Application For The Certificate Of Eligibility In Japan

The first thing to do to marry a Japanese national is to get hold of the Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage or LCCM. While to enter Japan as a resident, you need to apply for the Certificate of Eligibility in Japan. You’re on the right track if you’re here to know the application for the Certificate of Eligibility in Japan.

What is a COE?

Application for the COE in Japan for Status of Residence is a certificate when inviting someone from overseas and wanting them to stay for a long period. As far as I know, the Certificate of Eligibility is the most important and challenging document that a Filipino spouse must acquire to be a resident in Japan because there are many things to consider before the Bureau of Immigration in Japan grants you one.

Who’s the applicant?

All foreign nationals wishing to enter Japan (except for visiting Japan as a Temporary Visitor) are required to apply for a COE. This includes:

  1. an overseas worker you wish to employ in Japan
  2. a child or children from overseas you wanna invite to live together
  3. a non-Japanese spouse to live together (I belong in this category).

Necessary Requirements for getting the Certificate of Eligibility in Japan

My husband has been living in Cebu, Philippines, for over four years now. During this time, he hasn’t paid taxes in Japan. As taxes play a significant role in obtaining this certificate, we sought assistance from an attorney or a scrivener.

We were asked to submit the following:

  1. original Marriage Certificate
  2. one 2×2 picture
  3. my husband’s Koseki Touhon
  4. five photos of us together to prove the relationship
  5. photocopy of my passport
  6. bank statement screenshot of my husband to prove his financial capacity
  7. my bank certificate
  8. COE Application form
  9. Shitsumonsyo that can be downloaded from the Embassy of Japan website
  10. My husband doesn’t have a Juminhyou because he’s been living in the Philippines for over four years so the lawyer advised us to give three photos and a contract of our apartment.
  11. History of our relationship. To prove that our marriage isn’t fake, we submitted a report that includes everything from the time we first met until recently. Additional proofs such as my husband’s English online data screenshot because that’s how we first met, photos of our travels, and photos with our families.
  12. my husband’s written plan to work in Japan

The requirements might differ a bit from yours, so please refer to this Bureau of Immigration site for the standard requirements.

Where to submit?

You should submit it to the regional immigration office in charge of the applicant’s intended address. My husband is from Nagasaki, hence, our lawyer applied to the Fukuoka Regional Immigration Bureau Nagasaki Branch.

When should you submit the application for the Certificate of Eligibility in Japan?

Applicants should submit the necessary documents in advance to ensure they receive the certificate before moving to Japan. Let’s use our case as an example. We submitted our documents during the first week of December 2018 because we planned to go to Japan in the middle of the year 2019.

How long does it take?

The standard processing time for the COE in Japan is typically one to three months, although it can vary. In our case, we received our COE in just three weeks.

This is how my Certificate of Eligibility looks like.
This is my COE.

We were thrilled to learn that our application was successful, but there’s more to come as we navigate the procedures in the Philippines. Stay tuned for our next posts, and if you have any questions, feel free to send me a message. Best of luck with your application!

Here’s a quote on faith that can serve as a source of strength while you await your documents.

“Faith is not the belief that God will do what you want. It is the belief that God will do what is right.” ― Max Lucado

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  1. Bethy says:

    Hi, Eliana! To be honest, I can only answer you the things that I’m sure about. And this is based on experience. My answer is Yes and No. Yes, for the supporting documents such as the COE Application Form and pictures. No for the main or major documents such as certificates and other documents you received or got from the government. I know it’s expensive when it comes to shipping but that’s the best way. I have one advice though, why not ask your dad to inquire about these things from a lawyer in Japan. It would be better if the answer comes from someone who works in that field. I’m sorry but I just hope and pray that everything will turn out well. Have a great day!:)

  2. Eliana says:

    Hello! Thank you so much for making this post, it’s really helpful 🙂 I live in Argentina and my father has been living in Japan for more than 5 years now, I’m trying to get a long term resident visa (since my grandparents were Japanese I am able to apply for this) and therefore my father will be my guarantor and will take all the documents needed to issue my CoE. Now I’m sure you know how expensive shipping is, specially when we are so far apart, so I was wondering if you knew if there’s any chance I could scan every single document needed so that he can print them in Japan and take them to the offices, or do I have no other choice than to send him the original documents by mail? I have already applied for CoE 4 months ago and it got rejected, so we’re trying again but it’s such a bummer when it comes to shipping prices and also this would be the most practical option. I really don’t know if you know the real answer to this but thought I’d ask anyway 🙂 Thanks in advance! Have a lovely day <3

  3. Anonymous says:

    Would we be able to obtain the contact details of your attorney? Is your attorney Philippine based. My wife and I reside in Manila.

    My wife is Japanese and currently does not work as we are trying to conceive.

    I am financially capable to provide for the needs of my family.

    Hoping you could refer me to your attorney.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Please do send me an email. Thank you! God bless!

    2. Normie says:

      Thanks a lot for your previous response.
      Just few additional questions:
      1 Which marriage certificate did you submit? The original (Pink and white) one? Or the PSA authenticated copy?
      2 Is the bank certificate really needed?

      Thanks a lot!

      1. Bethy says:

        Hi, my pleasure! We submitted the Marriage Certificate from the PSA. For the bank certificate, it’s only a secondary document so it’s not necessary.:)

  4. Bethy says:

    Hello! As far as I know, you can work if you have a Japanese Spouse visa or COE.

  5. Serj says:

    My wife is japanes, i’m moldovian. We now wait answer from immigration office about COE. My question is, if I have COE spouse tipe, I can work in Japan officially? Or need make COE for job?
    Thank you!

  6. Chriszle says:

    Thank you for your response maam Bethy 🙂 Yes! We are planning to stay there after the wedding and live together. He actually we will ask help from agency in Japan to process my Sponsor visa. Is it better to process visa in Japan or Philippines?

    Is there no problem if I will tell honestly to Phil. immigration the real purpose of my visit in Japan which is to get married in Japan? Knowing that many fake married happened. I am afraid if they won’t believe me. But I have photos and chats that can prove that our relationship is real.

    1. Bethy says:

      If you come sa Japan or other countries, the visa should always be processed in the Philippines because that’s our country. It’s better to consult the agency about that situation because I’m not sure what kind of visa you should get or if you should get a COE first. There are accredited agencies that can help you with that. I recommend Friendship Tours. Tell your boyfriend to email them about your plans.:)

  7. Chriszle says:

    I found your blog really helpful.
    BTW, I am a filipino. My boyfriend is a Japanese and we are planning to get married in Japan first before getting married here in Philippines due to his tight schedule. Thus, should I get COE for this? For me to enter Japan? I am really confuse of what should I do. Do you have advices for me what steps to take?

    1. Bethy says:

      Hi, I’m glad you found it helpful.
      Your Question: should I get COE for this?
      Answer: COE is only for staying in Japan for a long period of time like one year or if your goal is to be a permanent resident. To enter Japan just to get married, you don’t need it. Except if you plan of staying there for a long period of time before and after your wedding.

      To get married in Japan, you need red ribboned documents from the Philippines.:)

  8. Normie says:

    Hello! Would like to ask if you how much did you pay for the attorney fee? Thank you in advance! Will be applying for COE soon too.

    1. Bethy says:

      Around 50-100,000 yen.:)

  9. jen says:

    good morning ma`m. im jen filipino spouse of.a jap.national. im having trouble how to apply coe in japan. weve been married for two years and i cant come to japan. i cant much speak jap. and my husband cant speak english.

    my husband is from tokorozawa tokyo, all the doc. from phil should be in red ribbon?
    it is okay that im the one who write the story how we met or he?

    COE form.
    he is the one who will fillup the form?
    or there is an english form foreigners?

    thank you mam

    1. Bethy says:

      Hi, Jen! You having little knowledge of the Japanese language isn’t a big problem as you can learn it when you’re already in Japan. As for the documents, I think there’s no need to have it red ribboned. We didn’t do that in our case. Regarding the application form namn, there’s an English version but your husband can do it all by himself using the Japanese version. Take note, as per my husband’s advice, the most important is the explanation or your story. Attach photos and jot down small details like the dates or important dates of your love story. Mas better talaga na yung husband mo ang sumulat lahat kasi the Japanese government is the one who will evaluate it.:)

  10. Rose says:

    Hello! I truly appreciate your post about the application for the certificate of eligibility. It helped me in a way since I’ll soon be applying for it. I have a concernthough and I hope you can shed some light. Since my husband is back in Japan now, can I send my COE application form to him and he will take care of the rest?
    I’m looking forward to hearing from you.. Thank you.

    1. Bethy says:

      Hi, Rose! I’m glad you appreciate my work. Thank you. About your concern, first and foremost, the COE is to be filed in Japan so it means your husband can do everything without you sending the application form. Sending the application form will only cost you money and time. My advice is this, give him the information about you and your family like the address, age and contact numbers through email or any form of messaging application. Hope I answered your question.:)

      1. Rose says:

        Thanks Beth for that piece of advice! Will surely do it sooner.. ^^ God bless always!

      2. Chan says:

        Hi maam may I ask if there is a possibility that it will take longer than 3 wait for coe?we are applying as a return trainee.we already waited for 3 mos but the agency just told us to wai.we are a little bit worried if we are waiting for something or none?thank you

        1. Bethy says:

          Hi! As far as I know, the maximum waiting time is six months. There’s nothing to worry about because if there’s a problem, they’ll inform you about that.

          1. Chan says:

            ay ok thank you maam God bless

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