Some countries follow the principle that nationality should be determined by place of birth, regardless of the parents’ nationality. Here in Japan, the principle is that nationality should be determined by the parents’ nationality. For example, if the parents are both American a new born baby’s nationality is American.
If you are both non-Japanese, expecting a baby in a couple of months, it would be wise to be aware of what processes you need to follow for the baby to be legally registered in Japan. This is quite tiring paper work, especially at one of the busiest times in your life!
1. Birth Report / Registration
If one of the parents is a Japanese national, the baby automatically becomes a Japanese national. If both parents are non-Japanese, the baby needs to get a status of residence to live in Japan. But either way, the first thing you have to do is to submit the application form for a Birth Report to a city / ward office which deals with the area in which you live within 14 days after the baby has been born.
In order to register the birth of your baby, you have to prepare:
- The application form for a Birth Report ( Shussei todoke ) and Birth Certificate ( Shussei shoumei sho )
* This is actually one sheet of paper. One side will be filled out by the doctor / midwife about your baby, the other side is for the parents to fill out things such as your name, baby’s name, address etc.
- Mother and Child Health Handbook ( Boshi kenkou techou )
- National health insurance card ( Kenkou hoken sho )
- Both parents’ Passport and Residence Card
* If you have a hanko ( your name stamp ), please take it with you.
When you prepare these, take them to a city / ward office in your area and once it is accepted, please get the certificate of acceptance of Birth Report ( Shussei todoke juri shoumei sho ).
If you fail to register a baby’s birth in time, you can be penalized.
2. Get a status of residence
If you plan to stay longer than 60 days after your baby’s birth, you have to apply for a visa ( status of residence ) for him / her within 30 days. 30 days may seem enough time for you to make your application, but bear in mind how busy a time it will be. You should start to get some documents a month before your baby is born.
To get your baby a visa ( status of residence ) , you have to apply for Permission to Acquire Status of Residence from the immigration office.
Here are the necessary documents:
- The application form for Permission to Acquire Status of Residence
* On the application form, there is a section to put your baby’s passport number, but if you haven’t got it yet, you can say here that you have applied for the passport and are waiting for it.
- A copy of both parents’ Passports and Residence cards ( Zairyu card )
- A baby’s passport ( if you’ve already got it ) * You have to show it at the immigration office
- A certificate of employment ( Zaishoku shoumei sho ) from your work place
* If both parents are working, please prepare one for each of you.
- The most recent tax payment certificate ( Nouzei shoumei sho / Kazei shoumei sho ) * This is to show how much money you earned in total as well as whether you’d paid tax or not. If both parentshave paid tax, please prepare it for each.
- Personal details form ( Shitsumon sho )
* You can get this form from the immigration office. The parents need to fill in their personal information: names, nationalities, date of births, address, date of marriage etc.
- Letter of Guarantee ( Mimoto hoshou sho )
* You can get this form from the immigration office and this needs to be signed by the head of the household.
- The Certificate of Acceptance of Birth Report ( Shussei todoke juri shoumei sho )
* This is the confirmation that you have completed the registration of your baby’s birth with a city hall / ward office
- Mother and Child Health Handbook ( Boshi kenkou techou )
- A residence record of the entire family including the baby( Jumin hyou )
* Within a few days to a week after you have registered your baby’s birth at a city hall / word office, your baby’s information is integrated into your family’s residence record.
* No charge
* The documents you submit will not be returned to you.
* Please use documents / certificates which have been issued within the 3 months prior to your application.
* No need for a photo of your baby
* If one of you have a permanent resident visa, then you can apply for a permanent resident visa for your baby instead of this.
Once you have all the documents above, go to the immigration office which deals with the area in which you live and apply for Permission to Acquire Status of Residence for your baby. Once it is granted, you can go and receive it at the immigration office after showing your baby’s passport to them.
If you fail to apply for it after 60 days from the baby’s birth, your baby won’t be able to stay in Japan and will be filled as “overstayed”.
3. Get a passport for your baby and report to the embassy / consulate
The last paper work is to apply for a passport for the baby and report the baby’s birth to your country’s embassy / consulate. It depends on your nationality what documents are required for these. Please check the embassy / consulate of your country and prepare the documents. Some countries offer online services which save a lot of time!
Embassy of the United States – Report of Birth, U.S. Passport and Social Security Number
Embassy of UK – Repot of Birth, Passport
Australian Embassy – Passport
Government of Canada
Embassy of China
Embassy of South Korea
With the above information, you should have a basic idea of what to do when you have a baby and should be confident enough to do it by yourself.
- You don’t have time to go to the immigration office
- You are still not confident enough to do this on your own
- You want to do it on your own, but you want the prepared documents to be checked
- You simply don’t like to go into the immigration office ( I never liked it myself when I was living abroad )
In these cases, Visa Navi Japan can offer you the exact support you want.
We can check the documents that you prepared, or we can both prepare the documents and take the application form to the immigration office for you as Visa Navi Japan is a nationally licensed immigration lawyer ( gyoseishoshi ).
If you want to make an inquiry about giving birth in Japan and getting a a status of residence (zairyu card ) for your baby, or would like to consult about any issues related to your life in Japan, please fill out the form on the Contact us page and send it to us.
Visa Navi Japan
Address : Ootemachi ko-ta-su 802 Ootemachi 5-14-10, Naka-ku, Hiroshima, Japan 730-0051
Open Hours : 9:00 – 19:00 Closed : Monday
To find out about our standard fees, please have a look at our Fee page.