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American Citizen Services



If you are an American planning to marry in Japan, the process is straightforward. With some planning, most people can complete all the things needed to get married in less than one day.

(Servicemen and women have additional steps to take to marry in Japan; contact your unit personnel officer or chain of command. Your partner may also have additional steps to take depending on his/her nationality; contact the appropriate foreign embassy).

Note that if your new mate is not an American citizen or Green Card holder, s/he'll need a visa to enter the U.S. The most important advice we can offer is to begin early to prepare the things needed for the right visa for your fiancé/fiancée or new spouse to enter the United States. Depending on the circumstances, processing can take four to six months (more if your spouse is not Japanese but applying for a visa in Japan). This interactive guide will lead you through the decisions and supply you with the information you need to get your new life off to a great start.

What follows assumes you are marrying a Japanese, though much of this advice also applies to your marriage to anyone not already a U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident (LPR or "Green Card" holder). Throughout this guide when we say "You" or "Your," we are referring to the American citizen partner.

Please make a choice to begin: