Is the rejection rate low? What should I do to get approved? Overview of naturalization requirements and approval rates


Applying for a naturalization permit is not a guarantee that you will pass the application review. In some cases, the permit will not be granted. What is the likelihood that the naturalization permit application will be approved? This article provides an overview of the approval rate for naturalization and the naturalization requirements.

Approval rate for naturalization

According to the Civil Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Justice, the trends in the number of naturalization applicants, the number of people whose naturalization applications were approved, and the number of people whose applications were not approved are as follows.

YearNumber of naturalization applicantsNumber of approved applicantsNumber of rejected applicants

(Reference: Ministry of Justice “Trends in the Number of Naturalization Permit Applicants")

As shown above, the number of naturalization applicants exceeds about 10,000 each year, and 80 to 90% of them had their application approved.

Requirements for naturalization

There are two types of naturalization: ordinary naturalization and extraordinary naturalization.

Ordinary naturalization

This is the method of naturalization granted to most foreigners.

The requirements for ordinary naturalization are as follows.

  • You have lived in Japan for more than 5 years.
  • You are 18 years old or older and have reached the age of majority according to the law of your home country.
  • Good behavior
  • You are able to support yourself from your own assets or those of your spouse or other relatives.
  • You do not have citizenship or should lose it by acquiring Japanese citizenship.
  • You have never attempted or advocated to violently destroy the Japanese Constitution or the government established under it, or founded/joined any political party or other organization that attempts or advocates to do so.

Extraordinary Naturalization (Simplified Naturalization)

The application review is less strict than regular naturalization if certain conditions are met, such as having a spouse or child who is a Japanese citizen.

The requirements for extraordinary naturalization (simplified naturalization) are as follows.

  • The applicant is the spouse of a Japanese citizen and has had an address in Japan for at least 3 years.
  • Three years have passed since marriage to a Japanese citizen and the applicant has been a resident of Japan for at least one year.
  • Natural child (excludes adopted children) of a Japanese citizen residing in Japan.
  • Child adopted by a Japanese citizen who has resided in Japan for at least one year and is a minor (under the law of the home country) at the time of adoption.
  • The applicant was born in Japan, has been stateless since birth, and has resided in Japan for at least 3 years.

Approval of the naturalization application is decided by the Minister of Justice and announced in the Official Gazette. Naturalization becomes effective on the date of the announcement.


The number of naturalization applicants exceeds 10,000 every year, and 80 to 90% of them are granted naturalization.

One of the reasons for the low rejection rate is the cases in which the Legal Affairs Bureau indicates the possibility of rejection even before the application is submitted, as well as the applicants’ decision to withdraw the application the recommendation of the Legal Affairs Bureau.