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Some common questions about Dual Citizenship in Japan

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Visa Application Services >  Visa application Q&A > Some common questions about Dual Citizenship in Japan
Some common questions about Dual Citizenship in Japan
1.I have dual citizenship with Japan and the USA. I had a Japanese passport but it expired over 10 years ago. Did I lose my Japanese citizenship?

Under the Japanese Nationality law once you turn 22 you are required to choose your nationality. For example choose your US nationality and renounce Japanese citizenship. If you haven’t done this then your Japanese nationality should still be on record. As long as you can get proof that you are a Japanese national (this is usually a copy of your Koseki issued within 3 months) you should be able to get your passport renewed.

2.I renounced my Japanese nationality a while back but the Japanese embassy still say I am Japanese?

When you choose another nationality as an adult this automatically revokes your Japanese citizenship. However, this isn’t automatically communicated to the Ministry of Justice. This means that you can technically have lost your Japanese citizenship and, in some cases, are still able to have a passport issued.

In order to apply for and get a visa to come to Japan you must report your loss of nationality to the Ministry of Justice. If you don’t do this you will neither be able to come to Japan as a Japanese national nor as a foreigner.

3.My wife is Japanese and my child has dual nationality with China. We accidentally used his Chinese passport when entering Japan. When we went to renew my visa the immigration bureau said we have to get him a visa or he will be counted as overstaying. What do I have to do?

The short answer is nothing.

As your child is a Japanese national there is no need or even legal framework for him to get a visa to stay in Japan. Simply put, as your child entered Japan using a foreign passport he was counted as a foreigner and given a 90 short-stay visa.

If you do nothing the only thing that will happen is the number of overstaying foreigners will be counted as one higher. So you don’t have to do anything.

You should however, either leave the country and re-enter using his Japanese passport or if you ask at the Ministry of Foreign affairs, they may be able to cancel the visa. The reason for this is that if your child were to renounce his Japanese nationality in future it will prove a large hurdle for him to try and come back with a history of overstaying on record.

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