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Application for naturalization permission is a procedure for foreigners to lose their home country's nationality and acquire Japanese nationality.

If naturalization is approved, you will become a Japanese and enjoy the rights that are naturally recognized as a Japanese (such as the right to vote).

There will be no more restrictions like those for permanent residents (re-entry procedures, renewal of residence card), and you will no longer be subject to forced deportation.

In my practice, I receive various consultations, but the most common one is 「Can I naturalize?'' 」

What you need to check is the naturalization requirements.

There are roughly three types of people who can be naturalized.
・Special permanent residents such as Korean residents in Japan
・Foreigners who come to Japan with a regular residence status
・Foreigners married to Japanese people

Requirements are particularly relaxed for special permanent residents and foreigners who are married to a Japanese person.

Here, I would like to touch on the general naturalization requirements for foreigners.

There are seven requirements that must be met in order to become naturalized.

① Residency requirements
This means that the person will continue to have an address in Japan for 5 years or more.
This means that you cannot apply unless you have continued to have an address in Japan for five years or more.

What is the standard for “continue”?
It is generally determined whether you leave the country for more than 90 days at a time, and whether you leave the country for more than 150 to 180 days in a year.
The period of ``continuing for 5 years or more'' also requires that you have been employed in Japan for 3 years or more. The question is whether you have fulfilled your tax obligations.

② Competency requirements
This person is 20 years of age or older and is considered competent under the law of the home country.
Therefore, in principle, minors cannot apply for naturalization, but as an exception, minors may be allowed to apply for naturalization at the same time as their parents.

③ Conduct requirements
This is considered to be good behavior.
You can also see here whether you have fulfilled your tax obligations such as resident tax.
One thing to be aware of regarding resident tax is the issue of the number of dependents.
The more dependents you have, the lower your tax bill will be, so some people include people who are otherwise unable to support them.
In this case, before applying for naturalization, please file an amended tax return and pay the taxes you should have paid.
Please note that traffic violations are also subject to strict standards of conduct.

④ Livelihood requirements

This means that you can make a living from your own assets or skills or those of your spouse or other relatives who make the same living.

You can see continued stability in life.

⑤ Requirements for loss of nationality
Those who do not have nationality or who should lose their nationality by acquiring Japanese nationality.
Japanese law does not allow dual nationality, so when you become naturalized you must be stateless or renounce your previous nationality.

⑥ Thought requirements
This means that I have never belonged to so-called anti-government or anti-social activities or groups.

⑦ Japanese language proficiency requirements
Must be able to speak, read and write Japanese.
Naturalization means legally becoming a Japanese person, so it is necessary to understand and accept Japanese culture and systems.
To do so, a certain level of Japanese language ability is required, and a Japanese language test will also be conducted.
I think there will be no problem if your Japanese level is at a level that does not interfere with your daily life.

An application for a naturalization permit requires a huge number of documents to be submitted and documents compared to procedures for renewing or changing the status of residence, and even after the application, there are several interviews with the Legal Affairs Bureau, and the examination period can range from six months to over a year. 

We recommend that you receive professional support to smoothly proceed with the application process, including collecting and creating a large number of application documents and communicating with the Legal Affairs Bureau frequently.

Our office also provides support for naturalization applications at reasonable prices.

We also offer free initial consultations, so please feel free to contact us.

If you would like to make a reservation for a consultation or have any questions, please use this contact form.

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