Foreigners can obtain Japanese citizenship through the naturalization process.
Naturalization means that a foreigner who does not hold the citizenship of a particular country applies for the citizenship of that country.
There are three types of naturalization in Japan: ordinary naturalization, simplified naturalization, and extraordinary naturalization.
This article describes all three naturalization methods for obtaining Japanese citizenship.
What is ordinary naturalization?
Ordinary naturalization is the regular procedure for the naturalization of foreigners in Japan.
If your application for naturalization is accepted, you can obtain Japanese citizenship.
However, to obtain ordinary naturalization, you must meet all the requirements, such as residency and qualification requirements.
What is simplified naturalization?
Simplified naturalization is a procedure in which the requirements for naturalization are relaxed for foreigners who meet certain conditions.
Compared to ordinary naturalization, the requirements for naturalization are simpler, which makes naturalization much easier.
On the other hand, you must meet at least one of the conditions for simplified naturalization in order for it to be approved.
The requirements for simple naturalization are as follows.
- You are a child of Japanese nationals (persons with Japanese citizenship) who has lived in Japan for more than three years.
- You were born in Japan and have had an address or residence in Japan for more than 3 years.
- You were born in Japan and your father or mother was also born in Japan.
- You have been a resident of Japan for more than 10 years.
- Your spouse is a Japanese citizen and you have lived in Japan for more than 3 years.
- Your spouse is a Japanese citizen, you have been married for at least 3 years, and you have lived in Japan for at least 1 year.
- You are a child of a Japanese citizen with an address in Japan.
- You are a child adopted by a Japanese citizen, have lived in Japan for at least 1 year, and were a minor in your home country at the time of adoption.
- You are a former Japanese citizen with an address in Japan.
- You were born in Japan, are stateless, and have lived in Japan for more than 3 years.
What is the extraordinary naturalization?
Extraordinary naturalization is a procedure in which all the requirements for ordinary naturalization are excluded.
In other words: If extraordinary naturalization is approved, naturalization to Japan is possible regardless of whether or not all requirements are met.
In the case of foreigners who have rendered outstanding service to Japan, the Minister of Justice, with the approval of the National Diet, may allow naturalization to Japan regardless of the naturalization requirements.
In summary, extraordinary naturalization is a system that allows foreigners who have rendered outstanding service to Japan to be naturalized unconditionally, subject to the approval of the National Diet.
Although the extraordinary naturalization system exists in itself, there has not yet been a case in which it has been applied in Japan.