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DualNational to get Japan passport in US 2008/3/20 16:48
I've read a thread that touches on this subject, but would like specific info that relates directly to my situation:

26 years old (born before the 1985 law stating that dual nationals must decide one nationality at age 22)

Born in the US to Japanese parents, currently holding a US passport, but have a koseki tohon and shohon from Japan(which I obtained in Japan recently)

Planning to obtain a Japanese passport at a Japanese embassy in the US so that I can move to Japan and live and work there.

What should I be aware of when going to the Japanese embassy to request a Japanese passport? I've read on different threads that some people were denied their new Japanese passport when picking it up at the embassy when the consulate asked to see their US green card, which they wouldn't have since they were dual nationals and had a US passport instead.
What do I need to provide, and what kind of questions should I be prepared for when I go to the Japanese embassy in the US?

Thanks all in advance.
by AmericanNissei  

. 2008/3/21 14:19
I don't know what they'll ask you at the embassy but I can offer an alternative way to get your passport if the embassy gives you problems.

You could come to Japan on your US passport with a tourist visa and then go to immigrations with your koseki, birth certificate, and passport and have them cancel your tourist visa. They might take a long time to cancel your visa (maybe 3 months) but in the meantime you can go to city hall and register your address. You can then go to the passport center and get your passport.

I don't know how anal the embassies/consulates are but in my experience, the government offices in Japan don't care about your dual nationality. I don't think you'll have any problems getting your passport here.
by K rate this post as useful

RE: 2008/3/21 16:22
Thanks K, I've never heard or read about the method which you describe, but very intriguing to know this alternative. When you say, koseki, birth certificate, and passport, do you mean my Japanese koseki(tohon), American birth certificate and American passport? As I was born in the states, I do not have a Japanese birth certificate.

Any dual nationals with experience obtaining a Japanese passport in the states?

Anybody know if dual nationals born before 1985 are exempted from having to choose one nationality?

Thanks again.
by AmericanNissei rate this post as useful

. 2008/3/21 21:35
When you say, koseki, birth certificate, and passport, do you mean my Japanese koseki(tohon), American birth certificate and American passport?

Yes, that's what I mean.

If you do what I described above, you should probably get your Japanese passport before canceling your tourist visa. Once you cancel your tourist visa you can't leave the country without your J-passport, so it'll be wiser to keep that visa in case you have to leave the country for an emergency.

Anybody know if dual nationals born before 1985 are exempted from having to choose one nationality?

I was born before 1985 and I wasn't forced to choose one nationality. It's more of a recommendation than an actual law.
by K rate this post as useful

. 2008/3/21 22:06
Before going that route, head to the Embassy/Consulate first, see what they say.

You were born to Japanese Parents, you're registered in their family registry, you are eligible for a Japanese Passport and Japanese Nationality.

If they make you take a nationality anyway, which I don't think so if you are exempt, just say you choose Japan, there's no "enforcement" mechanism for them to see if you ever renounced your US nationality. Since you cannot be stateless person you can't renounce before getting a J-passport to begin with.
Since you would want to use your J-passport to enter and leave Japan anyway, and not your US Passport it wouldn't matter much to them.

Btw there's no "Tourist Visa" its "Temporary Visitor" if you entered Japan with a US Passport its visa waiver, so you get a landing permission with a status of Temporary Visitor. But that only buys you so much time, which you have to wait and can't work or do much.
by John rate this post as useful

Keep it simple 2008/3/21 22:36
Get your passport in Japan,
When your ready to move to Japan just enter with your US Passport and once your in Japan get your Japanese Passport, done, keep it simple.
by Steve rate this post as useful

Work 2008/3/21 22:45
You have a koseki tohon and shohon already so even if you enter just on your US Passport your can work anyway, you are registered as a Japanese citizen already, so no worries at all the only thing will be your Drivers License you have to start from scratch.
by Steve rate this post as useful

Entering with US passport 2008/3/22 03:41
Thanks all, I appreciate the responses.

One concern I had about entering Japan with my US passport, then just staying and working in Japan(getting my Japanese passport in Japan), wouldn't that put me as staying as an American (visitor status), which will expire after 90 days? I'd assume I'd then be charged for overstaying my visa period. Is this the situation where I will have to cancel my visitor visa status?
I had thought that I will need to enter Japan as a Japanese(with passport) to be officially under Japanese status(in terms of working as a Japanese citizen, being taxed as a Japanese, and all that bureaucratic jazz).

Anybody with firsthand experience "making the move" to Japan as a dual national?

Thanks all for all the insightful and thoughtful responses.
by AmericanNissei rate this post as useful

. 2008/3/22 07:09
Steve if it were only that simple.

You enter Japan under your US passport, japan won't recognize your legal rights as a Japanese national to work, because all they have is you entering on a US passport, as an American and as a temporary visitor.

Have you even tried calling the embassy or consulate?

I think you're making it harder then it has to be.

by John rate this post as useful

. 2008/3/22 07:13
If "he's registered as a Japanese national already' then there shouldnt be much trouble getting it at an embassy/consulate. 'Stories on the net is just that, stories, its case by case, have your documents in order, then you should be fine.
by John rate this post as useful

. 2008/3/22 07:19
"Keep it simple."

Which sounds simpler:

1 go to japanese embassy and apply.

2. fly into japan with us passport under 90 day temp visitor, register address, go t passport office, then talking and explaining to immigration why you need to cancel your status of temp visitor and remove you from the immigration system etc.

Go with option 1 first, see how it goes. Its probably the easiest way.
Option 2 isnt as simple but a backup.
by John rate this post as useful

Going to embassy 2008/3/22 08:56
Hi, thanks for the suggestions.
I plan on going to the embassy on Monday with all my documents to apply for my Japanese passport.

One thing that I found strange was the recording on the embassy call center. It says for dual nationals applying for a Japanese passport to bring their US passport as well, and for resident aliens to bring their green cards. Anybody know what the purpose of this could be? Just something that caught my interest...

Thanks again...
by AmericanNissei rate this post as useful

He is a Japanese National 2008/3/23 10:23
He already has his koseki tohon and shohon meaning he is a Japanese citizen already registered. and it is that simple.
by Steve rate this post as useful

. 2008/3/23 11:35
If he enters Japan under a US passport with a temporary visitor's permit, Immigration will only recognize him as an American citizen.

He can't say "hey you can't fingerprint or photograph me" , or use the Japanese Immigration line, or any other item affording to Japanese nationals. His status will be American national visiting Japan.

As the topic was keeping it simple to how to get a passport.

If he's Japanese then its simple enough for him to go the Embassy/Consulate to get his passport. Thats what I'm alluding at, thats the simplist route to go.

You're route was, travel in Japan under a US passport under visa waiver, register, then go to Immigration where he will have to talk and figure out with Immigration on them removing his status as an American visiting Japan.

Possible, but not the easiest or simple route there is.
by John rate this post as useful

. 2008/3/23 12:42
It says for dual nationals applying for a Japanese passport to bring their US passport as well, and for resident aliens to bring their green cards. Anybody know what the purpose of this could be?

The only reasons I can think of is either to check if you're an illegal alien or to deny you a Japanese passport for being a dual-national over 22. If it's the latter, the worse they can do is ask you to make a choice of nationality and deny you services for a passport.

If that happens, some people will advise you to just choose the Japanese nationality, since you don't have to prove that you renounced your US citizenship. I personally do not want to sign a false statement swearing to renounce my US citizenship, so I chose not to make any choice. You can choose not to choose and still remain a dual-national.

Let us know how your meeting goes on Monday. I'm sure there will be other dual-nationals who come here wanting to know the same thing.
by K rate this post as useful

Japanese Embassy visit 2008/3/26 09:51
Hi all,

Went to the embassy and applied for a Japanese passport. Seems like the process went smoothly without being questioned about choosing nationality. One thing to note: I was asked if I had a green card and when I replied that I was a dual national so that I had a US passport, they asked me for it and took a photocopy and included it in my application folder. They didn't say or question any more on the subject.
Not sure what the reason for it was, but I am supposed to pick up my Japanese passport in a week or so. Hoping there won't be any hitches when I do go pick it up.
I'll give an update on how things turn out after the pick-up.
by AmericanNissei rate this post as useful

. 2008/3/26 11:03
Did you submit photographs for your passport?

That sounds like something you would also need to submit for a passport along with the application. It would be strange to have a passport with no photograph in it.

Otherwise it sounds like everything went ok.
by John rate this post as useful

How did it go? 2008/4/15 13:50
Hi - how did your visit go? Did you get your Japanese passport? I'm curious because I'm going to have to renew my Japanese passport soon and I was actually thinking of going to Japan to do it as I also heard that the consulate will not give you your Japanese passport if you don't have a green card to show them (I would have to get my juminho back to Tokyo, etc) - please let me know - thanks.
by PinkChampagne rate this post as useful

fine go at Consulate 2008/4/15 15:40
Thanks for the reminder post. I've been meaning to post how things went, but have been bogged down with work and getting ready to make the move.
So, to answer the question, everything turned out fine. I applied for the passport, was told to come pick it up a week later, went to pick it up, paid the fee, received my passport and walked out with a new Japanese passport.
When I initially applied for the passport, I also had to bring my old expired passport as well, and after being asked about having a green card or not, I honestly answered that I was also a US citizen, which she then asked me to show my US passport, took a photo copy of it and put it into my files. Got a bit nervous at that point, but the lady at the Consulate didn't ask any further questions, so I didn't either. I was still able to pick up my new passport without any hitches.

The next hurdle(hoping it won't be) is getting through immigration without any problems. As I've read here and other forums, I will just use my US passport to leave the US, then my Japanese passport to enter Japan. Hope things will play out smoothly.

Thanks to all who've given me thoughtful responses.
by AmericanNissei rate this post as useful

1985? 2008/4/26 23:47
I have been searching the Internet for information on this & stumbled across this topic here.
I am noticing that it was stated that a law was passed in 1985 stating that dual nationals must decide one nationality at age 22.
What does this all imply for my daughter?
I was a US Navy member & hert mother is Japanese & she was born in 1990, in a Japanese hospital, and reported properly to both the Japanese Family Register AND as a US Birth Abroad.
So, I know that she is legally a Dual Citizen right now.
She will turn 18 this year and I am just researching if & what she must be aware of in the near or distant future.
Does the same apply as has been stated here, as in the case of AmericanNissei, OR are things going to be more complicated for her, since she was born after this 1985 law was passed?

by Jeff rate this post as useful

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