Japanese citizenship - How can anyone achieve it?

Learn Japanese with Anime, click to learn more!


Those who think that only people of Japanese descent can become naturalized as Japanese are mistaken. Anyone can change their nationality and have Japanese citizenship, just meet several requirements. The thousands of Brazilians present in Japan have the visa permanent and end up thinking that it is impossible to obtain Japanese nationality, some have reasons to prefer the visa over nationality.

What is the difference between visa and citizenship?

When the person has a permanent visa, he is allowed to stay in Japan and most citizenship rights. As a citizen naturalized as Japanese, he has all the rights that the Japanese have and he cannot be expelled from the country, because he started to belong and be a citizen of that country. Another advantage and benefit of being a Japanese citizen is that you can have a Japanese Passport (4th most powerful) that allows entry into 147 countries without a visa, including the USA.

Cidadania japonesa nacionalidade naturalização


Only descendants or children of Japanese can easily obtain nationality before reaching 3 months of age. Even if the person marries a Japanese woman, or a child of Brazilians is born in Japan, they do not receive nationality, but a permanent visa. Of course, any of these people can chase nationality if they fulfill the requirements that we will see below.

Most Brazilians living in Japan prefer not to try to obtain Japanese citizenship because in addition to being a long process, Japan allows only 1 nationality, if you choose Japanese nationality you are no longer Brazilian.

Requirements to naturalize in Japan

Below we will see the minimum requirements to obtain Japanese nationality or citizenship:

  • Be over 20 years old;
  • Living in Japan for more than 5 years (married to Japanese 3);
  • Do not stay more than 80% (72 days) outside Japan for one year;
  • Present good mental health and have no criminal record;
  • Prove the ability to support or support the family;
  • Show good conduct while staying in Japan;
  • Keep up with taxes;
  • Agree to renounce your nationality;
  • Japanese language skills;

If you meet these requirements and want Japanese citizenship, you need to contact the Homukyoku (Legal Affairs Office) of the Ministry of Justice, closest to your home. Remembering that bad conduct or criminal history it is one of the reasons why Japan rejects its application for citizenship.


Cidadania japonesa nacionalidade naturalização

Documents required to apply for Japanese Citizenship

In addition to the basic requirements, there is a huge list of documents that you need to present when applying for Japanese citizenship:

  • Nationalization application form;
  • Form with data of first degree relatives;
  • Oath signed;
  • Form with information on travel abroad;
  • Personal curriculum form (detailed and in order);
  • Form with description of monthly subsistence expenses and bank accounts;
  • Form with details of payslip, completed and signed by the company;
  • Child declaration form, completed and signed by the applicant's father;
  • Handwritten letter describing the reason for the desire for naturalization;
  • University completion certificate (if done);
  • Japanese driver's license registration certificate;
  • Personal data certificate from the date that you and your spouse entered Japan;
  • Tax payment certificate (gensen and nozei shomeisho) for you and your spouse;
  • Residence certificate;
  • Bank account certificate;
  • Birth certificate of the applicant and all of his siblings;
  • Marriage certificate from you and your parents;
  • Death certificate of the parents if they die;
  • Nationality certificate;
  • Map of the place of residence and work;
  • Guarantor;

These are the necessary documents, but we recommend checking everything before starting the process. Each case is different, so some procedures may be different from those mentioned in the article.


During the process to receive Japanese nationality, you will do an interview and possibly they will go to your home to check that everything is right. The process takes from 8 months to more than a year. Japan accepts most requests (99%), upon approval you will be invited to attend a lecture and input your document. And do you think it is worth having Japanese citizenship? I would like to see your opinion and experience in the comments.