Change of Status of Residence: from Work Visa to Spouse Visa

My husband and I saved a lot of money by not asking the help of a gyouseisyoshi (行政書士) to process my VISA. We just read lots of articles online, prepared the necessary documents and submitted them by ourselves at the immigration office in our prefecture.

Based on our research, here is the list of documents that you need. You can get all of these from your city or town hall:

  1. Residence Certificate: Juminhyo (住民票). This is a proof that you live together.
  2. Marriage Certificate: Koninjiko Kisai Syoumeisyo (婚姻事項記載証明書)
  3. Family registry of your spouse: Kosekitouhon (戸籍謄本)
  4. Taxable income of your spouse: Juminzei Syotokukazei Syoumeisyo (住民税所得課税証明書) *current year
  5. Residence Tax of your spouse: Juminzei Nouzei Syoumeisyo (住民税納税証明書) *previous year

Other documents that you have to turn in:

  1. Copy of your Marriage certificate from the consulate/embassy
  2. Copy of your residence card and passport
  3. Copy of your spouse’s passport
  4. One Application form (PDF, Excel) with a clear photo taken within three months. It should be 4cm×3cm with a plain background and no shadows. Also, in this picture, the applicant should be alone facing to the front without any head covering.
  5. One Guarantee Form (English, Japanese)
  6. One Interview Form
  7. Three pictures or more. Don’t forget to include your wedding photos; they are extremely important to show the immigration officers that it is not a marriage of convenience! At least one group shot and 2 couple shots are required.

Supporting documents that are not required, but would definitely help your VISA approval:

  1. Bank statement of your guarantor/spouse: Ginkō torihiki meisai-sho (銀行取引明細書). You definitely need to prove that your guarantor/spouse can support you.
  2. Copy of your certificate of employment from your previous employer
  3. Copy of your JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) Results

Remember, everything that you submit won’t be returned even the photos, so I, myself, printed a new set of pictures solely for this.

After 5 business days, I was asked to return to the immigration to pay the fees. It only cost us 4,000 JPY. Then, they released my new residence card right away! It was really quick; we only spent twenty to thirty minutes at the office.

Here is the thing, they gave me a 3-year work VISA for JET, but only 1 year for spouse VISA. Of course, we asked them why, and they said that it is pretty standard.

For newlyweds, they only issue 1-year VISA, then another 1 year for the second time. After that, they can give me 3 years. Then, permanent residency. So in other words, they are strict, and they want to make sure that my husband and I stay married for at least two years before they issue anything longer than a year. Well, I get it.

The good thing is now that I have SPOUSE VISA, there is no limit to the kind of work that I can engage in unlike my INSTRUCTOR WORK VISA before. I think, that is something to celebrate! Cheers to more freedom!

Report of Marriage (ROM) by Mail

The process is a piece of cake, but the information posted online is not that sufficient. I even had to call the Philippine Consulate in Osaka several times to make sure that we were doing things right. Mind you, it takes forever for them to answer a phone call, and I wish to help you guys save time and of course, MONEY!

Anyway, based on the website of the Philippine Consulate in Osaka, these are the requirements:

  1. Four (4) Report of Marriage (ROM) forms, filled out legibly in block letters or typed out and signed individually. Please make sure that your signature matches the one on your passport data page. Being in Japan for two years, where we stamp our hanko (personal stamp that acts as signature) instead of affixing our signatures, it felt a little weird. I actually thought I already forgot how my signature looked like. Good thing my hand remembers. And as for my husband, like most Japanese people, his signature is his way of writing his name in kanji, so it was rather easy for him.
  2. This is tricky. The website says that
    • if submitted by mail, ROM forms must be notarized by a Japanese notary public (Koshonin Yakuba)
    • BUT it did not mention that you do not need the forms to be notarized if you already personally appeared at the consulate to get your Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage (LCCM) Certificate. Note that it costs about 11,000¥ to have one document notarized. Hence, four documents would cost about 44,000¥ . So I am glad that I called the consulate to clarify this.
    • Honestly, I see no reason to say that the ROM forms need to be notarized because
      • FIRST, LCCM is required to get married here in Japan and
      • SECOND, LCCM is only granted to couples who personally appear at the consulate.
    • In other words, people are bound to secure an LCCM certificate and go to the consulate anyway. Hence, skip the DATE, SEAL and NOTARIAL AUTHORITY part if you have been there for your LCCM.
  3. Four (4) photocopies of valid passport (data page), that goes for you and your spouse
  4. One (1) original and three (3) photocopies of the Kon-in Todoke Kisai Jiko Shomeisho, marriage certificate from your town or city hall. Just make three copies of the certificate itself. No need to photocopy the attached files.
  5. If your spouse is Japanese, one (1) original and three (3) photocopies of his Kosekitohon, family register with details of the marriage.
  6. If your spouse is a foreigner but not Japanese, one (1) original and three (3) photocopies of Kon-in Todoke Juri Shomeisho.
  7. Self-addressed return envelope : A4-size envelope with 930¥ worth of postage stamps or Letterpack 510, which you can buy at the post office. The consulate will use this to send you your marriage certificate.
  8. If you are reporting your marriage beyond one (1) year, you need to submit an Affidavit of Delayed Registration of Marriage.
  9. How much do you need to pay?
    • Report of Marriage – 6,500¥ (including the 3,250¥ fee for the translation of the Kon-in Todoke Kisai Jiko Shomeisho)
    • Affidavit: 3,250¥ per document
  10. Since we reported our marriage just two months after we filed the documents at our city hall and our wedding ceremony, there was no need for an Affidavit of Delayed Registration of Marriage, and we only paid a total of 9,750¥ . We put the money inside a (A) genkin kakitome envelope and sent it to the consulate via JP post, while the rest of the documents, including the self-addressed return envelope: A4-size envelope with 930 yen worth of postage stamps or Letterpack 510 , was put inside an (B) A4 envelope (the stamp cost depends on its weight).
    • Address:
    • Philippine Consulate General in Osaka
    • Attn: Marriage Section
    • 〒540-6124 Osaka, Chuo Ward, Shiromi, 2 Chome−1−61 ツイン21MIDタワー
    • Phone: 06-6910-7891
  • There are additional requirements necessary like your NSO birth certificate etc. But then again, if you have been to the consulate for your LCCM, you don’t have to submit them anymore.
  • How long did it take for them to process the documents? We received our marriage certificate from the consulate by mail in just 10 business days.

Good luck! 🙂