Marriage in Japan
- Step1: Application for the Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage
- Step 2: Short chat with the Embassy
- Step 3: Marriage at the Japanese municipal office
- Step 4: Adjustment of your civil status
- Step 5: Transcription of your marriage certificate
In order to get married in Japan as a Belgian citizen, you will need the following documents:
- A Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (CNIM), delivered by the Embassy of Belgium in Tokyo;
- A recent birth certificate (less than 6 months old), with an Apostille (This certificate is not required by all municipalities. Please check this requirement with your local Japanese municipality.)
Certain Japanese municipalities require other additional documents; the Embassy suggests contacting the municipal office, in which you plan on submitting your marriage declaration, to verify if, and which, additional documents are required.
Caution: It is strongly discouraged, before departing from Belgium, to apply for deregistration (model 8) from the population registers of your municipality in Belgium, until you have obtained a valid Japanese residence permit (not a tourist visa nor a visa with a view to marriage). If you deregister from your municipality in Belgium before you obtain a valid Japanese residence permit, you cannot be registered in the consular registers of the Embassy. Therefore, you will not be able to receive a CNIM from the Embassy.
After obtaining a valid residence permit for Japan, however, it is strongly recommended to deregister from the municipality in Belgium and register at the Belgian Embassy in Tokyo.
Step 1: Application for the Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage (CNIM)
You are not required to come to the Embassy in person to submit an application for the delivery of the CNIM. This application (Dutch or French) has to be done in written form and can either be submitted in person or sent via post or email. The application has to be written clearly and signed. Clearly indicate in which official language (Dutch, French, or German) you wish to receive the CNIM.
Below is a short summary of the required documents, according to the Law of 2016/02/06:
2. An official copy of your fiancé(e)'s family register (koseki tohon) + a copy of his/her passport
With the name and first name clearly visible in kanji. If your partner does not have Japanese nationality, a copy of his/her passport is sufficient.
3. Consular fee
See the consular fees for the consular rate, more specifically: "Niet afzonderlijk getarifeerde akte of PV/Acte PV ou certificat non Sp. Tarifié. This charge can be paid by “genkin kakitome fuuto” (registered mail - currency registration). This is a special envelope used to send money by post and can be obtained from your local post office.
Note: The Embassy can only receive the exact amount in Japanese currency. Make sure the name of the Belgian partner and the word "marriage" is written in large letters on the envelope to avoid any confusion.
4. Self-addressed return envelope
Please add a self-addressed return envelope to your application. This should be a red Letter Pack Plus (520JPY) envelope, so the documents can be sent to you by registered mail. A Letter Pack Plus can be purchased at your local post office and some convenience stores.
Step 2: Short chat with the Embassy
Once you have sent the documents, please contact the Embassy by mail to schedule the next step in the procedure: you will be invited to come to the Embassy together with your fiancé(e) for a small chat (by appointment only), after which the certificate of no impediment to marriage will be handed over. If this visit is difficult because you are in Japan, but not close to Tokyo, then this chat can take place over Skype.
Attention: Currently the short chat can only take place over Skype and not in person.
Step 3: Marriage at the municipal office
Once you have obtained the Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage, you should be able to get married in Japan.
Step 4: Adjustment of your civil status in the Belgian National Register
Once you are married in Japan, your civil state will need to be adjusted in the Belgian National Register by the Embassy or by the municipal office of your place of residence in Belgium*. You will need the following documents to request the adjustment:
- A certified copy of your wedding certificate: KONIN TODOKE KISAI JIKO SHOMEI - to be obtained from the Japanese municipal office where the marriage took place. !Be careful: Do not request a juri shomeisho. This short version does not contain sufficient information for the Belgian government.
- Legalization: every authentic certificate delivered by the Japanese government and for use in Belgium must be legalized with an Apostille (see 'Hague Convention'). This formality can be done by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Gaimusho) (see website).
- Translation into one of the official Belgian languages: A translation of your marriage certificate, prepared by a Belgian sworn translator. A list of sworn translators can be obtained at the Court of First Instance in Belgium. A limited list of translators can also be found here. Make sure the names and dates were all correctly translated and transcribed from Japanese to your language.
- A letter/document on which the date and place of birth (city, prefecture) of your partner is stated.
- A copy of the family register (koseki tohon) on which the marriage is mentioned + free translation to Dutch or French (this does not need to be done by a professional translator)
- A copy of your partner's new passport with their new name (in case of a name change as a result of the marriage).
- A self-addressed red Letter Pack Plus (520 JPY) so the documents can be returned to you by registered mail.
*Where to send the documents:
If you are registered in the Belgian Embassy in Tokyo
First, send all the original documents to the Embassy by post. Upon receipt of your documents, the Embassy will verify the information and adjust your civil state in the National Register accordingly. Next, the originals will be sent back to you by post. You can use these originals to transcribe your marriage certificate in the registers of civil status in Belgium (see step 5: Transcription of Marriage Certificate in Belgium).
If you are registered in a Belgian municipal office
First, send copies of all documents to the Embassy by post. Next, send the original documents to your municipality of residence in Belgium. The municipal office will then adjust your civil state in the National Register.
Step 5: Transcription of Marriage Certificate in Belgium
If you are registered in the consular registers of this post and you were married in Japan, the Embassy strongly recommends you transcribe your marriage certificate in your municipality in Belgium after your marriage (note: not "inscription" or "declaration"). If you are no longer registered in a Belgian municipality, then you can have your marriage certificate transcribed by another municipal office (in order of preference): your last registered municipality in Belgium; registered municipality of blood relatives in Belgium; municipality where your birth was registered. If none of these are applicable, you can have it transcribed by the city of Brussels.
When the certificate has been transcribed, you will be able to easily obtain an extract or a certified copy of your certificate whenever necessary. To prevent potential problems in the future, the Embassy strongly recommends you finalize this procedure as soon as possible.
Before starting this procedure, contact the competent municipal office to verify their requirements: some municipalities require you to present the documents in person, others will accept family members, etc…
The validity of the marriage certificate with apostille and the translation is maximum 6 months.