Reasons for the Rejection of the Naturalization Application 


In many cases, the naturalization application is granted, but it may be denied for certain reasons. The Legal Affairs Bureau/District Legal Affairs Bureau that accepted the application cannot tell the applicant the reason for the denial, but there are general reasons for denying a naturalization application.

This article explains the seven requirements for a naturalization application and the factors that can lead to the denial of a naturalization application.

Seven requirements for a naturalization application

  1. You have lived in Japan for more than 5 years

However, if you have stayed abroad for more than 90 days or have been abroad for more than 100 days in a year, you cannot be considered to have continued to live in Japan.

  1. You are at least 20 years old and have legal capacity under the laws of your home country 

Capacity to act refers to the ability to take a legal action independently and on your own.

Please note that the age of majority varies from country to country.

For example, in Indonesia, the age of majority is 21. Therefore, you must be at least 21 years old to apply for naturalization in Japan.

  1. Good behavior

Do you have a criminal record, have you committed traffic violations, violated tax or pension regulations, etc.?

  1. Are you able to support yourself from your own assets or the abilities of your spouse or other relatives?
  1. Those who do not have citizenship or should lose their citizenship by acquiring Japanese citizenship
    Most countries have provisions for losing your original citizenship if you become a naturalized citizen.
  1. Ideological requirements
    You must not seek or advocate the destruction of Japan.
  1. Japanese language proficiency requirements
    Japanese language proficiency equivalent to that of a second grade elementary school student is required.
    In some cases, a Japanese language test is administered during the interview.

Common reasons for rejection of a naturalization application

It is not possible to ask for the exact reason your naturalization application was denied, but the most common reasons are as follows.

  • Non-payment of pensions or taxes

The applicant does not meet the conduct requirements.

  • Failure to submit additional documents

For example, when the Legal Affairs Bureau indicates that the documents submitted are insufficient and requests additional documents, but the applicant fails to submit them.

  • Criminal record / Traffic violations

This includes cases where insufficient time has passed since prior convictions or a serious traffic violation has been committed, such as an accident resulting in injury or death or drunk driving.

  • False information in the application form

This includes cases where false information is provided or unfavorable facts are concealed on the application form.


There are 7 requirements for applying for naturalization, but no clear list of grounds for rejection. Common grounds for rejection include non-payment of pensions and taxes, failure to provide additional documents, misrepresentation of facts in the application, committing a crime in the last 10 years, and serious traffic accidents such as assault or drunk driving.