How Filipinas Can Get Married to U.S. Military in Japan

I recently got married in Japan to my husband who is a U.S. Navy stationed in Yokosuka. I had a hard time doing all the marriage paperwork due to lack of information so I decided to make an entry about the process of what I did for reference to those Filipinas who would marry their U.S. Military Fiance in the future.

A.) PREMARITAL PROCEDURES:

1. JAPAN VISA (SOFA STATUS)

First of all you need a Japanese Visa so you can go to Japan and get married. Since you are invited by a U.S. Military personnel, the visa falls into SOFA Status. You cannot apply a visa directly to the embassy. You can visit Japan Embassy Manila website for the accredited agencies that would handle your visa application. I recommend Friendship Tours in Dusit Hotel Makati. The staffs are very friendly and accommodating. I’ve had good experience as well with Reli Tours. Fee: PHP2000.

These are the requirements you need to submit:

  • Philippine Passport (Valid for 6 months from date of departure)
  • Accomplished Visa Application Form (Available in JP Embassy website)
  • Photo (1 copy of 4.5cm x 4.5cm White background)
  • NSO Birth Certificate (With receipt and valid within 1 year. No need to submit if you have old Japan Visa)
  • NSO Cenomar (For Single: if applicable)
  • Itinerary in Japan (Format available in JP Embassy website)
  • Documents and Photos to prove the relationship (E.g. emails, airmail letter)
  • Statement of Service
  • Military ID and Passport (data page) of Fiance (Colored copy with notary stamp)
  • Invitation Letter with handwritten signature (Format available in JP Embassy website)
  • Guarantor Letter with handwritten signature (Format available in JP Embassy website)
  • Latest Income Tax Return of Fiance (Copy of Form 1040 and Form W-2)

Make sure to indicate in your application form that the purpose of visit in Japan is to get married to your U.S. Military Fiance. You could ask for a longer period of stay such as 60 – 90 days since this is a special case and you need a lot of time to process your marriage procedures. You don’t need to submit Bank Certificate, and Income Tax Return for yourself. All documents should be original so your Fiance need to mail it. Your Fiance can mail it through EMS in any Japan Post Office. The agency would contact you once your visa has been approved and ready for pick up. The visa process takes 3 – 5 working days.

Reference: http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/visiting/index.htm

2. MEDICAL EXAM FROM ST. LUKE’S EXTENSION CLINIC

This examination is required when applying for the Request for Authorization to Marry. St. Luke Extension Clinic is the only accredited clinic to conduct medical examinations relating to United States Premarital Screening in the Philippines. The clinic is located in Ermita, Manila near U.N. Avenue. You don’t need to schedule an appointment. Present your endorsement letter and they would proceed to the examination. Fee: USD223  (PHP: depends on Dollar – Peso Conversion Rate). You can pay either USD or PHP.

These are the requirements you need to submit:

  • Signed endorsement letter from Commanding Officer with:
    • The name of the applicant
    • Purpose of examination
    • Medical exams that need to perform
  • Philippine Passport
  • Photo (2 copies of 2×2 White background)

The release of results would take 2 – 4 working days. If they find negative result(s), they would ask you to get treatment(s) until you get better.

Note: If you want a low-cost Medical Exam Screening, do it in Japan. There are accredited clinics / hospitals that conduct Premarital Medical Exam Screening outside the military base.

Reference: http://www.slec.ph/us-visa-applicants.shtml#required-exams

3. LEGAL CAPACITY TO CONTRACT MARRIAGE (LCCM)

In order to get married in Japan City Hall, you would need a Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage (Konin Youken Gubi Shoumeisho: 婚姻要件具備証明書) from Philippine Embassy Tokyo.

These are the requirements you need to submit:

  • Accomplished LCCM Form (Available in PH Embassy website)
  • Valid Philippine Passport (1 photocopy of data page)
  • NSO Birth Certificate (Original and 1 photocopy with DFA Red Ribbon)**
  • NSO CENOMAR (Original and 1 photocopy with DFA Red Ribbon: if applicable)**
    • Valid for 6 month from date of issue
    • Purpose: For Marriage
  • Photo (Both parties: 2 copies of passport size White background)
  • Authorization to Marry (Original and 1 photocopy: From Commanding Officer) *See No.5
  • Affidavit of Competency to Marry (1 photocopy) *See No.6
  • Valid Passport or Military ID (Original and 1 photocopy)
ADDITIONAL: For ages 18 – 25 years old:
  • Ages 18 – 20: Affidavit of Parental Consent (With passport copy of parents and DFA Red Ribbon)**
  • Ages 21 – 25: Affidavit of Parental Advice (With passport copy of parents and DFA Red Ribbon) or Sworn Statement with DFA Red Ribbon that Parental Advice has been sought.**

Note: If one or both parent(s) is / are dead, submit NSO Death Certificate(s) with DFA Red Ribbon(s).** Instead, Submit an Affidavit of Parental Consent / Parental Advice from guardian(s). If parents refused, submit a Sworn Statement indicating you sought an advice from parents and their refusal.** Affidavit and Sworn Statement notarized in the Philippines only requires DFA Red Ribbon. If parent(s) is / are present in Japan, the parent(s) may apply for the Affidavit at the embassy.

Both parties should be present in the embassy when submitting the requirements. The nearest station in PH Embassy Tokyo is Roppongi. Release of the certificate is 2 – 3 working days for expedite and 5 working days for regular. It includes the Japanese translation of the certificate.

Tips: In my case, I was Single and 24 years old at the time and I didn’t accomplish an Affidavit from my parent so I made a Sworn Statement indicating that I sought an advice from parents and that the advice was granted. I notarized it in PH Embassy Tokyo and submitted it together with the LCCM application. Make sure you already photocopied the requirements (size: A4) when you go to embassy because they don’t have photocopy machine in the embassy. If you want to mail your LCCM instead of picking it up after its release, buy a Letter Pack 500 at any Japan Post Office or buy to the vendor(s) selling outside the embassy.

For additional concern(s): Contact PH Embassy Tokyo
Phone: (+81)-3-5562-1607
Email: info@philembassy.net

Reference: http://tokyo.philembassy.net/consular-section/services/civil-registration/legal-capacity-to-contract-marriage-certification/

**HOW TO OBTAIN DFA RED RIBBON:

  • Birth Certificate / CENOMAR / Death Certificate(s) should be NSO authenticated
  • After the Affidavit or Sworn Statement is notarized, you must secure a Certificate of Authority for a Notarial Act signed by the Executive Judge or Vice Executive Judge from the Regional Trial Court (RTC) which issued the commission of the Notary Public
  • Go to DFA at Macapagal Boulevard. It costs Php 100 per document and would be released after 4 working days. Php 200 per document for expedite and the release would be the next working day or;
  • Do it online (http://www.authenticationexpress.com/). It costs Php 700 to Php 1,030 per document and it would be delivered straight at your door step after 2 – 3 working days

4. ATTEND A FLEET FAMILY SERVICE CENTER (FFSC) PREMARITAL  SEMINAR

This seminar is required when applying for the Request for Authorization to Marry. The seminar would take place every first Tuesday of every month so your Fiance should schedule it in an earlier date. Both parties should attend and participate in the FFSC Premarital Seminar. If one or both cannot attend, there is an option to have a marriage counseling with the Chaplain. The purpose of this seminar is to know the privileges and responsibilities of being married.

5. REQUEST FOR AUTHORIZATION TO MARRY

These are the requirements that your Fiance need to submit to his Commanding Officer:

  • Document(s) to prove nationality of both parties (Passport or Birth Certificate)
  • Medical exam results (Both parties: valid for 6 months from date of issue)
  • Evidence of attendance from FFSC Premarital Seminar
  • Evidence of being Single (Both parties: if applicable)
  • Evidence of termination of previous marriage (Both parties: if applicable)
  • Parental Consent for under legal age to marry (Both parties: if applicable)

6. AFFIDAVIT OF COMPETENCY TO MARRY

Once the Request for Authorization to Marry is approved, your Fiance should present it to Legal Service Office to obtain the Affidavit of Competency to Marry and then translate to Japanese.***

7. GET MARRIED IN JAPAN CITY HALL

Submit requirements to city hall where your Fiance has residency. These are the documents you need to submit:

  • Philippine Passport
  • Alien Registration Card (If you live in Japan only)
  • Fiance Passport (If available) or Birth Certificate (With Japanese translation)***
  • Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage
  • Affidavit of Competency to Marry (With Japanese translation)***
  • Accomplished Marriage Registration Form Konin Todoke: 婚姻届 with signature of 2 witnesses over the age of 20 of any nationality. (Available in City Hall: Japanese only)***

Congratulations! You’re officially married. The witnesses don’t need to be with you on your marriage at the city hall. The Marriage Certificate / Certificate of Acceptance of Notification of Marriage (Jyuri Shoumeisho: 受理証明書) in Japanese would be released on the same day. Ask help from your friend(s) that can speak and write Japanese or seek for a professional translator.

***FOR JAPANESE TRANSLATION
Ask the Legal Service Office for a list of translators.

If you have any additional concern(s), please leave comment(s).