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Attaining a student visa with a criminal record

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Attaining a student visa with a criminal record

Postby sukoemi » Tue 05.11.2010 7:10 pm

Hi,I want to go to a Japanese language school in Nagoya come this up and coming January.I am a little concerned though because I have a drunk driving conviction against me.So I am a little worried that imigration will refuse my student visa for this reason.I would like to know if anyone has had any experience in getting into Japan with a student visa and a less than perfect criminal record.Any information would really be very helpful.Unless your life is free of any mistakes at all please keep judgemental opinions to yourself.Yes I know I made a mistake and I don't drink any more.
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Re: Attaining a student visa with a criminal record

Postby phreadom » Tue 05.11.2010 7:28 pm

I wouldn't be judgmental. I have the same mistake on my otherwise clean record as well. But it's one of those mistakes that here in the states stays on your record for life, even as a misdemeanor... although in other countries it can be considered a "federal offense" and grounds for refusal of visa etc (as far as I know).

So I think it's both a perfectly valid question and one I'd also be interested in learning about.
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Re: Attaining a student visa with a criminal record

Postby chikara » Tue 05.11.2010 7:50 pm

I don't know about getting a visa with a criminal record but are you able to apply to have your criminal record expunged? I don't know what the laws regarding this are where you live but it may be worth pursuing. It worked for Mel Gibson. :)
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Re: Attaining a student visa with a criminal record

Postby sukoemi » Wed 05.12.2010 12:19 am

I am not so sure that having it expunged would be of any help.Japan doesn't fall rule to our laws about expunged criminal cases or any of our laws for that matter.So I think they could still find out about it if they wanted to.Also it was pretty recent.Just back in 2006.I really hope this won't hold me back from school.But it is something we should all keep in mind if your future plans involve coming to Japan.I'm not so happy about the idea that I could be refused access to a very enriching experience in my life because I chose for a time in my life to be thoughtless.
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Re: Attaining a student visa with a criminal record

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Wed 05.26.2010 5:59 pm

How long ago was the conviction? You might want to just ask the consulate or something; I've heard of people going to Japan with old DUIs before. It may not be a big deal.
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Re: Attaining a student visa with a criminal record

Postby Torabisu90 » Thu 02.16.2012 5:13 pm

Hi, any updates on the situation? I'm somewhat in the same boat here. Was convicted in July of 2010 for DUI in Canada, and will be needing to apply for a student Visa to study in Japan in the next year or so. Thanks
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Re: Attaining a student visa with a criminal record

Postby Shiroisan » Fri 02.17.2012 2:08 pm

Not trying to be judgemental, but why do so many people who are otherwise good people seem to do this? Everyone knows that you're not supposed, so it's not a "mistake" it's obviously a choice. I've suspected my father of doing it in the past and it makes me so angry.

Why do people do it?


As for immigration, they're very strict in Japan. I would imagine you'd have to attempt to expunge it.
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Re: Attaining a student visa with a criminal record

Postby phreadom » Fri 02.17.2012 7:01 pm

It's pretty simple. When you've had too many drinks your judgment is impaired. So something that would otherwise obviously be a bad idea when sober suddenly sounds reasonable or even like a good idea. And as for having too many drinks, even that is quite easy to progress to once you've had even one or two. It's a slippery slope.

As for getting it expunged, that's not always possible. There are different rules for different countries etc. For instance to get into Canada you'd need to have had all costs related to your offense paid in full and all other related things finished for a period of like 5 years or something... and then you go through the consulate to file a ton of paperwork etc to get yourself considered "rehabilitated" or something like that. Once you've done that, as far as they're concerned you're clean and good to come to their country (unless of course you make the same mistake again).

Each country, and even each state etc have their own rules regarding these things. One might consider it a very minor offense and not really care... another might consider it an extremely serious crime that is grounds for being banned for life etc.
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