Modern Japan is one of the most prosperous countries in the world with a fascinating history and culture. The country has a strong economy and a highly skilled workforce, excellent infrastructure and public transportation system, quality medicine and a very low crime rate.

Average salaries in Japan are comparable to developed countries of the European Union and North America. That is why many foreigners today seek to find a job in Japanese companies and move to the Land of the Rising Sun forever, that is, in the long term to obtain Japanese citizenship.

Citizenship of Japan

The Japanese rank first in the world in terms of life expectancy, which is also a good incentive for immigration to this country. Many foreign entrepreneurs open and successfully conduct business in Japan. The state has quite comfortable climate, beautiful cities and optimal living conditions.

Research, technical and innovative developments of Japanese specialists are actively used in practice, which is confirmed by the level of development of local industry, including the production of electronics and automotive industry. On how to obtain citizenship of Japan and the current requirements for all foreigners in 2024, let's talk further.

How to obtain Japanese citizenship

The procedure for obtaining a Japanese passport is regulated by the Law "On Japanese Citizenship" (hereinafter - the Law) № 174 of 1950. According to this document, it is possible to obtain Japanese citizenship in two ways:

  • By birth (acquisition)

  • By naturalization

Japanese citizenship by birth

According to Articles 2,3 of the Law, children automatically receive a Japanese passport if:

  1. The mother or father was a Japanese citizen at the time of the child's birth.

  2. The child was born in Japanese territory and the parents are stateless or are unknown.

  3. The father died before the child was born and held a Japanese passport at the time.

In addition, any child under the age of 20 may apply to the Minister of Justice of Japan for citizenship if there is proof that the mother or father is Japanese or held Japanese passports at the time of death.

Japanese citizenship by naturalization

The naturalization procedure in Japan requires the Minister of Justice to authorize the issuance of a passport and applies to foreigners who do not have Japanese roots. The procedure for obtaining citizenship by this method is described in Articles 4-10 of the Law. Let us highlight the basic requirements.

What is needed or conditions for obtaining Japanese citizenship

Period of stay. At the time of application, the candidate must legally reside on Japanese territory, that is, have a permanent residence permit (domicile) obtained at the local Immigration Bureau. The minimum period of legal residence in Japan to obtain citizenship is 5 years. At the same time, the years of study in Japanese universities on a student visa are not counted. In addition, every year at least 80% of 365 days a foreigner must stay in Japan.

In some cases, the 5-year period of residence is optional:

  • If the alien has been a permanent resident of Japan for at least 3 years and is a child of a Japanese citizen (excluding adoption).

  • If the mother or father, as well as the candidate for citizenship himself, was born in Japan and the latter has resided in Japan for at least 3 years.

  • If the period of legal residence in Japan is more than 10 years.

  • If the foreigner is married to a Japanese citizen and has resided in Japan for at least 3 years. The period of stay in Japanese territory is reduced to 1 year if the marriage lasts more than 3 years.

Age. To formalize Japanese citizenship, a foreigner must reach the age of majority in his native country and be at least 20 years old. An exception is sometimes provided for dependents who obtain a Japanese passport at the same time as their parents.

Behavior. A candidate for Japanese citizenship must demonstrate good behavior, for example, no criminal record and no tax debt. Each case is considered individually. One person is forgiven some minor offenses, and the second person is denied a passport for traffic violations.

Income. A foreigner must have funds sufficient for living in Japan. For example, as a confirmation can be an official job, a spouse's salary or private property that steadily brings income. Local officials will be sure to verify the accuracy of this information.

Renunciation of citizenship. Even before applying for a Japanese passport, the candidate must renounce the citizenship of his country. In this case, nominally the child can have dual citizenship, but after reaching 20 years of age must make a choice in favor of one state.

Note. Dual citizenship is officially prohibited in Japan, but with rare exceptions, when a foreigner cannot, for objective reasons, withdraw his or her nationality from another country, the Minister of Justice may authorize the issuance of a Japanese passport. For example, in the case of family ties or other important circumstances.

Laws and Constitution. Any suspected involvement in terrorist organizations or criminal groups plotting to overthrow the Japanese government or violating the Japanese Constitution is grounds for denial of citizenship.

Language. The candidate must have speaking, reading and writing skills in Japanese at least at a minimum level equivalent to local elementary school students between the ages of 7 and 8. This is verified at the time of interview.

If all of the above conditions are met, it is safe to apply for citizenship at the District Legal Affairs Office of the Ministry of Justice of Japan in the place of residence. A preliminary interview is held first, and then a date is set by which the candidate must collect documents and provide other information as requested by local officials.

Each candidate is considered individually, so the list of documentation may vary. Moreover, during the application process, immigration officials may repeatedly ask for clarifications or additions to any information. Usually the period of Japanese passport issuance is not more than a year. It should be noted that, according to statistics, about 90% of applications for Japanese citizenship are considered favorably.

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