2003-01-14, 02:51 PM
Hello everyone. I will be marrying my Japanese girlfriend in around a years time and was just wanting to get some info. For those who have done it, what is the best way?
Do we get married in Japan or in the States?
Is there a time period we have to be seperated while our papers are going through?
I just have general questions like this. Any and all info is appreciated. Thanks in advance.
2003-01-14, 02:56 PM
You can get married in either country. In Japan, you need to contact your embassy first and get a special document. The embassy will know what it is. It basically certifies that you are eligible to be married (ie, you are single). Certificate of Eligibility? I seem to remember that costs about 5000 yen.
Then, your wife needs to make the arrangements on her family register, so she'll likely have to go to city hall or ward office, where you two sign something, and you are legally married. You don't even get a marriage license to prove it unless you want to pay for one. The cheap version is about 400 yen. The more decorated one is more expensive. Both are in Japanese.
Any ideas about wedding ceremonies are up to you. You don't need them to be legally married.
2003-01-14, 04:38 PM
From a response I posted here:
"To get married in Japan, you will need a sworn "Affidavit of Competency to Marry". The Affidavit of Competency to Marry is simply a paper giving personal information about yourself, such as name, birthplace, etc., and stating that you are legally able to marry. You will have to fill this out and then swear to it at the nearest US consulate in Japan (need not be Tokyo if you are living outside of the Kanto area). Next, translate this into Japanese (you can do this together with your future wife). Bring $30 or thousands of yen for the notarial fee. You can download a PDF file copy of the affidavit from the US Embassy in Japan website, from a link on this page:
Next, you will have to fill out the Japanese paperwork, a "Kon-in Todoke", which is fairly simple (your future wife will need to get the Japanese equivalent of a birth certificate, a "Koseki Tohon", from her official hometown, and that will take a couple of days). You will also need two "witnesses" who will sign (or apply their inkan to) the form. Her parents are a good choice, but it may be anyone of legal age. You can choose any day for the official marriage registration day, even Sundays and holidays, because there will be someone at your local ward/town/city office to accept the paperwork. Check in advance to find out where the special secret entrance for this service is located. There are "lucky" days, or an easily remembered date, that your wife may want to choose (my anniversary is 7/7). It doesn't take any time at all to file the paperwork."
You can then apply for a spousal visa, which seems to only take a couple weeks. And also start the paperwork for an immigrant visa into the US for your wife, if you plan to live in the states.
All in all, it seems easier, and quicker, to do everything in Japan, and then have an actual wedding ceremony at the location of your choice. There is a lot of in formation on the Internet regarding the best strategy to use when your goal is to live in the US right away. If by "marrying my Japanese girlfriend in around a years time" you mean that you'll have a wedding ceremony a year from now, it wouldn't hurt to actually register the marriage sooner and then get all the immigrant visa paperwork taken care of before the wedding (if you will live in the US).