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A contract from a friend for visa renewal - Good idea or bad idea?

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  • A contract from a friend for visa renewal - Good idea or bad idea?

    I've got a Humanities visa that expires in January 2014. I'd like to renew it if possible.

    After falling out with the eikaiwa chains during some big closings in 2011, I've made my living over the past two years doing nothing but private lessons and the occasional translation gig. I've got a shot at self-sponsoring (which I've consulted a lawyer about), but I don't like the ambiguity inherent in doing so, and would prefer to make a more typical, rubber-stamp ready application.

    One of my students is the CEO of a large, well-regarded company which is in healthy financial standing. He has offered to give me a position in his company to help me get a visa. Although I may in fact wind up working for him, I am aware that there's not actually much for an eikaiwa guy to do at his company, and I think he's offering just because I've known him for a few years now and we're pretty close as friends. I'd like to have an honest discussion with him about that, and there's something I'd like to present as an option if it doesn't pose a lot of risk and/or excess work.

    Here's my question:

    What if he just gave me a 1-year contract for a full-time position with a mutual agreement that after I get a visa extension with it, I would immediately "quit" and he wouldn't actually have to pay me any salary? Assuming I keep my hands clean of any criminal activity for the duration of my next permit, would this be a burden to him in any kind of way?

    Yes, I realize that this plan itself is legally dubious, but I believe that I am overall a positive, contributing member of society here, as does my student. As for him, he's never done this for anybody before, and I don't think he'd intend to do it for anyone else later. It would be a one-time thing, and if it looked safe, I think he'd be happy to go for it.

    Is this a good idea to try and pull off? What do you guys think? I'm sure he would poll his own sources to decide, but before I even bring it up with him, I'd like to poll mine.

    Thank you!

  • #2
    If it's a large, well-regarded company they probably contract out to someone for language classes. Hiring you for a year will probably cost less than the contracts so you can have it both ways - you get a renewal, his company saves money on training and translation / proofreading.

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    • #3
      Go for it. Working for a " large, well-regarded company " will look good on your CV. Is it his wish that you quit after getting the visa ?
      That might be the chance of a lifetime to get out of language teaching and do something different with better long-term carrer options.
      Don't be shy, from my experience, things like HR or Administration can be done by almost 'anybody' with common sense.

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      • #4
        You don't have to work full-time for his company, just enough that with that contract, and other income you can show is semi-guaranteed, you can support yourself.

        Now, I wouldn't ever propose doing something illicit when it comes to visas and immigration, it's very possible it could come back to haunt you and him, but as an anecdote, I knew a guy who signed two documents at once. The first, a contract dated the current date, gave him a job. The second, dated the day after he went to immigration, but signed at the same time, was a resignation letter from said job. He didn't give immigration the second document.

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        • #5
          As you have mentioned, what you are suggesting is legally dubious. If you have scanned through other threads you would be aware that a change in workplace now requires notification within 14 days of change. So if you renew your status of residence based on an employment contract with your friend and after renewal quit straight away, the official line is that you will have to notify this within 14 days and, since the basis of your visa is gone, will then be required to leave Japan (or change to another eligible status) within 3 months. There are penal sanctions associated with non-notification and this may then lead to other problems at renewal. On an altogether more serious scale, if they for any reason suspect that the employment was nothing other than a facade to illegally obtain a status of residence, you and your friend may end up in big trouble, i.e., jailtime and deportation with indefinite ban from entry. This is of course the extreme case and usually applicable to false marriages but the concept is the same.

          Practically speaking I agree with the other posters - why quit when this could be an opportunity to further yourself. I am sure you and your friend can work out a suitable arrangement where you both benefit. Much safer than going through what you suggested.

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          • #6
            If he is thinking this way, then I don't he is truly a well-regarded company. It's all a scam, and he would be a part. Get a real job and save both of you some potential problems.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Glenski View Post
              If he is thinking this way, then I don't he is truly a well-regarded company. It's all a scam, and he would be a part.
              SamIam is getting a job at Olympus?

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              • #8
                So the three month notification rule got serious with the July 2012 changes? That would certainly put a crimp in things.

                I'm just considering options right now. I do pretty well as a private teacher and I'm happier than I ever was working for anybody. But then again, this guy's company is kicking ass and I'd be the first gaijin ever to work there, so it's a good opportunity. I'll think about it.

                The other option is popping the question to my girlfriend.

                Thanks for the replies.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by SamIAm View Post
                  But then again, this guy's company is kicking ass and I'd be the first gaijin ever to work there, so it's a good opportunity.
                  The way you described it earlier, you would only be there a day. How is that "working" there?

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                  • #10
                    Where did I say that?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SamIAm View Post
                      Where did I say that?
                      Right here:

                      Originally posted by SamIAm View Post
                      Here's my question:

                      What if he just gave me a 1-year contract for a full-time position with a mutual agreement that after I get a visa extension with it, I would immediately "quit" and he wouldn't actually have to pay me any salary?

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                      • #12
                        The last sentence of the paragraph before that:

                        there's something I'd like to present as an option if it doesn't pose a lot of risk and/or excess work.
                        He offered me a real job, as in I come in every day and do actual work for the indefinite future. I am happy with what I do now and would not take it if it weren't for the visa thing. Also, he probably wouldn't be offering if it weren't for the visa thing. Thus, my question.

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                        • #13
                          Perhaps what you write is confusing because you also wrote this:

                          He has offered to give me a position in his company to help me get a visa.
                          This doesn't sound like a serious proposition the way you worded it.

                          Although I may in fact wind up working for him, I am aware that there's not actually much for an eikaiwa guy to do at his company,
                          Neither does this. If you'd actually explain things better, we wouldn't have this communication problem.

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                          • #14
                            I probably should have said "take the job" instead of "wind up working for him."

                            He's not offering because there's some gap that I'm just right for filling, he's offering because he doesn't want me to have to leave. I have to admit, I am a little scared of either being stuck doing nothing for hours a day or being tasked with something I'm not going to be able to do very well. I don't know what he plans on paying me, either. If the three month rule is for real these days, though, I'm leaning toward giving it a shot anyway. It just might go really well.

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                            • #15
                              He must provide something in the way of a contract, which lists hours and duties. That's the law. Take a job without it, even from a friend, and you are downright foolish.

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