • Certificate of Residence
  • U.S. base issued birth certificate
  • Maternal Handbook

 

Death Certificates

Available

Fees: Depends on Municipal (city, ward, town, village and etc.) Office.

Document Name: Full version of family register (Koseki Tohon/Zenbu jiko shomeisho); Short version of family register (Koseki Shohon/Kojin jiko shomeisho) or Certificate of Acceptance of Notification of Death (Shibou todokedesho).

Issuing Authority: The Municipal (city, ward, town, village and etc.) Office of the applicant's legal domicile (honseki-chi). Family register (both full and short versions) can normally be obtained from a government office in the registered domicile (Honsekichi). However, some cities and ward offices have expanded their administrative capabilities and may offer access to family registers from other cities or wards. Some Japanese city and ward offices have also started offering family register issuance through convenience stores. Applicants may learn which municipal offices provide this service by using the search function at the following Government of Japan website: lg-waps.go.jp. It is expected that this system will be further expanded in the future following the full implementation of “My Number” system/cards, which is similar to a Social Security Number (SSN). (For updated information regarding the My Number system, please refer to the Government of Japan Cabinet Office website: kojinbango-card.go.jp/en/kojinbango/index.html or cas.go.jp

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Varies depending on Municipal Office. Civil actions in Japan become legally effective only when notification is accepted by the municipal office where the action was performed. Each office uses its own security background paper, but the issuing Mayor’s name, title and seal of the municipal office can usually be found at the very end of the document. The security features include, but are not limited to, regular watermarks, hidden watermark words, and thermochromic ink.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Mayor / Principal of Municipal Office

Registration Criteria: There are no registration criteria

Procedure for Obtaining: Varies depending on Municipal Office

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: The Japanese family register generally covers all current information regarding birth, adoption, marriage, divorce, or death records. Therefore, a married person's family register can serve as evidence of both birth and present marriage, for example.

The full version of the family register (Koseki Tohon / Zenbujiko Shomeisho) covers all household members, while the extract version (Koseki Shohon/Kojinjiko Shomeisho) covers events related only to one individual of the household. Please also note that once someone changes his/her domicile (honsekichi), as a head of family register, the past records will not be transferred to the new domicile municipal office. Therefore, the past records may not be shown on his/her family register obtained from the new domicile municipal office. In addition, past records may not be transferred when the municipal office changes its record system from the Koseki Tohon or Koseki Shohon (older format that is hand-written or typed vertically) to Zenbujiko Shomeisho or Ichibujiko Shomeisho (digitized format typed horizontally).

Also, in cases where an individual was removed from one family register and placed into another family record by adoption or marriage, the current family register sometimes does not indicate the person's place of birth. If the omitted portion is required, an extract from the canceled koseki (joseki shohon) must be obtained from the Municipal Office holding the applicant's previous family register.

Note: Records of civil actions pertaining to non-Japanese citizens, such as marriage, adoption, divorce or death are available from the municipal office where the action was registered, in the same manner as the birth record of a Japanese citizen. However, they can only be registered on a Japanese family register when one party is Japanese (e.g. non-Japanese citizen married to a Japanese, non-Japanese citizen adopted by a Japanese). Therefore, records for non-Japanese citizens are normally issued in the form of a certificate of acceptance of report. This document is not considered valid without the seal from the Municipal Office. Please note this document is sometimes issued on non-security paper.

Records of death pertaining to non-Japanese citizens who are not registered with any other party’s family register are kept for 10 years.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Available

Fees: Depends on Municipal (city, ward, town, village and etc.) Office.

Document Name: Full version of family register (Koseki Tohon/Zenbu jiko shomeisho); Short version of family register (Koseki Shohon/Kojin jiko shomeisho) or Certificate of Acceptance of Notification of Marriage (Konin juri shomeisho).

Issuing Authority: The Municipal (city, ward, town, village and etc.) Office of the applicant's legal domicile (honseki-chi). Family register (both full and short versions) can normally be obtained from a government office in the registered domicile (Honsekichi). However, some cities and ward offices have expanded their administrative capabilities and may offer access to family registers from other cities or wards. Some Japanese city and ward offices have also started offering family register issuance through convenience stores. Applicants may learn which municipal offices provide this service by using the search function at the following Government of Japan website: lg-waps.go.jp. It is expected that this system will be further expanded in the future following the full implementation of “My Number” system/cards, which is similar to a Social Security Number (SSN). (For updated information regarding the My Number system, please refer to the Government of Japan Cabinet Office website: kojinbango-card.go.jp/en/kojinbango/index.html or cas.go.jp.

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Varies from municipal office to municipal office. Civil actions in Japan become legally effective only when notification is accepted by the municipal office where the action was performed. Each office uses its own security background paper, but the issuing Mayor’s name and title and the seal of the municipal office can usually be found at the very end of the document. The security features include, but is not limited to regular watermarks, hidden watermark words, and thermochromic ink.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Mayor / Principal of Municipal Office

Registration Criteria: There are no registration criteria

Procedure for Obtaining: Varies depending on Municipal Office

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: The Japanese family register generally covers all current information regarding birth, adoption, marriage, divorce, or death records. Therefore, a married person's family register can serve as evidence of both birth and present marriage, for example.

The full version of the family register (Koseki Tohon / Zenbujiko Shomeisho) covers all household members, while the extract version (Koseki Shohon/Kojinjiko Shomeisho) covers events related only to one individual of the household. Please also note that once someone changes his/her domicile (honsekichi), as a head of family register, the past records will not be transferred to the new domicile municipal office. Therefore, the past records may not be shown on his/her family register obtained from the new domicile municipal office. In addition, past records may not be transferred when the municipal office changes its record system from the Koseki Tohon or Koseki Shohon (older format that is hand-written or typed vertically) to Zenbujiko Shomeisho or Ichibujiko Shomeisho (digitized format typed horizontally).

Also, in cases where an individual was removed from one family register and placed into another family record by adoption or marriage, the current family register sometimes does not indicate the person's place of birth. If the omitted portion is required, an extract from the canceled koseki (joseki shohon) must be obtained from the Municipal Office holding the applicant's previous family register.

Note: Records of civil actions pertaining to non-Japanese citizens, such as marriage, adoption, divorce or death are available from the municipal office where the action was registered, in the same manner as the birth record of a Japanese citizen. However, they can only be registered on a Japanese family register when one party is Japanese (e.g. non-Japanese citizen married to a Japanese, non-Japanese citizen adopted by a Japanese). Therefore, records for non-Japanese citizens are normally issued in the form of a certificate of acceptance of report. This document is not considered valid without the seal from the Municipal Office. Please note this document is sometimes issued on non-security paper.

Records of marriage pertaining to non-Japanese citizens who are not registered with any other party’s family register are kept for 50 years.

The following documents are not acceptable in lieu of family register or Certificate of Acceptance of Notification of Marriage as they are not recognized as marriage certificates by the Government of Japan:

  • Certificate of residence
  • Certificate issued by a church, mosque or other religious organization

 

Divorce Certificates

Available

Fees: Depends on Municipal (city, ward, town, village and etc.) Office.

Document Name: Full version of family register (Koseki Tohon/Zenbu jiko shomeisho); Short version of family register (Koseki Shohon/Kojin jiko shomeisho) or Certificate of Acceptance of Notification of Divorce (Rikon juri shomeisho).

Issuing Authority: The Municipal (city, ward, town, village and etc.) Office of the applicant's legal domicile (honseki-chi). Family register (both full and short versions) can normally be obtained from a government office in the registered domicile (Honsekichi). However, some cities and ward offices have expanded their administrative capabilities and may offer access to family registers from other cities or wards. Some Japanese city and ward offices have also started offering family register issuance through convenience stores. Applicants may learn which municipal offices provide this service by using the search function at the following Government of Japan website: lg-waps.go.jp. It is expected that this system will be further expanded in the future following the full implementation of “My Number” system/cards, which is similar to a Social Security Number (SSN). (For updated information regarding the My Number system, please refer to the Government of Japan Cabinet Office website: kojinbango-card.go.jp/en/ko;jinbango/index.html or cas.go.jp

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Varies depending on Municipal Office. Civil actions in Japan become legally effective only when notification is accepted by the municipal office where the action was performed. Each office uses its own security background paper, but the issuing Mayor’s name, title and seal of the municipal office can usually be found at the very end of the document. The security features include, but are not limited to, regular watermarks, hidden watermark words, and thermochromic ink.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Mayor / Principal of Municipal Office

Registration Criteria: There are no registration criteria

Procedure for Obtaining: Varies depending on Municipal Office

Certified Copies Available: Yes

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: The Japanese family register generally covers all current information regarding birth, adoption, marriage, divorce, or death records. Therefore, a married person's family register can serve as evidence of both birth and present marriage, for example.

The full version of the family register (Koseki Tohon / Zenbujiko Shomeisho) covers all household members, while the extract version (Koseki Shohon/Kojinjiko Shomeisho) covers events related only to one individual of the household. Please also note that once someone changes his/her domicile (honsekichi), as a head of family register, the past records will not be transferred to the new domicile municipal office. Therefore, the past records may not be shown on his/her family register obtained from the new domicile municipal office. In addition, past records may not be transferred when the municipal office changes its record system from the Koseki Tohon or Koseki Shohon (older format that is hand-written or typed vertically) to Zenbujiko Shomeisho or Ichibujiko Shomeisho (digitized format typed horizontally).

Also, in cases where an individual was removed from one family register and placed into another family record by adoption or marriage, the current family register sometimes does not indicate the person's place of birth. If the omitted portion is required, an extract from the canceled koseki (joseki shohon) must be obtained from the Municipal Office holding the applicant's previous family register.

Note: Records of civil actions pertaining to non-Japanese citizens, such as marriage, adoption, divorce or death are available from the municipal office where the action was registered, in the same manner as the birth record of a Japanese citizen. However, they can only be registered on a Japanese family register when one party is Japanese (e.g. non-Japanese citizen married to a Japanese, non-Japanese citizen adopted by a Japanese). Therefore, records for non-Japanese citizens are normally issued in the form of a certificate of acceptance of report. This document is not considered valid without the seal from the Municipal Office. Please note this document is sometimes issued on non-security paper.

Records of divorce pertaining to non-Japanese citizens who are not registered with any other party’s family register are kept 50 years for divorce by agreement and 10 years for divorce by judgment of a district court.

The following documents are not acceptable in lieu of family register or Certificate of Acceptance of Notification of Divorce:

  • Certificate of residence

Adoption Certificates

Available

Fees: Depends on Municipal (city, ward, town, village and etc.) Office.

Document Name: Full version of family register (Koseki Tohon/Zenbu jiko shomeisho); Short version of family register (Koseki Shohon/Kojin jiko shomeisho) or Certificate of Acceptance of Notification of Adoption (Youshiengumi juri shomeisho).

Issuing Authority: The Municipal (city, ward, town, village and etc.) Office of the applicant's legal domicile (honseki-chi).  Family register (both full and short versions) can normally be obtained from a government office in the registered domicile (Honsekichi). However, some cities and ward offices have expanded their administrative capabilities and may offer access to family registers from other cities or wards. Some Japanese city and ward offices have also started offering family register issuance through convenience stores. Applicants may learn which municipal offices provide this service by using the search function at the following Government of Japan website: lg-waps.go.jp . It is expected that this system will be further expanded in the future following the full implementation of “My Number” system/cards, which is similar to a Social Security Number (SSN). (For updated information regarding the My Number system, please refer to the Government of Japan Cabinet Office website: kojinbango-card.go.jp/en/kojinbango/index.html or cas.go.jp

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Varies depending on Municipal Office. Civil actions in Japan become legally effective only when notification is accepted by the municipal office where the action was performed. Each office uses its own security background paper, but the issuing Mayor’s name, title and seal of the municipal office can usually be found at the very end of the document. The security features include, but are not limited to, regular watermarks, hidden watermark words, and thermochromic ink.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Mayor / Principal of Municipal Office

Registration Criteria: There are no registration criteria

Procedure for Obtaining: Varies depending on Municipal Office.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: The Japanese family register generally covers all current information regarding birth, adoption, marriage, divorce, or death records. Therefore, a married person's family register can serve as evidence of both birth and present marriage, for example.

The full version of the family register (Koseki Tohon / Zenbujiko Shomeisho) covers all household members, while the extract version (Koseki Shohon/Kojinjiko Shomeisho) covers events related only to one individual of the household. Please also note that once someone changes his/her domicile (honsekichi), as a head of family register, the past records will not be transferred to the new domicile municipal office. Therefore, the past records may not be shown on his/her family register obtained from the new domicile municipal office. In addition, past records may not be transferred when the municipal office changes its record system from the Koseki Tohon or Koseki Shohon (older format that is hand-written or typed vertically) to Zenbujiko Shomeisho or Ichibujiko Shomeisho (digitized format typed horizontally).

Also, in cases where an individual was removed from one family register and placed into another family record by adoption or marriage, the current family register sometimes does not indicate the person's place of birth. If the omitted portion is required, an extract from the canceled koseki (joseki shohon) must be obtained from the Municipal Office holding the applicant's previous family register.

Note: Records of civil actions pertaining to non-Japanese citizens, such as marriage, adoption, divorce or death are available from the municipal office where the action was registered, in the same manner as the birth record of a Japanese citizen. However, they can only be registered on a Japanese family register when one party is Japanese (e.g. non-Japanese citizen married to a Japanese, non-Japanese citizen adopted by a Japanese). Therefore, records for non-Japanese citizens are normally issued in the form of a certificate of acceptance of report. This document is not considered valid without the seal from the Municipal Office. Please note this document is sometimes issued on non-security paper.

According to the Tokyo Legal Affairs Bureau (part of the Tokyo Municipal government), all birth records for non-Japanese citizens are maintained by the municipal office where the reports were filed. Birth records (shusshou todoke kisaijiko shomeisho) for foreigners are not permanently retained. The retention period may differ from office to office, and can be as short as ten years. In general, parents report each birth at the municipal office where they reside or where the child was born.

The following documents are not acceptable in lieu of family register or Certificate of Acceptance of Notification of Birth:

  • Certificate of Residence
  • U.S. base issued birth certificate
  • Maternal Handbook

Please note that for adoptions that are finalized in Japan, there are two types of adoptions under Japanese law - regular and special.

  • "Regular" adoptions are based on Japanese cultural and family traditions and do not legally sever the ties between the child and his or her birth family. To be a valid adoption for U.S. immigration purposes there must be an irrevocable termination of the biological parent(s) - child relationship.   For regular adoption, both the certificate of acceptance of adoption and family register can be obtained by either biological or adoptive parents.
  • “Special" adoptions in the Japanese context are an option for residents in Japan. The law on special adoptions went into effect on January 1, 1988. Special adoptions more closely resemble Western-style adoptions. As in U.S. adoptions, a special adoption legally severs the child's ties, rights and privileges with regard to the birth parent(s) and any prior adoptive parents.  And the child's name must be removed from the birth mother's family registry (koseki) after adoption.*

*“Please be advised that, pursuant to Japanese law, the intercountry adoption of Japanese children requires authorization by Japanese courts.  It is not possible under Japanese law to transfer custody for purposes of intercountry adoption to the United States until a Japanese court has granted a special adoption. In order to grant a special adoption, a Japanese court must find that the prospective adoptive parent(s) have met several requirements, including completion of a minimum six month period of trial nurturing. This six month nurturing period must be done in Japan, and thus requires the prospective adoptive parents to reside in Japan for six months or more. For more information, please refer to the website of Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (Japanese only); travel.state.gov or contact your Adoption Service Provider for advice on other options for adopting a child in Japan. “

Pre-adoption:  Both certificate of acceptance of adoption or family register can be obtained by only adoptive parents

Post adoption:  Both certificate of acceptance of adoption or family register (copy of removal from family register) can be obtained by only adoptive parents

  • RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: There are no laws concerning the visa status of prospective adoptive parents. However, parents almost always must reside in Japan during the entire court process, which takes a minimum of six months and possibly as long as 18 months. When the adoption is finalized at least one parent must be present at court. Proxy adoptions are not permitted.
  • AGE REQUIREMENTS: In special adoptions, prospective adoptive parents must be over 25 years of age. However, if one parent is over 25, the other parent can be younger than 25 as long as he or she is at least 20 years old. In regular adoptions, prospective adoptive parents must be at least 20 years of age.
  • MARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS: In special adoptions, prospective adoptive parents must be a married couple. In regular adoptions, there may be circumstances in which single people can adopt.
  • INCOME REQUIREMENTS: While there are no specific income requirements required by Japanese law, the prospective adoptive parents likely will have to provide documentation on their income and finances.
  • OTHER REQUIREMENTS: There are no laws regulating or addressing same-sex couples adopting in Japan, but there have been no known cases of this happening. However, it may be permitted if the prospective adoptive parents' state recognizes the marriage as legal.
  • RELINQUISHMENT: Japanese law does not specify that the child must be an "orphan" (i.e., as defined in U.S. immigration law) in order for the adoption to proceed. According to Article 817-7, a special adoption can be granted when:
    • It is extremely difficult for the biological parents to take care of the child;
    • It is considered inappropriate for the biological parents to raise the child; and/or
    • It is in the interests of the child. 
  • AGE OF ADOPTIVE CHILD: For a child to be adopted under the special adoption law, the child must be under the age of 6 at the time the petition to adopt is filed. However, the adoption can still proceed if the child is under the age of 8 and the prospective adoptive parents have had custody of the child and continually cared for the child since before the child was 6 years of age.
  • Japan’s Adoption Authority
    • Japan's principal adoption authorities are the Family Courts and the Child Guidance Centers (CGC), both of which are administered at the prefectural level.
  • Documents Required: When completing a full and final adoption under Japanese law, the Japanese adoption agency should provide you with a complete list of required documents. These may include:
    • Birth certificate and/or family register of all parties
    • Passport, Japanese visas and Alien Registration cards for all parties
    • Copy of U.S. military ID (where applicable)
    • Marriage, divorce, and death certificates (where applicable)
    • Copy of any property ownership deeds and/or bank statements
    • Certificate of foster parent registration (where applicable)
    • Certificate of good conduct/no criminal record for each adoptive parent (issued by their home city or state police department)
    • Certificate of legal address, employment, and income
    • Biographic history of all parties
    • Statement of consent to adopt by the child's biological parent(s) or guardian
    • Statement of prospective parent(s)' intent to adopt the identified child
    • Home Study (approved by an authorized and licensed adoption agency)
    • Two character references

Note: Additional documents may be requested.

 

Identity Card

Available: For Japanese Nationals and authorized non-Japanese

Fees:

  • For Japanese Nationals: There is no fee for this service
  • For non-Japanese: Depends on authorized resident status

Document Name:

  • For Japanese Nationals: Individual Number/My Number Card
  • For non-Japanese: Residence Card

Issuing Authority:

  • For Japanese Nationals: Cabinet Office, Government of Japan. Distributed by municipal office of the resident.
  • For non-Japanese: Ministry of Justice Immigration Bureau

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:

  • For Japanese Nationals: IC chip, laser engraved letters along with intricate anti-counterfeit patterns on back side of the card.
  • For non-Japanese: Watermarks

Issuing Authority Personnel Title:

  • For Japanese Nationals: There is no issuing authority personnel title
  • For non-Japanese: Minister of Justice

Registration Criteria:

  • For Japanese Nationals: There are no registration criteria
  • For non-Japanese: For details, please check the Ministry of Justice’s website at: immi-moj.go.jp

Procedure for Obtaining:

  • For Japanese Nationals:
    Step 1: A notification card and application form for issuance of an Individual Number Card are sent by certified mail to the address appearing on the resident’s record.
    Step 2: Apply through either mail, smartphone, personal computer or a town ID photo booth. Applicants will need a photo, notification card and the corresponding application form required for each method of application.
    Step 3: Notification (postcard) will be delivered to your home.
    Step 4: Visit the service counter by the date listed on the issuance notice postcard with required items.
    For additional details, please refer to the Cabinet Office (Government of Japan)’s website at: kojinbango-card.go.jp/en/kofushinse/index.html
  • For non-Japanese:
    Issued to mid or long-term residents in Japan for more than 90 days pertaining to their legally authorized residence status such as landing permission, permission for change of resident status, or permission for extension of period of stay.

Certified Copies Available:

  • For Japanese Nationals: Certified copies are not available
  • For non-Japanese: Certified copies are not available

Alternate Documents:

  • For Japanese Nationals: Notification card (paper card which notifies every resident of their My Number/Individual Number). If used, it is necessary to present another form of identification.
  • For non-Japanese: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions:

  • For Japanese Nationals: None
  • For non-Japanese: None

Comments:

  • For Japanese Nationals: None
  • For non-Japanese:
    • Validity of Residence Card:
      • Permanent Residents:
        • 16 years or older: Valid for seven years from the issuance date.
        • If under 16 years old: Valid until foreign national’s 16th birthday (Cards are issued without photo).
      • Non-Permanent Residents:
        • 16 years or older: Valid during the period of authorized stay.
        • If under 16 years old: Valid during the period of authorized stay or the foreign national’s 16th birthday (Cards are issued without photo).

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Certificates 

Available

Fees: Free at Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, but varies from prefecture to prefecture

Document Name: The Certificate of Criminal Record.

Issuing Authority: The headquarters' records section of the Metropolitan or Prefectural police issues certificates which include a nationwide criminal records check.

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Japanese Police Certificates are issued in a sealed envelope. If the seal is broken, the certificate is considered invalid. Visa applicants should not open a sealed envelope containing a Police Certificate. The applicant must bring the original Police Certificate in a sealed envelope to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate at the time of his/her interview. Applicants should only send a photocopy of the sealed envelope to the National Visa Center, but not the actual police certificate itself.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: There is no issuing authority personnel title

Registration Criteria: There are no registration criteria

Procedure for Obtaining:

Applicants Physically Present in Japan: Foreign nationals holding legal resident status and Japanese citizens must apply in person at the Metropolitan or Prefectural police headquarters having jurisdiction over their present place of residence in Japan. Processing time is approximately two-three weeks.

Applicants Outside of Japan: Former legal residents, former illegal aliens, and Japanese citizens, should apply at the nearest Japanese Consulate. Issuing Authority is National Police Agency. Processing time is approximately two-three weeks.

Applicants Physically Present in Japan as Illegal Aliens: Officially, the Japanese police will not process requests for police good conduct certificates from illegal aliens while they are physically present in Japan. In some cases, however, the police will issue the appropriate police certificate, provided that the illegal alien submits to deportation proceedings and agrees to leave Japan by a date specified by Japanese Immigration.

Police certificate from U.S. military base: Criminal records from the Japanese police authority and from U.S. military bases are not cross-indexed. Therefore, a crime that occurred in one jurisdiction may not be reported to the police of the other jurisdiction. U.S. military applicants (civilian employees, military personnel, and family members) who are physically present in Japan under the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) must show the results of a local military base police records check as well as a Japanese police certificate. Processing time: Approximately two weeks.

Local military base police records checks are unavailable to applicants outside of Japan. However, Defense Department law enforcement agencies may be able to determine if an applicant who formerly resided in Japan under the SOFA engaged in criminal activity.

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are not available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments:  Japanese police certificates are based on fingerprints. Japanese police certificates will not contain information about criminal convictions when:

  • The period of probation is completed;
  • Ten years have passed after the period of imprisonment is completed or waived, provided the individual has no further punishments or fines;
  • Five years have passed after paying a fine or after an imposed fine was waived without any further punishments or fines;
  • The conviction was vacated or the offender was subject to a pardon or amnesty;
  • The conviction is for minor traffic violations;
  • The offender is considered a minor under Juvenile Law article 60; or
  • The sentenced punishment was abolished after sentencing.

The headquarters' records section of the Metropolitan or Prefectural Police issues certificates which include a nationwide criminal records check. It is unclear how long it takes for criminal information to be submitted into the national database.

Note: A limited validity Japanese passport may be indicative of a criminal history in Japan, although a police certificate may not show a criminal background.

 

Court Records

Available

Fees: Varies from case to case

Document Name: Certified copy of judgment (hanketsu tohon)

Issuing Authority: Records on court judgments are maintained at the relevant office of the District Public Prosecutor's office (chiho kensatucho kirokuka). A certified Copy of Judgment (hanketsu tohon) may be issued both to Japanese and non-Japanese upon application, but personal appearance is required. The applicant must state his/her name in Chinese characters if the applicant is Japanese, Chinese or Korean, their date of birth, permanent legal domicile and the purpose for which the court judgment is required. An applicant residing abroad can be issued a court record only through the attorney who represented the applicant at the time of his or her trial or through a relative of the applicant in Japan who has a power of attorney to apply for such a certificate.

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Depends on issuing authorities

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Legal Affairs Bureau/Prosecutors Office/Prefectural Prosecutors Office (depends on criminal cases)

Registration Criteria: Depends on each criminal case

Procedure for Obtaining: Varies from municipality to municipality

Certified Copies Available: Certified copies are available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: None

 

Prison Records

Unavailable: Complete prison records are unavailable. A prison can issue a certificate showing the dates of incarceration upon request either in person or by letter. A request by mail must include a postage-paid, self-addressed envelope.

Please check back for update.

Military Records

Available: Records for Imperial Japanese military service, up to and including World War II, can be obtained at the Prefectural Government's Welfare Section (for army) or the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (for navy): 1-2-2 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8916, Japan. Telephone: 03-5253-1111 Records for Japan Self-Defense Forces service can be obtained from the Ministry of Defense. Telephone: 03-5366-3111

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Types Available (Regular, Diplomatic, Official, etc.):

  • Passports are issued using two different lengths of validity: five and ten years. Japanese citizens up to 19 years of age can only be issued a five-year passport, while those who are 20 years of age or older can choose either a five-year (blue) or ten-year (red) passport for different application fees.
  • Official passports are issued to members of the National Diet and public servants.
  • Diplomatic passports are issued to members of the Imperial Family, diplomats and their family members, and high-level government officials.
  • Official or diplomatic passports are issued for either single or multiple journeys and remain valid for five years or until the bearer returns to Japan.
  • Legal resident nationals of countries with which Japan has no relations may seek to travel on re-entry permits. All such travel documents satisfy INA 212(a) (7) (B).

Fees: Passport (10 year validity) -16,000yen / Passport (5 year validity)-11,000yen / Passport for those under the age of 12 -6,000yen / Re-entry permit (multiple)-6,000yen / Re-entry permit (single)-3,000yen

Document Name: Passport/Re-entry permit

Issuing Government Authority: Passports - Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Japanese diplomatic or consular office / Re-entry Permit - Ministry of Justice

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: All Japanese passports issued after March 20, 2006 are biometric passports.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: There is no issuing authority personnel title

Registration Criteria: There are no registration criteria

Procedure for Obtaining: Details on applying for a Japanese passport are available at mofa.go.jp (Japanese only). Details on applying for a Japanese re-entry permit are available at immi-moj.go.jp. Individuals who need to obtain a Japanese travel document can also contact the nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for assistance. Please see mofa.go.jp for additional details.

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: None

Other Records

There are no other records.

Visa Issuing Posts

Post Title: Tokyo, Japan (Embassy)

Address: 1-10-5 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8420 JAPAN

Phone Number: +81-3-3224-5000

Visa Services: Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visas

Comments / Additional Information: None

 

Post Title: Naha, Japan (Consulate General)

Address: 2-1-1, Toyama, Urasoe-shi, Okinawa-ken, 901-2104 JAPAN

Phone Number: +81-98-876-4211

Visa Services: Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visas

Comments / Additional Information: None

 

Post Title: Osaka, Japan (Consulate General)

Address: 2 -11-5, Nishitenma, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka-fu, 530-8543 JAPAN

Phone Number: +81-6-6315-5900

Visa Services: Nonimmigrant Visas except K visa

Comments / Additional Information: None

 

Post Title: Sapporo, Japan (Consulate General)

Address: Kita 1-jo Nishi 28-Chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido, 064-0821 JAPAN

Phone Number: +81-11-641-1115

Visa Services: No issuing service. Only accept applications for Nonimmigrant Visas except K visa.

Comments / Additional Information: None

 

Post Title: Fukuoka, Japan (Consulate General)

Address: 2-5-26 O-hori, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka, 810-0052 JAPAN

Phone Number: +81-92-751-9331

Visa Services: No issuing service. Only accept applications for Nonimmigrant Visas except K visa.

Comments / Additional Information: None

Visa Services


Immigrant Visas: Immigrant visa applicants physically present in Japan may choose to apply in either Tokyo or Naha. In general, Tokyo serves all prefectures of the four main islands of Japan (Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu) and the Northern Mariana Islands. Naha serves Okinawa and the Amami Islands of Kagoshima ken.

Nonimmigrant Visas: Nonimmigrant visa applicants physically present in Japan may apply for a visa at the Embassy or any U.S. consulate in Japan with a visa unit. Areas are also served by specific consular districts according to the table below:

Area

Post

Aichi

Osaka-Kobe

Akita

Tokyo

Aomori

Tokyo

Chiba

Tokyo

Ehime

Osaka-Kobe

Fukuoka

Osaka-Kobe

Fukui

Osaka-Kobe

Fukushima

Tokyo

Gifu

Osaka-Kobe

Gumma

Tokyo

Hiroshima

Osaka-Kobe

Hokkaido

Tokyo

Hyogo

Osaka-Kobe

Ibaraki

Tokyo

Ishikawa

Osaka-Kobe

Iwate

Tokyo

Kagawa

Osaka-Kobe

Kagoshima Portion north of 29th parallel

Osaka-Kobe

Kagoshima Portion south of 29th parallel

Naha

Kanagawa

Tokyo

Kochi

Osaka-Kobe

Kumamoto

Osaka-Kobe

Kyoto

Osaka-Kobe

Mie

Osaka-Kobe

Miyagi

Tokyo

Miyazaki 

Osaka-Kobe             

Nagano

Tokyo

Nagasaki

Osaka-Kobe

Nara

Osaka-Kobe

Niigata

Tokyo

Oita

Osaka-Kobe

Okayama

Osaka-Kobe

Okinawa

Naha

Osaka

Osaka-Kobe

Saga

Osaka-Kobe

Saitama

Tokyo

Shiga

Osaka-Kobe

Shimane

Osaka-Kobe

Shizuoka

Tokyo

Tochigi

Tokyo

Tokushima

Osaka-Kobe

Tokyo

Tokyo

Tottori

Osaka-Kobe

Toyama

Osaka-Kobe

Wakayama

Osaka-Kobe

Yamagata

Tokyo

Yamaguchi

Osaka-Kobe

Yamanashi 

Tokyo