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Initial spousal visa info 2019/8/13 06:57
I am a retired US citizen and my wife is a Japanese citizen/green card holder. She has lived in the US for 20 years. We were married 6 years ago in the US and very happily married. She recently received a job offer to open a US company's branch office in Tokyo and we are planning to move there in January. Her salary will be approx 11,500,000 yen. I have decent savings in a checking account. She has savings + 401(k) from previous employers. She has family in Kobe, Japan (if I need a guarantor?). When, where and how do we begin the spousal visa process for me? It sounds very complicated. Given the above should we anticipate any problems/issues?
by Roy (guest)  

Re: Initial spousal visa info 2019/8/13 11:31
Hi. I got my spouse visa last month (19 days from day of submission to Immigration) 👋🤓

The first thing you have to do is prepare all the necessary documents like cenomar, birth cert., tax report, passport, residence card, etc. You can ask US Embassy based in Japan about the requirements. Then after the submission, you have to go to City hall to register your marriage in Japan. It will take few days to process there. The staffs will give you requirements as well.

NOTE: Getting married is easy in Japan but getting spouse visa is a hassle.

Once you are married in City hall, you have to submit the docs to the US Embassy to get Cert of Marriage. Then they will process again your docs. Then you have to wait for 2-3 weeks to receive the result. After you have all the necessary docs from City hall and Embassy, I advice you to get a good lawyer to process your docs for spouse visa application. You will have to sign a lot of papers (around 15 pages or more), send photos of you and your wife together, text messages, etc. Your lawyer will advice you so no worries.

Lawyer's fee is around 100k-150k yen. It is not so expensive so you can get one easily. Then just wait for the result within a month up to 3 months.

by Ria333 rate this post as useful

Re: Initial spousal visa info 2019/8/13 15:50
@Ria33, OP is already married. No need to get married again and no need to proof anything with pictures. Also why should the US embassy being able to help with a resident permit for Japan.

OP, I think you need to prepare the documents but I canft imagine any red flags.

by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Initial spousal visa info 2019/8/13 18:15
Compare to US, getting/applying a spouse visa from Japan is like a walk in the park.
You'll need to spend times gathering all the related documents. No need to hire lawyer and waste your money. Yours is much straight forward case compared to previous commenter.

Where did you both got married?
Did your wife informed the Japanese embassy/authority about your marriage?
by @.. (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Initial spousal visa info 2019/8/13 20:23
@.. :

We were married in NYC. My wife added me to her koseki (Family Register) in Japan. Do I begin the spousal visa process here before we move in January or do I wait until we move?
by Roy (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Initial spousal visa info 2019/8/14 17:08

One of the two ways you can go. You can either:
- Apply for CoE (Certificate of Eligibility) from outside Japan, and once you have it, you take it to the Embassy of Japan in the US, and apply for a visa, after which youfll use the visa to genterh Japan as gspouse of Japanese national.h
- You travel to Japan, and upon entry you will receive gtemporary visitorh status stamp in your passport, which will allow you to stay in Japan up to 90 days, during which you apply for gchange of resident status (from gtemporary visitorh to gspouse of Japanese national).h

Since you have been married for some years already, and your Japanese wife has a job offer, I donft see any problem. Your Japanese spouse will always be the gguarantorh to sign the guarantor letter, as she is the reason (and the sponsor) for you to be in Japan. If they require any additional financial guarantor, maybe her parent(s), but with her having a job offer, maybe thatfs not even needed.

The documents that you need for either of the two paths above are about the same; in principle you need papers that testify to your marriage, and those that testify to your ability to support your (the two of you) living in Japan. Please check (or have your wife check) the official government websites for the documents needed.

Note that the immigration authorities always prefers the CoE to visa path, but once you are in Japan, as long as you get the application for change of resident status completed within the 90 days, no problem with gchange of resident statush at all.

Forget what Ria333 said; she seems to be mixing up some things. She sounds like she is talking about a couple (Japanese and American) getting married in Japan then getting a spouse visa to live in the States.
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Initial spousal visa info 2019/8/15 09:07
In addition to AK ..

There are recent mentions in other forum that the Japanese immigration is getting strict on Change of Status, especially those from Temporary Visitor/TV.
With recent increase in misused/fraud from TV to student/dependent, the immigration are more likely to reject applicant change of status and ask them to apply the correct/preferred way.
Though in your case should be fine but just something you should be aware of.

Visa application :
If you refer to above link Japanese Embassy in US, you'll notice that you have option to apply for Spouse visa with or without COE.

¦Japanese is more detail and have extra documents.
COE application :

Change of Status:
English @
Japanese @
by @.. (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Initial spousal visa info 2019/8/15 09:10
@.. & AK:

Many thanks for all the info. I will check it all out!
by Roy (guest) rate this post as useful

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