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Japan currently bans the entry of essentially all foreign nationals; however, one of the permitted "special exceptional circumstances" is being the legal spouse of a Japanese citizen.

What documents do I need to enter Japan as a spouse? More specifically, do I need to hold a Spouse Visa or other resident status in Japan to make use of this exception?

3

I am currently going through this process myself, and I would like to add more information to the other answer.

As a spouse, you need to apply for a normal tourist visa (up to 90 days of stay), regardless of whether your country is normally part of the visa waiver program or not.

As for the exact document requirements, this depends on the embassy or the consulate where you are applying and the requirements can even be different between a consulate and an embassy within the same country. Thus, please make sure to contact the exact place where you will apply for the visa beforehand. Some documents that you might need are:

  1. Koseki touhon (no more than three months old) - this is the most difficult to acquire as you will need an original copy sent from your spouse's hometown in Japan. They cannot be issued abroad.
  2. Visa application form: https://www.mofa.go.jp/files/000124525.pdf
  3. Passport photo (45 mm x 35 mm / taken in the last six months)
  4. Marriage certificate from your home country
  5. Pay slips or bank statements covering the last three months
  6. Copy of your visa in your country of residence if it is not the same as your country of citizenship
  7. Activity plan where you need to state what you will do for every day during your stay https://www.mofa.go.jp/files/000262548.pdf
  8. Invitation letter from your spouse https://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/files/000472928.pdf
  9. Your spouse's jyuminhyou - residence registration in Japan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C5%ABminhy%C5%8D )
  10. Copy of your spouse's passport or Japanese residence permit
  11. Letter stating why you need to travel to Japan under these circumstances
  12. Letter stating where you will quarantine and how you will get from the port of entry to the place of quarantine
  13. Flight schedule
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  • Interesting, thanks for the detail! My spouse does not live in Japan, which makes 8 & 9 challenging, but I presume her mother (who would host us) can substitute. In any case we've put off the trip until Japan loosens its quarantine requirements. yesterday
  • 1
    I would also presume that her mother could substitute if necessary, but given how differently the rules are applied it is best not to presume and contact the embassy or consulate where you will apply well in advance. As an examle, the embassy in Bern requires 8 and 9 if your spouse is living in Japan, but if you go together neither is required. The consulate in Geneva requires 8 regardless of whether or not your spouse is living in Japan.
    – a20
    22 hours ago
6

Per this link, it looks like you need a koseki touhon (family register extract) showing that you're currently married to a Japanese citizen, which you can then use to apply for a visa:

Currently, all foreign nationals who wish to newly enter Japan need to apply for a visa except for those with re-entry permit [...]

(2) Spouse or child of a Japanese national/permanent resident:

Please obtain a Certificate of Eligibility or full copy of the family register/certificate of residence/residence card and contact Japan’s overseas establishments.

As far as I can tell a Certificate of Eligibility, spouse visa or any form of proof of residence in Japan is not necessary.

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