Family-based statuses of residence

[Question] I am planning to marry a foreign woman who is currently residing abroad. We want to hold the wedding in her home country, and then live together in Japan.

[Answer]
Marriage Procedures: First undertake all marriage procedures necessary in the foreign spouse’s home country. There are two ways to bring relatives to Japan.

  1. Advance Visa Application: The foreign national applies to the Japanese consulate or embassy in his/her country for a “Spouse of Japanese National” visa.
  2. Certificate of Eligibility: After the Japanese spouse has returned to Japan, they apply as a proxy to the local Regional Immigration Bureau for a Certificate of Eligibility. If it is issued, they mail it to the foreign spouse, who then applies to the nearest Japanese consulate or embassy for a visa.

[Question] I am living in Japan with a Student visa, but I would like to send for my wife and children to join me here. What are the necessary procedures? Can my wife work?

[Answer]
You will need to apply for a certificate of eligibility for the status of residence of “Dependent” with a local immigration office. To apply for the certificate, please contact your local immigration office for details.

In principle your wife will not be allowed to work; however, if she receives permission to engage in activities other than that permitted under the status of residence previously granted from the Immigration Bureau, she will be able to take on a part-time job. (There are limits on type of work and hours).

[Question] I’m married to a Japanese man and have a 10-year-old child from my previous marriage. Can I have the child come over to Japan to live with us?

[Answer]
Your child, who is from your previous marriage, may be granted a status of residence as a “Long-Term Resident.” For details, please see Immigration HP.