Naturalization/acquisition of nationality
Naturalization is a procedure for foreign nationals living in Japan to acquire Japanese nationality. If the naturalization is approved, the applicant can acquire Japanese nationality and live as a Japanese national in the future. However, the applicant loses the nationality of his/her home country. This is because Japan does not allow dual nationality.
Naturalization has many advantages if you plan to live in Japan for a long time in the future, as you will receive the benefits of Japanese citizenship, no longer have to worry about visas, and will also be able to carry out complex procedures such as marriage and inheritance under Japanese law.
Differences between naturalization and permanent residence
Both are procedures to live in Japan for a long time and the documents to be prepared are similar, but the main difference is whether you change your nationality or not.
Advantages of naturalization
- Can continue to live in Japan without worrying about visas.
- Can find a job or change jobs regardless of visa status.
- No need for a re-entry permit.
- Can hold a Japanese passport (about 190 visa-exempt countries!).
- Have the same rights as Japanese nationals with regard to social security (pension, insurance, welfare, etc.).
- The right to vote.
- Easier to take out a loan.
- Registered in the family register, so that marriage and inheritance procedures can be handled under Japanese law.
Disadvantages of naturalization
- Loses nationality of the home country.
- May need a visa when returning to home country.
The requirements for naturalization
The main conditions are as follows:
- Must have lived in Japan for at least five years.
- The applicant must be 18 years of age or older.
Children of minors who apply together with their parents may apply even if they have not yet reached the age of majority.
- The applicant must have sufficient assets and annual income to cover living expenses.
- The applicant must be able to read, write, understand and speak Japanese well enough to live in Japan.
- The applicant must not have a criminal record and must have fulfilled his/her tax obligations and pension payments.
Acquisition of nationality
If the father or mother is a Japanese national at the time of birth, the child acquires Japanese nationality. This also applies if the father acknowledges the child while the child is still in the mother’s womb.
Japanese nationality is also granted to children whose parents are unknown or without nationality.
Those who are the children of Japanese nationals but are not Japanese nationals can acquire Japanese nationality through notification, although there are some requirements.
- Recognition is received after birth
- Reacquisition of Japanese nationality when nationality is not reserved
A child born abroad who has acquired Japanese and foreign nationality at the same time by birth loses Japanese nationality retroactively to the time of birth unless notification of reservation of Japanese nationality is given with the birth notification. However, they can re-acquire Japanese nationality if they fulfill a number of requirements.
- Failure to select Japanese nationality after being notified of the selection of Japanese nationality
If you are a dual national with Japanese and foreign citizenship and you receive a notice from the Minister of Justice to select your nationality, if you do not select Japanese nationality within one month of receiving the notice, you will lose your Japanese nationality. If they fulfill some requirements, they can re-acquire Japanese nationality.
Nationality is a very important aspect of life. Before you start the process, please consult us.