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 Answers 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

UPDATE As of December first, 2021, for at least one month, short term visas are no longer issued or valid unless there are humanitarian grounds for exceptions. Long term visas, as in, you want to move to Japan with your spouse/to your spouse's residence in Japan, are still issued/valid: https://www.ch.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_de/coronavirus_de.html

  • 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. Commented Nov 26, 2021 at 4:05
  • 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
    Commented Nov 26, 2021 at 13:47

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.

August 2022 update: Finally went through the process and got my visa. The koseki touhon was still required, and by far the most annoying part of the process. Aside from a copy of my spouse's passport, I did not need to provide any of the other documents listed in points 4-13 of @a20's answer: no invitations, bank statements, etc.

Note, though, that there are two separate application forms for Short-term Stay Visa for Spouse of Japanese National for Visa Exemption Nationality (mm, visa for visa exemption!) and Short-term Stay Visa for Spouse of Japanese National for all Other Nationalities. I'm lucky enough to fall into the first group, but if you don't, you do need to provide bank statements etc.


With new restrictions introduced recently, things have become more confusing. Our Japanese embassy was in contact with us saying we cannot travel to Japan on my visa anymore (same as you would get as described above). But when asking specific details they say they can't make statements and refer to the websites of the ministry of immigration. Which seems to say it's still possible to travel. Wth!

  • no, it just means they've not yet gotten an official position but think that no, you're not going to be allowed to travel without getting a new visa (which may or may not be possible). Given how new the new policies and how suddenly they were implemented are it's likely going to take a day or two for everyone to be on the same page.
    – jwenting
    Commented Dec 1, 2021 at 21:39
  • This does not provide an answer to the question. Once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post; instead, provide answers that don't require clarification from the asker. - From Review
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 1:36

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