The documents required to apply for a naturalization permit in Japan are different for each applicant. The applicant needs to check with the Legal Affairs Bureau to find out what documents are required in addition to the application, but in most cases, you can anticipate the list of documents.
This article focuses on the documents you will likely need to submit. The number of documents is very large, so be sure to check with the Legal Affairs Bureau before submitting your application
Documents written by the applicant
The documents for a naturalization application consist of mandatory documents and additional documents that may be required by the Legal Affairs Bureau. Here is the list of mandatory documents.
The format of the documents for the naturalization permit application is created by the Department of Justice. You do not have to create them from scratch, but be sure to fill in all the fields and double-check the answers.
- Application for naturalization permission
- Motive for naturalization
- Description of your relatives
- Description of how you make your living in Japan
- Description of your business/occupation
- A document describing the occupation
- Maps of the vicinity of your residence and workplace（for the previous 3 years）
Documents you can create freely
In addition, you can ask someone close to you to write a “petition" or an “appeal". The format for the document is completely free and it is up to the applicant.
▼What is a petition/appeal?
A petition/appeal plays a role in explaining objectively and in detail how you live in Japan and why you need a naturalization permit. It is common to ask someone who knows the applicant best to write such a petition, such as family, acquaintances, friends, bosses, or colleagues.
If it is likely that you will be denied, you may be able to change the decision in your favor by asking someone to write this document to inform the examiner of your situation.
Documents that prove identity
The most important document to submit with the application is the proof of identity, which can be issued in Japan or ordered from your home country. Here are some examples, divided into certificates issued by Japanese authorities and those issued by your home country.
Documents issued by Japanese authorities
Obtain a copy of your family registry or alien registration card from the local government office in Japan. Do not forget to also include a copy of your residence card.
- Copy of your residence card
- Copy of the family register (certificate of all affairs)
- Birth certificate (if you were born in Japan)
- Certificate of matters in the alien registration records
Documents issued by your home country
You can obtain the documents issued by your home country from the embassy or consulate. The names and contents of the documents vary from country to country and need to be confirmed depending on your home.
- Certificate of citizenship
- Family relationship certificate（if you have a family in your home country）
- Birth certificate (if you were born in your home country)
- Parents` marriage certificate
- Consular proof of revocation of citizenship, etc.
Documents about the living conditions during the stay in Japan
Documents about living conditions during your stay in Japan.
The most important things that are checked when considering an application for naturalization are property and living conditions. It is necessary to arrange the certificates listed below correctly so that there are no unclear points.
Proof of income and savings
For your net worth, you need to provide proof of both your savings and regular income. Proof of income varies by profession, and those who run their own business will be required to provide an extensive list of documents.
▼Basic documents to be submitted
- Bank certificate of the account balance
- Certificate of investment assets (issued by a securities firm, etc.)
▼For office workers and other salaried employees
- Proof of employment history, certificate of employment
- Pay slip (showing recent months’ salary)
- Withholding tax certificate
- Final tax return
- Tax payment certificate for the previous year.
▼For sole proprietors and freelancers
- Business summary
- Blue declaration resolution
- Copy of the last tax return (for the last 3 years).
- Tax payment certificate for the last 3 years (national tax + local tax)
- Tax return on the blue form
▼For business owners
- Business summary
- Registration certificate
- Copy of financial report
- Copy of business permit, etc.
- Withholding tax book + deposit slip
- Copy of the tax return (for the last 3 years)
Documents on the status of tax and social security payments
The status of tax and social security payments is a common issue when applying for a naturalization permit. The following documents are required for the indicated period (usually past 3 years).
- Certificate of payment of property tax
- Certificate of payment of motor vehicle tax
- Certificate of payment of other taxes (national tax/income tax).
- Copy of the pension insurance certificate
- Copy of the health insurance certificate
Documents related to immigration, residency, and career
The following documents are also required to provide detailed evidence of the naturalization applicant’s lifestyle. As for the copy of your passport, if the immigration history is difficult to understand due to a large number of stamps, you must instead provide the additional documents obtained through a disclosure request to the Japan Immigration Service.
- Copy of your passport
- Copy of your rental contract (if you live in a rental property)
- Certificate of real estate registration (if you live in an owner-occupied property)
- Japanese driver’s license or a certificate of driver’s license
- Certificate of your high school diploma or a copy of your diploma
- Proof of your skills and qualifications
Other documents [proving health condition, etc.]
Depending on your health condition and background, the following documents may also be required. When asking for the requested documents, you should explain your situation in detail and try to have them ask for as few additional documents as possible.
- Medical certificate from your attending physician
- Mother and child health handbook (if you are pregnant)
- Family tree (if the relationships are complicated and the roots are difficult to understand)
Conclusion │ Be careful not to submit incomplete documents when applying for naturalization
When applying for a naturalization permit in Japan, the number of documents to be submitted is quite large because the lifestyle is examined in detail. Check carefully for accidental errors and missing documents, as this may prolong the process or result in denial.
▼Documents required to apply for a naturalization permit (summary)
- Set of application documents (with format designation)
- Documents proving identity (proof of citizenship, copy of family record book, etc.)
- Documents proving financial circumstances (balance certificate, pay stub, etc.)
- Documents related to public obligations (tax payment certificate, etc.)
- Other documents proving living conditions (copy of passport, education status, qualification certificate, etc.)