December 30th, 2013


Minors Living Abroad With Family

Setting: Osaka, Japan
Time: Present (July of 2013 to be exact)

I'm in the beginning stages of a story about a young Japanese-American girl (she's 14) who is forced to move from her home in San Diego to her grandmother's home in Japan after the death of her mother. Her father has dual citizenship between the US and Japan (and travels between the two frequently for work, among other places like London and Beijing which is why he wants her to move into her grandmother's since he is rarely home long enough to care for her). The girl doesn't have dual citizenship but she does have a passport.

My question is, can she legally live with her grandmother in Japan if she is not an official citizen of the country? Her stay would be for at least five or six years. Would this effect her US citizenship? What about working in Japan? Her grandmother runs a small family-owned business so would it be legal for her to work for her?

I Google'd "Minors Moving to Japan", "Minors living abroad in Japan", and "Japanese-Americans moving to Japan", but all I found were guides for Non-Japanese moving to Japan, minors moving to Japan to study abroad or cultural exchange, and questions about families moving abroad which doesn't apply since the child remains with their parent(s).