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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71 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

    • Sakura says:

      Hi Michael, I saw your comment here and I am currently in the same situation as yours. I would just like to ask if you got married already? Also, did you tell the immigration officers in the Philippines that you are going to marry in Japan? If so, what did they tell you? Hope to hear from you.

      • okinawatranslator says:

        If you guys let me know what you find out about this I can pass on the information to future people trying to do the same thing, – Dave

    • Gel says:

      Hi Michael, would like to ask if you really accomplished your marriage because we are in the same position and I’m here in japan already as a tourist visa would like to ask if you stay here or you got home in Philippines? Need your reply

      • Michael says:

        Hi All,

        Just an update.

        1. Yes I was able to get married and my tourist visa was converted to spouse visa valid for a year till renew.
        2. I was granted 90 days tourist visa back then and had followed all the legal process including marriage. I just searched google for all the necessary requirements.
        3. Converting from tourist visa to spouse visa is a long process and they are very thorough with the process which requires alot of proof. As long as the relationship is legit then all the documents needed shouldn’t be a problem for everyone. Take note they have been strict on granting spouse visa as you know there are alot of fake relationships happening. Immigration will ask you so many questions including when you met, how long, why, etc… Again if the relationship is legit this shouldn’t be a problem.

        Just a recap of my situation:
        1. I got a tourist visa for 90 days in the Philippines.
        2. 1 week in Japan, me and my fiance got Married so we can start the process.
        3. We got married via City Hall –> submitted report of marriage to Phil Embassy
        4. Went to Immigration to apply for change of status of residence as early as we can
        5. Submitted all necessary documents and waited for about a month for the result
        6. I successfully got my spouse visa.

  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.

  10. Maria isabel Cruz Pascual says:

    Hi dave, if both parties are filipino but the guy has residence visa where are we getting married ? At the city hall or philippine embassy? And next thing is the guy is holding an expired passport. Thank you.

    • okinawatranslator says:

      Good Afternoon Maria Pascual, I recommend renewing the passport before proceeding to get married in Japan as the documents necessary for Philippine Passport Holders getting married in Japan is a valid Passport. Also when applying for your documents at the Philippine Consulate or Embassy they will require your passport before you will receive your Single Status Affidavit and your Legal Capacity for Marriage. Anything else let me know. – Dave

  11. Chariemae says:

    Good morning chariemae.i had some questions related to this issue, i got married here in japan at philiipine embassy last june 28 2017,and i already processed my passport for changing of my new surname then i will recieve it on august maybe,my questions is when will i receive my marrige certificate from nso/psa in the philippines from the day of my marriage in japan..,because i needed for my changing of visa status here in japan.,one of the requirement of changing of visa is marrige certificate…after our wedding in embassy they gave us only the copy of marrige contrat which is differint . Marrige certificate and marrige contract is different as what i have known.thank you more power and God bless. I hope you read it and try to reply.

    • okinawatranslator says:


      I wish I could give you more information on this topic but I have no idea when you would receive your marriage certificate from NSO/PSA in the Philippines. If you follow up with me after you have it completed I can spread the information to others,

      – Dave

  12. Billy Hamor says:

    Hi Dave,

    I am Billy, I am Filipino national. My Fiance (Japanese) and I are planning to get marry in Japan this year. Do you have any idea about citizenship? or at least on how or what way can I stay in Japan for long period of time (Years). I will get a VFR type of visa for 3 months. Is 3 months enough to complete the marriage process and Citizenship if possible?

    Thank you,

    • okinawatranslator says:

      Hi Billy,

      We don’t have that kind of information but I suggest you google the Japan Immigration website and check out the details on there website. – Dave

      • Michael says:

        Hi Billy,

        A. 3 months should be enough as long as you have complete documents. I came in japan via Tourist Visa for 3 months and was able to accomplish everything. Please make sure to search around for the requirements and bring extra documents before you leave PH to ensure no delays would happen.

        B. Converting to Spouse Visa should allow you to stay 1 year (this is standard since they want to ensure after a year that the relationship is still intact). I was informed after a year and no issues were found, they would grant longer stay (3 years max). After staying in Japan for 3 years they will check your credential (point system) if they will give you a permanent residency (they made this faster, before it was 5 years of stay. Now its 3 years of stay) as long as you meet the points. This includes contribution to Japan (what is your type of work, what do you do. if you have kids, etc..)

        Hope this helps.

  13. 김태연 says:

    Hi Dave! I am planning to marry my boyfriend who works in the U.S. Military base in Okinawa.
    I was reading the comments and I saw that there’s a “fiance visa”, I have no idea that there’s somethig like that… I am going to japan accredited agency this saturday and I desperately need help. Please reply asap, hope you can help me. Thank you!

    • okinawatranslator says:

      Good Morning, If you haven’t already seen our youtube video on the necessary documents you will need to retrieve from the Philippines prior to coming to Okinawa check everything out here:

  14. Jane says:

    Hi Dave! Very informative blog! Thanks for taking the time to write all of this down.

    I’m Filipina, my fiance is American, and we’ve always wanted a destination wedding and it sounds like Japan might be a good option!

    The only issue for us is we need to fly to Japan to process the requirements, then come back for the actual wedding. Or is it there another option? We can only take off from work for 2 weeks.

    • Dave says:

      First you need to prepare the documents in the Philippines. Then fly here and head the the Philippine Embassy or Consulate to receive the necessary documents to get married at the city office. Anything else let me know, – Dave

  15. Nadine says:

    Hi sir,
    Just wanna ask if there is any idea where I can authenticated or red ribbon my nso birth and cenomar here in Japan. I and my fiancee are planning to get married… I am a temporary visitor given 90 days of stay… hope there is.. thank you and more power.

  16. Mae15 says:

    Hi Dave. I’m Mae.. im here in japan as a entertainer and planning to get married here a Japanese before my visa expire. I just want to ask can I get married even though my visa is a entertainer.. we’re planning next month because October is the expiration of my visa and I need to go back in Philippines.

  17. Hi Dave. Thank you for this very useful info. I have some concerns regarding this. How could i reach you?

  18. Maria KOBAYASHI says:

    Hi ,
    I’m Filipino,have a permanent resident.Im divorced here in Japan but still married in the Philippines,my ex husband is a Japanese.
    My question is is it possible for me to get married again here in Japan even I’m still married in the Philippines?

  19. Mark Kenith Florendo says:

    Hi ,
    Im a technical intern here in japan,me and my gf are planning to get married here.could it be possible if we completed the list of documents?

  20. raquel says:

    Hi David,
    I’m a Filipina and currently working here at Japan. My contract is just about 3 years. My boyfriend is from Brazil and we want to get married here in Japan. We both just currently working here for about 1 year and it’s our first time working here. Can we get married here in Japan?
    Thank you so much

    • okinawatranslator says:

      Yes, you can get married here. You both need to obtain the necessary documents and then you can do it. Anything else let me know, Dave.

  21. danna dee says:

    Hello. How many weeks will I wait to receive a marriage certificate if I file report of marriage to philippine embassy?

    • okinawatranslator says:

      The Philippine Embassy in Japan is not where you file a report of marriage. You do this at the city office. If all the documents are in order you can receive your marriage certificate either the same day or the next day, I hope this helps, Dave.

  22. E G says:

    Hi Dave,

    Planning to get married with my Filipina girlfriend there in Aichi Prefecture. She is a Permanent Resident of Japan. And I am planning to go on a tourist visa. I currently have a multiple 15day/entry visa. Hope you can advise us on what we need to further process our civil wedding. I would greatly appreciate if you could email me a step-by-step procedure.


  23. Jv Roxas says:

    Hi Dave,

    I’m a filipina and my fiance is a japanese national. We are planning to get married in osaka this coming december after my birthday,so i will be turning 25.Do i still need to provide parents consent or parental advise?

    Thank you

    • okinawatranslator says:

      Hi Roxas, If you are over the age of 25 then you do not need your parent’s consent to marry in Japan. Anything else let me know, – Dave

      • Jv Roxas says:

        Hi Dave,

        Parental consent and parental advise authenticated ( DFA red ribbon ) with passport copy of parents. For example Dave,I cant provide passport copy of parents what else do i need to provide is it ok parents NSO or marriage contract of my parents? Its really hard to get an appointment for passport here in PH all slot are fully book.Thank you so much

        • okinawatranslator says:

          JV Roxas,

          I am not really sure what you need to provide as I only know legal marriage requirements. You will have to research directly to the NSO office to see if there are any other alternatives. – Dave

  24. Nadine says:

    Hi Dave,
    Just today applying my LCCM in the philippine consulate, my concern is my temporary visa will last on November 11, 2017. It is possible for me sir to stay here in Japan even my visa is last. Or go back to Philippines and apply another visa?

    • okinawatranslator says:

      Good Morning Nadine,

      You can try for an extension on your visa by applying at the Immigration Office in Japan showing your intent to marry.

      I hope this information helps you on your journey to getting married in Japan.

      Our translation services here in Japan and the rest of Japan ensure that you apply to get married at the city office and get accepted the first time. We make sure everything is good to go before you go to the city office.

      – Dave, Okinawa Translator.

  25. Daniel Orara says:

    Im a U.S. Citizen in Kadena AB, wanting to marry my fiance in the Philippines. Is it possible for me to get a Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage in Naha, and use it in the Philippines?

    • okinawatranslator says:

      Good Morning Daniel Orara, Sorry for the late reply. If you want to reach me immediately hit me up directly by email:

      I have no idea what the process for getting married in the Philippines is, I only specialise in getting married in Japan. Anything else let me know, – Dave

  26. Na says:

    Hi, I’m a Filipina I’m came in Japan last September 30, 2017 and my visa is a temporary visa 90days stay. I’m came here to marry my fiancé a japanese. It is possible that I can stay here until my spouse visa release? What should I do? We really need your help.

    • okinawatranslator says:

      We don’t have information on immigration. You will need to go to the immigration office and ask directly.

      • Michael says:

        Hi Dave,

        Just to help out.

        As per immigration. As long as you submit your Spouse Visa application with complete documents, they should provide a stamp for your passport which allows you to stay as long as the status of the visa is being process. If you pass, then there should be no problem, if your application fails you have 1 week to exit Japan.

  27. Vel says:

    Good evening sir, we are going to Tokyo Philippine embassy tomorrow. And I would like to ask about regarding the translation. How long it takes And what should I do because I’m here in Hamamatsu.

  28. Vel says:

    we are going tomorrow in Tokyo Philippine embassy for LCCM, do I get the LCCM on that day? If not how long it takes? And or it’s possible send it by mail? Or we have to came back the embassy? What should we do?

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