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.
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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.
- 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“.
- 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.
- Steady job, steady income – This is not clearly mentioned but the average is 3,000,000 yen per year.
- 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.
2 processes are required
4. How it works at VisaNaviJapan
1. Zoom consultation ( 10,000 yen / 50 mins )
2. Make a contract -> Payment -> Get to work
3. Complete the application package → Apply for it
4. Wait for the result
6. Voice of customers
I 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
2nd voice, Danielly and Maristela
3rd voice : Ronald and João
4th voice : R and E
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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