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  • I want to... But can I?

    I've been wanting to go to Japan and live for 4 years now. I try to speak the language, but it's hard because I live in a city where the Japanese stay to themselves and finding where they are is a challange all in itself. I've read all the site regarding visas and how to get them, including the official minstery of japan's guide to visas, and i'm stuck wondering if I can even think about buying a ticket.

    So far, i've been told that I need:

    -At least a B.S/B.A- This according to the following site owner and writer who states " To work full-time in Japan, you first need to have at least a Bachelor's degree in any field (or prove you have at least 10 years of experience in some industry), then find a company or school that agrees to hire you" (site address is http://thejapanfaq.cjb.net/)

    Well that's just crappy! Does that mean that I have to get a B.S/B.A in waitressing? Or bartending? What if I don't want to teach english? And even then, you need some sort of degree to teach. I don't have the kind of money to pay for 4-6 years of college and then fly to Japan, find a job, an apartment and pay for all the stuff in between. Heck, I can't even pay for one year of college, but yet I can afford to move to Japan. Go figure.

    -A guarantor-

    If I had a Japanese national or company willing to sponsor my visa, then I wouldn't be having a problem at all. But since I do need one, then what are my options?

    -Loads of money-

    I understand Japan is expensive, but I know people who live on less money that I make in America and they get around just fine in Japan.

    -"Well, if you want it easy, marry a Japanese national"-

    Do I really have to falsely marry someone to be able to work and live in Japan? I don't want to marry anyone without some sort of good reason other than getting a visa.

    I'm lost here.. What are my options for living out my dream? Is a visit all i'm going to get?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Mhari
    I'
    -At least a B.S/B.A- This according to the following site owner and writer who states " To work full-time in Japan, you first need to have at least a Bachelor's degree in any field (or prove you have at least 10 years of experience in some industry), then find a company or school that agrees to hire you" (site address is http://thejapanfaq.cjb.net/)
    .
    #1 BA is required from immigration before you even get a visa to work here. No degree, no work visa, pal. Any degree is OK as long as its 4 year and you have graduated and a US citizen. If you have no degree you need 3 years ESL experience befotre you can get a work visa with no degree (humanities)




    Originally posted by Mhari
    I'-A guarantor-

    If I had a Japanese national or company willing to sponsor my visa, then I wouldn't be having a problem at all. But since I do need one, then what are my options?
    .
    Sponsor will sponsor your work visa which requires a degree,, see #1 . get a degree.


    Originally posted by Mhari
    I
    I understand Japan is expensive, but I know people who live on less money that I make in America and they get around just fine in Japan.
    Lowest teaching salaries for full time are about $2500 and break even costs per month are 180,000 yen. They survive but don't 'get around fine'. They are one or two paychecks from insolvency.

    Originally posted by Mhari
    I
    -"Well, if you want it easy, marry a Japanese national"-

    Do I really have to falsely marry someone to be able to work and live in Japan? I don't want to marry anyone without some sort of good reason other than getting a visa.
    .
    Got that one right. I have a PR, married a japanese and even then life is not a bowl of cherries. You need to be able to support two people on an entry level salary too. Not advisable.

    My advice:

    1. get the degree.
    2.Save money (at least $4000 in the first two months)
    3. learn japanese.
    4. develop a job skill.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Mhari
      I've been wanting to go to Japan and live for 4 years now. I try to speak the language, but it's hard because I live in a city where the Japanese stay to themselves and finding where they are is a challange all in itself. I've read all the site regarding visas and how to get them, including the official minstery of japan's guide to visas, and i'm stuck wondering if I can even think about buying a ticket.
      .
      PS young Japanese are notorious for being cliquey and sticking together with their own kind (they fine English impenetrable too) and not mixing with Americans (except the odd few who dont fit in in Japan) . Dont think that because you live here (Im surrounded by them) they will want to speak Japanese to you here either. Most will want to know you becuase you can speak English. Last thing they want to hear is your butchered broken Japanese.

      Comment


      • #4
        hmm.

        Life isn't suppost to be a bowl of cherries.. Anyone who feels differently has had their entire life handed to them on a silver platter. I understand how difficult it's going to be, no need reminding me.


        Thanks for the advice though.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Mhari
          IWell that's just crappy! Does that mean that I have to get a B.S/B.A in waitressing? Or bartending? What if I don't want to teach english? And even then, you need some sort of degree to teach. I don't have the kind of money to pay for 4-6 years of college and then fly to Japan, find a job, an apartment and pay for all the stuff in between. Heck, I can't even pay for one year of college, but yet I can afford to move to Japan. Go figure.
          .
          Lifes a ***** isnt it. You dont need a degree to teach English. there are 18 and 19 year olds teaching English here, even the odd housewife on a dependent visa. What they all have is a valid visa but 90% of employers will want a degree regardless of your visa. Without one you dont even get an interview most times, or all you get is lots of part time jobs strung together.

          Single American with no degree and about all you can get is a student visa but you have to be enrolled in a language school or university and paying school fees.


          There are a whole bunch of people on this site who disagree with me (especially one guy ex-Navy with no degree but a heritage visa that thinks he is owed a job here because of his ancestry and visa stamp) but you can get jobs, if you want to earn $8-10 an hour pulling beers in a bar. Full time at NOVA is 250,000 yen a month ($2500) which works at at about $15 an hour, or $12 an hour if you take out taxes.They probably pay more at Walmart stacking shelves. Once you have paid airfare, accomodation, phone, your rent, food, you are not left with much. You can live as a single person on a teachers salary but you will save $500 a month, if you are lucky. less if you go for beers a couple of nights a week or fly home every year for Christmas.

          Having a BA basically just gets you an interview. Once you get a job here then you can start getting some experience, learning the language finding out where the jobs are and learning how you can make extra money (privates, getting a second of third job).

          With no Japanese ability there are very few jobs you can do unless you have a skill that is not available in Japan (not everyone can be Tiger Woods or Leo di Caprio) and you need certifiable experience. Put it another way. what can a japanese boy of 22 who doesnt speak English do in the US? Think non-English speaking Hispanic illegal immigrant working in a sweatshop or as a housekeeper. english teaching is about the only job that your average college grad can get over here with no Japanese and no previous work experience.

          Its your choice if you go to college or not but its the only thing thats standing between you and sponsored work visa and getting your foot in the door here. Either that or a spouse visa and even then there are no guarantees of finding good paying jobs. You also have to stay married too, of course.
          Last edited by paulh; 2005-01-10, 05:06 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            As far as college goes...

            I can't afford college on my own either, but there are other ways. If you're really serious about going to Japan, you'll need that degree. My counselor told me that the cheapest way to a 4-year degree is to get the 2-year degree first at a community college. I don't know where you live, but around where I am it's called Rogue Community College. Anyways, you can get funding for college by filling out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form.

            (more info here www.fafsa.ed.gov)

            It's a lengthy process, but there's money out there. If you do consider FAFSA, do it now! The money starts to disappear after about mid-January.

            Or...

            As I just found out recently, my own bank (Key Bank www.key.com/educate) has a loan program that'll pay for the cost of education (meaning the the whole school year) minus whatever other financial aid I get. And the payment on that loan is 50 bucks a month. That works out to be, like, $1.67 a day. There's loads of cash out there for students. It might be a good idea to just pay a visit to your local community college, or even a high school, and speak to an educational counselor about college funding.

            Any farther than this is only speculation on my part. I'm trying to get to Japan myself. I'm also in the midst of following the process I just outlined, and it looks promising. In short, from what I've learned, there is no fast and easy way into Japan. And as far as avoiding having to use a visa, you'd have to go through the two to three process of becoming a permenant citizen of Japan, changed name and all. I'm sure you read about it if you looked at the visa site.

            If you don't want to go over to Japan to work as an English language teacher, maybe you could take college courses in business management or accounting? Anyways, Japan isn't all that different in job markets from America, as far as I can tell from my personal research. The main requirement for foreigners though is having business-level Japanese fluency. Any way you look at it, starting a new life in Japan will be a difficult task, but a worthwhile life goal.

            PS: I'm saying this all to myself as much as to you, lol.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Xephon
              I Any farther than this is only speculation on my part. I'm trying to get to Japan myself. I'm also in the midst of following the process I just outlined, and it looks promising. In short, from what I've learned, there is no fast and easy way into Japan. And as far as avoiding having to use a visa, you'd have to go through the two to three process of becoming a permenant citizen of Japan, changed name and all. I'm sure you read about it if you looked at the visa site.

              If you don't want to go over to Japan to work as an English language teacher, maybe you could take college courses in business management or accounting? Anyways, Japan isn't all that different in job markets from America, as far as I can tell from my personal research. The main requirement for foreigners though is having business-level Japanese fluency. Any way you look at it, starting a new life in Japan will be a difficult task, but a worthwhile life goal.

              PS: I'm saying this all to myself as much as to you, lol.
              Xephon, I would be very careful about the advice you give out.

              Immigration does not recognise 2-year AA or community college dgerees for a work visa, nor can you join 2 together for one teaching visa. It MUST be a 4-year undergraduate degree from one university or a variation thereof. Other countries degrees are 3 years, but US citizens need a college degree, not an AA or a diploma. Too many people do these degrees and then find they cant get a visa to teach english etc. If he has accounting or business experience in the states, good Japanese then a 2 year diploma might squeak by immigration.

              To do jobs in Japan other than teaching unless you have high level Japanese skills (level 1 or 2 of the Proficiency test) the jobs are not there. Japanese colleges churn out graduates every year who speak the language have Japanese accounting degrees and dont need work visas. Becoming fluent in Japanese will take 3-5 years of full time study as well as an accounting degree. A long way to go but if thats what he wants its not impossible. He will need a degree, ANY four year degree to gets started though.


              PS to get citizenship or Japanese nationality is a long and drawn out process and will take a minimum of 10-15 years if you are single, faster if you are married

              1. Spouse visa
              2. Permanent resident status (10 years if single, 5 if married to Japanese)
              3. Apply for citizenship (have to have a good reason for doing this though)
              Last edited by paulh; 2005-01-10, 05:46 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                More specifically

                Sorry, what I meant was to go to a community college to get a two year degree in order to save money, and then go get the four year degree at a larger college, my bad! BTW, I thought you could transfer all credits from community college to major colleges as long as they accept them. Is that misinformation?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Xephon
                  Sorry, what I meant was to go to a community college to get a two year degree in order to save money, and then go get the four year degree at a larger college, my bad! BTW, I thought you could transfer all credits from community college to major colleges as long as they accept them. Is that misinformation?
                  As long as the 4 year college accepts those credits as part of a 4 year degree and thats what he ends up with, then yes, immigration doesnt care what color box it comes in. He needs a BA,BS or similar. not an AA degree.

                  2 years by itself is not enough for a work visa.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by paulh
                    Single American with no degree and about all you can get is a student visa but you have to be enrolled in a language school or university and paying school fees.
                    I was thinking about that actually, I just forgot to post about it. I think I also forgot to mention that i'm a female.

                    I can get a grant to go to school, regardless of the country. I was actually in school, but I had some problems with transportation and ended up missing a lot of days. I was unfortunate enough to live far away from any decent college, be it jr or 4 year. I'm also the daughter of a retired vet who get 100% benefits. I.E I get free schooling for so long, and money per month. Now, before you jump on my case about my previous statement of not being able to afford college. Let me explain how the VA works. In normal school, if you fail three semesters in a row, you get suspended and asked to wait out a school semester. If you're a VA student, you can fail one semester and be screwed the other two. VA also requires that you have a 3.0 at the end of your first semester. They tell you differently when you start, but that's how it goes. Normally, college requires you to have at least a C average. Which I had.. More or less.

                    I was stupid when I started school and took a bunch of classes that I wasn't entirely prepared for and that hurt my next two semesters and got me suspended for one. In order for me to go back in, I need to take a bunch of classes about college preperation and self esteem. Don't ask me why i have to take a self-esteem class, I just do. I'm totally willing to do it, if that's what it's going to take. However, I also want to keep my job. The VA gets kind of bi*chy about having a fulltime job AND going to school fulltime.
                    Also, the VA refuses to approve schooling in another country. Period. They don't want to deal with other countries, it's too much of a hassel for them.

                    Originally posted by Xephon
                    I can't afford college on my own either, but there are other ways. If you're really serious about going to Japan, you'll need that degree. My counselor told me that the cheapest way to a 4-year degree is to get the 2-year degree first at a community college. I don't know where you live, but around where I am it's called Rogue Community College. Anyways, you can get funding for college by filling out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form.
                    I know about that. I can get it, but i'm wondering if you can use it for foriegn study? I know on the Board of Education site, they talk about international study, then give links to FAFSA and other loans and grants. I also know that a school grant is possible for foriegn study, I just don't know how to apply for one.


                    Originally posted by Paulh
                    What they all have is a valid visa but 90% of employers will want a degree regardless of your visa. Without one you dont even get an interview most times, or all you get is lots of part time jobs strung together.
                    So, you can get jobs that don't require you to get a B.A, but you have to have one to get the work visa? Somehow that doesn't make sense to me. Or am I mixing that around? Explain oh wise one.


                    Originally posted by Paulh
                    Full time at NOVA is 250,000 yen a month ($2500) which works at at about $15 an hour, or $12 an hour if you take out taxes.They probably pay more at Walmart stacking shelves. Once you have paid airfare, accomodation, phone, your rent, food, you are not left with much
                    Doesn't NOVA require a B.A or at least your first born to work for them? And no, I make more developing pictures in a lab than any person at walmart makes. Except asst managers, managers and long timers.

                    As far as housing, rent, food, travel, etc. (I don't know how correct it is, but a good site for knowing how much you'll spend is http://www.pricechecktokyo.com/foods.html).

                    Is everyone living in the most expensive district in Tokyo and paying well over 150,000 yen? You can live very well in a tiny hole in the wall apartment in San fran, making 2500 a month (you might have rats for roommates though). I'd say forget apartments and live in a Guest house or Dorm. Hell, even homestay can be cheaper. The big downside to it is no sex life or real privacy. I think I could do without that for a while, if it meant being somewhere I've always wanted to go. As far as airfare goes. The trick is to know someone who works for the airlines and get a standby ticket that's given to employees or retired employees and their families. Sometimes the airline you formerly worked for will give you a ticket for the exact day you want to leave.

                    Originally posted by Paulh
                    As long as the 4 year college accepts those credits as part of a 4 year degree and thats what he ends up with, then yes, immigration doesnt care what color box it comes in. He needs a BA,BS or similar. not an AA degree.

                    2 years by itself is not enough for a work visa.
                    Does being certified in something count? Or is that equivalent to an A.A? I can never remember.



                    Just curious. No harm or disrespect intended.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Xephon
                      Sorry, what I meant was to go to a community college to get a two year degree in order to save money, and then go get the four year degree at a larger college, my bad! BTW, I thought you could transfer all credits from community college to major colleges as long as they accept them. Is that misinformation?

                      Usually in the class lists they say if they're transferable . Skill Dev (like class on self esteem, highschool math, college prep, classes on preparing for the future) classes are not transferable. And some are not transferable to a UC.It'll usually say somewhere on the class description if you can transfer it to a SU or UC. Sometimes they are brats about your language credits though, which is an entire long rant I don't want to get into.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mhari
                        I

                        So, you can get jobs that don't require you to get a B.A, but you have to have one to get the work visa? Somehow that doesn't make sense to me. Or am I mixing that around? Explain oh wise one.


                        .
                        A teaching visa (Instructor) requires a university degree, unless you have 3 years certified experience in the field you want to work in, or relevant teaching certfication. Dont have those and you cant get a visa from immigration.

                        99% of employers ask for a degree as its a condition of getting a work visa, and they tell students that teachers have degrees. There are people without degrees, who have valid visas (e.g. spouse or dependent) other than a teaching work visa, but still work here. Your main concern should be qualifying for a visa, as a company can not employ you without a valid visa.

                        In short, some people work here with valid visas but no degree, but if you want to work full time and be sponsored on a work visa you need a BA and/or 3 years ESL experience.

                        No degree and no experience you cant work here, period, unless you marry a Japanese and get a spouse visa.


                        Originally posted by Mhari
                        I
                        Doesn't NOVA require a B.A or at least your first born to work for them? And no, I make more developing pictures in a lab than any person at walmart makes. Except asst managers, managers and long timers.

                        As far as housing, rent, food, travel, etc. (I don't know how correct it is, but a good site for knowing how much you'll spend is http://www.pricechecktokyo.com/foods.html).
                        .
                        Full time NOVA requires a degree


                        Part time you can work Flextime if you have one year of college (including junior college) but you still need a visa to work here and NOVA doesnt sponsor part timers.

                        NOVA pays a little more in Tokyo, about 270,000 a month as costs and rents are higher in Tokyo. other places like Osaka salary is 250,000 a month (gross). This is considered a minimum salary in Japan, just enough for you to get a work visa. Some schools are now paying 230,000 yen a month for full time visas.

                        The price check site is fairly reliable with Tokyo prices but it may be out of date. Prices are also higher in Tokyo. I live near Osaka, where prices are maybe 10% less, but still expensive. Rent depends on area and the size of your apartment. You can live cheaply if you shop around and dont go out drinking every other night. Restaurants and dining out are a little expensive here and it does add up.


                        Originally posted by Mhari
                        Is everyone living in the most expensive district in Tokyo and paying well over 150,000 yen? You can live very well in a tiny hole in the wall apartment in San fran, making 2500 a month (you might have rats for roommates though). I'd say forget apartments and live in a Guest house or Dorm.
                        Does being certified in something count? Or is that equivalent to an A.A? I can never remember.

                        .
                        I live in Kyoto prefecture but my university where I work is in Kyoto-city. Osaka is 40 minutes by train. My apartment now is a "2LDK" which is 2 rooms, living dining and kitchen, floor area is a about 90 square meters (sorry dont know feet) and I pay about 85,000 yen a month including car park. Average rents around here are about 100,000 yen a month of $1000. If your salary is 250,000 yen a month thats over a third of your salary, but nOVA renst out apartments to teachers for 70,000 a month. Work at AEON and you only pay 42,000 a month and they pay the rest, if you rent from your employer.

                        PS the most expensive districts in tokyo are lived in by well-padded expats sent by their companies. Rents are up to 2 million yen or $20,000 a month. 9 months salary for the average language teacher.


                        You can be certified in anything as long as you qualify for a work visa. You will either need to work as an ESL tutor for 3 years get an ESL certificate, or work for that 4 year degree.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          other options

                          Hi there,
                          I just wanted to add that there are a few more options... There are other types of visas such as cultural visa, student visa, and so on. It comes down to your reason for coming here. I mention that several times in other threads but it amazes me how many people seem to come "just for the heck of it"... If you are coming to learn more about Japan and the culture, etc... then the cultural visa can be an awesome chance. It is hard to qualify for though... Check with your local embassies/consulates, and other Japanese related places (community or cultural centres). If you have support from the VA then maybe a student visa is an option. There are visas related to other areas (such as art, music, and so on) as well. If any other readers know more about these, please share away...

                          Maybe I missed it in the above posts but again, why are you coming? How long would you like to be here? The answers to these questions may help you in your quest to come, and in the answers you get from boards like these... Either way, good luck.

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