As globalization progresses, more and more people are saying that they will marry someone who is not Japanese. When you marry a foreigner, you will need various documents to file a marriage registration. My husband is Belgian, so when we got married we had a lot of paperwork. Here I would like to talk about the procedure.
What to do before getting documents
Which country you turn in the documents first
If a person with Japanese nationality and a person with non-Japanese nationality get married, the documents must be submitted to both countries. In that case, do not submit the documents to both countries at the same time, but after submitting the documents to one country, submit the documents that can prove that the notification has been accepted to the other country. In other words, in our case, we had the option of submitting to Japan or Belgium first. If you are going to have an international marriage, no matter what country you are in, I recommend that you submit it to Japan first. Because the Japanese administration is quick to work.
As I will explain from now on, for international marriage, you must submit the necessary documents to the municipal office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, Japanese municipal offices and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs make it clear that it will take days to process the documents. Overseas, this area may be sloppy, and it seems that it may take two weeks or several months. As far as I can tell, I had the impression that many people had the experience of not being able to predict how long it would take to submit the documents to the partner country first, and not being able to make plans after that. .. Therefore, it seems that many people prefer the method of sending it to Japan first.
Find out which documents you need to get ready
If you are going to marry internationally, you need to call the municipal office where you want to submit the documents and ask in advance which documents you need. This is because it varies depending on the municipality, so listening to the stories of other municipal offices is not helpful. Furthermore, the documents to be submitted vary depending on the nationality of the other party.
According to the person in charge who took care of me, there are so many patterns of marrying people from the United States, China, and South Korea, so in other cases, the municipal office must also investigate carefully. was. Apparently Belgium seems to be a minor, and when asked about the nationality of the spouse, when I answered “Belgium”, there was silence for about 3 seconds, and then I said “Oh, it’s a country of chocolate and beer!” I remember being broken.
What to do before turning in marriage documents
Getting ready for documents
If you decide to submit the documents first in Japan, you must collect the necessary documents next. The documents that Japanese people must prepare are a marriage registration form and a copy of the family register. The documents that her husband had to prepare on the Belgian side were her birth certificate, proof of marriage requirements, and a copy of her passport. Marriage registration in Japan can be used as a substitute for birth registration, but since there is no family registration overseas, there is a birth registration.
And this certificate of fulfillment of marriage requirements was very troublesome. In countries where bigamy is prohibited, you must prove that you are single before you enroll. When Japanese people get married, they can prove that they are single by submitting a copy of their family register to each other. However, when foreign nationals get married, they must prove that they are single, as each country recognizes. This certificate of singleness is a certificate of fulfillment of marriage requirements.
How to get a certificate of fulfillment of marriage requirements
To obtain a certificate of fulfillment of marriage requirements, apply to the embassy. We had decided to submit the documents to the Japanese municipal office, so we had them issued by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium in Japan.
However, since my husband lived in the United States when he was single and had a so-called resident registration in the United States, he proved from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium in the United States that “there is no evidence of marriage when he lived in the United States.” After receiving the interview, I had an interview at the Belgian Embassy in Japan (my husband was in Belgium at that time, and I was in Japan, so I had an interview with Skype), and I was asked to issue a certificate of fulfillment of marriage requirements. I think it took about three months from the time I started to find out how to obtain a certificate of fulfillment of marriage requirements until I actually obtained it.
Turing in documents at municipality
Once you have all the documents, it is recommended that you complete the marriage registration and bring the documents to the municipal office first to confirm that they are complete. On the day you file your marriage registration, you may be particular about it, and you can rest assured that you will see it in advance so that you can submit it smoothly. The problem we faced when submitting was that my husband was not in Japan at the time of submission. For international marriage, non-Japanese nationals must bring their passport as proof of nationality.
In our case, we didn’t have a passport because our husband wasn’t in Japan. When I consulted with the municipal office, he said that it was okay because my husband’s birth certificate was the original. I was able to bring both my husband’s and my documents and submit the marriage registration and other documents. Also, if the other party is not in Japan, you must mail the marriage registration by international mail (the most reliable EMS is recommended) and have the other party sign it. Also, it takes time to send it back, so be careful there as well.
What to do after turning in the marriage certificate
Obtain a certificate of marriage registration
Submitting a marriage registration does not mean that you have completed all the procedures. This time, I brought / mailed this document to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, got proof that “this document is certainly approved by Japan”, and made it the official language of Belgium (Dutch in our case). Translate it and submit it to the Belgian government. Therefore, when the marriage registration is accepted (when the acceptance certificate can be obtained), this time, we will obtain what is called the marriage registration entry certificate. This is a copy of all the submitted documents, such as the marriage registration, stamped with the municipal seal. This cannot be obtained by marriage between Japanese people. You will be asked the reason for the acquisition, so it is okay if you answer “to submit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs”.
When my parents got married, the marriage registration was accepted overnight, and the next day it was possible to obtain a certificate of acceptance and a new copy of the family register. However, at my time, it took me a week for my marriage registration to be accepted and for me to be able to obtain these documents and the certificate of marriage registration. You can tell in advance how many days it will take at the municipal office.
Bring / mail the certificate of marriage registration to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Once you have obtained the marriage registration certificate, bring it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since Belgium and Japan are members of the Hague Convention, which states that “what this nation recognizes, our country also recognizes”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has “certainly approved this marriage document by Japan.” By proving that it is a thing, the Belgian government will recognize this.
This proof of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is called “Apostille”. We received an apostille at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (you can bring it with you the next day), mail a copy to her husband, have it translated by a court translator, submit it to the Belgian government, and our marriage is complete. .. By the way, Apostille is free.
For nations that are not members of the Hague Convention
It didn’t matter in our marriage. If the partner country is not a member of the Hague Convention, the procedure at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will change. For example, when submitting documents to a country that is not a member of the Hague Convention, such as China, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs receives proof in the form of a public seal instead of apostille, and this time brings it to the embassy in Japan for certification. Get proof to say. Only after being certified by the embassy can you submit the documents to the partner country.
Countries that are members of the Hague Convention do not require the certification of their embassy. In this way, depending on whether you are a member of the Hague Convention or not, whether the proof you receive at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is an apostille or a public seal, and whether you need embassy certification or not will change. is. Official seals are often charged.
Each country has different rules! Get information first!
It took us less than four months from the time we started preparing to get married to the time we filed the marriage registration. The above case is for Belgium, and the documents to be submitted vary depending on the nationality of the other party, and there are also differences depending on the municipal office. For example, I’ve heard that American bachelor’s certificate is not a certificate of fulfillment of marriage requirements, but that you put your hand on the Bible in court and swear that you are single and get a certificate issued.
In this way, the system differs depending on the country, and the law etc. may change gradually, so those who are thinking of international marriage should consult with the municipal office as soon as possible without swallowing blogs etc. You need to start preparing. In particular, depending on the country of the other party, it may take some time to obtain the documents, so it is important to move early.