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.