Japanese Birth Certificate for US Immigration Purposes

In Japan, the household registration document (also known as the koseki) is generally the document used as a Japanese Birth Certificate.

The US Government, whether in USCIS or at a US Embassy/Consulate abroad, accepts any of the following three types of Japanese Birth Certificate:

  • Full version of family register (Koseki Tohon/Zenbu jiko shomeisho)
  • Short version of family register (Koseki Shohon/Kojin jiko shomeisho)
  • Certificate of Acceptance of Notification of Birth (Shussei juri shomeisho)

The Municipal (city, ward, town, village and etc.) Office of the applicant’s legal domicile (honseki-chi) can issue such documents. However, some cities and ward offices have expanded their administrative capabilities and may offer access to family registers from other cities or wards.

Applicants may learn which municipal offices provide this service by using the search function at the following Government of Japan website: lg-waps.go.jp.

To Note: The Japanese family register generally covers all current information regarding birth, adoption, marriage, divorce, or death records. Therefore, a married person’s family register can serve as evidence of both birth and present marriage, for example.

The full version of the family register (Koseki Tohon / Zenbujiko Shomeisho) covers all household members, while the extract version (Koseki Shohon/Kojinjiko Shomeisho) covers events related only to one individual of the household. Please also note that once someone changes his/her domicile (honsekichi), as a head of family register, the past records will not be transferred to the new domicile municipal office. Therefore, the past records may not be shown on his/her family register obtained from the new domicile municipal office.

The following documents are not acceptable in lieu of family register or Certificate of Acceptance of Notification of Birth:

  • Certificate of Residence
  • U.S. base issued birth certificate
  • Maternal Handbook

What if USCIS Rejects or provides an RFE or NOID for my Japanese Birth Certificate?

Although USCIS can accept any of the three above Japanese Birth Certificates, the “Koseki Tohon” is more ideal since it provides a Full Registry of the Applicant versus just a Partial Summary from the Koseki Shohon or Shussei juri shomeisho. If you had to choose one type of Birth Certificate over another, the Koseki Tohon is the better choice.

More Information may be found here:



Note: Our Law Office does not assist in acquiring Birth Certificates. Due to Privacy or needing to be a citizen of that country, only the person named on the birth certificate is normally the only person permitted to request such documents.


Disclaimer: This Blog is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

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