In recent years, as international marriages have become commonplace, there are more than a few cases of Japanese and Russian marriages.
When a Japanese and a Russian get married, there are cases where they get married first in Russia, and there are cases where they get married first in Japan. The procedures are different in both cases.
Therefore, this article is about the procedure for marriage between a Japanese and a Russian citizen.
Marrying first in Russia
When a Japanese and a Russian citizen marry in Russia, they need to obtain an affidavit of competency to marry from the Legal Affairs Bureau of Japan.
An affidavit of competency to marry is a document certifying that the applicant is single and of marriageable age.
When Japanese marry in Russia, they must provide an affidavit of competency to marry to prove that they meet the legal requirements to marry in Russia.
After obtaining an affidavit of competency to marry from the Legal Affairs Bureau, you need to file the certificate with the Department of State and have it apostilled.
Apostille is a procedure by which a country’s institution certifies that a document is an official document issued by a Japanese authority or local government.
An Apostille is usually required when you submit official documents issued by the Japanese government or local governments to foreign governments, not just marriage certificates.
Once you have the apostille, you need to have the marriage certificate (and its translation) notarized at the Russian consulate.
After you have completed the notarization procedure, you can travel to Russia with the required documents and have the Russian marriage notarized in the presence of a notary public at the Russian partner`s place of residence.
Once you have completed the preparation of the marriage certificate, you can register the marriage at a local registry office (ZAGS) and the marriage procedure in Russia is completed for the time being.
After that, the procedure is basically the same as for marrying first in Japan, including filing a marriage application, issuing a certificate of acceptance of the marriage application, and applying for a spouse visa.
Marrying in Japan first
When a Japanese and a Russian marry in Japan first, the Japanese partner first applies for a short-term visitor visa (temporary visitor visa) and invites the Russian partner to Japan.
Then you need to apply to the Russian consulate in Japan for an affidavit of competency to marry.
When you fill in the required information in the marriage application and submit the marriage application to the municipality in Japan, the marriage will be registered in Japan.
To prove that you got married in Japan, the municipal office where you submitted the marriage application issues a certificate of recognition of the marriage application after you submit the marriage application.
For the Russian spouse to continue to stay in Japan, it is common to change the current residence status of the Russian spouse (work visa, etc.) to “spouse or child of a Japanese national, etc.".