Visa and Consular Affairs
Dear travelers to Japan: It is recommended to take out an overseas travel insurance
Depending on your personal circumstances (nationality, purpose and duration of stay, etc.), you may need a visa in order to enter and remain in Japan. Here is a simple chart to help you determine whether you need a visa or not. Please also refer to the list of countries with visa exemptions (for temporary visits). In addition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has prepared a Guide to Japanese Visas which will surely prove helpful.
For detailed instructions on how to complete and submit visa applications, please refer to the visa section of our website.
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.
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.
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
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.
Japanese passport application/renewal
All passport-related documents must be prepared in Japanese, with the exception of the consent form for a non-Japanese parent or guardian. 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.
You may apply for a new passport only if your current passport will expire in a year or less.
- Application Form (use black ink)
- Current Passport (even if expired)
- One photo, taken within the last six months
- One Family Registry (Koseki Tōhon (complete register) or Koseki Shōhon (short version)), issued within the last six months. (However, if the current passport is NOT expired and there are NO changes to the name or domicile, the family registry will NOT be necessary.)
- Proof of status of residence in Canada
Processing time is 5 working days. Pick-up must be done by the applicant within six months of the application date.
Citizenship and Family Register Matters
The Choice of Nationality
A Japanese national having a foreign nationality (a person of dual nationality) shall choose either of the nationalities before he or she reaches twenty two years of age (or within two years after the day when he or she acquired the second nationality if he or she acquired such nationality after the day when he or she reached twenty years of age). If he or she fails to choose either of the nationalities, he or she may lose Japanese nationality. So, please don't forget to choose a nationality before it is too late.
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.)
Monday to Friday, from 9:00 to 11:30, and from 13:30 to 16:00