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08. Family Relation

The details of this section depend somewhat on the details of the applicant's situation and current citizenship.  Basically you need to supply the official documentation that supports the information you provided in the "Family Outline" and "Personal History" forms.  

This documentation should cover any births, marriages, adoptions, divorces, deaths, etc., of any family members listed in the above-mentioned forms - including yourself.  There are certain exceptions, for example, you are not required to prove the birth of your parents.  Birth records for the children of your siblings are also typically not required.

The exact documentation required depends on what your country of citizenship provides.
Most countries fall into one of two camps:
  • Asian Countries: Most governments in Asia will produce some type of family record comparable to the Japanese Jūmin-hyō(住民票) or Koseki (戸籍) with most or all of the required family information.
  • Western Countries: Most western governments (Including Canada, Unites States, etc.) have multiple separate documents for each event for each family member.  If the documents are maintained by the localities rather than the central government it can be quite difficult to request and obtain them all.
Some of these documents may be impossible to obtain by mail, so you might have to go in person or ask friends or relatives to get them for you.  In extreme cases you might need to use the services of an lawyer or grant someone power of attorney.

In case there is information that is difficult to track down (for deceased family members, for example), you might ask relatives, run background searches online, or even hire a private detective.

In the case that you need numerous documents from overseas, it may be very expensive to send them one by one.  In that case, it would be advisable to send them all to a friend or relative who can collect them and then send them all to you at once.  

If there are multiple versions of the documents you are ordering, make sure you get the most complete document (with the most detailed information), and the most official version you can.  

You only need to order one official copy of each document, as you can use a photo copy for the second copy when submitting your documents with your application.

While Asian governments with family register documents usually offer same-day service, Western governments tend to be less organized and may take weeks to send the documents you request.  You should be prepared for the reality that ordering and receiving all of the documents and certificates required may take months.

Keep a record (and evidence) of which documents you have applied for, and when, so that will have the required information to follow up when something doesn't arrive on time.

If there are documents that you are required by the Japanese government, but you are not entitled to receive (due to privacy laws, etc.), you will have to write an explanation of the reason.  We suggest you apply for the document anyway (even knowing your request will be rejected), so that you can use your rejection letter as evidence.

As you have receive each document, verify that it is the correct document, make an extra copy.  Scanning it isn't a bad idea either in case you need to refer to it when you're not at home.  Verify that the information matches the forms you have filled in, and perform any corrections as needed as any dependencies will only slow down the application process.

Once you are satisfied that the information is correct, each document must be translated into Japanese.  It is more cost effective to do this yourself, however you can hire a professional translator or enlist your friends if needed.  Make sure you use Japanese style dates and take care to use the same katakana for non-Japanese names that you have used on the other forms.