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Libellule
September 3rd, 2013, 05:58
Hey everyone,

I'm planning on applying this October as an ALT, and I have a few questions that I can't find answers for in the forums/FAQs:



I'm hoping to bring my fiance with me, but he doesn't have a degree so he would just be tagging along. I know that Japan won't recognize us as anything legally because we aren't married yet, so will this hurt my chances of getting in? Would it be better if he had TESOL certification so at least he's more likely to get a job tutoring somewhere? He knows a bit of Japanese from a couple of college courses he took (don't know if that makes a difference or not.)
I have very little knowledge of Japan. My sister in-law-to-be is Japanese and so I've learned about some cultural customs and geography from her and I LOVE Japanese food, but I don't know Japanese or anything else really. Would this hurt my chances of getting in? I'm a fast learner and I'd love to take a Japanese course but unfortunately with school and work I'm too busy right now.
Are interview dates flexible at all? (If I'm lucky enough to get an interview!) I'm starting my 9 week teaching practicum for my degree in February (I think the second or third week) and wouldn't be allowed to miss any days :s


Thanks in advance!

coop52
September 3rd, 2013, 07:31
1. Your fiance won't affect whether or not you get in, but it'll be extremely difficult for them to find a company willing to sponsor a work visa without a college degree or years and years of experience in some sort of skilled work. Self-sponsoring is possible, but only if you can prove that you can earn a minimum income on your own. Having a TESOL probably wouldn't do much to help; people with both TESOL certificates and 4 year degrees are a dime-a-dozen here, so why would someone hire a person with only a certificate? It might be easier to just get married before you come, provided you get past the interview of course.

2. Not really a problem. As long as you seem interested in learning and seem ok with handling the stress of adapting to living in a different country, you should be fine.

3. Depends on your consulate. I was given a range of days and times during the week of Valentine's Day back when I interviewed (Atlanta consulate). The interview itself isn't that long, so if you live close, you wouldn't have to miss a whole day for it.

therealwindycity
September 3rd, 2013, 08:44
When I was told about my interview I was given a specific time and day. Depending on the consulate they might be able to change it for something important, but I wouldn't count on it. Is there any way you can let the school know in advance that you'll have to have an important appointment that you can't miss in mid-to-late February?

Jiggit
September 3rd, 2013, 08:50
To be brutally honest your fiance won't be able to get a work visa without a college degree and without a work visa he can't live here. "Just tagging along" is not actually possible.

If you were married it would be different but in that case you would run into the problems that this previous poster had: http://www.ithinkimlost.com/applying-jet/18683-improving-next-time-around.html

Libellule
September 3rd, 2013, 09:17
Thanks guys, I need brutal honesty right now! I have no clue about anything haha

My consulate is a 3 hour drive away so I will have to take the day. That would be amazing if they gave me a range of days... as for the school, I think you're allowed to miss a couple of days but it really depends on your coordinator/supervising teacher.

And Jiggit, is the only way to live in Japan really to have a work visa? Yikes. He has a college diploma and a few years experience shipping and recieving for a couple companies... his brother is a JET alum and he was saying significant others of JETs were able to get jobs at stores doing things that didn't involve too much customer interaction (ie: shipping and receiving), but maybe that's changed?

Jiggit
September 3rd, 2013, 09:32
And Jiggit, is the only way to live in Japan really to have a work visa? Yikes. He has a college diploma and a few years experience shipping and recieving for a couple companies... his brother is a JET alum and he was saying significant others of JETs were able to get jobs at stores doing things that didn't involve too much customer interaction (ie: shipping and receiving), but maybe that's changed?

I can't believe you haven't checked the MOFA information about this yet: MOFA: If your objective is work or a long-term stay [Guide to Japanese Visas] (http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/long/index.html)
It's not the "only way", but it's not like you can just fly into the country and kick around for as long as you like. I can't really see any other kinds of visas on that page that would allow him to stay here long term anyway.

"Significant other" sounds like it means a spouse to me. Otherwise they'd have had to come here on a tourist visa and started applying for those jobs after getting here, which is actually illegal.

therealwindycity
September 3rd, 2013, 09:35
He might be able to get a working holiday visa. These are the eligible countries:

MOFA: The Working Holiday Programmes in Japan (http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/w_holiday/)

A cultural visa might also be possible, though he wouldn't be allowed to earn money and it would be trickier.

MOFA: General visa: Cultural activities [Guide to Japanese Visas] (http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/long/visa5.html)

jwkelley
September 3rd, 2013, 09:55
Might have to just say you are engaged and that might work. I know a couple here who were in your shoes. Once the husband got here he did find a job picking oranges, stuff like this though will mostly depend on how you get a long with the local community.

word
September 3rd, 2013, 12:03
If you are from the US and come over here on a "temporary visitor pass" (commonly but incorrectly referred to as a "tourist visa"), it will be a gigantic pain in the arse for you to have it changed to a work visa (or any other kind of visa for that matter). Japanese law actually specifically forbids doing this except in "extraordinary circumstances"--a vague loophole that can be exploited, but not without a tremendous amount of paperwork and several trips to Tokyo. I absolutely do not recommend doing this. It would be significantly easier to get married (even if you just do it on paper and don't tell anyone) back home and apply for a dependent visa for you husband. He can always get that changed to a work visa later, generally without too much trouble.

If you try the temporary visitor pass thing, you've got three months, then it's either start the horrible bureaucratic process of trying to slip through that loophole, or cross your fingers and hope you can get away with a few "Korea runs."

If you're from the UK or Canada or Australia or something, you have a few more options.

I know a great deal about this, unfortunately, because MG and I did things the hard way. We were stupid, and I highly recommend that you avoid making the same mistakes.

patjs
September 3rd, 2013, 13:46
And Jiggit, is the only way to live in Japan really to have a work visa? Yikes. He has a college diploma and a few years experience shipping and recieving for a couple companies... his brother is a JET alum and he was saying significant others of JETs were able to get jobs at stores doing things that didn't involve too much customer interaction (ie: shipping and receiving), but maybe that's changed?

You can't just up and move to a country without some sort of visa if you aren't married. You don't just show up and start working odd jobs. There are time limits on visitor visas. He could stay 3 months or you can get married. Not many other choices.

Libellule
September 3rd, 2013, 13:55
it's not like you can just fly into the country and kick around for as long as you like

Thanks for that.

I definitely haven't checked out that website, so that's helpful. We obviously need to do a lot more research but I (naively) didn't realize you couldn't go in with the travel visa and switch to a work visa if you found a job. Looks like getting married would be our best option! hah a lot sooner than anticipated.

Ini
September 3rd, 2013, 13:58
just being married won't automatically allow him to get a job. a spouse visa isn't a work visa

Libellule
September 3rd, 2013, 14:00
It would be significantly easier to get married (even if you just do it on paper and don't tell anyone) back home and apply for a dependent visa for you husband. He can always get that changed to a work visa later, generally without too much trouble.


I have a good friend who got married this year on paper because it was much more convenient to be married, and had her ceremony months later, and I couldn't have seen myself doing it, until now... but the dependent -> work visa really makes the most sense.

And I'm from Canada, but I seem to be pointed in the right direction to be checking out what our options are. So far the second best choice to getting married would probably be a working holiday program.


just being married won't automatically allow him to get a job. a spouse visa isn't a work visa

Yes I understand that, but it does seem like it would make it a lot more likely that it would happen. I'll have to investigate the MOFA site more but I think that you can go from a dependent visa to a work visa if you find a job?

Ini
September 3rd, 2013, 14:12
no, you can apply for your dependants visa to been extended to allow you to work 28 hours a week and then you can go look for a job that meets that criteria.

at this point it'll just be easier for him to become a published author and come in on an artists visa. write a tween story about gay vampire wizards or something, they are always popular

Libellule
September 3rd, 2013, 14:21
at this point it'll just be easier for him to become a published author and come in on an artists visa. write a tween story about gay vampire wizards or something, they are always popular

I laughed.

Gizmotech
September 4th, 2013, 09:49
Keep in mind the Canadian Working Holiday Visa is a 6 month visa, not a year. My friend was denied his extension to 1 year because he wasn't "holidaying" enough while he was here, as he basically just stayed in the Kansai area the entire time. It all depends on who you get at immigration and if they think you're being useful or not.

Libellule
September 5th, 2013, 02:40
Thanks so much for all the info guys! I finally feel like I'm starting to wrap my head around all this visa stuff. Thank you Gizmotech for pointing that out! Also, word, if you feel like sharing more about your experiences with MG, or point me in the direction of where you've shared them already, it would be greatly appreciated! It sounds like you have some valuable experience.

Now I'm starting to wonder about reference letters and have more questions (I do apologize if they've been asked before!) I realize that because I'm graduating in April 2014 that I need a professional reference and a reference from a professor, but I don't know who to ask. All that I've gathered from other threads is that the reference letters need to be amazing if you're going to get an interview.

1. For my professional reference I could ask the executive director of the company I work for, or a parent of a child that I worked with directly - which would be better? Both are well written and would write glowing letters.
2.Would a teaching practicum supervisor count as a professional reference or a professor? Or neither? It would make sense to me to use this as one of my references because of how relevant it is, and it would be convenient for me to use it as a professor because...
3. I've never developed a relationship with a professor that I could ask for a reference letter. The majority of my classes have 100+ people in them so that in itself makes it hard for me to develop any kind of relationship with them, and asking for a reference a month into classes just seems wrong, but potentially my only option. Any advice?

coop52
September 5th, 2013, 06:30
Your teaching practicum supervisor would probably count as an academic reference. As for the professional one, go with the executive director since they'd be more able to give a reference of your working ability.

wag1
September 12th, 2013, 23:17
Will be applying - lets do this shizzle!

Libellule
September 27th, 2013, 01:32
Anyone willing spare a few minutes to look over my SoP? I have a draft done based on what I've gathered you're supposed to write about. Thanks in advance!

Gizmotech
September 27th, 2013, 07:16
You're more than welcome to post it in here, and I'll publicly criticize it when I have a moment.

Ini
September 27th, 2013, 09:35
you are probably better off waiting for a nice person to offer to read it if you PM it to them. If you post it publicly you [may receive inappropriate responses].

Jiggit
September 27th, 2013, 09:42
I'll do it if you're happy to wait until Monday to get it back.

coop52
September 27th, 2013, 10:14
I can take a look at it too, probably won't have time until Monday though.

Libellule
September 27th, 2013, 14:16
Thanks again guys :) Yep, definitely won't be posting it publicly! Jiggit and coop52, if it's alright I'll wait till Monday to send it, get it in the best shape possible first. Just checking that I'm not totally out to lunch - I'm supposed to be writing about what I can offer JET as an ALT and why I want to do JET (with a focus on what I can offer) yeah?

robshan
September 30th, 2013, 21:37
Hey everyone! I worked on my first SoP draft this weekend! Anyone willing to give it a read? :^_^:

coop52
October 1st, 2013, 07:24
Sure, send me a PM and I can take a look at it.

Lianwen
October 2nd, 2013, 12:44
I know there are probably a lot of lurkers who will check out this thread, but I feel like there should be a gentle reminder of "maybe it's not a good idea to sign up using your given/family name".

I noticed a lot of people doing so already.

word
October 2nd, 2013, 12:47
Thank you, Lian; I'll make an announcement about that.

snugglesnacks
October 3rd, 2013, 08:11
Canadian aspiring ALT here, humbly joining the line for possible SoP editing! Once I get my rear in gear and write it up, that is. This looks like a great community (without mentioning some of the lounge threads I've lurked...)! I joined the official JET forums just in time for them to close on me :( Glad that someone mentioned another awesome resource for us newbies to invade!!

shigusan
October 3rd, 2013, 18:05
Don't think it was mentioned but if you and your partner are financially able he can come in on a student visa and study in Japan. The language school or college will sponsor his visa for the duration of the stay. If you pick a long term course he could potentially stay for up to 2 years. The issue with that is if you are placed in the inaka you might be far apart and while the shinkansen is all nice and flashy its expensive for a daily commute. Just a thought though. With a student visa he can apply to be allowed to work up to i think 20 hours p/w

Libellule
October 17th, 2013, 23:19
Update - we are not getting married just to make this easier (and sticking with the original plan of getting married after the program IF I get in) Anyway, now I'm wondering what to put on the section of the application asking if I'm wanting to come with a partner. He will most likely be coming to Japan around the same time as me (if not the exact same time) but it isn't a deal-breaker if he can't stay for the whole year (but I think we have a decent plan of how to do that, at least for 9 months). Do I say I have a partner coming? I don't want them to think that I won't go unless he can come and that I'm super dependent on him.

Gizmotech
October 18th, 2013, 00:39
Japan doesn't acknowledge the concept of partners/common law. That is something the consulate can deal with.

If you're married, you're married. if you're not, you might as well break up. Some places will be okay with an unmarried couple living together, other places will not be. Your risk, your choice.

Libellule
October 18th, 2013, 00:52
I'm not really worried about what will happen in Japan yet - I'll worry about that if I get in. Right now I'm more concerned with what to put on my application, I must not have been clear about that. The Canadian application has a section that says:


11a. Will you be accompanied by family members (or partner) if selected for the JET Programme, or do you wish to be placed with another applicant who is a family member (or partner)?

Accompanied refers to someone (including children) who intends to live with you permanently while participating on the JET Programme. A partner refers to a spouse, fiancé(e), boyfriend/girlfriend or someone of equivalent status. Only a legal spouse is eligible for a Spousal Dependent’s Visa. A fiancé(e), boyfriend/girlfriend or someone of equivalent status is not eligible and is subsequently responsible for their own visa arrangements.



I understand allll the visa stuff now, and I do know that some places won't allow us to live together even though we're engaged. He will have his own separate arrangements for getting to Japan, and if necessary, staying in Japan, but like I said, I'm not worrying about that yet. I'm just wondering if I should put on my application that I will be "accompanied". Will it help our chances of being placed somewhere we can live together (if I got in)? And I know only special accommodations are made for married couples. Will it hinder my chances of getting accepted because they would be worried that I might back out if we can't figure out what to do with him since he won't be a dependant? (I wouldn't). My future brother-in-law is a former JET and said he knew a decent amount of bf/gfs living together, when only one was a member of the program.

Gizmotech
October 18th, 2013, 01:00
It will not hurt you in getting placed.

If you put it on the form, the consulate will deal with things for the most part. You do not need to worry.

If you are accepted they still might not like it. Welcome to Japan eh?

Japan does not care about engagement, only the legal document. Promises mean shit in this country.

Honestly, to make your life MUCH easier, if you plan to live with your significant other, just get married. It saves you VISA headaches, it saves you contracting organization headaches, it's easier for the Japanese to understand....

If it were me, on a review panel, I would ask this question "You were planning to be wed before coming on JET. Why didn't you deal with the problem before going, given how simple a thing it is to deal w/ at city hall, or are you that insecure in your relationship (given you need to delay the act of wedding by such a substantial amount of time) that you will probably break up and cause many people problems in your emotional distress?"

Libellule
October 18th, 2013, 01:14
It will not hurt you in getting placed.

That's all I wanted to know. Thanks.

I certainly hope if I get an interview, my review panel won't make such crazy judgements.

therealwindycity
October 18th, 2013, 08:41
If it were me, on a review panel, I would ask this question "You were planning to be wed before coming on JET. Why didn't you deal with the problem before going, given how simple a thing it is to deal w/ at city hall, or are you that insecure in your relationship (given you need to delay the act of wedding by such a substantial amount of time) that you will probably break up and cause many people problems in your emotional distress?"

This is a little harsh IMO ...

I don't think it will affect your chances of getting in if you list it on the application, but bear in mind that this probably also means your CO will know that you plan on having him come to live with you. If they decide to take issue with it it might mean having to find separate housing without BOE assistance (as much as they might try to intimidate you, they can't legally prevent you from living with a significant other unless you're in BOE-owned housing, but they can decide to revoke a housing supplemental stipend or even not to recontract you). Honestly it might be better just to not say anything and wait to see if you get accepted, then tell the consulate.

I know someone who got married basically just to get the visa for their SO when they came on JET (they'd been planning to get married but not quite yet) and it pretty much broke them up. Adjusting to marriage plus trying to adjust to Japanese culture was too much to handle all at once.

Gizmotech
October 18th, 2013, 09:03
This is a little harsh IMO ...

I know someone who got married basically just to get the visa for their SO when they came on JET (they'd been planning to get married but not quite yet) and it pretty much broke them up. Adjusting to marriage plus trying to adjust to Japanese culture was too much to handle all at once.

Exactly why I said it that harshly. To get the person to consider why they would/wouldn't be married by that time if they are engaged (though I get the impression that many people talk about engagement like the nth step of a relationship, not the pre-commitment to marriage waiting on financial resources). Can they live together? Can they operate together? Married or not, it doesn't make that much difference when you come to Japan, other than having the legal document. It's easier to deal with that break up back home than it is in Japan, and I've heard about (and seen) the people you just described windy... It's not pretty. Better to think about it now than later, and better to figure it all out now rather than later.

Antonath
October 18th, 2013, 09:17
It will not hurt you in getting placed.
I think it's fairer to say that stating that you will be accompanied will not affect your chances of being approved by CLAIR. What the various boards of education will think is a different matter. You can easily get past the interview and still not be selected by a contracting organisation.

And it's far from a "crazy judgement". The interview panel is there to judge whether a person is suitable to be an ALT, but also how well they will cope with living in Japan. It's more than a simple job interview, and you being accompanied by someone you're not married to is very much part of that consideration, whether it be how you will handle it, or how your employers and/or neighbours will handle it.

word
October 18th, 2013, 09:36
Though Giz' question was harsh, it's always better to imagine the most brutal, crazy questions for interview preparation. Prepare for a worst-case scenario, and no matter what, you'll be prepared for what they throw at you.

In regards to marriage--MG and I are the poster children for "what not to do." We didn't get married. She came over on a "temporary visitor pass" (not technically a "tourist visa" as it is commonly called). This was a bad idea. I do not recommend that anyone do this. Yeah, it all worked out for us in the end, but it would have been a million, billion, gajillion times easier if we had gotten married back at home--even in secret, on paper only--and applied for a dependent visa that way.

Seriously, bringing a partner over without being married is a bad idea.

Now, I don't give a sh*t about being married. It's just paper. I don't understand why governments are involved at all. However, as both Giz and windy have pointed out...

...it is really, really hard. It was really, really hard on MG and I--first the LDR, then the life together in Japan. We had been living together for over three years in the 'States, and it was still hard for us. Moving is stressful. Culture shock is stressful. LDRs are stressful. Cohabitation is stressful. Combine all of these things, and f*ck.

What I always, always tell people is simple: if you have to ask whether or not your relationship can survive all this, it can't. Period.

If it can, then the government malarkey (marriage certificate, whatever) doesn't really matter, because you know you'll be all right no matter what. If you're in the former group, just break up now. It will be easier. If you're in the latter, then get married, because it will save you a f*ck of a lot of trouble later on down the line.

Libellule
October 18th, 2013, 13:43
Wow, some strong opinions on this!

Story time:

The fiance and I have been through A LOT in our years together (yes I know, cliche, but true). We've lived together for quite some time, done a couple stints of LDR - longest was five months so not really all that long, although the job I was doing was probably the most stressful thing I've ever experienced in my life - but we've made it through. We've even participated in couples groups to strengthen our relationship (different than counseling as it was more proactive than reactive) and I know we can get through absolutely anything together, I know this is it. The reason I'm apprehensive to get married is really to do with my best friend's experience this year. She chose to get married on paper before her actual "wedding" and it wasn't the greatest. She didn't feel married until after the wedding, and described the time between the city hall thing and the wedding as this weird limbo. I know it might sound silly, but it really turned me off of the whole idea of a city hall wedding. It would solve all our problems if I wasn't still in school and had time (and money) to plan a wedding, but another friend of mine planned her wedding during her last year of school and... I'm not doing that. I'll have to change my expectation of what being married is and feels like I guess.

word
October 18th, 2013, 13:53
Are you okay with using most of your vacation days to travel to Tokyo, sitting in an un-air-conditioned hall full of screaming kids and sick old people, waiting for hours upon end, until a bureaucrat calls your number, stamps a card, then tells you to come back in two weeks? Are you okay with spending hundreds--more like thousands--of dollars in fees and fuel in order to do so? Are you okay with risking the possibility that your SO's application might be rejected, and that s/he may have to leave or even face deportation if this occurs? Are you okay with the fact that you are--technically--knowingly breaking the law by bringing him/her into the country with the intent to remain long-term? Are you okay with all of these things, despite the fact that a quick afternoon visit to a justice of the peace in the 'States, done in secret, without anyone knowing about it, could prevent you from having to deal with any of it?

If you're okay with all that, then go for it!

Libellule
October 18th, 2013, 14:10
Are you okay with using most of your vacation days to travel to Tokyo, sitting in an un-air-conditioned hall full of screaming kids and sick old people, waiting for hours upon end, until a bureaucrat calls your number, stamps a card, then tells you to come back in two weeks? Are you okay with spending hundreds--more like thousands--of dollars in fees and fuel in order to do so? Are you okay with risking the possibility that your SO's application might be rejected, and that s/he may have to leave or even face deportation if this occurs? Are you okay with the fact that you are--technically--knowingly breaking the law by bringing him/her into the country with the intent to remain long-term? Are you okay with all of these things, despite the fact that a quick afternoon visit to a justice of the peace in the 'States, done in secret, without anyone knowing about it, could prevent you from having to deal with any of it?

Kinda sounds terrible. All of this is starting to make me reconsider... goddamn reality checks!

word
October 18th, 2013, 14:37
I don't mean to be harsh. I kinda wish someone had been harsh with me early on. I had no idea that things would be so difficult for me and MG when I came--but it was my fault, because I hadn't bothered to look into it or ask anyone--I just assumed that I'd bring her and that everything would work out okay. In the end, it did, but it was a long, costly, and annoying process. I hope that anyone who might find themselves in a similar situation can learn from my mistakes.

Marriage has nothing to do with paperwork that you get from the government; it's between you and your SO. Your wedding is between you and your family. The legal sh*t that our governments force us to wade through is just that: a wade through sh*t, and should be treated accordingly--you gotta do it, but that doesn't mean that you gotta get emotionally invested in it. Just do what you gotta do to keep the government off your back, and keep the emotional components separate from all of it. Those are for you, your SO, and your families.

If you just absolutely can't completely separate it, make it fun. I try to do something special for MG every year on our "secret" wedding anniversary--the day that we were married in Japan, but didn't tell our families!

Gizmotech
October 18th, 2013, 14:41
Kinda sounds terrible. All of this is starting to make me reconsider... goddamn reality checks!

Ya, I'm sorry if we're being harsh, and my friends have talked about the limbo feeling you just described as well, but considering the legal status that a 200$ piece of paper costs, and how much trouble it'll save ya...

If we didn't have the concept of the giant white wedding stuck in us from our childhood days these problems wouldn't occur. Probably the reason I like Japan so much. Get married on monday, sometime next year go to a "wedding" house, get dressed up, take some pictures, and pretend you had the big white wedding instead :)

therealwindycity
October 18th, 2013, 15:58
Is it possible for him to come on a work visa as well? That seems to be one of the best solutions for non-married JET couples. It probably wouldn't be extremely hard to find a job in the relatively nearby area that would sponsor a visa, and even if it's not the best job some money would be better than the none at all you'd get on a visitor pass, right?

word
October 18th, 2013, 16:48
If you go that route, he'll have to be out of the country to get the visa. It is very, very, very difficult (and unlikely) to get a visitor pass changed to a working visa (technically against the law; there's an "extraordinary circumstances" loophole, but I'm told it's almost impossible to get a working visa that way--only a dependent visa).

zombiekelly
October 18th, 2013, 23:36
I agree, in this instance marriage doesn't need to mean anything other than the visa workaround. If you're willing to go through hell for this guy, it stands to reason that a weekday trip to the courthouse won't make a big difference. I know a lot of people put stock in the idea of marriage, but hell, sounds to me like you're doing all the things a married couple do anyway. You don't have to change your name or even file your taxes differently (at least in the US, not sure about Canada).

Libellule
October 19th, 2013, 02:55
Thanks everyone! I get why you're being a little harsh, and I am grateful that you guys are telling it like it is, I need to know what I am potentially getting in to. And Gizmo I agree, I never thought I was one of thooose girls, that had to have the cookie cutter wedding, but I guess I can't totally ecape the north american cliche. It is very unlikely that he could get a work visa, although we have a friend who got a job on a ski hill in Hokkaido somewhere before he was even in Japan, so if I got placed there, maybe? That's not something I'd really count on tho since I could get placed anywhere.

word
October 19th, 2013, 10:18
In my description of what you'll have to do to keep him here if he doesn't have a visa, I forgot one important part: the paperwork. There is a mountain of paperwork, and half of it is in 100% Japanese. MG and I were ridiculously, incredibly, unimaginably lucky to work with a JTE who is one of the kindest, most generous dudes I've ever met here in Japan. He filled out most of our paperwork, called immigration and went to bat for us, and generally held our hands and escorted us through the entire process. This went way, way, way beyond the boundaries of his duties as a teacher. We would have been completely f*cked if it weren't for him. Most people might not be so lucky.

wicket
October 22nd, 2013, 20:39
First time I went on JET I left my boyfriend back in Australia. We were meant to do the LDR thing for a year. Two months in he follows me over on very short notice, assuming he would be able to live with me [as we had been in Australia]. It took about 4 or 5 months for my school to get their heads around that one and to forgive me; even after we got engaged the town still gossiped about us. We broke up not long after I finished the programme, without getting married.
Second time I went on JET my boyfriend and I got married - we had not intended to as we were already committed to one another, but the piece of paper came in handy [neither of us is Christian]. I went over first, he came over a month later, we spent two amazing years in Osaka - he had his dependent visa conditions changed at city hall so that he could work a bit, then we went to England for another two years where we both worked before having our daughter. We're still together.
I'm not saying you should get married to suit JET, but if you're questioning it, maybe you're not as committed to him as you think you are. Or maybe you want the big white fru-fru meringue-dress wedding that takes 3 years and several hundred magazines and several tens of thousands of dollars. Hold off on the big wedding and if you're sure you want to spend the rest of your life with him, get the legalities done before JET.

aayl1
October 22nd, 2013, 20:49
Just think of the piece of paper as an official "we are a couple" document that the Japanese bureaucrats need to see. Don't let it feel like a "weird limbo" and it won't.

Aurano
October 22nd, 2013, 20:55
You moved to England Wicket!?!?! Why on Earth would you do something like that!?!?

Just joking! This place isn't that bad.... :lol:

wicket
October 22nd, 2013, 21:03
ROFL. It was my choice to go to Japan, so my better half got to choose next and picked England - he was hoping to get some 3D animation work. We ended up becoming parents instead. Which was pretty cool. Especially when you need an emergency C-section and you're in a country with a reciprocal public health system!

Aurano
October 22nd, 2013, 21:32
Yeah, the NHS is a pretty handy system at times! :D

I hope you enjoyed your stay in England... And um, sorry about the chavs, football hooligans, alcoholic culture, dolites, sub-tropical weather, litter, awful evening TV, cliques (Like - pack it in! and, Get it down ya!) ... I'm pretty sure there are more which I'll edit in later.

Jiggit
October 22nd, 2013, 22:38
Yeah, the NHS is a pretty handy system at times! :D

I hope you enjoyed your stay in England... And um, sorry about the chavs, football hooligans, alcoholic culture, dolites, sub-tropical weather, litter, awful evening TV, cliques (Like - pack it in! and, Get it down ya!) ... I'm pretty sure there are more which I'll edit in later.


Yeah she's from the colonies I'm sure England seems like Arcadia in comparison.


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therealwindycity
October 23rd, 2013, 08:33
ROFL. It was my choice to go to Japan, so my better half got to choose next and picked England - he was hoping to get some 3D animation work. We ended up becoming parents instead. Which was pretty cool. Especially when you need an emergency C-section and you're in a country with a reciprocal public health system!

In a way making a baby is 3D animation work if you think about it ...

wicket
October 25th, 2013, 22:49
In a way making a baby is 3D animation work if you think about it ...
i particularly enjoyed reading this comment while watching the avatar wink. made my night. however, the truly thigh-slapping comment was the claim that england's weather is "sub-tropical". i spat coffee. i LIVE in a sub-tropical climate now and it is NOTHING like england. for example, in england i lived a 2-minute walk to the seafront. i lived there for two years. number of times i went swimming at said seafront: 0. i dipped a toe in once. in july. my nipples fell off.

Libellule
November 19th, 2013, 13:26
Is it worth it to mention trips to Europe and Mexico (non all inclusive resort) in the international experience section of the application? That way they know I've at least been out of the country a few times before?

Gizmotech
November 19th, 2013, 13:34
I suppose if it feels like it can be relevant to cultural exposure or genuine international experience.

The "I spent a week partying down in mexico" style trips don't really lend you much credit though.

Libellule
November 19th, 2013, 13:42
Yeah, exactly. I've been twice - once for the bff's wedding which was much like you described, and once with the fam and we explored/were showed cool authentic areas by my Mexican Uncle. Thanks!

therealwindycity
November 19th, 2013, 14:07
The second one seems relevant - you have family in another country and consequently some degree of cultural experience, right?