When a Japanese national marries a foreign national, there are several documents that need to be submitted, one of which is the “Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry”. Some may find it difficult to find information pertaining to “Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry”, as it is not required for Japanese marriages.
That is why in this article, we will guide you through the documents required for the Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry.
- What is a “Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry”?
- Why do I need a “Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry”?
- How to obtain a “Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry”
- If your country does not issue a “Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry”
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1. What is a “Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry”?
A “Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry” is an official document issued by the government of a country to certify that a foreign national meets the requirements for marriage under the laws of their country. In Japan, a “Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry” is sometimes called a Certificate of Singleness. In Japan, it is sometimes referred to as a bachelor’s certificate, but in other countries it may be referred to in a different way.
2. Why do I need a “Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry”?
When a Japanese national and a foreign national marry in Japan, after submitting a marriage notification to the family registration office of the municipality, both parties are examined to see if they have the requirements for marriage. This examination is mainly carried out in the laws of the parties’ home countries.
For example, the age at which a Japanese person can marry is assessed according to the Civil Code, whereas a foreign national is assessed according to the laws of their home country. Furthermore, if you have already been married, you will most likely not be able to remarry unless your divorce has been finalised through the appropriate procedures. The applicant will also be assessed as to whether they are now in a position to formally marry.
It is the role of the local family registration office to ensure that both parties meet the requirements for marriage. However, it is difficult for them to keep track of the laws of every country, so they are required to provide a “certificate of legal capacity to marry” which certifies that the requirements for marriage have been met by the government of the country of origin.
A certificate of legal capacity to marry is not necessary for marriages between Japanese nationals.
3. How to obtain a “Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry”
Basically, you can obtain a certificate of legal capacity to marry at any foreign embassy or consulate in Japan. The documents required vary from country to country, so please check with your embassy or consulate beforehand. Please note that it may take some time to obtain the necessary documents, such as a birth certificate from your home country, so please allow plenty of time for preparation.
4. If your country does not issue a “Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry”
In some countries there is no system for issuing a certificate of legal capacity to marry. In this case, you will need to provide the following alternative documents. The type of alternative document required varies from country to country. Please contact the Embassy or contact us for further information.
(1) Written oath signed by the consul
A foreign national is required to swear an oath before a consular officer of the home country stationed in Japan that he or she is of legal age to marry and has no legal disability to marry a Japanese national. This affidavit may be accepted in lieu of a certificate of legal capacity to marry.
(2) A copy of the law of your country and your passport.
(1) If you are unable to provide the affidavit mentioned in (1) above, the following documents may be required.
・A copy of the law of the foreigner’s home country (the source should be clearly indicated and a Japanese translation attached)
In this article, we have introduced the “Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry”, which is required when a Japanese person marries a foreign national. Since this document is only for international marriages, it may be difficult to gather information regarding this topic as even those around you may not understand this area.
If you have any questions regarding the procedures for foreign nationals, please do not hesitate to contact us.