Do you need legal advice about Japan visa and immigration procedures? Marriage, divorce, bringing families, inheritance, naturalization etc..we can help you with any issues related to your life in Japan. Let us hear your problems and let’s think of a solution together. Hiroshima, Kure, Fukuyama, Higashi-Hiroshima, Miyoshi, Shobara, Jinseki-kogen-cho, Sera-cho etc I can come and have a face to face consultation with you.

Same sex married couple’s visa

For LGBTQIA + people living outside Japan, who have given up on coming to Japan together just because yours is a same sex marriage, there is a legal way to obtain a visa that allows your partner to live in Japan with you. 

※ For Portuguese, please click here. You can jump to the page which is written in Portuguese. 

1. About Japanese immigration law

Imagine a married couple, a man and a woman. He has found a job in Japan, so he has got a working visa. In this case, his wife can apply for a dependent visa. Very simple. 

Now, here is a married couple, a man and a man, José and Pedro. José has found a job in Japan so he has got a working visa. But can Pedro apply for a dependent visa? No. He can’t. Japanese law doesn’t recognise same sex marriage,  therefore, Pedro can’t apply for a dependent visa. 

Same story goes for third-generation Japanese. If you are a married couple, a man and a woman. He is qualified for a long term resident visa. If so, his wife is also qualified for a long term resident visa. Easy.

Now, here is a married couple, a woman and a woman, Ana and Juliana. Ana is a third-generation Japanese, sansei, her parents are also living in Japan. She’s got a long term resident visa. But can Juliana apply for a long term resident visa? You can guess the answer already. No, she can’t either. 

However, on October 18th, 2013, an official notice was issued by the head of immigration to local immigration offices as well as Japanese embassies abroad, saying that they would issue a visa for same sex married partners under the following conditions: 

Both countries approve the same sex marriage and the couple should be married. So if one is Brazilian and the other half is Japanese, this won’t work. Even when couples such as this get married somewhere like  America, this won’t be applicable. And, marriage means marriage, civil unions won’t count.

That the marriage is ‘true and sincere’. And this must be proven. This visa is known as a “designated activity visa“. (In Japanese, it is called “ Tokutei Katsudou “ visa) 

2. What are the requirements for the designated activity visa?

There are 4 basic requirements that you need to think about.

  1. Both home countries approve the same sex marriage – This is the basic requirement. As I mentioned earlier, both home countries must approve same sex marriages. Civil unions, partnerships are not the same as “marriage“.
  2. Officially married with a marriage certificate – The marriage certificate is also a basic requirement.. If both of you are the same nationality, then there should be a single marriage certificate. But, if you are married to foreigner, then two marriage certificates are needed.
  3. Steady job, steady income – This is not clearly mentioned but the average is 3,000,000 yen per year.
  4. Place to live – once you come to Japan, this shouldn’t be an issue. Just get a normal sized flat. It is OK to have a flatmate if the place is big enough.

3. Process for same sex married couples

Let’s take a look at this couple, Jose and Pedro. 

Jose is sansei, so he gets a long term resident visa, goes to Japan first, starts working, earning money and stabilizes his life in Japan for Pedro. After 3 months, Jose is ready to welcome Pedro to Japan. So what Pedro needs to do now?

2 processes are required 

Pedro needs to complete two processes. 
Process 1:
Pedro needs to obtain a temporary visitor visa of 90 days in Brazil. It has to be 90 days. 15 days, 30 days won’t work. Once he gets a 90 days temporary visitor visa, he can come to Japan. 
Process 2: 
Once Pedro enters Japan, he now has to change his temporary visitor visa to a designated activity visa. This process takes 6 weeks to over 4 months. 


4. How it works at VisaNaviJapan

1. Zoom consultation  ( 10,000 yen / 50 mins )
In order for me to understand the clients better, and for me to check if there is a good chance of approval for the clients or not, the zoom consultation is necessary. 
2. Make a contract -> Payment -> Get to work
After the consultation, if we both agree to proceed, I will make a contract. Once I confirm the payment of starting fee, I will start working on the case. 
You will be getting the necessary documents based on the list I provide and I will fill out the form, write an explanation letter to immigration.
If you want, I can translate your marriage certificate. ( All the documents should be in Japanese )
3. Complete the application package → Apply for it
Once I create all the documents, I will send the complete package to the client, then he/she will go to the immigration and apply to change the current visa to a designated activity visa. 
4. Wait for the result
It normally takes 6 weeks to over 4 months to hear the result. After the approval, you will pay the contingency fee. 
If it is denied, you ask for the reason why it was rejected, and if that reason is fixable, we will try again.


5. FAQ

Q1: I am American, my husband is Japanese. We got legally married in the United States. Can I apply for this?
A1: No. Because Japan doesn’t approve same sex marriages. It has to be approved by both countries. 


Q2: We just got married, about a month ago. Can we apply for this?
A2: Yes. As long as we can prove that the marriage is sincere and true, it is possible.


Q3: I am bisexual. I used to go out with a man and have a child from that relationship. But now I am married to a woman who will be working in Japan. Can I apply for this process, and my child too? 
A3: Yes. We need to explain the history of your past relationship and current situation, but as long as you are legally married to your wife, it is possible. About your daughter, if your wife adopts the child, and she is the guarantor of the child, there is a high chance. If not, the chance is low but still possible.


Q4: Once I get the designated activity visa, I know I have to work as a part timer. But in the future, can I change to full time?
A4: No. As long as your status is a designated activity visa, you can only work 28 hours per week with the permission to work part time.


Q5: In order to support my spouse, how much should I earn per month?
A5: There is no right answer for this, because if your rent is very cheap, and other living costs are low, you wouldn’t need much money. Immigration will make a judgement regarding the whole situation. But, if you can earn more than 250,000 yen per month, that should be OK. ( But it doesn’t mean that there aren’t any chances of approval  if you earn less than 250,000 yen) 


Q6: We are not yet married, but we are engaged. Can she apply for this?
A6: No. We need a marriage certificate for this process. 


6. Voice of customers

Iain & RichardI have helped over 35 couples from US, Australia, Netherland, UK, Spain and Brazil successfully. Here are the comments from some of the clients who I worked for and that are currently living in Japan.

1st voice, Iain and Richard
1. Couple’s nationalities 
A: We are both British.
2. How did you find Eremi’s service?
A: We found Eremi’s service through an internet search regarding same-sex visa possibilities for Japan. The information on Eremi’s website provided us with enough information to understand that this could be a possibility for us. 
3. What did you think of her service/work?
A: Eremi was extremely helpful and supportive throughout the process. She made everything extremely clear for us, and helped us to understand the process and what information we needed to provided, and when. At any time Eremi was happy to answer our questions, even though they may have been very basic or seemed trivial, and this really helped us feel like we were in very safe hands.
4. How long did it take to know the result of the application?
A: From submitting the paperwork to immigration to collecting my residence card took exactly 8 weeks.
5. Any message / recommendation for couples interested in coming to Japan as same-sex couples.
A: Speak to Eremi as early in your thinking as possible. It feels like a complicated process when you try to understand it alone, but Eremi will help you to easily understand your situation and the likelihood of being to obtain a visa.
2nd voice, Danielly and Maristela
1. Couple’s nationalities 
A: We are Brazilian.
2. How did you find Eremi’s service?
A: Through her customer reviews on Facebook, we talked to some of them who referred us to her.
3. What did you think of her service/work?
A: Eremi is very objective and always gives us quick and clear answers. It does not curl or want to force anything. She answered all our doubts and always told us the truth about our possibilities.
4. How long did it take to know the result of the application?
A: It took 3 months.
5. Any message / recommendation for couples interested in coming to Japan as same-sex couples.
A: Japan is a beautiful country, very safe and where its purchasing power really pays off, but its laws on same-sex marriage need improvement, on the other hand in 3 years here I have never suffered any prejudice (not that I have noticed). Changing countries and living a culture completely different from your own is very difficult, and you need to both agree with this type of decision and face together with great mutual support all obstacles. It’s possible! It’s up to you.
3rd voice : Ronald and João 
1. Couple’s nationalities 
We are both Brazilians.
2. How did you find Eremi’s service?
We did a lot of research and finally reached one article which led to her website.
3. What did you think of her service / work?
Her response was very quick, clear and accurate, and she thought ahead to the questions we might have and answered them, so it was a great help!
4. How long did it take to hear the result of the application? 
It took 4 months and a half.
5. Any messages / recommendation for the couples who are interested in coming to Japan as same sex married couple 
Japan is a very good country, but its law doesn’t recognize the same-sex marriage yet, so I think it is better to think carefully about whether it is worth coming. If you choose Japan even though there are various restrictions, you have to be determined and say, “We want to spend time here with our loved ones!”
4th voice : R and E
1. Couple’s nationalities 
We are both Brazilians.
2. How did you find Eremi’s service?
 I searched on Google about lawyers that work with same sex marriages in Japan, I found Eremi there.
3. What did you think of her service / work?
She’s a very passionate person and her work is extremely well done, I loved the effort she put into it to help us, I was not expecting it.
4. How long did it take to hear the result of the application? 
It took 7 weeks
5. Any messages / recommendation for the couples who are interested in coming to Japan as same sex married couple 
My advice is that if you are reluctant, be not, you found an competent professional to help your case so do not be afraid to seek the future you want.


The reason why I decided to make this page was that there is no clear information about how to apply for what amounts to a spouse visa for non-Japanese same sex married couples. While not exactly a spouse visa, in effect it is its equivalent for same sex married couples.


There are still some gray areas in this law, but I hope this page will be the help to give you ideas about how this visa process works by following immigration law. 


Contact us

visanavijapan gyoseishoshi

Looking for a solution to bring your same sex spouse? Let me be your help! Please feel free to contact me.

If you are thinking of bringing your same sex wife / husband to Japan, or both of you are still abroad, thinking of how to get a visa for your spouse ( assuming you already have a visa to Japan ), please fill out the form on the Contact us page and send it to us. We will get back to you in a few days.





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Naka-ku, Hiroshima-city
Open Hours : 9:00 – 19:00   Closed : Monday


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