Visa and Consular Affairs
IMPORTANT – From October 11, 2022, visa exemption measures have been restored. Please be aware that the proof of vaccination or PCR test result (depending on your vaccination status) remain mandatory (details).
Dear travelers to Japan: It is recommended to take out an overseas travel insurance
- An overseas travel insurance makes you feel secure, even in emergencies, and you can enjoy your trip.
- Medical expenses can be very high in Japan. If the travel insurance you purchased offers sufficient coverage of treatment costs, you can receive treatment without concern.
- It is recommended to have an overseas travel insurance with travel support for hospital referrals, medical interpretation, and cashless medical service. (We recommend that you check your insurance details before travelling. For example, perinatal medical care is not covered by travel insurance and can be expensive.)
If you hold a valid Japanese driver's licence and reside in Canada, you may be eligible to obtain a provincial driver's licence without having to take any written or road tests. Please refer to our website's section on driver's licences for more details.
Certificates (including police certificates)
The Consulate-General of Japan can issue a number of certificates based on information contained in the Family Register (Koseki), including birth, marriage and certificates, as well as some other documents required in important business dealings in Japan--the Certificate of Residence (Zairyū Shōmeisho) and the Certificate of Signature (Shomei Shōmeisho). While Japanese nationals are the only ones who can apply for most of these certificates, there are occasions where non-Japanese may be asked for a specific document; please contact us for more details. Alternatively, you may refer to the Japanese-language version of the section on certificates on our website.
Please note that the Consulate-General of Japan cannot make certified copies of documents. Depending on the document to be certified, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs may be able to help you. Please refer to the relevant section of the Ministry's website for more information.
Police Certificate (by appointment ONLY)
The Canadian government or other organizations may require you to submit a Japanese police certificate for various reasons. For example, the Japanese police can produce a certificate for the application of your permanent residency in Canada. If it is for another reason, please contact our office, before applying, to see if you are eligible to obtain a Japanese police certificate.
In order to obtain this certificate, you could go to Japan to do the application at the police headquarters of the prefecture where you completed your last alien registration in Japan. If you live in the province of Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador and you would like to apply without going to Japan, you can also apply at our office in Montreal.
If you choose to apply through our office in Montreal, please expect to wait 2-3 months before we receive your certificate from Japan. It is much faster if you apply in Japan by yourself. In any case, there is no processing fee. The certificate, an A4 size paper, is written in 5 languages (Japanese, English, French, German and Spanish) and is delivered in a sealed envelope. You must keep this envelope sealed and submit it as it is, since the certificate is invalidated when opened.
Also please note that the certificate has its own period of validity. The validity requirements of the organization to which you will submit your certificate may vary and therefore it may be judged to be too old and inacceptable. Please check the validity requirements beforehand, in order to estimate the appropriate time to start your application process. If you have a certificate which was deemed too old and need to apply for a new one, please include the old certificate in your application. It will be returned to the Japanese police.
- Your valid passport
- Proof of your status of residence in Canada (PR, work permit, etc.) If you are Canadian, your passport will be sufficient.
- Proof that you are being asked for a police certificate (typically, that is the letter or email you received from the organization.)
We will ask you to take your fingerprints in our office, and to fill out 2 different forms. Then, we will send your file to the Japanese police.
Obtaining your police certificate
- Pick up in person
- Pick up by proxy
- Delivery by mail
Upon receiving your certificate from Japan, we will notify you. Please come to our office with your valid passport to pick-up your certificate.
It may be possible for you to designate someone as your proxy, with our permission. Please explain your situation when applying. In that case, this person should come to our office with his/her ID card and your proxy letter in order to receive your certificate. Please make your request at the moment of your application.
It may be possible for you to use a courier service, with our permission. Please explain your situation when applying. In that case, you should provide us with a self-addressed prepaid envelope (e.g., Canada Post's Xpresspost service) and a letter of consent in which you agree that the Consulate-General of Japan in Montreal cannot be held responsible for any delays, damages or loss during delivery. If you plan to use such courier service companies as Fedex or DHL, please create an account with them and make arrangements to the effect that the service fee be charged to your account, and then send us a prepaid, self-addressed envelope; we will use this envelope to send your certificate to you.
Registration of Foreigners Living in Japan
Registration as Japanese living abroad - Zairyū Todoke
Japanese nationals living outside Japan for more than 3 months have the legal obligation to register at the nearest Embassy or Consulate-General of Japan. For individuals living in Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador, this means the Consulate-General of Japan in Montreal.
The registration procedure involves submitting a document called Zairyū Todoke 在留届 (literally, "declaration of stay".) There are two ways to do so: online, or through submission of a Zairyū Todoke form; in both cases, the information must be entered in Japanese (using kanji, hiragana, and katakana.) In order to help you with this process, we have prepared a sample with comments in English.
※Please note that the Consulate-General staff cannot, as a rule, fill out the forms on your behalf; please ask a relative or acquaintance to help you if you cannot fill out the form yourself. Should you have no one to help you, please contact us.
For more information, please refer to this website's Japanese-language page on Zairyū Todoke.
Citizenship and Family Register Matters
The Choice of Nationality
For more information, please refer to the Ministry of Justice's website.
Family Register Matters
A person's birth, adoption, marriage, divorce, name change and death must be reported to the proper authorities in order to update the individual's Family Register (Koseki). All of the above (and some other, life-changing events as well) must be reported using specific forms (all of them in Japanese) to the embassy or consulate-general closest to your place of residence. You can request these forms in person at the Consular Affairs counter of the Consulate-General of Japan in Montreal, or request them by mail (send us a completed request form with a prepaid, self-adressed, letter-sized (9"x12") envelope.)
For more information, please refer to this website's Japanese-language page on Family Register matters, or contact us.