Documents Needed for a Mortgage Pre-Approval in Japan: A Checklist


Getting pre-approved for a mortgage before you go home shopping isn’t required, but it is a good idea, especially in a seller’s market, where competition among buyers is intense. Unlike a pre-qualification, a pre-approval letter lends weight to your bid on a home, proving to sellers that you have the financial clout to stand behind your offer. A pre-approval also helps you understand the home price you can afford, allowing you to budget for your home purchase and focus your home search.

To get pre-approved, you’ll need to have some documentation to verify your income, tax returns, resident status, employment, etc. Gathering all required documentation can be a daunting task, particularly for first-time home buyers. However, paperwork is the lifeblood of the mortgage industry. While the industry is gradually adopting paperless procedures, there are still plenty of documents required in a typical mortgage pre-approval process. Here are some of the most commonly requested items:

1: Proof of Income

If you are an employed worker(full-time, part-time, contract) with more than 1-year work history in your current workplace, you’ll need

  • The most recent annual payslip(Gensen-choshu-hyo): You can obtain your most recent annual payslip at your workplace.
Picture: Gensen-choshu-hyo

If you are an employed worker(full-time, part-time, contract) with less than 1-year work history in your current workplace, you’ll need

  • The all monthly payslips ever given(Kyuyo-meisai-sho): You can obtain your monthly payslips at your workplace.
Picture: Kyuyo-meisai-sho

If you are a self-employed borrower(Kojin-jigyonushi), you’ll need

  • 3 years of annual profit and loss statement(Kakutei-shinkoku-sho): You can obtain your profit and loss statements at the tax office.
Picture: Kakutei-shinkoku-sho

2: Tax Returns

  • 3 years of proof of income(Shotoku-shomei-sho): You can obtain your proof of income at the city office.
Picture: Shotoku-shomei-sho
  • 1 year of proof of tax return(Nozei-shomei-sho): You can obtain your proof of tax return at the city office.
Picture: Nozei-shomei-sho

3: Borrower Identification

  • A copy of your driver’s license or My Number Card.
Picture: Driver’s license
Picture: My Number Card
  • A copy of your social insurance card(Shakai-hoken-sho) or national health insurance card(Kokumin-kenko-hoken-sho)
Picture: Shakai-hoken-sho
Picture: Kokumin-hoken-sho

If you are not a Japanese citizen, you’ll also need

  • A copy of your residence card(Zairyu card)
Picture: Zairyu card

4: Employment Verification

If you’re an employed worker(full-time, part-time, contract), you’ll need

  • Employment certificate(Zaishoku-shomeisho): You can obtain your employment certificate at your workplace.
Picture: Zaishoku-shomei-sho

5: Other Documentation

  • Seal registration certificate(Inkan-toroku-shomei-sho): You can obtain your seal registration certificate at the city office.
Picture: Inkan-toroku-shomei-sho
  • Residence certificate(Jumin-hyo): You can obtain your residence certificate at the city office.
Picture: Jumin-hyo

Summary: Documents needed for a mortgage pre-approval letter

  • Income and employment documents, such as annual payslips, monthly payslips and annual profit and loss statements.
  • A copy of residence cards, insurance cards and other identification cards.
  • Certificates of seal registration and residence.