• Gary O. Haase


(日本語はこの英語の後に続きます / Japanese version follows the English)

The Japan Times published an article last year about the large number of people from China and India who are moving to the United States.

(See “U.S. immigrants from China and India outpace those from Mexico”.) What if some of these non-Japanese folks happen to be in Japan with their U.S. citizen spouse before making the decision to move to the U.S.?  What if a U.S. citizen wants to move, from Japan to the U.S., with a spouse who is not Japanese?  Questions arise from time to time regarding U.S. immigration applications from Japan for third country nationals (TCNs).

Subject to certain exceptions, an alien applying for an immigrant visa shall make application at the consular office having jurisdiction over the alien’s place of residence (see 22 Code of Federal Regulations 42.61(a)).  So if a U.S. citizen and their non-Japanese spouse are legally present in Japan on a work assignment, for example, and if Japan is their place of residence, then it might make sense to proceed from Japan with the petition and application process for a marriage-based U.S. green card, subject to changes in policy, and if they are otherwise able to satisfy the applicable requirements (e.g., maintenance or reestablishment of U.S. domicile, etc.).


(記事タイトル:“U.S. immigrants from China and India outpace those from Mexico”。)もし、この中に、米国市民と結婚し、日本に住んでいる人がいたら、そして、そのカップルが米国への移住を決めたとしたら、どうすればいいのでしょうか。このように、第三国の市民が日本から米国ビザを申請する場合について、時々質問を受けます。

いくつかの例外はありますが、外国人が移民ビザを申請する場合、その外国人が住んでいる地域を管轄する領事館で申請することになっています(連邦規則集22 Code of Federal Regulations 42.61(a)参照)。したがって、例えば米国市民と日本人でない配偶者が仕事で合法的に日本に住んでいる場合、日本で配偶者ビザ(グリーンカード)取得のための請願・申請を行うのが理にかなっているかもしれません。ただし、行政方針に変更があった場合や、請願者が一定の条件を満たしている場合(米国市民が米国での居住地を維持している場合や米国に再び定住した場合など)は、この限りではありません。

Gary O. Haase is a U.S. immigration attorney admitted in California and Japan (licensed foreign attorney).  This article is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.  You should contact a qualified legal professional to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue.  The opinions expressed are those of the individual author and do not reflect the views or opinions of any nonprofit organization or government agency.