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In Japan, marriages are conducted by the Japanese local government or mayor offices. Experience has shown that they require a valid passport and a certificate of marital status from their home country from German fiancés.
Please inquire about additional requirements for marriage with the relevant Japanese authorities. In most cases, it is required that two German fiancés each have their own certificate of marital eligibility, although in principle these have the same content.
Certificate of marital status
A marriage certificate is a certificate from the German registry office for marriage abroad. It certifies the fact that the intended marriage of the two fiancées listed in the certificate does not conflict with any known impediments to marriage under German law. It is not transferable and only applies to the intended marriage. The marriage certificate is issued by the registry office of your current or last registered place of residence in Germany. For Germans who have never lived in Germany, this is Registry office I in Berlin responsible.
To apply for a marriage certificate, please proceed as follows:
1) Contact the responsible registry office in Germany
Since your certificate of marital status is issued by the responsible German registry office, please ask there which documents have to be submitted in which form in your individual case in order to apply for a certificate of marital status. Each case is different, e.g. In relation to the fiancée's priorities or nationalities, and may require different types of evidence to be presented.
2) Collect documents in the prescribed form
If you were born in Germany and need a birth certificate / a certified excerpt from the birth register but do not have such evidence available, please contact the registry office in your place of birth directly.
If you are a German citizen, but were not born in Germany and your birth was re-certified in Germany, please contact the Registry office I in Berlin. Until 2017, births of German citizens abroad were recorded there.
If you are a German citizen but were not born in Germany and your birth has not been authenticated in a German civil status register, you cannot receive a German birth certificate / a certified extract from your German birth register. In this case, please contact the foreign authority that issues birth certificates or certificates for your place of birth.
Please note that for a marriage in Japan you usually need an apostille and then a translation for your German certificate of marriage eligibility. The "Hague apostille“Is a note based on a specific model, laid down in the Hague Convention for the Exemption of Foreign Public Documents from Legalization of October 5, 1961, to which Japan and Germany have acceded. The apostille on your marriage certificate confirms the authenticity of the signature to the Japanese registry office and the authorization to issue a public document, the original of which must be presented.
As a rule, you can apply for the apostille at the same time as applying for the certificate of marital eligibility, please contact your responsible registry office in Germany. The German diplomatic missions in Japan do not issue apostilles.
In most cases, the Japanese registry office will also need one translation Of your marriage certificate into Japanese.
3) Application and form
If you have received a form from the responsible registry office in Germany for the application for a certificate of marital status, please use this form. If you have not been provided with a form, you can this form use.
In many cases, the competent German registry office requires services from the embassy when applying for the certificate of marital status from abroad, such as the authentication of copies of the passports of both fiancés and the authentication of the signatures of at least the applicant on the application form, but often also of both fiancés.
- Copy certifications
A copy certification is an official confirmation that it is an unchanged copy of the original submitted. In order to apply for a copy certification, you need an appointment to which you bring the original and a copy of the original. A fee of EUR 10 per certified copy is charged for certification, payable in Japanese yen at the current exchange rate.
- Authentication of signatures
In the case of a signature authentication, the consular officer confirms that the signature of a person on a certain document was carried out in the presence of the official and that the identity of the person carrying out the signature matches the information on the proof of identity presented. For this reason, the signature can only be authenticated if this person is present with a valid identification document and signs the signature in the presence of the consular officer. You need an appointment for a signature authentication. A fee of EUR 20 will be charged, payable in Japanese yen at the current exchange rate.
If you need both signature certification (s) and certified passport copies, you can use our Online appointment systeman appointment for an application for marital status in the category Civil status and citizenship matters book.
They should only Copy authentication (s) need to book in our Online appointment system under Legal and consular matters please make an appointment in the category Certificates / authentications.
If you are asked by your responsible German registry office to submit an affidavit, please inquire at the registry office whether this must be submitted in the form of a notarization or whether a signature is to be provided at this sample form of an affidavit is sufficient. If the certification of your signature on this form is sufficient, please book in our Online appointment system under Legal and consular matters an appointment in the category Authentication of signatures and bring the completed form to the appointment. There is a fee of EUR 20 for the authentication of the signature.
If the submission of an affidavit in the form of a certification is required, this must be prepared individually. To do this, please contact us by providing the following information contact form in contact with us:
- Your complete name
- Your place and date of birth
- Your current address and your fiancé
- Scans of both fiancés' passports
- Your current marital status (e.g. single, divorced, widowed)
There is a fee of EUR 65 for certification in German.
4) Send the application and documents by post to the responsible registry office in Germany
Once you have collected all the documents in the required form, send them to the responsible German registry office. As a rule, the German registry office will send you the certificate of marital status by post after the processing fee has been paid.
Advance of the fiancé
If one or both of the fiancés were already married, the dissolution of the marriage must be proven. For marriages divorced in Germany, the marriage certificate as well as the German divorce decree must be submitted with a final note.
Outside of Germany, divorced marriages must usually first be checked by the competent authority State administration of justice in Germany before the marriage certificate can be applied for, unless the two foreign spouses were of the same nationality and also divorced in that country (e.g. two exclusively Japanese nationals who divorced in Japan). You can find out how to get the recognition in the chapter Foreign divorce.
There is a fee of EUR 20 for the German diplomatic mission to certify the signatures on the application. Additional fees apply for any required copy certification (at least 10 euros), depending on the individual case. The fees are to be paid in cash in Japanese yen at the current exchange rate of the foreign mission or by credit card (Master / Visa) in euros with direct debit in Germany.
The German registry office also charges a fee for processing. The fees vary depending on the federal state and the individual case and must be paid to the registry office. For more information, please contact the registry office responsible for you.
A marriage certificate is valid for six months after it has been issued. The processing time for the issuance of the certificate of non-marriage depends on the respective registry office. In individual cases, obtaining the required documents and issuing a certificate of marital status can take a long time. You should therefore inquire with the relevant offices in good time before the planned marriage and apply for the necessary documents immediately.
The German diplomatic missions in Japan do not provide any Certificates of unmarried status out. This is also not required for German citizens in Japan if you present a certificate of marital status.
Registrars can make the recognition of foreign documents dependent on a formal confirmation of authenticity (e.g. legalization or apostille). Binding information on this can only be given by the German registry office responsible for issuing the certificate of non-marriage.
If necessary, authorized relatives or friends can apply for a certificate of marital status in your name directly at the German registry office. Please inform yourself about this at the registry office responsible for you. The diplomatic mission abroad can certify the signature for the power of attorney.
Registration of the closed marriage at the registry office in Germany
After getting married abroad, you can have your marriage certified by the German registry office. You can find more information about this here.
Information to prove the recognition of a marriage contracted in Japan
In order to apply for a “Spouse Visa” (Zairyu-kado), the Japanese authorities may require proof of the recognition of a marriage in Japan in the home country of the foreign spouse.
Information to prove the recognition of a marriage in Japan in Germany
Information to prove the change of the family name in the German passport
Spouses and registered partners can determine a common surname during or after the marriage. You can find information on how the name is displayed in the German passport here.
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