How to get Married in Japan – Philippine Passport Holders

Hi, I am David Higgins, a legal translator in Okinawa, Japan and I am going to clearly explain how to get married in Japan for those who are Philippine Passport Holders.

First off, let’s clarify that getting legally married in Japan requires legal paper work only. Any celebration, party or ceremony is completely separate and not necessary for a marriage to be considered legal in Japan.

Before you arrive in Japan, you will need to retrieve some documents from the Philippines. If you are already in Japan, you can order these documents from the Philippines and have them delivered to you.

To follow is a list of what you will need to collect:

  • Valid Philippine Passport (Original and Photocopy)
  • If applicable, a Japanese Resident Card (Original and Photocopy)
  • National Statistic Office or NSO Birth Certificate (Original and Photocopy)
  • A Certificate of No Marriage Record or (CENOMAR) – all names ( First Middle, Last; including mother and father must match the birth certificate
  • A DFA Authentication or Red Ribbon of the NSO Certificate (original and photocopy)
  • DFA Authentication or Red Ribbon of CENOMAR (original and photocopy
  • Three passport-sized photos (for both you and your fiancé)

If you plan to marry a US citizen, your fiancé must obtain the following:

  • A single affidavit notarized at either a US legal services office, US Embassy or US Consulate.
  • A personal appearance of you and your fiancé at the embassy/consulate during the submission of application of the documents.

Once you have retrieved all of these items, you and your fiancé will need to go together to the Philippine Embassy or Consulate and complete your application forms for the two necessary documents of marriage in Japan for a Philippine Passport Holder.

Those two documents are called:

There are five places in Japan where you can retrieve these two documents. They are:

  • Philippines Embassy in Tokyo or;
  • Philippine Consulate in either Osaka-Kobe, Sapporo, Nagoya or Okinawa.

The Legal Capacity to Marry and Affidavit will be in the English language only and must be translated into Japanese. Here at Okinawa Translator we provide that service. You can scan or photograph the documents and send them to our email address and we will get to work translating these documents into Japanese for you.

Once the translations are finished, we will complete your marriage application. The marriage application must be completed only after all documents have been translated into Japanese. These translated documents must mirror the information provided in the originals so one of the big advantages of having all documents translated at one time by the same translator will be avoiding possible discrepancies that may occur otherwise.

The marriage application must have two witnesses. My wife and I can be your witnesses and due to the fact that we are both Japanese residents, we physically do not have to accompany you to the city office. If you want to choose your own witnesses, you will need to submit their full names, birth dates, nationalities and local addresses to us. They must physically accompany you to the city office on the day that you get married.

When the above mentioned steps are completed, you will submit your documents to a city office closest to your residency in Japan. If you submit your documents to a town or village office, they may or may not require additional documentation to be translated and submitted so we strongly suggest that you consult with our office as to which city office you should provide your documents to. This will ensure that all submission procedures run in a smooth and timely manner.

After you receive your marriage certificate, you will have the option of two different types of marriage certificates. We suggest that you obtain several copies of the large B4 Japanese marriage certificate version to keep for your records as well as for when you are reporting your marriage to the Philippines Consulate or Embassy as they will require an original copy of the large B4 Version only. We suggest you obtain at least three B4-sized certificates in total.

The certificates that you receive will be written in the Japanese language. We will translate your marriage certificate back into English and provide you with several certified copies in English so you can use these to successfully report your marriage to the Philippine Embassy or Consulate.

And that’s all. If you have any questions about getting married in Japan, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are experts at this process and can alleviate the unnecessary stresses that obtaining multiple language documents can provide during one of the most important experiences in your life.


I’m Dave Higgins. I am a legally qualified professional who can translate legal or general documents from English to Japanese or Japanese to English. I can also help translate documents for languages such as Chinese, Korean, Indonesian or Portuguese. My office is located in Chatan, Okinawa. Please stop by or call if you have any questions about translation or interpreter services.

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19 comments on “How to get Married in Japan – Philippine Passport Holders
  1. angeles villanueva says:

    Hi Dave. So much helpful information here. Thanks so much in advance. I’m a Filipina with a working visa here in Japan. My fiancé is Filipino based in Manila. We have intentions of having a destination wedding ceremony and reception here in Okinawa but he’ll return to Manila after the wedding and I’ll follow after my contract expires. Are there any special requirements? We are not very particular about registering the wedding here as we will be residing in Manila. Thanks

  2. Lorena says:

    Me and my boyfriend have a plan to get married in japan. I want to ask if i can get married in japan even i am not yet residence in japan? Because i will go in japan next month as a turist for us to get married in japan.

    • Dave says:

      Hi Lorena,

      You can email me directly any questions. Here is my email:

      • Kris kemberlie says:

        Kris kemberlie 2017年5月19日
        Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        Hi sir I’m Kris I’m a filipina and where planning to get married in japan. I have a temporary visitor visa and I was offloaded MAY 15,2017by an immigration officer in NAIA TERMINAL 1 when I was interrogated by an immigration officer he ask me if whom I’ll be staying and I said I’m going to stay with my fiance and he ask me again if what is my purpose in japan I said my purpose is going to marry my fiance. Then the immigration officer ask me why don’t I get a fiance visa he was really focused on that kind of issue all about my type of visa. Then he ask me if I have a invitation letter, passport copy but I said I don’t have those already because I already pass it to the agency who process my visa application form for requesting my visa in japan embassy. Then he gave me a compliance slip #1 is AUTHENTICATED AFFIDAVIT OF SUPPORT #2 PASSPORT COPY OF MY FIANCE #3 IS CFO #4 PROOF OF RELATIONSHIP. I am worried that I will be get offloaded again even if I will comply all the requirements that they want me to comply. What should I do?

  3. Michael says:

    Hi Dave,

    Good Day!

    This post is really helpful with the current situation I’m in and its very informational as me and my GF are planning to have a Civil Wedding in Japan soon. I have a few questions which hopefully you can answer to provide clarity. Just a short background, I’m a Philippine Passport Holder and my GF is Japanese.

    I’m planning to visit japan soon via Tourist w/ Guarantor (coming from her). I assume this would only be 2 weeks stay. Once I arrive in Japan we are planning to have a Wedding with the steps you provided on your post.

    a. Is 2 weeks enough to process the whole wedding?
    b. If yes — Would it be advisable to finish my 2 weeks as tourist and go home to PH then reprocess a new visa since we are married?
    c. Is it possible to process everything within Japan and won’t require me to go home and back?
    d. Once a Foreign National is married to a Japanese does this entitle the person to stay in Japan and work for how long?

    Sorry for the long comment and alot of questions thrown. Appreciate this very informative post.

    • Dave says:

      Hi Michael Stellar,

      I don’t think 2 weeks is long enough to obtain the documents necessary from either the Okinawa Philippine Consulate or the Tokyo Philippine Embassy. Most couples receive everything in about 2 weeks after submission the timeline would be very tight. If you have anymore inquiries please email me directly at

  4. Ana says:

    What if my status is annulled any requirements needed? Im philippine passport holder. Thanks

  5. charmaine francisco says:

    good morning sir .. sir , y CENOMAR does not authenticated by dfa or red ribbon .. only y consent of y parents ..

  6. charmaine francisco says:

    only my consent of my parents .. is it okay sir ?

    • Dave says:

      You can inquire directly at the Philippine Consulate or Embassy in Japan but this ‘ How to ‘ was created together with a Philippine Passport that we married and we passed on the knowledge and steps to you so you can follow them and get married. There is no substitute documents that I am aware of so carefully obtain and follow the instructions written in the How get married in Japan for Philippine Passport Holders. You can also view the youtube video that I just posted today:

  7. Heden says:

    Good afternoon Dave I got all my papers authenticated except my parental consent 🙁 do you think that would work?

  8. Yel says:

    that does mean i have to get 2 copies of BC and CENOMAR?

    • Dave says:

      Yes, 1 issue of your birth certificate issued from the National Statistics Office ( You probably already have one of these ) 1 issue of your birth certificate with DFA Authentication or Red Ribbon of the NSO of the NSO Birth Certificate. I completed a youtube video with the complete explanation, take a look:

  9. Chariemae says:

    Hello goodevening..i want to ask some questions regarding changing of visa or change of im a student vsa holder,but my visa expire ths coming sept 2017..then this month im getting married to my fiance..he is a filipino with a long term visa,he is also a descendant,a 3rd generation or they call a nikkiejin.,my questions are..after we get married in many months we can get the marriage contract and what are the possible .thing we can do to make me stay in japan before my visa expire.

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