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5 Jan 2004
Alright. For almost five years (since 5th grade or so), a friend and I had wanted to move to Japan when we got older. Only recently, since we gotten into high school, have we begun to think of putting this into action seriously. We have decided to go through high school to the very best of our abilities and then go onto Lindenwood College (we know we will be going there because my cousin, a professor there, is accepting to get us scholarships). We are both interested in studying English and Japanese when we get there. However, after college is when we really get into confusion... :eek:

I would be interested in getting an English teaching position, and she wants to become a writer(with a side-job, of course). However, I am confused by how the system works visas, then an eventual application for naturalization works. Any explanation (preferably as in-depth as you can get) would be appreciated! Arigato!

Oh yes, and on a side note, I would like to know where the best places (best deal)to rent an apartment or buy land would be. Of course, this is considering that I'm not looking to move to Hokkaido ... :eek:
Ah yes, thank you for asking this Ayumi-Chan :) I plan to do the same with 5 friends... actually they just want to come and see how Japan is, then I have 2-3 Friends who'd actually be crazy enough to live there... God that would make a good sitcom... :) Lucky you have a grasp on what college you can goto, I don't, I'm lucky enough to have this indian thing, where they pay for my college ONLY if I have good grades... but seems to me I stupidly take this for granted... But anyway a very very wise thing to do is to think ahead, and I think that is a very "japanese" thing to do! :) Good luck on your plans and with your friend!
Good luck to you too! I could say that just the life of my friend and I, in general, would be an awesome sitcom...that would scare the living crap out of people because of what odd, dorky people we are :D
Me and my future wife plan on going to Japan. Maybe living there, I dunno. IF I did, then I was wodnering if being a certified IT technician would pay enough to raise one Kid and fund some science projects of mine.
Ours would probably be...eh, something like "The Overtalkative, Eccentric, Mentally Unstable, Angry and Violent When Drunk, Anime-loving Dork Twin Show" 😊
I think maybe you should try and study abroad in Japan while in college to get a good grasp on Japan before taking the big step of moving there.
Originally posted by Mashu
I think maybe you should try and study abroad in Japan while in college to get a good grasp on Japan before taking the big step of moving there.

I must agree...you want to make sure that Japan is all that you think it is...it would be much better to do some type of foreign exchange to Japan and see how well you like it rather than moving to Japan and making that huge financial obligation just to find out it isn't at all what you expected and hate it...a lot of colleges have foreign exchange programs that you can use that are inexpensive...I would recommend looking into something like that first. jmho however

:) 🙂
Mentally Unstable? hey, my sky's black, clouds shoot happy-happy beams, tree's talk to me, creatures love me like snow white and doing river dance doesn't make me mentally unstable site? lol -.-

but still a nice name-nya haha
*scratches head* Eh, thanks and everything...that was one of my thoughts... We were going to go there anyway to look at places to live and find out exactly what we liked and didn't like about the area and Japan in general(we actually have decided on Sapporo, Hokkaido as a first choice. However, no one answered my initial question about the process of getting a working visa and naturalization...


a) have lived continuously (hiki tsuzuki) at Japanese addresses for five years

b) be over twenty years of age "in terms of mental and legal capacity" (20 sai ijou de honkokuhou ni yotte nouryoku o yuusuru koto)

c) behave well (sokou ga zenryou de aru koto)--and they do check--my dictionary even has the word "sokou chousa" (personal conduct survey) in it

d) demonstrate the means to support your family

e) be willing to relinquish the citizenship of your native country once Japanese citizenship is granted

f) respect the Japanese Constitution (i.e. don't plot against or advocate destroying it, or associate or join a group or political party which does)

(extenuating circumstances for the above considered if the applicant is married or related to a Japanese)

]Fine. Most of the above are typical "we don't want just anybody naturalizing" types of conditions, used to weed out candidates in the US as well. But wait, there's more! For Japanese naturalization, you must go through three rounds of paper chase:

=Should you be elligble, the steps will be as followed=


1) Birth Certificate (shussei shoumeisho) and Proof of Citizenship (kokuseki shoumeishou)--ask your country if they will give you some proof other than just your passport. Passport will do in a pinch.

2) Overseas family documents: Marriage Certificate of your parents overseas (fubo no kon'in shoumei)--including divorce and remarriage papers. Adoption papers (youshi engumi no shoumei) if you were adopted or had your name legally changed. Papers showing relations to siblings (kyoudai kankei), or lack of siblings if available.

3) Domestic family documents: your own Marriage Certificate, Birth Certificates for children, spouse's ward registration form (koseki touhon) and ID papers (mibun shoumeisho), police records (keisatsu shoumeisho), death certificates (shibou shoumeisho), and your gaikokujin version of your ward registration form.

Why all this information? Because if you become a Japanese, you have to complete a ward registration form (koseki touhon) like any other Japanese, and this sort of information matters. Whether or not you are a bastard child, whether or not you are the eldest son--these things affect your legal standing in this society. Still, if documents are legally unavailable from your country, waivers are possible.

=Next, if they say you qualify, go to:=


Fill out:

1) Naturalization Permission Application Form (with picture)

2) Outline of your overseas relatives (shinzoku no gaiyou). This includes names and addresses of all members of your immediate family (including those of members that may be inaccessible after divorce).

3) A list of all your addresses since birth (called a "resume"--rireki sho). Note that this is even more thorough than a US govt security check, which would want all your addresses for the past ten years. I asked about transient years--college rooms and dormitories etc--and he said to the best of my memory would be fine.

4) Japanese documents: ward registration forms for all members of your Japanese family as far as the parents stage. Proof of Residence Form (juumin hyou) for your spouse.

5) Your gaijin card with history of where you've lived for the past five years in Japan.

6) An outline of your livelihood (seikei no gaiyou). I forgot to ask for more details on this.

7) Proof of your employment (zaikin shoumeisho)

8) Proof of your earnings (gensen choushuu hyou)

9) Tax records from the local tax office for your family and business (to show you've paid)

10) Records, contracts showing your land ownership and house ownership

11) Snapshots of your family, home, and workplace


Applications take about one year to a year and a half to process (sumo wrestler Konishiki took quite a bit longer than that).

The fee is free (except for the cost of all the documents, which at around 300 yen a pop will add up). Fortunately, it could be worse: there are no taxation stamps (shuunyuu inshi) to buy, and all translations of overseas documents can be done by nonofficial translation agencies, such as yourself.

I then asked about "acculturation requirements"--like the US INS Test--or minimum language ability. The official said that there is no test on Japanese history, culture, and the like. Minimum language ability is about third-grade level (shougakkou sannensei) for reading and writing ability, and basic conversation level would do. I would pass, he said.

However, there must be a demonstrated level of assimilation on my part. Who are my Japanese friends and how many do I have? What kind of house interior do I have? Do I get along with my neighbors? (There are occasions when they come and ask them, he said.) Nonsarcastically, I asked him too quantify a minimum level of "Japanization"--if I had to wear a yukata and geta during off-hours, if I had to be able to eat nattou, if I had imported a Canadian prefab house would I be invalid?, etc.

He laughed (once you make a bureaucrat laugh, magic happens), and said none of that was really necessary. But any inspection of my lifestyle should not inflict upon the officials any sense of incongruity (iwakan), whatever that meant. I guess that if we weren't practicing some American form of suttee or female circumcision with the inspectors looking on, we'd be okay.

He laughed (once you make a bureaucrat laugh, magic happens), and said none of that was really necessary. But any inspection of my lifestyle should not inflict upon the officials any sense of incongruity (iwakan), whatever that meant. I guess that if we weren't practicing some American form of suttee or female circumcision with the inspectors looking on, we'd be okay.


If citizenship is granted after a year or two, you will be issued the proper documents for citizenship and passport, and be given a document (in Japanese) to put your seal on (not sign), saying "I give up my American citizenship and take Japanese citizenship exclusively".

Bring your gaijin passbook, inkan, documents, and driver licence, and do what they say. Choose a name in kanji (with legal Japanese readings) and/or kana, and that's it. You are a Japanese citizen. Congratulations. You've burnt your bridges.

There you go Ayumi!

All credit goes to www.debito.org
P.S. Something else interesting (Debito lives in Sapporo by the way):

So let's talk about proclivity. I asked the Japanese official whether or not large numbers of people naturalize every year through Sapporo. He said plenty do (but inexplicably declined to give numbers), and not all of them ethnic Koreans and Chinese. But after peeking at my Japan Almanac (which has no stats for naturalization), I resorted to an independent source to find that 11,146 persons naturalized into Japan in 1994 (see issho Resources and Information).

But in America, things are radically different. Enough people pass the test and get through the paper chase--over one million this year alone, according to the Post, demonstrating to me, at least, that it's not all that bad. Proof and pudding: according to the above Washington Post article, the equivalent of the TOTAL NUMBER OF ALL FOREIGNERS IN JAPAN (just over one per cent of Japan's population) naturalize into the United States recently EVERY YEAR. Or, according to the US Census Bureau, 1300 would-be immigrants every day enter America (Daily Yomiuri, Nov 25, 1996, p.3). That means that America absorbs all of Japan's annual intake of foreigners in just over a week!
Thank you so much! That was a great help, SacredBlue! I am thankful to find someone who could help explain much more throughly. :bows:
Why are you considering naturalization? Most Americans are not willing to give up their citizenship so easily.
For all your visa questions -

Also, find the Consulate of Japan for your region (might be the embassy in DC) and when you have specific questions give them a call/e-mail. They will be in the best position to give you up-to-date info.
I remember reading that you need a degree or have finished some form of teriary education to be able to work in japan. Im looking at working during uni and maybe just staying on if it works out (alreayd been on exchange, work is my next step, then naturalization and maybe marrige and the sort). Ive heard that you can get away with leaving the country and reentering to renew your working (full/holiday) visa.

True? Been drinking again?
"Ive heard that you can get away with leaving the country and reentering to renew your working (full/holiday) visa."
i have heard that also
there's no one set way?
having a company with some pull backing a brother helps also, i've heard
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