Reasons why foreigners apply for a naturalization │ Advantages of acquiring Japanese citizenship


The main reason foreigners naturalize in Japan is for family, work, or both.

Naturalized citizens enjoy many advantages that even permanent residents do not have, which benefit them in finding a job, changing jobs, buying a house, starting a business, etc.

Reason for naturalization #1: For the child’s future

The most common reason or trigger for naturalization is the birth of a child but there are different stages of parenthood in which parents apply for a naturalization permit. Some initiate the process immediately after learning they are pregnant, and others may begin discussing naturalization with their family when their child starts school or gets a job.

Children of foreign couples (including permanent residents) will receive the citizenship of their father or mother even if they are born in Japan.  They must apply for an extension of their residence status and request documents from their home country if they need them for school or their job. In addition, employment opportunities are limited and it is particularly difficult to work for the Japanese government and investigative agencies. Therefore, in order to enjoy the following benefits, many people consider naturalizing as a whole family when the child is born.

  • They can get rid of the cumbersome immigration and residency procedures
  • They can obtain a Japanese passport and have their child study abroad or travel freely
  • They can increase their options in the future when they settle in Japan

Reason for naturalization #2: To get a job or start a business

The second most common reason for naturalization is getting a job or starting a business.

If you are not a special permanent resident or a spouse of a permanent resident, there are certain restrictions on where and when you can work. Also, you usually have to change residence status every time you change jobs or retire, which is very inconvenient.

It is especially difficult if you want to start a business in Japan. You can apply for “business/management" residence status, but the eligibility requirements are stricter, such as capital, and the requirements for business loans available to foreigners are higher, making verification more difficult.

If you become a Japanese citizen, you will be treated as a Japanese citizen in terms of employment and starting a business.

  • Complete freedom to choose your profession
  • There are no restrictions on starting a business or holding an office (company law applies).
  • More opportunities for lending and financing, making it easier to start a new business.

Reason for naturalization #3: marriage

In addition, many people think about acquiring Japanese citizenship when they want to get engaged or married. This is because there are many situations where being a foreigner can hinder the purchase of a house, the birth of a child, and so on.

Another reason is the perception of foreigners in Japan. Many people are not used to dealing with foreigners. They tend to have the prejudice that communication and various procedures may be hindered if a foreigner is part of the family. Therefore, many people try to avoid international marriage and acquire Japanese citizenship first in order to obtain the following benefits.

  • Avoid problems related to the child’s citizenship
  • Lower the barriers to getting a mortgage loan and buying a new home without problems
  • Establish a good relationship with the fiancé’s parents

Conclusion │ Advantages of naturalization for foreigners

The merits of the above reasons for naturalization can be summarized in five main points. Although the direct impact on daily life is small, it is also important that you gain the right to vote.

  • You are exempt from onerous procedures related to residency
  • You can obtain a Japanese passport (many countries/regions do not have visa requirements for Japanese travelers, making travel easier)
  • There are no restrictions on employment or entrepreneurship
  • It will be easier to pass various credit checks, e.g. for mortgages
  • It will be easier to be accepted by Japanese relatives

Many documents are required to apply for naturalization and the process usually takes about a year. When you finally initiate the process, you should seek the help of experts and people who speak Japanese to avoid problems that could further drag out the process.