If you are married to a Japanese citizen or a permanent resident of Japan, you can apply for a spouse visa haiguusha biza 配偶者ビザ. This visa allows you to live in Japan with your spouse. Spouse visas do not have restrictions on the amount of hours or the field of work. As long as the applicant stays married the visa can be renewed.
If you are not living with your spouse then it will be very difficult to get a spouse visa. Spouse visas are granted to people who are married and living with each other. Though in Japan it not uncommon for married couples to live in different cities for work, to prevent illegal sham marriages, it is very hard to be accepted for a spouse visa.
The following documents are general documents are the minimum required documents that you need to apply. For some countries you are required more documentation.
Application form (PDF)
Copy of Koseki tohon (Japanese family registry)
All Japanese families have a family registry where the members of their household are listed. When someone gets married they can exit their families koseki to start their own, or their spouse can be added to their family's. Foreigners can only be added to their Japanese spouses koseki, but they can't have their own. The address of your koseki doesn't have to match the address you live at. This is often how it is if your koseki is registered as your parents house.
Wedding certificate (if married abroad)
Juuminhyou (proof of residence paper)
If you are both not registered as living in the same address things could look suspicious and it may be hard to have your spouse visa accepted.
Proof of tax payment
Proof of paid taxes. If both spouses are working and have paid taxes you can submit both but only one is needed. If both you and your spouse have not been living in Japan please contact the immigration regarding what to do in this situation.
Proof of employment
Whoever is working and supporting the home must show proof of employment, if both spouses are working you can submit both. Of neither spouse is working you must show proof of how you will be supporting yourself in Japan. You also will need another guarantor (usually Japanese spouses parents).
3 pictures of you and spouse together
These can be any pictures taken of you and your spouse. They are supposed to show as proof that you actually are in a relationship. They do not have to be romantic or kissing pictures, they just have to be pictures of you together.
1 Picture of applicant (4x3cm)
Must be taken within the last 3 months. This photo will be placed on your new resident card. These photos can be taken anywhere at a photo vending machine across Japan.
This forum is where you list all the details of how you met and about your relationship till the point you got married. Your Japanese spouse will fill this out and it must be in detail.
(spouse of permanent resident)
The documents for spouse of a permanent resident is the same as a spouse of a Japanese national except you will not have a koseki tohon. In this case you must provide proof that you are married. If you got married in Japan you can get this from the city hall. If you got married in another country then you need to provide a translated version of the marriage certificate.
Once a foreigner gets divorced in Japan you MUST notify immigration of your divorce within 14 days. If you get divorced you will not be able to renew your spouse visa however you will be able to keep your current visa till it expires if you meet the following requirements;
･Married for over 6 months
･Have a good reason to get divorced if married less than 6 months
If you have been married for less than 6 months, you must visit the immigration office to inquire if you are able to keep your visa or not. The law states that those who were not married for over 6 months, are to change their visa status as they are not eligible to keep their spouse visa. However, depending on the situation you may be granted permission to keep the visa.
Some people have created a brand new life in Japan, their stuff, their job, their friends are all here. Some people even have kids in Japan, but what happens if you get divorced? Are you just supposed to pack up and leave? After you get divorced you may be eligible for another type of visa called Teijuusha.
Teijuusha is a visa available to people who are divorced to a Japanese national. This visa allows you to stay in Japan for an extended period of time assuming that you have the right funds to support yourself. This visa can be for people who have kids with a Japanese national and are living in Japan. Even if you do not have kids you can still apply for this visa. The immigration website states you must have been married for 3 years in order to receive this visa, however it is a case by case situation. For more information please go into the immigration directly to see what options are available for you.