Japan Australia Pages

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Spouse Visa for Japan

If you are married to a Japanese national, you can obtain a spouse visa for Japan. The visa allows you to engage in any paid activity in Japan and is usually granted in periods of 6 months or 1, 3 or 5 years. The visa is also extendable.

I recently went through the process of acquiring a spouse visa for Japan. The process was quite simple and straight forward and I have tried to outline the steps that I went through below. This application was processed in Australia, so it might be slightly different if you are in another country. I hope this helps for anyone who is interested.

Step 1

The first step is to pick up a Visa Application Form from the Japanese Embassy or Consulate. The application form is about two A4 size pages. The Consulate General of Japan in Melbourne is located at Level 8, 570 Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000.

Step 2 

Fill out the application form and acquire the relevant documentation from Japan. See list below for details on the documentation. The documentation must be current and issued within the last 3 months prior to application.

Note: Don’t apply too far in advance as you must leave for Japan within a three month period of receiving your new visa.

You will also need to obtain a recent passport photo (taken within the last three months). Australia Post can do a set of 8 photos for AUD$15.95. You will only need one but it is always handy to have passport photos with you when you travel overseas.

Step 3

Lodge your documentation for the visa at the appropriate embassy or consulate. It usually takes 3 working days to process the visa application. I lodged mine on a Tuesday and it was ready for me on the Monday.

They will give you a small receipt with your name, a visa application number, and date when the visa will be available for collection. You must bring this in order to collect your visa.

They will also call you if they need further information/details or if they have any questions during this period.

Note: There is no FEE or CHARGE for Australian Passport holders in Australia.

Step 4

If all is good and you haven’t received a call, your visa is ready to be collected from the date given on the receipt. Remember to bring your receipt and show this at the counter to collect the visa in your passport.

They will also explain and provide you with some information about the New Residency Management System (Residence Card) in Japan.

Supporting Documents Required

1. A valid Australian Passport
2. Visa Application Form – completed and signed by the applicant
3. One Passport sized photo (taken in the last 3 months)
4. Official copy of the Japanese Spouse’s Family Register (Koseki Tohon) – these must also have be issued within the last 3 months prior to application
5. Letter of Guarantee from guarantor in Japan (spouse’s family / employer etc)
6. Documents providing Guarantor’s Financial capabilities to support you (Certificate of Income, Annual income statements, Tax Payment etc)
7. Guarantor’s Certificate of Residence (Jyumin Hyo)
8. Proof of Savings /Finance to support stay in Japan (necessary if guarantor’s financial capabilities are not deemed sufficient)
9. Original Full Birth Certificate (only for child of Japanese parents)

The most challenging part for me was proving that I could support my stay in Japan. This includes supporting my wife and any children that you may have. You can do this by supplying information and details such as:

• Bank Statements (Savings Accounts)
• Financial Statements (from guarantor in Japan)
• Letter of Employment (from company in Japan if you have work lined up)

The Consulate General of Japan in Melbourne

Address: Level 8, 570 Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

Office Hours: 
9:00 am to 12:30 pm
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Website: http://www.melbourne.au.emb-japan.go.jp/ 

Please leave me a comment or send me an email if you would like more information or if there is anything further I can add to help you.


  1. Great info for those who needs it! :)

    1. Thanks Lina, I hope it can help a few people who go through the process, especially here in Australia.

  2. I am doing the reverse of this at the moment - getting my Partner over here to Australia, but it is good to know the process for the reverse of what I am doing.

    1. Thanks Ian, Yeah we went through the reverse process in Japan for my wife. She just renewed her Permanent Resident Visa for Australia here in Oz. It was all done online and only took 20 minutes or so. It is pretty straight forward and easy if you have lived 2 out of the last 5 years in Oz, otherwise you need to supply lots of documents and evidence to prove your relationship. The biggest thing for us was the cost AUD$300.00!

  3. The Australia Spouse Visa is a Stable Australian Visa for Applicants who are Married to an Australian, a Permanent Resident Australia or a New Zealand Citizen.

    A partner visa application is closely scrutinised by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Success in the application is dependent on the quality of evidence of the relationship, hence why most of the applicants who contact us end up using our service as we guarantee them a strong submission of their application.

  4. How long did it take from the day you lodged the application to the day you received the visa?

    1. Hi Anon, I lodged the application on a Tuesday and it was ready for me on the Monday. It took three full working days to process the visa, so it was quick and easy.

  5. Thank's for the fast reply.
    That is very fast, I must say, I am trying to time my visa to suit the mid november flights we have booked so if we apply too early the visa will expire before we return to Japan.
    I have read it can take up to 3 months but you recieved yours in 3 days.

    It sounds like I should lodge my application 3 months and 2 days before we enter Japan again.

    1. No worries Anon, For us it was quick and easy because we had all the supporting documents and required information. My advice would be to make sure you have everything ready that they are asking for. In this case, they can't reject the application or ask you to provide further details/documents, which could take more time and slow down the process. Be as prepared as you can. You also need to ensure the documentation is current and has been issued within the last three months. You can"t apply to far in advance.

  6. Arigato gozaimasu

  7. I'm going through this process now - just wondering if you had any thoughts on the financial side of things. One thing I found when talking with the Brisbane consulate is that they only want MY financial capabilities, and are not interested in my sponsor (my in-laws). When I asked them, they said each consulate in Australia has different criteria, it's at the discretion of the Consular General(?) in each state.

    So - we don't have a job lined up, my wife is going to get work when we get to Japan. And we are fine for accommodation (since we'll be staying at our inlaws). Through your experience, did you get any indication how much savings are required to hit a 1 year visa?

    PS: Apologies if this is a double post - it seemed to vanish earlier.

  8. Hi Anon, Thanks for the comment. Yes, we were in the same boat. As you are applying for the visa, they will need your financial capabilities. They are very strict and need to see that you can support your stay in Japan. Even though my wife is Japanese, I had to show them proof that I could support not only myself but my wife and son in Japan. I had a job lined up which helped. I provided a letter from my employer stating how much my monthly salary would be. We also provided them with financial estimates from our in-laws who were also supporting our stay in Japan.

    I think all up we needed to have around $10,000 in savings to support our stay along with the job and support from the in-laws.

    I hope this helps and all the best.

    1. Thanks for the fast reply! Yeah, I have about $50,000 saved - but no job lined up. So hopefully that's enough for a year long visa.

      It's funny that the Brisbane consulate doesn't ask about the in-laws! I would have thought that would help! 0__o

    2. No Worries! That is a good amount to have behind you. It definitely helps having a job lined up as well. Yeah, that is strange about Brisbane. In Melbourne, we were asked to supply those in-law financial details as well. Good luck with it all and let us know how you go.

  9. Hi All,

    Great info above.. but I have a slightly different situation..

    I live and work in Brisbane (Aus Citizen) and my gf works in Tokyo.
    we are getting married next year in march (2015) and I have the choice to relocate to my company's office at my own expense (if I choose to) meaning the job, salary, tax etc all remains same and I just do a desk move.
    I'll enter Tokyo on a 90 day permit next year and after we get married, I'll change it to a spouse visa in Tokyo itself...

    I was wondering if my case is possible (Job, Salary, Tax remain in Aus and I relocate to Japan)?
    if it is possible, then do I need to notify any authorities about the same? Immi in Aus, Immi in Japan?


    1. Hi Roy,

      Thank you for the comment. In regards to the spouse visa you will still need to meet the same requirements. If you are working in Japan, I assume you will be paid in Japan and therefore will have to pay tax in Japan, right? Not quite sure I understand the bit about Job, Salary, Tax remain in Oz. I would check with your company as well as the Japanese embassy.

    2. Hi mate,

      Thank you for replying to me.. and apologies for replying late...
      What I was trying to say regarding my Job, Salary, Tax to remain in Aus was that my company has offices in Australia and Japan... and my manager is ok for me to simply do a desk-move for 3/6/12 months and do the same job as I am doing in Brissie but use the office in Tokyo .. that means
      1 - I organise my own visa
      2 - I pay for my flights to Japan
      3 - I pay for my apartment in Japan
      4 - I organise my Health insurance myself
      5 - My salary to still come into my Australia account and if I need to withdraw money I manage it myself.
      6 - Since the salary is Australian - That means I have to only pay tax in Aus
      7 - Since the job doesn't change - its just a desk-move, I just go there .. do my thing .. work the same hours .. and do my job.

      My to-be-wife still has a job and we are simply wanting to live in Japan for an year before returning to Aus .. My boss is fine with this arrangement as he doesn't have to do much !

      So, here's my story - is this legal and ok to do?
      what are you thoughts / suggestions on this ?


    3. Hi Roy,

      That's an interesting one! I can't give you an answer because it's not something that I'm familiar with. You should be able to apply for and obtain a spouse visa, which will allow you to remain in Japan for a certain period of time. Is the company you work for Japanese or Australian? I know they have offices in both countries but what country is home? In terms of insurance, if the company is Japanese you could apply for Shakai Hoken (Employer's National Health Insurance) or alternatively with your wife as a Japanese national apply for Kokumin Hoken (National Health Insurance).



  10. Hi John, thanks for your reply.
    Its an American company with offices throughout APAC... Its definitely not a Japanese company.

    But I will ask around too see if there are any issues with my approach - I feel it should be ok.
    I'll write on this forum if there is something interesting or different for all readers to benefit from.

    Thanks again for your reply regarding Kokumin Hoken. It seems to be my option - are there any links in English you can provide so I can obtain this as well? I was going to get a overseas health cover here in Aus for 12 months before flying next year.

    Best regards,

    1. Not a problem Roy!

      Yes, please let us know how it all works out as I'm very interested to see.
      I believe if you work in Japan you are required to be under one of the government national health insurance schemes. Kokumin Hoken you can apply for at your local city/town hall together with your wife.



  11. I just got mine!
    Thanks for your help.

  12. Hi guys,
    does anyone have a format for the "signed statement document" for spouse visa ?


  13. Hi Guys, looking for some advice and giving some FYI

    I live in Melbourne I have been offered a great job in Tokyo provided I can get there by a certain date.
    My Spouse is Japanese, we have been married for 10 years.
    I have previously held a spouse visa in Japan and lived there for 10 years
    an FYI
    I can apply for a spouse without needing a COE in, ACT, NSW, WA and have a visa in a week
    But they will not allow you to apply with this alternate method in Melbourne and have to get a COE and apply in Japan.
    still cannot work out the logic in this..
    You can only apply in the state you live ( Victoria). I have called various states Consulates and confirmed this.

    Has anyone been through this before and what did you do? is it possible to apply in nSW without getting state of residence busted..I dont want upset the visa man and get myself in all sorts.

    1. Hi Anon, Thanks for the extra info. I applied at the Consulate General of Japan in Melbourne and didn't have to supply a COE.

    2. Thank J.A

      How long ago was that?

      Also I note you spent some time in Gifu. Me too 10 years.. My wife from Gifu too.

    3. No worries mate! That was back in December 2012! Yeah, I've been in Gifu City on/off for over 12 years now. My wife is from here as well. Maybe we have met before?

    4. Think it chnaged recently for whatever reason but has really thrown our plans out.
      yeah possibly could have met.
      I was there 92-95 & 2001-2007. A Bier Hall regular in the early days.

    5. Yes, it might have as it was just over two years ago now. Definitely sounds more difficult now. Cool! I've been here from 1997-2008 and now again from 2013. I also was a Bier Hall regular with most of the Gifu veterans. We might have crossed paths and probably know a lot of the same people.

  14. Another Bier Hall veteran myself - just going through this process. Thanks for the great info. My wife had moved from Gifu to Australia and now we are just about to go down the reverse path and move back to Japan so was great to get the information there. We won't have jobs lined up but with a house in Australia rented and producing income plus about 30k in cash I hope we will be fine. Cheers again.

    1. Wow! It really is a small world after all. That is so cool! When where you in Japan? We might have met in Gifu. Not a problem about the info. I'm glad it could help and the best of luck with your big move back to Japan. My spouse visa will expire later this year, so I'm looking at obtaining permanent residency. I'll have to record that process as well :)

  15. Wow, great info, thanks heaps. I'm in Cairns and my Wife is Japanese. Just googled to find out how to get a visa. This certainly made it clear. Thanks very much, awesome, great help!

    1. Hi Jarrod, thank you for the comment. I'm happy to hear that you found this post very helpful. My original 3 year visa from this post expired recently, and I'm happy to report that I was granted a 5 year extension here in Japan.

  16. You have a nice blog. Hope you're still active to be able to help me out!

    My situation:
    Currently I am majoring Japanese in uni (Australia). In the future I'd like to live with my Japanese girlfriend in Japan and marry her after completing my degree(BA). Is it possible to get a spouse visa with just work as an ALT or in an Eikawa i.e. contract work whilst she will be full time working? The financial stability part is hard because the spouse visa gives me access to full time work :/ . Also a bit off topic but would you know the possibility of me being able to legally move into her apartment with only a working-visa/working visa?

    1. Hello, thank you for your comment. You should be able to get a spouse visa with ALT or Eikawa work, especially if your partner is working full time, or you can get financial support from her family.


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