Australian Embassy

FAQs: Consular services

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Notarial services

Certifying copies of original documents

Can another person (e.g. friend, parent, etc.) lodge documents on my behalf?



I am applying for an Australian visa. Do I need certified copies of supporting documents and/or my passport?

We are unable to advise you on the necessary documentation for an Australian visa. Only the Department of Home Affairs have the jurisdiction to provide this advice. Please enquire directly with the Department of Home Affairs.

Department of Home Affairs Global Service Centre (GSC) Telephone Enquiries : +61 2 6196 0196 (Japanese language support services available)
Written Enquiries: Australian Immigration Enquiry Form


Can you provide wording other than "This is a true copy of the document presented to me" when certifying a copy of a document?

No, we cannot. If a different form of words is required, the document may need to be certified by a Notary Public or the body from which the document originated.


I don't want to send my original documents in the mail. Can I send photocopies instead?

No. To certify an original copy of a document, we must sight the original document. If you are concerned, you could consider sending your document by registered post. If you do not wish to send the original document by mail, you will need to present it in person.


Do I have to get my document certified at an Australian mission, or can I have it certified somewhere else?

This is up to the organisation receiving your document. You need to check with the receiving organisation directly.


Australian statutory declarations

Can I lodge by mail?

No. Documents that require witnessing of signatures cannot be mailed in and must be presented in person


I am applying/assisting with an application for an Australian visa and need to complete a statutory declaration. Can you witness my signature?

Yes. However, please keep in mind that we are unable to advise you on the necessary documentation for an Australian visa. Only Visa Officers are qualified to provide this advice. Please direct your enquiry to the Immigration Section.


Can you assist me complete my declaration?

No. We do not have the authority to provide legal advice, to draw up legal documents or to guarantee the legal effectiveness of documents we witness.


Australian affidavits, oaths and affirmations

What is an affidavit, oath or affirmation?

An affidavit is a written statement that allows the person making it to present evidence in court or other legal proceedings. The person making the affidavit must take an oath (a sworn commitment based on religious belief) - or make an affirmation (a secular sworn commitment) - that the contents of the affidavit are true and correct. It is an offence to swear to or affirm false information.


Can you assist me complete my affidavit, oath or affirmation?

No. We do not have the authority to provide legal advice, to draw up legal documents, or to guarantee the legal effectiveness of documents we witness.

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Getting married in Japan

If I marry in Japan, can/do I need to register the marriage with Australian authorities?

No. You cannot register your marriage in Australia.


If I marry in Japan, is my marriage recognised as legal in Australia?

Yes. You should refer to our marriage overseas brochure for more information and consult with a lawyer if you are unsure. For use in Australia, your Japanese marriage certificate (kon'in todoke jurishomeisho), issued at the city office (where you registered your marriage), will require appropriate English language translation.


How long is my Certificate of No Impediment valid for?

Certificates do not expire. However, Japanese city offices only recognise them for three months from the date of issue.


How do I get married in Japan?

Please contact your local city office for their requirements. As a general guide only, the following information may be useful:

At your local city office, lodge your Registration of Marriage Form and all necessary documentation, including your passport, Japanese Residence Card (if applicable), and in the case of marriage to a Japanese citizen, a copy of their Family Register (koseki tohon). Some city offices may ask you to present your original Birth Certificate, declaration and/or translations of your Australian passport and other identification documents.

You may require a Japanese translator (or Japanese speaking friend) to be present.


Where do I get married in Japan?

Normally at the city office closest to your residential address.


The city office says I need a kon'in yoken gubi shomeisho/kon'in gubi shomeisho. Do you issue this?

No. We only issue the Certificate of No Impediment (kon'in mushogai shomeisho).


We are both Australians. Do we require two Certificates of No Impediment?

Yes. Two separate applications forms and fees will apply.


I do not live in Japan. Will Japanese authorities accept a Certificate of No Impediment issued by a Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade office in Australia or an Australian diplomatic mission outside of Japan?

You will need to confirm this with the local city office where you intend to marry. City offices in Japan generally require the Application Form and the Certificate itself so, if applying for a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage in Australia, you should ensure that the issuing office returns both documents to you.


I have registered my marriage with the local city office in Japan. Can the Embassy issue me a Marriage Certificate that is required for my Japanese spousal visa application?

We do not register marriages nor issue Marriage Certificates. A foreign marriage certificate is prima facie evidence in Australia of the occurrence and validity of the marriage. You can download further information on marriage recognition below. Australians applying for a Japanese spousal visa may wish to include this with their application.

Download Marriage Recognition information English (PDF) | Japanese (PDF)


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Please see the Australian Passport Office website for more FAQs.

I have completed and printed an Australian Passport Renewal Application form online. Where does the guarantor need to sign?

A guarantor is not required to sign the form or photographs when using the streamlined renewal process. Additionally, you do not need to provide a birth certificate or proof of citizenship.


Do I have to collect the new passport in person?

No, we post it to you by registered post.


What happens to my old passport and my Japanese visa?

Your old passport is cancelled at the time of lodgement and returned to you. We do not cancel visas or pages with visas on them. For further information relating to your Japanese visa, contact the Immigration Bureau of Japan.


How long does it take to get a passport?

The Australian Passport Office (APO) is currently experiencing strong demand for passports. We are noticing a processing time of approximately 8 weeks. Priority processing service is not available in Japan. Please let us know if you have an upcoming flight or an urgent need for a new passport, so we can discuss your options.

Please plan your travel accordingly and lodge your application early to ensure you get your passport in good time.


What happens if I don't know anyone in Japan within the required Guarantor's categories?

The guarantor does not need to be living in Japan. For example, someone living in Australia that meets the requirements would be acceptable. You will need to forward your photograph to a suitable Guarantor and they will need to complete the Guarantor's section on page three and sign the back of your photograph, then return these to you. As this process could take time we suggest you plan your passport renewal well in advance.


I don't have my birth certificate/citizenship certificate here in Japan. What should I do?
Should you require original documents that are in the care of friends or  family in Australia they can present them for you at the Australian Passport Office in their State or Territory for secure electronic transmission to our missions in Japan.


My child is a dual Japanese / Australian citizen. Can my child travel to Australia on a Japanese passport?

No. Australian citizens must travel to Australia on an Australian passport and are not eligible for an Australian visa in a foreign passport. For more information, please visit the Department of Home Affairs website.


Can I apply for my baby's citizenship and passport at the same time?

No. You must obtain citizenship by decent before applying for the passport.


Can my child travel on my passport?

No. A separate passport (and separate application for a passport) is required for each child.


My child's Australian passport has expired but we are booked to travel soon. Can you expedite the application process?

No. Priority processing is not available in Japan. We aim to issue passports within three weeks and we can only assist you by scheduling the earliest possible appointment. Please plan your travel accordingly.


My child already has a passport. Do I need to provide a full birth certificate when applying for a renewal?

Yes. For child applicants all supporting documentation is required each time.


My child's mother (or father) is currently overseas. How do I get their consent?

If one parent lives outside the country in which you are lodging the child's passport, then that parent needs to take their passport into their nearest Passport Office in Australia or the nearest Australian Embassy if overseas. The parent must fill out the consent on the passport application for the child. This will then be forwarded along to Tokyo or Osaka allowing the passport to be issued. Please let the Passport Office know which office (Tokyo or Osaka) they should forward the document.   For further enquiries, a parent in Australia can call Australian Passport Information Service.


Can passport staff witness parents' consent to issue passport?

No. Parental consent cannot be witnessed by staff involved in the passport process.


What is the best way to take a new born's photo for their first passport?

The best way to ensure a baby's passport photo is suitable is to have the photograph taken with the baby lying on the floor.

More information on Photographic Requirements 


Our baby has just been born. Who can be the guarantor?

The one year rule does not apply to newborns. The guarantor must have known the applicant since birth and can write 'since birth', or specify the number of months they have known your child on the application form. For example your obstetrician or assisting nurse. For more information visit our page on guarantors

To confirm their declaration we will telephone the guarantor. If your guarantor does not provide a direct telephone number your application will be delayed. It is your responsibility to ensure that the guarantor provides an appropriate evening and daytime telephone number so passport staff can contact them.


Is the child required to attend the passport interview?

Not if the child is aged 15 or under. Child applicants aged 16 or 17 must attend the passport interview together with one of the parents as they are issued with a 10-year passport.


Must the parent lodging a child application be an Australian citizen?



My child's passport photo needs updating. Can I change the photo?

You can update the passport photo once free of charge only for children under the age of five who have been issued with a passport in the first year of their life. The passport with the new photograph will be valid only until the expiry date of the original passport issued.

To update a child's photograph you must complete a new passport application and submit it with original supporting documentation and photographs endorsed and signed by a guarantor.


Visas for Japan

I would like to visit/work/study in Japan. Do I need a visa? How should I apply?

The Australian Embassy in Tokyo is unable to provide information on visas to Japan. For information and enquiries on visas to Japan, please contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate-General of Japan in Australia.


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