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Archive for the 'Visa' Category

11/2/2007

UPDATE: New anti-terrorist welcome to Japan, less ouch

UPDATE, see below — Nov. 2, 3007
Starting November 20, 2007 all foreigners, tourist and long-time residents alike, entering Japan will be required to join the queue with all arriving visitors for fingerprinting, photographing, and anal probing every time they enter or re-enter Japan. alien_anal_probe150x113.png

Japanese justification for this is partly as a tit-for-tat for the crappy faux security measures against Japanese terrorists entering the USA, and partly out of Japan’s general fears of ALIENS, eeek!

UPDATE!
via debito.com Nov 2on Fingerprinting non-Japanese
European Business Council and Aus/NZ Chamber of Commerce in Japan: … Jakob Edberg, Policy Director of the EBC: “After long discussions with the Ministry of Justice, it is now clear that re-entry permit holders will be able to pre-register fingerprints and photo at either Shinagawa or at Narita on the way out. Undergoing this procedure once should grant swift re-entry at Narita (not other international airports) as long as the passport/ re-entry permit is valid.”
[Refer to Ministry of Justice PDF
The Ministry of Justice has also said that for those re-entry permit holders who have not yet pre-registered their fingerprints and photos, there should be a line separate from other foreigners (e.g. tourists) at the immigration counter. However, the MOJ not yet made this commitment in writing – because they may not be able to staff the extra lines at all times of the day.


As reported in REUTERS and the Washington Post, Oct. 26…
although the checks are similar to the “U.S. Visit” system introduced in the United States after the attacks on September 11, 2001.
But Japan, unlike the United States, will require resident foreigners as well as visitors to be fingerprinted and photographed every time they re-enter the country.
“It certainly doesn’t make people who’ve been here for 30 or 40 years feel like they’re even human beings basically,” said businessman Terrie Lloyd, who has dual Australian and New Zealand citizenship and has been based in Japan for 24 years. “There has not been a single incident of foreign terrorism in Japan, and there have been plenty of Japanese terrorists,” he said….

The new November Immigration Procedures reestablishes and adds photographing and biomentrics to the vile old system of fingerprinting that was withdrawn after decades of protest ten years ago.
Now long-term, non-Japanese residents like me will have to submit to fingerprints and photographing every time they enter the country and go through the infamous hours-and-hours wait in the “Visitors Line.” Read more at debito.org
Nice welcome, Immigration.


New immigration procedures for Japan

Japan National Tourist Organization (Press Release)
Monday, October 22, 2007

Japan will introduce new immigration procedures which require foreign nationals entering Japan to be photographed and electronically fingerprinted from November 20, 2007.

The new procedures – similar to those which have already been introduced in the United States – are part of a law amending parts of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act which was promulgated on May 24, 2006. The revised law contains new provisions for the establishment of a framework for preventative measures against acts of terrorism. As part of this framework, a new anti-terrorism measure is to be implemented, which requires the submission of personal identification information at immigration control.

Under the new immigration procedures, when foreign nationals are applying for landing, fingerprints and photograph will be taken, after which an immigration control officer shall ask a few questions regarding the visitor’s stay in Japan.

In the event that any foreign national, who is required by the new law to be fingerprinted and photographed, refuses to submit to these new provisions, that person will not be permitted to enter Japan, and will be required to leave the country.

All foreign nationals entering Japan will be subject to the new provisions, with the exception of the following:
(1) Special permanent residents
(2) Persons under 16 years of age
(3) Those persons performing activities which fall under the status of residence for ‘Diplomat’ or ‘Official’
(4) Those persons who have been invited by the head of any national administrative organisation
(5) Those persons who are prescribed by the Ministry of Justice ordinance as equivalent to either (3) or (4).

Foreign nationals arriving in Japan will be required to follow the following procedures.
1. A person wishing to enter Japan must submit his/her passport to the immigration control officer.
2. Once the immigration control officer has explained the procedures that are to be followed, the person wishing to enter Japan will be asked to place the index fingers of both hands on a digital fingerprint reader. The fingerprint information will be read and stored electromagnetically.
3. A photograph will then be taken, using the camera located at the top of the digital fingerprint reader.
4. The immigration control officer will then conduct a short interview.
5. On completion of the above procedures, the person wishing to enter Japan will receive their passport from the immigration control officer.


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1/23/2006

How can I be a freelance journalist in Japan?

Q: How should I get a “journalist visa” to work in Japan. I have a good portfolio of samples of my work and some awards> However, I never completed my college degree and have only worked for the school paper. I don’t know where to go.

A: Read Justin’s “Getting a Journalist’s Visa to live in Japan”
Justin got his start with the Japan Foreign Correspondents Club—-They really need new members under the age of 60.

Without a degree (or getting married), Japan is a real pisser for a middleclass American. More importantly, it’s a pisser cause Japan really doesn’t want you. When you get engrish teaching jobs, you will always be paid less without a degree (and abused even more than the regular abuse).

White-collar jobs in companies will be a almost impossible without a degree. Japanese journalism as a freelancer is hard work—without Japanese fluency it will be hell. Mainstream newspapers in Japan hire only one or two gaijin a year, and they always require a degree (or 10 years experience with the New York Times).

Ok, ok, yes there are several non-degree gaijin working in Japanese journalism who scammed their way into a job (but they used less-than-legal methods which are harder to apply since Japanese Immigration finally got computerized two years ago). You’ve picked a damn hard way to start an already difficult career.

Bottom Line:

Do you really need Japan so badly that you want to stay as a non-degreed, second-class, non-citizen?

L8r,

Taro, the lame

Posted by Taro in General, Visa | 6 Comments »

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1/5/2006

Online unversities and Japanese work visas

QUESTION: Is it possible to get a work visa with just a two year degree
from a Jr or Community College? How about a degree earned from an online university?

ANSWER:
Basically, work visas in Japan require a 4-year degree from a university. A 2 year degree will not get you a Japanese work visa unless that 2 year technical degree is combined with 6+ years of real work in a technical field for a real company. Self-employment, consulting work, working for a friend is not going to cut it for you to get a Japanese work visa. You need the degree and/or a special skill such as being a chef.

A 4-year online university degree should be acceptable if and only if the online university has a fully-accredited brick-and-mortar campus. Japanese immigration has a secret internal list of fully-accredited universities so there is no use trying to scam them with a semi-fake online-only college. Bible colleges that offer 4-year degrees for a large “free-will” donation don’t work either.

Basically, Japanese Immigration is hip to all the scam online colleges and you should ONLY consider a real university program whether it’s a traditional or online course of study. If the 4-year online university degree would get you a real job working for a Fortune 500 company, then it will get you a Japanese work visa.

Sorry. No shortcuts.

Posted by Taro in General, Visa | 2 Comments »

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12/3/2005

I want a design job in Japan but…

Q: I want a a design job in Japan but I don’t have a degree of any kind. I am good in the field of design and can speak some Japanese? How can I get a design job?

A: Ignoring your problems of not having a design portfolio with Japanese clients and finding a design job in Japan…

Basically you have a big problem getting a company-sponsored visa problem since you don’t have a degree. You need to prove you have at least 5-7 years’ experience in your field as a “designer”. That’s real experience, not flakey self-employment claims. You’ll need a great design portfolio with major corporate clients and/or a REAL work history as a design company employee in a real design-related company.

A “working holiday visa” is available for Western people who are not from the USA, but those visa’s are short-term lasting only a year or two—it’s a visa for a student on a lark. See the 3Yen post: Working Holiday Visa.

You could self-sponsor your own visa by opening your own design company in Japan, but you need plenty of capital, strict personal organization, legal groundwork and many months (if not a year or two) of preplanning. See the previous post about I want to start-up a new biz in Japan…

Posted by Taro in Business, General, Visa | No Comments »

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9/27/2005

Can I claim dual Japan-USA nationality ?

Q: Can I claim dual Japan-USA nationality ?

A: Many Japanese-USAmericans do it. First hear out the official government policies (see below). Then seek real lawyer if you do not like the “offiical” answer. Hint: If either government doesn’t want you to have two passports…. remember that [nudge-nudge-wink-wink] what they don’t know about….

Another tip: Never try leave Japan or USA using one passport and then try to return on a different passport.

Questions About Dual Nationality
American Community Update – October 2005

Every year thousands of children are born to U.S. and Japanese parents, with just about all of these newborns obtaining both American and Japanese citizenship. As a result, U.S. consular officials are often asked for information or guidance on a myriad of issues related to dual nationality.

United States law does not contain any provisions requiring U.S. Citizens who are born with dual nationality or who acquire a second nationality at an early age to choose one nationality or the other when they become adults (see Mandoli v. Acheson, 344 U.S. 133 [1952] ). The current nationality laws of the United States do not specifically refer to dual nationality.

On the other hand, according to a pamphlet published by the Japanese Ministry of Justice, Japanese law requires persons holding both foreign citizenship and Japanese citizenship (dual nationals) to choose a single nationality before reaching age 22 (or, if having acquired dual nationality after age 20, within two years of acquisition). Failure to choose one nationality may result in that person losing their Japanese nationality.

“Choosing” Japanese nationality does not mean you lose U.S. nationality. If your choice is to remain Japanese, you will still retain your U.S. citizenship. If you wish to renounce your U.S. citizenship, something we never advise, you must come to the Embassy or a consulate in person to complete that procedure. This is completely separate from the Japan requirement to choose or not choose Japanese citizenship.

While recognizing the existence of dual nationality and permitting Americans to have other nationalities, the U.S. Government does not endorse dual nationality as a matter of policy because of the problems which it may cause. Claims of other countries upon dual-national U.S. Citizens often place them in situations where their obligations to one country are in conflict with the laws of the other.

In addition, their dual nationality may hamper efforts to provide diplomatic and consular protection to them while they are abroad. It generally is considered that while a dual national is in the other country of which the person is a citizen, that country has a predominant claim on the person. In cases where a dual national encounters difficulty in a foreign country of which the person is a citizen, the ability of the U.S. Government to provide assistance may be quite limited since many foreign countries may not recognize the dual national’s claim to U.S. Citizenship.

If you are a dual national, Section 215 of the Immigration and Naturalization Act ( 8 U.S.C. 1185) requires U.S. Citizens to use U.S. passports when entering or leaving the United States unless one of the exceptions listed in Section 53.2 of Title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations applies. Dual nationals may be required by the other country of which they are citizens to enter and leave that country using its passport, but they do not endanger their U.S. citizenship by complying with such a requirement.

More information on dual nationality can be found at: Japan.USembassy.gov.


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9/4/2005

Can you give details on getting Killer Clown Visa in Japan?

Chindoya ちんどん屋 , traditional Japanese clown-band of sandwich board advertisers
hindoya ちんどん屋 ,

Q: Hey Taro, is there any website to view info on Entertainer Visas to work in Japan??

A: As I mentioned before in my report “Japan’s human trafficking visa”, getting a visa as a Killer Clown under the “Entertainer Visa” catagory has become a b-i-t-c-h.

FIRST go to “Official” visa information website of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

NEXT, you should check the Consular Section of the Embassy or Consulate General of Japan nearest you for more information and advice Japanese laws are applied in a phase-of-the-moon, case-by-case basis.



Entertainer
1. In cases where the applicant is to engage in theatrical performances or musical performances, the following conditions are to be fulfilled, excluding cases in 2. of this category.

1. The applicant must fall under any one of the following three criteria, except in cases where the total receipts of the applicant’s performance is 5 million yen or more a day (If the performance is done in a group, then the group’s receipts must exceed this amount.).

(1) The applicant meets the standards as set by a foreign national or local government agency or an equivalent public or private organization. (2) The applicant has spent a minimum of 2 years at a foreign educational institution studying subjects relevant to the type of performance in which he or she will engage. (3) The applicant must have a minimum of 2 years’ experience outside Japan in the type of performance in which he or she will engage.

2. The applicant must be invited by an organization which fulfills the following requirements, except in cases where the applicant is invited for the purpose of providing singing, dancing or performance of ethnic music at ethnic restaurants other than those classified as places for the entertainment of customers under items 1 or 2 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on Control and Improvement of Amusement and Entertainment Businesses (Fueiho, Law No. 122 of 1948).

(1) The operator or the manager of the inviting organization should have at least 3 years’ experience in the show business involving foreign nationals. (2) The organization must employ at least 5 full-time employees in Japan. (3) The organization is inviting foreign entertainers at a ratio of 10 or less foreign entertainers, including the applicant, to each full-time employee who has been continually employed by the organization for a minimum of 6 months (including managers, operators and other full-time employees), except in cases where the show is to take place at a facility provided for by the provisions of Article 1, Paragraph 2 of the Show Business Site Act (Kogyojoho, Law No. 137 of 1948). (4) The operator and all full-time employees of the organization must not have been found guilty of committing “any crime” as specified under Article 73, Paragraph 2 of the Immigration Control Act or Article 6 or 12 of the Antiprostitution Law (Law No. 118 of 1956). However, this does not apply when 5 years have passed from the termination of the sentence or termination of the suspension of execution of the sentence period. (5) The operator, manager or other full-time employees must not have committed any collective or customary violent offence provided for by Article 5 of the Enforcement Regulations of the Law on Control and Improvement of Amusement and Entertainment Businesses (”Fueiho-Shikokisoku,” National Public Safety Commission Rule no.1 of 1985) in the past 3 years.

3. The facility at which the applicant’s entertainment is to take place is to meet all of the following requirements. However, (6) and (7) are to be fulfilled in cases where the performance is given by one entertainer.

(1) Attendance of the performance must not be limited to any specific groups or individuals. (2) If the facility falls under items 1 and 2 of Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Law on Control and Improvement of Amusement and Entertainment Businesses, both of the following criteria must be met. i) There must be at least 5 employees at the facility whose duties are primarily the “serving of customers”. ii) It is evident that the foreign performers holding the “entertainer” visa will not be required to take part in “serving the customers”. (3) There must be a stage of at least 13 square meters. (4) There must be a waiting room for the entertainers of at least 9 square meters (if the number of entertainers is greater than 5, there must be an additional 1.6 square meters for every extra entertainer). (5) There must be at least 5 employees at the facility. (6) The operator or other full-time employees of the facility must not have been found guilty of committing any crime under Article 73, Paragraph 2 of the Immigration Control Act or Article 6 or 12 of the Antiprostitution Law. However, this does not apply when 5 years have passed from the termination of the sentence or termination of the suspension of execution of the sentence period. (7) The operator, manager, or other full-time employees must not have committed any collective or customary violent offense provided for by Article 5 of the Enforcement Regulations of the Law on Control and Improvement of Amusement and Entertainment Businesses.

4. The applicant should receive at least 200,000 yen per month.

2. In cases where the applicant is to engage in theatrical performances or musical performances, and

(1) when the applicant is invited by a national or local government agency, a corporation having a special status, or an educational institution, only the remuneration criteria must be met. (2) when the applicant is invited by a cultural exchange organization established with funds from national or local government agencies or by a theme park with a boundary area of over 100,000 square meters for the purpose of performing in that theme park, only criteria (6) and (7) of the facility criteria and the remuneration criteria must be met.

3. In cases where the applicant is to engage in public entertainment other than theatrical or musical performances, he or she should receive no less salary than a Japanese national would receive for comparable work. 4. In cases where the applicant is to engage in show business other than public entertainment, he or she should engage in one of the following activities and should receive no less salary than a Japanese national would receive for comparable work.

1. Activities relating to advertisement of goods or business 2. Activities relating to production of broadcast programs (including cable broadcast programs) or movies 3. Activities relating to taking of commercial-use photographs 4. Activities relating to recording of commercial-use records

Posted by Taro in General, Visa | No Comments »

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8/31/2005

Japan’s human trafficking visa

Manila Standard Today – With Japan tightening up…….Japan itself has not continued to accept a steady stream of Filipino performing artists considering its stricter visa …. Japan has drawn up measures to curtail human trafficking.
…artists can be issued visa to Japan by either passing any of the two requirements namely, two-year experience as artists in other countries or two-year college education on performing arts.

Japan’s “Entertainer Visa” is dead. Even my Iowa farmboy friend Brian was refused that visa category this week and he has a dozen movie credits.

The above visa “rule” of ‘two-year experience as artists in other countries or two-year college education on performing arts’ is only a guideline and in reality everyone but Tom Cruise is being rejected at this time. If you really are an entertainer (and not a hooker) and you want to apply for an “Entertainer Visa” to Japan, just wait until next year and by then things will loosen up .

Posted by Taro in General, Visa | No Comments »

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7/31/2005

WHAT TO DO IF…

My favorite gaijin gadfly, Dave Aldwinckle aka Arudou Debito, has this great WHAT TO DO IF site covering many of the pains of living in Japan. Enjoy.

WHAT TO DO IF…
(Click on a link to go directly to that heading)

you are asked for your “Gaijin Card”.
you are stopped by the Japanese police.
you are arrested by the Japanese police.

you overstay your visa.
you see a “Japanese Only” sign.
you are refused service at a business catering to the general public.
you are turned away at a hotel.

you want to protest something you see as discriminatory.
you want to take somebody to court.
you want to get a job (or a better job) in Japanese academia.
you are having a labor dispute in the workplace.

you are swindled in a business deal.
you need a lawyer.
you want to get Permanent Residency (eijuuken).
you want to become a Japanese citizen.

you want to run for office.
you want to build a house.
you want to get a divorce.
you want to do some awareness raising.

And more. Updated and added to frequently. Don’t see exactly what you’re looking for? Start at the very top of the “What to do if” site and see what headings are on offer.


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7/7/2005

Getting a job in Japan, the easy way

Previously in “Getting a job in Japan, the hard way”, I failed to cover the the best way to come to Japan: O.P.M. ,other people’s money or as it universally called here:
THE PACKAGE.
The best way to come to Japan is to be Joining a foreign software company and being sent to Japan on the all expense paid “The Package” for expats is the best. Why live in Japan as an “in-country hire” low-life like me when you can live the fatcat expat life?

The terms for an expat Package traditionally include fully paid Western-style housing and all private school fees, business-class travel home annually, a car, cost-of-living benefits of an additional 20 to 40 percent over local pay levels. For example, an expat friend of mine working for a global electronics company (GE) at middle/lower senior management receives a $3,000 USD housing allowance per month, of airfares to home country, three weeks holiday on top of the numerous Japanese holidays, full medical/dental/legal, and private school fees for their children.

“Ideally” if you want to come to Japan, you should try to be hired at a non-Japanese company with a large Japanese division and then get transferred here to live as royalty. The greater the Japanese presence the non-Japanese company has, the more chances you have to transfer here on the all-important Package. Occasionally, a smaller company will have a gaijin director position available but you would have to have inside connections to know that and generally the smaller the company the higher the level of Japanese is required.

I am saying you need to work for non-Japanese companies because Japanese companies don’t like to transfer folks from the Real World to Japan except for specific projects of less than six months. The game industry has the greatest amount of cross-border transfers most other industries use in-country hiring of very F’ed gaijin and “astronauts” who commute to Japan for a couple weeks or months at a time. Also Japanese company do not want to hire a foreigner sight unseen…and it’s a pain in the ass to come to Japan without work (and often a visa) just to interview for a job. Besides, Japanese companies don’t provide the Package, bah.

Posted by Taro in General, Money, Visa | 37 Comments »

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7/7/2005

Getting a job in Japan, the hard way

The real “Answer” to getting a job in Japan is: “Don’t.”

Ok, I’ve warned you. Now please go ahead and buy any of the books about getting a job in Japan and read it cover to cover. The old Bible of thousands of FG wannabes for the past 20 years, “JOBS in JAPAN” and most others likeHow to Land Jobs in Japan advice to come here cold and semi-illegal to find a job.

Then visit the web forums like GaijinPot for a reality check.

Pleeeease do your homework. Don’t email me and ask for the magic answer to getting a job in Japan. After 20 years, I haven’t the foggest idea what the special trick is. Don’t take this personally; I simply do not know. I fell into my job by mistake.

So what is it like to find a job in Japan? Here’s a few of my random thoughts….

Most J-companies do NOT wanna hire a Pig-in-Poke. It’s tough to be hired overseas in your home country to work in Japan. The Bad-Case scenerio is it’s gonna take you 6-to-3 months to find job and more than $5-10K to get your own apartment, phone, fridge, etc. The Good-Case scenerio is it’s gonna take you 4 weeks and $1,900. The Best-Case scenerio does not exist.
Please note many major Japanese companies will not sponsor visas (your soon-to-be-bucho/manager is forced to privately sponsor you).
Come to think of it, most of the long-term gaijin came here under some sponsorship such as a job transfer, Japanese education, martial arts, JET program, etc.

Me? I got headhunted here but I was told to “wait” for 3-4 months. I scrapped by as a semi-illegal worker in a bunch shitty jobs to survive. Then had to do the Korean visa run on at my own expense to get my work visa. It was DAMN TOUGH. I ran out of money ($3,500 spent in 9 weeks). Without leeching off my Judo teacher and a friendly mama-san who frequently gave me “taxi money” I would never have “made it”.

BOTTOM LINE: Go for it! What do got to lose but your sanity?

Posted by Taro in General, Money, Visa | 2 Comments »

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