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Is Japan easy to get citizenship?


Japan is a beautiful country that attracts many people from around the world. Whether it’s for work, study, or simply to explore, many foreigners find themselves drawn to the unique culture and lifestyle that Japan has to offer. However, when it comes to obtaining citizenship, many people wonder if it’s an easy process. In this article, we will explore the question, “Is Japan easy to get citizenship?” and provide a comprehensive overview of the requirements and steps involved.

Eligibility for Japanese Citizenship

Before discussing the process of obtaining Japanese citizenship, it’s important to understand who is eligible. According to the Japanese Nationality Act, those who can apply for citizenship include individuals who have lived in Japan for at least five years, have a legal status of residence, and are over 20 years of age. Additionally, applicants must be able to speak and understand Japanese, have a stable source of income, and have no criminal record.

Japanese Snack Box

The Application Process

Once an individual meets the eligibility requirements for Japanese citizenship, they can begin the application process. This typically involves submitting various documents, such as a birth certificate, passport, and proof of residency in Japan. Additionally, applicants must undergo an interview with immigration officials and pass a written exam that tests their knowledge of Japanese language and culture.

The Waiting Period

After submitting an application for citizenship in Japan, applicants must wait for a decision from immigration officials. This waiting period can take several months or even up to a year. During this time, officials will review the application and conduct any necessary background checks.

Dual Citizenship

One important factor to consider when applying for Japanese citizenship is whether or not dual citizenship is allowed. In Japan, dual citizenship is generally not permitted. This means that individuals must renounce their previous citizenship in order to become a Japanese citizen.

Benefits of Japanese Citizenship

Obtaining Japanese citizenship comes with several benefits. For example, citizens have access to a wider range of job opportunities and can vote in local and national elections. Additionally, they can travel more freely without needing visas or special permits.

Challenges of Obtaining Japanese Citizenship

While there are certainly benefits to becoming a citizen of Japan, there are also several challenges to consider. For example, the application process can be lengthy and complex. Additionally, those who do not speak Japanese fluently may struggle with the language requirements.

Permanent Residency vs Citizenship

For those who do not meet the eligibility requirements for Japanese citizenship or who do not want to go through the application process, permanent residency is another option. This status allows individuals to live and work in Japan indefinitely but does not grant them all of the rights and privileges of full citizenship.

Impact on Family Members

When one member of a family obtains Japanese citizenship, it can have an impact on other family members as well. For example, spouses and children may be eligible for residency or citizenship based on their relationship with the citizen.

Costs Involved

Another factor to consider when applying for Japanese citizenship is the cost involved. This can vary depending on factors such as legal fees and translation costs for documents written in languages other than Japanese.

Cultural Considerations

As with any country, there are cultural considerations that should be taken into account when considering obtaining citizenship in Japan. For example, it’s important to understand cultural norms around respect for elders and hierarchy in social situations.


In conclusion, obtaining Japanese citizenship is not necessarily an easy process but it is possible for those who meet the eligibility requirements and are willing to go through the application process. While there are certainly challenges involved, becoming a citizen of Japan comes with several benefits such as increased job opportunities and freedom to travel without restrictions. It’s important to carefully consider all factors before deciding whether or not to pursue this path towards citizenship in Japan.

Can foreigners get Japanese citizenship?

What are the requirements for becoming a naturalized citizen? According to Article 5 of the Japanese Nationality Act, the individual must have lived in Japan for at least five consecutive years and maintained valid residency during this period.

Can a US citizen have a Japanese citizenship?

According to current U.S. law and policy, individuals who hold dual nationality or acquire a second nationality at a young age are not required to choose one nationality over the other when they reach adulthood, as established in the case of Mandoli v. Acheson in 1952.

How to become a citizen of Japan?

To apply, individuals must be a minimum of 20 years old and have been a permanent resident of Japan for at least five years. Demonstrating financial stability and independence is a requirement, as is exhibiting good behavior and moral character throughout their stay. The deadline for applications is January 30, 2023.

Why Japan doesn t allow dual citizenship?

The government has argued that allowing dual nationality for adults in Japan could ’cause conflict in the rights and obligations between countries, as well as between the individual and the state’.

Can a U.S. citizen live permanently in Japan?

After residing in Japan for an extended period, expatriates may apply for Japan Permanent Residency. This is a beneficial option for those looking to establish long-term or permanent residency in Japan as it eliminates the need for dealing with various bureaucratic and tedious procedures.

How long can a U.S. citizen stay in Japan?

For tourist or business stays in Japan that are “visa free,” lasting up to 90 days, you need a valid passport and an onward or return ticket. Your passport must be valid throughout your stay in Japan, and it is not permitted to work during the 90-day “visa free” entry period. The requirement applies until December 22, 2022.

Conclusion (Continued)

It’s worth noting that Japan has strict immigration laws, and the government closely monitors the number of foreigners who become citizens. This means that the process can be competitive, and not everyone who applies will be accepted. However, for those who are committed to living in Japan long-term and becoming part of the community, citizenship can be a worthwhile goal.

It’s also important to remember that obtaining citizenship is not the only way to live and work in Japan. Many people choose to come to Japan on temporary visas or work permits, and there are also opportunities for study abroad or cultural exchange programs.

Ultimately, the decision to pursue Japanese citizenship should be based on individual circumstances and goals. Those who are interested in learning more about the application process should consult with a qualified immigration lawyer or contact the nearest Japanese embassy or consulate. With patience, persistence, and a willingness to navigate the complexities of Japanese bureaucracy, it’s possible to make Japan your home for years to come.

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