What documents are required to apply for a spouse visa?

There is a “spouse visa" that a foreigner who has married a Japanese citizen can obtain to live in Japan. However, many do not know what documents are required to apply for a spouse visa, and that is what this topic is about.

What is a spouse visa?

It is a residence status granted to foreigners who have married a Japanese citizen to live with their spouse in Japan. It is also referred to as a “marriage visa." The official designation is “spouse or child of a Japanese citizen". 

The official designation is Spouse or Child of Japanese National. It can be applied for by foreigners living abroad, foreigners currently living in Japan, and foreigners who are biological children of a Japanese citizen, as well as children adopted through special adoption. 

There are no restrictions on residence in Japan, and the visa holder is generally free to choose his or her occupation.

Individuals who do not qualify for a spouse visa

A spouse visa does not apply to individuals who are living in a common-law marriage, who are already divorced from a Japanese citizen, or whose spouse is deceased. In addition, same-sex marriages are not recognized.

There are many sham marriages to obtain a spouse visa, and immigration controls are becoming stricter.

Required documents for the spouse visa

The following documents are usually required for a spouse visa:

  • Application for Change of Visa Status
  • Questionnaire
  • Personal Reference Guarantee
  • Reply envelope

Required documents of the foreign spouse

  • Photo (4cm×3cm)
  • Copy of passport
  • Resume
  • Document proving proficiency in Japanese language (The Certificate of Japanese-Language Proficiency, etc.)
  • Marriage certificate issued in the applicant’s home country, translated copy

Documents related to the Japanese spouse.

  • Copy of the family register (with an entry of the marriage)
  • Certificate of residence
  • Certificate of residence tax for the last tax year
  • Payment certificate of residence tax for the last tax year
  • Certificate of employment from the employer
  • Company profile of the place of employment

Documents related to the residence.

  • Lease agreement for the property where you intend to live
  • Photos of the property you intend to live in


  • Five or more photos of friends, both parents, weddings, trips, etc.
  • E-mails or LINE message exchanges (10 or more)

Procedure for applying for a spouse visa

  • If a foreign spouse living abroad is invited to Japan

After submitting the marriage certificate, the Japanese spouse may apply for a Certificate of Eligibility at the Immigration Office.
The Certificate of Eligibility then needs to be sent to the foreign spouse, who can go to a Japanese embassy or consulate abroad to obtain a visa.

  • If a foreign resident marries a Japanese national and wishes to obtain a visa for the “spouse or child of a Japanese national," he or she must apply for a change of residence status.


A spouse visa is a residence status that a foreign national who has married a Japanese national can obtain to live in Japan. There are no residency restrictions and the visa holder is mostly free to choose their occupation.
However, there are many sham marriages for the purpose of the spouse visa, and immigration controls are becoming increasingly strict.

Since a large number of documents are required for a spouse visa, there is a possibility that the permit will not be granted if the documents are incomplete or missing.

If you are worried about applying for a spouse visa, you can contact a specialized administrative scrivener.