Requirements for Naturalization
１．Residence Living in Japan continuously more than 5 years.
It is necessary to live in Japan continuously more than 5 years to apply naturalization.
Since it need to be “continuously”, if an applicant stay overseas longer than a certain period, it would not be recognized as live in Japan “continuously”.
Then what is the definition of “a certain period”?
Exodus longer than 3 months
Exodus longer than 150 days in a year (It is not necessary to count from January to December. It is counted as 150 days out of 365 days, wherever the start is.)
If there were exodus longer than a certain period, the record of living in Japan would be counted as “zero 0”and it is necessary to stay in Japan continuously for 5 more years to fulfill the requirement of residence.
２．Ability Aged 20 and above and have capacity for action.
Applicants have to be 20 years old or above and have capacity for judgment by themselves.
However, there are some cases that under 20 years old applicants can acquire Japanese citizenship under certain conditions.
Also, if applicants are under 15 years old, person who has parental authority, guardian, legal representative apply for naturalization as an agent instead of applicants.
That is to say, when joint custody exists in applicants’ mother countries, applicants must apply for naturalization in cooperation with their parents.
Applicants have not received any sentence to pay a fine or pensiveness.
Applicants must fulfill formal obligations such as tax obligation.
Especially, when applicants have had serious traffic offenses or have been repeatedly caught for speeding, they need certain period to apply for naturalization.
Whether applicants have traffic offenses or not, it is necessary to submit past 5 years’ driving record.
４．Livelihood Stable livelihood by applicants themselves or by their relatives.
Applicants are required to have stable living in the future after the naturalization.
Income is considered on the basis of household but not an applicant him/herself. Therefore, there is no problem with income requirement if the spouse of the applicant has enough income.
Also, the income could be public pension in some cases.
５．Nationality Losing nationality that applicants have had, by acquiring Japanese nationality.
Japanese government does not allow having dual citizenship in principle.
The procedure of loss of nationality varies by countries. When a person acquired other country’s nationality, some countries automatically denationalize, and some countries need to go through procedure to loose nationality.
６．Thought Not having antisocial though or connection with organization that threaten national sovereignty.
People who belong to foreign communities that threaten sovereignty of Japan, or who has such kind of thought, or who has connection with members of organized crime or rightist, are not able to apply for naturalization.
７．Japanese language ability Japanese language ability to read and write in Japanese in daily life.
Applicants generally need Japanese language ability of 10 years old (3rd grade at the elementary school).
There are some differences among jurisdictional Legal Affaires Bureau, but Japanese language test will be implemented if applicants did not graduate from Japanese mandatory education.
Our office provides Japanese language test support for people who are not good at Japanese reading and writing.
For more information about the language test, please check out here＞＞About Japanese language test for naturalization
Cases that requirements are allowed to be eased
１．Spouse of Japanese nationals
Applicants, who are spouses of Japanese nationals, have to live in Japan continuously more than 3 years and still live in Japan.
Or, married to Japanese more than 3 years and living in Japan more than 1 year.
２．People who are born in Japan
Applicants have to born in Japan and living in Japan continuously more than 3 years.
Or, mother or father was born in Japan and live in Japan continuously more than 10 years.
※Most cases are special permanent residents.
Biological children of Japanese nationals and living in Japan.
Adopted children of Japanese nationals and living in Japan more than 1 year, and have to be underage at the time of adoption.
People who born in Japan and stateless since their birth, and living in Japan continuously more than 3 years.
※Examination period will not be shorten even the requirements are eased.