HOW TO: Make Your Baby Legal in Japan (if You're American)

Thanks to Ashley Tieman, mom and former missionary from Okayama, Japan, for this post.

For most new parents, the hardest part about having a newborn is adjusting to a demanding new schedule. But for children of foreign parents in Japan, there's a long process to getting your new little one legally registered with Japan and your home country. Hopefully this guide will help!

Please note: this guide was written based on the experiences of two American parents in Okayama prefecture and written to give you a general idea of the process. Procedures may vary in different areas, and may be different depending on your nationality, so please double check with your ward office, regional immigration bureau and embassy or consulate.

Also, if you are a mixed-nationality couple, please note the process is different! This guide can give you a general feel for the process but you will need to seek out additional information for your specific circumstances.

In our experience there were three main tasks:

1. Register with your local ward office or city hall
2. Register with the nearest Regional Immigration Bureau office
3. Apply for your child's passport and other government-issued documents with your home country's embassy