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Japan '09

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Japan '09

Postby DynamicBison » Sun 02.08.2009 2:44 pm

I just want to start off by saying this an awesome forum, and I am glad to be a part of it now. Being that this is my first post, I hope that doesn't raise too many eyebrows. Last but not least, I want to mention that English isn't my native language; so if there are mistakes in my English, I apologize in advance.

Last Thursday I got accepted by a company in Japan to become an ALT for a contract that begins on April 1, 2009. I'm currently gathering the necessary documents I need to send them so they can apply for my Certificate of Eligibility; however, I've read that takes about 4-8 weeks. I gather I will not be able to get a working visa here in the states, which means I'll have to do this while in Japan.

I've already been instructed to go to Japan on a tourist visa and change my visa status there. I have two questions. Is changing one's visa status difficult while in Japan? And 2) Since I'll need to buy a return ticket, should I put it a month or so after my departure?

Many thanks for answers.
DB
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Re: Japan '09

Postby keatonatron » Sun 02.08.2009 3:35 pm

Once you have the certificate of eligibility, changing your visa is no problem at all. The certificate already authorizes you to get the visa, so there really isn't any chance of you being denied once you turn it in. Also, I'm not sure what the immigration bureau will tell you, but if you've already applied for your visa you will get a stamp in your passport, and if your current visa runs out before the new one is ready you won't get in trouble.

When heading to Japan from the US, if you have (or will have) a visa you don't need to buy a return ticket. You will be asked about it at the airport, and how long it takes to explain depends on the airlines, but they should let you fly eventually. Some airline staff will say that if you don't have the visa paperwork you can't depart without a return ticket; other people will simply ask you about it and when you say "I've already been accepted, I just have to go pick it up" they will say okay and let you go. The whole "You must have a return ticket if you don't have a visa" rule is only an airline policy, NOT a law. You will not be asked about your return flight details when entering Japan.

Of course, if you can get some paperwork in advance it would make things go smoothly.
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Re: Japan '09

Postby DynamicBison » Sun 02.08.2009 5:49 pm

Excellent! Thank you very much for the reply.
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