Guidance on marriage procedures with Japanese by mail: Fast - simple - economical
Share the details on applying and the fees for a certificate of eligibility for marriage.
I got married in February 2021 when the pandemic broke out all over Japan, and travel was restricted. At the same time, my work was also overloaded due to the pandemic, so it was tough for me to take leave. In that situation, I had set a goal of completing 100% marriage procedures by mail to limit contact with others and save travel costs.
After completing, I’d like to share this experience in the hope that I can help busy Japanese - Vietnamese couples struggling with marriage procedures to solve it quickly, neatly, economically, and especially without any suffering.
To put it simply, Japan is also a monogamous country. The condition for marriage registration is that a man and a woman are at least 18 years old (according to the revised Civil Law coming into effect in April 2022), still single, and married on a voluntary basis. In Japan, the local administrative committee only accepts marriage registration applications from couples who meet the above conditions. In short, you need to prove that you are currently single and eligible for marriage.
The procedure will be:
- Apply for a certificate of eligibility for marriage from the Embassy of Vietnam in Japan
- Submit the marriage registration form at the municipal office where you are living
- Consular legalize (extract of the marriage certificate) to get your marriage legally effective in Vietnam.
Getting a certificate of eligibility for marriage
To apply for marriage registration with a Japanese at a city/district administrative office (Shiyakusho, Kuyakusho), you need to apply for a marriage certificate from the Embassy of Vietnam in Japan (婚姻要件具備証明書).
Place of issue: Embassy of Vietnam in Japan
Documents for a certificate of eligibility for marriage include:
1/ Request form and contact information (Embassy's application form).
2/ The application form for the certificate of eligibility for marriage (Embassy's application form).
The Embassy requires typing, not handwriting. You have to submit 1 hard copy and fill in the information through the electronic form designated by the Embassy.
3/ Certificate of residence (住民票, original).
4/ Certificate of marital status, also known as "Affidavit of Single Status".
On behalf of you, you can ask your family to apply for the grant from the People's Committee of the commune, ward, or township in the locality where you reside in Vietnam. Some localities only need the registrant's identity card, household registration book, and birth certificate to prove the family relationship, but many other localities require the registrant's power of attorney. When applying for a certificate of marital status, the Japanese spouse's information is needed, so it is necessary to prepare in advance for the family in Vietnam. If yes, send the original by EMS secure delivery or ask your family to send it to Japan for procedures.
5/ Certificate of No-marriage Records (issued at shiyakusho, kuyakusho where you live in Japan).
6/ Copy Passport pages 2 and 3.
7/ While the public price list on the homepage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam is 10USD/copy (about ¥1,140), the actual processing fee I paid in cash was ¥13,500 (including the Japanese translation) sent by 現金書留 (Genkin Kakitome - Guaranteed Mail with Cash).
Japan Post prohibits sending cash by simple guaranteed deposit methods such as Letter pack or Yupack. To avoid losing your documents or money, I recommend sending using Genkin Kakitome - a large envelope in which cash can be sent with other documents. After sending, remember to get a receipt with a parcel tracking code for tracking.
8/ Enclose an envelope clearly stating the payee's return address (Letter pack/ Yupack, Chakubarai). It is recommended to record the parcel tracking number for tracking, so you can check if your application has been processed and returned or not.
If there are no mistakes or contradictions in the application, it will be sent back within 1 working week.
The Embassy will not accept telephone consultations. They only call or send e-mail to verify when necessary. It is also clearly stated on the embassy homepage. Therefore, if you come directly for advice or call, you will often be given an "attitude" because all procedures at the Embassy have detailed instructions on the homepage.
Since most of the procedures are posted in detail on the homepage of the Embassy of Vietnam in Japan, I will introduce how to apply for a "Certificate of No-marriage Records by mail" (mentioned in section 5) in the next post.
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