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miamicoordinator
April 4th, 2014, 02:56
Hi everyone,

I just wanted to take a few momments to talk about paperwork and deadlines, especially in regards to JETs (both short-listers and alternates alike).

We are now at the time when everyone is scrambling to submit paperwork, and hopefully get everything to us in time.

I cannot stress how important it is to get us everything by the deadline. These dates are not fabricated for our own amusement, but rather, they are dates that we need to submit vital information to Japan by. If someone does not submit a document, then you may forfeit your space on the short-list. I do not say this to scare anyone, but rather try to impress upon you the importance of dates and deadlines, especially with the Japanese government.

I know many of you are still in school and have finals, and other issues going on in your life. My advice is, do not procrastinate. There are always blips with the finger printing. There are always issues with the mail (things get lost, or misplaced by FedEx, UPS, etc..) A wide array of things can happen. It is better to procede with caution and not wait till the last minute.

If you intend of declining your alternate or short-list status, please be considerate and at least send us a pdf version of the reply form (if you do not want to waste stamps for the original copy). That way we can move forward with those who are still interested.

I made this thread because I think most people have the mentality of "I'll do it tomorrow" and then all of a sudden, it is the day before the deadline and you are scrambling. Do not put your trust in next day mail service. Send everything with ample time to avoid any issues.

We will do our best to help you, but remember that some consulates have 100+ short-listers. Coordinators may not have time to immediately respond to your questions, thus, i stress again, PLEASE DO NOT WAIT TILL THE LAST MINUTE!

Thanks everyone ^_^

Cutthroat-finch
April 4th, 2014, 03:10
The email from the SF coordinator said that more information will be coming this week about required documents. I want to get started on getting all the required documents, but I should just wait until I receive the email from the coordinator so I know exactly what is needed, right?

miamicoordinator
April 4th, 2014, 03:14
The email from the SF coordinator said that more information will be coming this week about required documents. I want to get started on getting all the required documents, but I should just wait until I receive the email from the coordinator so I know exactly what is needed, right?

Yes, go ahead and wait till he gives you everything you need to send in. I can tell you for sure you will need a copy of your passport, so get in that if you haven't already. Your coordinator is an awesome guy, and very organized when it comes to this stuff. He will make sure you have everything you need in time.

Sarenka
April 4th, 2014, 03:52
The reply form asks for two pictures, which will be used for the work visa application I assume? I'm wondering if I can use the same picture I used for my interview voucher, the thing is I have a slight smile in the photo. Would this still be ok for the official document, in your opinion?

miamicoordinator
April 4th, 2014, 04:08
The reply form asks for two pictures, which will be used for the work visa application I assume? I'm wondering if I can use the same picture I used for my interview voucher, the thing is I have a slight smile in the photo. Would this still be ok for the official document, in your opinion?

The pictures you send will not be used for the visa. In July, you will need to submit a visa application for your actual visa and an additional picture will be needed. The two pictures required for the reply form is because we send hard copies of documents to Japan and they need to know what you look like for when they pick you up from the airport/train station.

Yes, you use the same pictures you used for the interview voucher as long as it falls under the specifications stated (white background, standard size, etc..) The "no smile" thing is very real in Japan when taking government issued IDs and such, but a little smile is not going to make a big difference for the reply form.

Sarenka
April 4th, 2014, 04:25
The pictures you send will not be used for the visa. In July, you will need to submit a visa application for your actual visa and an additional picture will be needed. The two pictures required for the reply form is because we send hard copies of documents to Japan and they need to know what you look like for when they pick you up from the airport/train station.

Yes, you use the same pictures you used for the interview voucher as long as it falls under the specifications stated (white background, standard size, etc..) The "no smile" thing is very real in Japan when taking government issued IDs and such, but a little smile is not going to make a big difference for the reply form.

Awesome, thank you! Just one more question to pester you with... I had two-step TB testing done in the summer of last year (and it's good for a year I'm told), so would I be able to submit this for the mandatory TB testing *or* the chest x-ray?

Thanks very much in advance. :)

miamicoordinator
April 4th, 2014, 04:35
Awesome, thank you! Just one more question to pester you with... I had two-step TB testing done in the summer of last year (and it's good for a year I'm told), so would I be able to submit this for the mandatory TB testing *or* the chest x-ray?

Thanks very much in advance. :)

Unfortunately not Sarenka. You would need a new appointment to get the doctor to fill out the Certificate of Health. Medical exams done in the summer of last year would not be valid for this year's departure. No one likes going to the doctor, I know :/

Sarenka
April 4th, 2014, 04:39
Unfortunately not Sarenka. You would need a new appointment to get the doctor to fill out the Certificate of Health. Medical exams done in the summer of last year would not be valid for this year's departure. No one likes going to the doctor, I know :/

Awh damn. I assumed as much, but I thought I would ask anyway.

It's not that I mind going to the doctor, it's more along the lines of TB tests are expensive and x-rays take a while. I might be away for the last week of April so that puts me in a real time crunch with everything.

Thanks for the help! :) It's very much appreciated to have your support and knowledge around here.

LaVie
April 4th, 2014, 04:48
Hey y'all, I'm not a shortlister or anything but concerning the FBI background check - when they say do it as soon as possible, they mean it. Maybe it was just me because I sent it in right after the government shutdown fiasco ended, but it didn't get in my hands until the last possible second. I was frankly surprised that they even bothered matching it to my application since it was so close to the deadline (a day or two).

Also, idk if anyone can say for sure if this helps or not, but it might be best to send in two sets of your finger prints (in the same envelope). I did so and included a note explaining that one was an extra in case the others weren't printed right.

miamicoordinator
April 4th, 2014, 04:58
Hey y'all, I'm not a shortlister or anything but concerning the FBI background check - when they say do it as soon as possible, they mean it. Maybe it was just me because I sent it in right after the government shutdown fiasco ended, but it didn't get in my hands until the last possible second. I was frankly surprised that they even bothered matching it to my application since it was so close to the deadline (a day or two).

Also, idk if anyone can say for sure if this helps or not, but it might be best to send in two sets of your finger prints (in the same envelope). I did so and included a note explaining that one was an extra in case the others weren't printed right.

I'm glad you mentioned this LaVie. We get countless numbers of FBI prints that are rejected every year! Some people have to get prints done 3 times, and even then they can't read them. At this time of year, many people are applying for jobs overseas in Korea, and Japan which causes a huge increase of FBI applications and a backlog occurs. You have two options for fingerprints, ink and digital(livescan). Our awesome SF coordinator was on the phone with some people this morning and got the following information:



You can get a Livescan scan printed out onto the FD-258 fingerprint card (the standard one). You can then submit that for the FBI Background Check.
Livescan is recommended over ink because you can easily take the fingerprints over if they’re smudged. You can also tell if someone’s fingerprints are naturally poor and unable to be read at that moment, rather than having to wait the 4-6 weeks for the FBI to tell you so.
If you send your fingerprints to the FBI and they can’t be read, they will send the “Your fingerprints can’t be read, please do it again” form that probably all of us are familiar with. You can apply for the background check a max of three times. If you fail all three background checks, the FBI will then do a background check using your name and SSN and send us that. The reason why this system is in place is because of the American Disabilities Act, which says that not having readable fingerprints as a disability, and since you can’t discriminate against someone because of a disability, an alternative method must be available.
In California when you apply for a state background check you have to do them through Livescan and they are sent digitally sent to the California DOJ. (Some states still allow you to submit an ink print.) Because each state has a different electronic card that they use for fingerprinting, you must get your state background fingerprinting done in that state. You are unable to get your fingerprints done in Texas for an Ohio background check, for example.
An ORI (Originating Agency Identification) number is necessary when submitting a fingerprint digitally (with the exception of state background checks, I believe). You do not need an ORI number to have your fingerprints printed out on the FD-258 form. Our JET participants can try to tell the fingerprinting place that. However, some fingerprinting places will only do digital submissions and so they don’t carry those FD-258 forms. In that case the JET participant has to go to a different agency.
The owner recommends not going to a place like UPS to get your ink fingerprints done. Even though the establishment may be licensed to give fingerprints, it could only be the manager that has the license and training, not the actual people that do the fingerprinting, which means there’s a higher chance for error. It’s best to do Livescan when you can (and it should be the same price, if not cheaper). (Of course, the owner is assuredly bias ;))


Good luck!

Shelia
April 4th, 2014, 05:11
Wow the US background check sounds crazy complicated, I'm glad the Australian one is much easier, just online submission and no finger prints required - I got my certificate in just a few days.

sharpinthefang
April 4th, 2014, 05:19
The UK one seams so easy as well, just have to get the ICPC one and the chest x-ray, as they want everything else (uni confirmation etc) sent in with the main application

Shelia
April 4th, 2014, 05:21
Word. The chest x-ray is now my utmost priority considering Easter break is right around the corner and Pathology places can be awfully slow.

Curious-Cat
April 5th, 2014, 03:29
Help in the DC area! I've been looking for places to get my fingerprinting done by a technician, but no one in the area does it for Federal only. They do a combination for State and Federal, but the state of Maryland requires an authorization number before they are allowed to proceed and JET doesn't provide one. I thought I might be able to go into DC and have it done at the FBI office, but they don't seem to offer it either...

If I have to do it myself, do I need special paper or will normal printer paper work? I'm worried I'm interpreting "standard paper stock" incorrectly...

Caramel
April 5th, 2014, 04:33
I got my alternate reply form sent out yesterday, so aside from fingerprints I should be good! I hope being so early with the paperwork helps out a bit...

LaVie
April 5th, 2014, 04:46
Sent off my reply form today by Certified mail, as per my coordinator's suggestion. Already did the background check so that's one less thing to worry about!

Cutthroat-finch
April 5th, 2014, 05:24
Is everyone mailing the required documents in at once or sending each one in as they are completed? I could send in most of the required documents tomorrow (reply form, copy of FBI/IRS form, passport photocopy) but I don't know if I should wait until if I have the certificate of health completed as well.

miamicoordinator
April 5th, 2014, 05:30
Is everyone mailing the required documents in at once or sending each one in as they are completed? I could send in most of the required documents tomorrow (reply form, copy of FBI/IRS form, passport photocopy) but I don't know if I should wait until if I have the certificate of health completed as well.

It is usually better to send everything at once to avoid anything getting lost. However, if you are getting too close to the deadline, it might be better to send what you have.

Cutthroat-finch
April 5th, 2014, 05:50
It is usually better to send everything at once to avoid anything getting lost. However, if you are getting too close to the deadline, it might be better to send what you have.
Thank you! I was planning on sending it in all at once, which I will be able to do on Wednesday of next week.

greyjoy
April 5th, 2014, 16:45
The pictures you send will not be used for the visa. In July, you will need to submit a visa application for your actual visa and an additional picture will be needed. The two pictures required for the reply form is because we send hard copies of documents to Japan and they need to know what you look like for when they pick you up from the airport/train station.

Yes, you use the same pictures you used for the interview voucher as long as it falls under the specifications stated (white background, standard size, etc..) The "no smile" thing is very real in Japan when taking government issued IDs and such, but a little smile is not going to make a big difference for the reply form.

Could you give me some peace of mind for just how specific the standards for passport style photos are, please? On the advice of the internet, I went and had real passport photos done for my application, at a measly $13 charge for two. Now I need two more sets for my reply form, and at least another set for an International Driving Permit, and god knows for what else I haven't even gotten into yet. All of these applications and forms to various places cost money as well. I'm not going to go broke spending $40 on passport photos, but I'd really like to not spend any money that I don't absolutely have to at this point. What's the verdict on me just taking a picture of myself against a white background and printing out photos on photo paper, as long as I make sure that the picture is 2x2?

miamicoordinator
April 5th, 2014, 21:55
Could you give me some peace of mind for just how specific the standards for passport style photos are, please? On the advice of the internet, I went and had real passport photos done for my application, at a measly $13 charge for two. Now I need two more sets for my reply form, and at least another set for an International Driving Permit, and god knows for what else I haven't even gotten into yet. All of these applications and forms to various places cost money as well. I'm not going to go broke spending $40 on passport photos, but I'd really like to not spend any money that I don't absolutely have to at this point. What's the verdict on me just taking a picture of myself against a white background and printing out photos on photo paper, as long as I make sure that the picture is 2x2?

The safest thing to do is just go to cvs or walgreens and pay for the pictures. You could print it on your own if you have a good enough printer and photo paper. There are always people who send in bad quality pictures with on regular paper. As long as your printer is good enoug, you can print your own. Just be warned that if the pictures arent good enough quality, you will have to take more anyway.

Wasabi
April 5th, 2014, 23:33
Also, factoring in the cost of ink and photo quality paper you'll probably spend more if you go that route. I heard mention that it's cheaper at places like Sam's club, if that's an option for you?

itsabird
April 5th, 2014, 23:54
Also, factoring in the cost of ink and photo quality paper you'll probably spend more if you go that route. I heard mention that it's cheaper at places like Sam's club, if that's an option for you?

If you try at Walgreens, cvs, Walmart, etc., I would recommend putting 3 pictures in a zigzag formation on a 4x6 jpg if you already have the picture on an SD card. That way you can get 12 for $1 as opposed to their overpriced $7 for a 2x2... Just cut it out afterwards using a ruler or cutting board... I did it this way not only because it was cheaper, but because I had a much better camera than the terrible 12 megapixel P&S Kodak they used at Walgreen's when they took terrible pictures the first time I went... Hope this helps someone.

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Curious-Cat
April 6th, 2014, 01:24
I got really lucky and the guy at my university's passport photo booth let me get 6 sets for the price of one. The only problem with doing it yourself is that if you screw up, you have to do it again anyway. X/

greyjoy
April 6th, 2014, 11:04
If you try at Walgreens, cvs, Walmart, etc., I would recommend putting 3 pictures in a zigzag formation on a 4x6 jpg if you already have the picture on an SD card. That way you can get 12 for $1 as opposed to their overpriced $7 for a 2x2... Just cut it out afterwards using a ruler or cutting board... I did it this way not only because it was cheaper, but because I had a much better camera than the terrible 12 megapixel P&S Kodak they used at Walgreen's when they took terrible pictures the first time I went... Hope this helps someone.

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This is basically what I wanted to do. I can't see why it costs so much for a specific type of picture when I can duplicate it at home and print it at the same exact in-store printer after some minimal adjusting on photo editing software for pennies. I didn't want to risk it with my main application, but if these are just being used to give people an idea of what we look like, I don't see how it should hurt.

webstaa
April 7th, 2014, 08:41
For passport photos - if you have AAA, you can get a free/cheap set done at any AAA office. They're usually quite cheap there to if you don't have a membership. Sometimes Plus memberships get as many as you want free.

createdtodance7
April 8th, 2014, 00:22
So about the IRS form... What exactly is its purpose? The instructions say that it is to be exempt from paying taxes in Japan. What if we would rather pay Japanese taxes on our income instead of paying USA taxes on Japanese income? Specifically, I ask, because I don't know if I can qualify for this form because I will have spent a year teaching in Korea, and have thus been technically a resident of Korea rather than a resident of the USA. So again, what EXACTLY is the purpose for us filling out this form? Help please! @_@


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itsabird
April 8th, 2014, 00:32
So about the IRS form... What exactly is its purpose? The instructions say that it is to be exempt from paying taxes in Japan. What if we would rather pay Japanese taxes on our income instead of paying USA taxes on Japanese income? Specifically, I ask, because I don't know if I can qualify for this form because I will have spent a year teaching in Korea, and have thus been technically a resident of Korea rather than a resident of the USA. So again, what EXACTLY is the purpose for us filling out this form? Help please! @_@


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You will be exempt from paying taxes in Japan and in the US. You still have to file your taxes in the US, but you don't pay anything.

Why did you ask the same question if you already got an answer and replied?

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createdtodance7
April 8th, 2014, 00:37
I'm sorry, I posted on both threads just in case someone saw one but not the other.


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createdtodance7
April 8th, 2014, 00:39
But my question still stands. I'm not sure that I will qualify for this, being that I have already done my best to prove to the IRS that I am currently residing in Korea, paying Korean tax in my Korean income, so that I wouldn't pay American taxes in Korean income. Wouldn't this form negate that?


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itsabird
April 8th, 2014, 00:50
But my question still stands. I'm not sure that I will qualify for this, being that I have already done my best to prove to the IRS that I am currently residing in Korea, paying Korean tax in my Korean income, so that I wouldn't pay American taxes in Korean income. Wouldn't this form negate that?


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Seems about right. I know you can be exempt from paying taxes if you live in Japan for up to two years, of which after that you have to pay taxes. Don't know about your situation though. Best bet would be to call the IRS and e explain your situation and go from there.

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HorseFeathers
April 8th, 2014, 07:34
The only thing in the small mountain of paperwork they've sent me I've had problems with is the fingerprinting. Apparently I live in an area where getting fingerprinting is a long and tedious process. I had to get my own cards. And oddly enough I have to show two forms of government issued ID just to get into the fingerprinting place. Which begs the question, why do I have to prove who I am in order to get a background check to prove who I am?

Ugh... Thank goodness I'm almost done.

HorseFeathers
April 8th, 2014, 07:43
Help in the DC area! I've been looking for places to get my fingerprinting done by a technician, but no one in the area does it for Federal only. They do a combination for State and Federal, but the state of Maryland requires an authorization number before they are allowed to proceed and JET doesn't provide one. I thought I might be able to go into DC and have it done at the FBI office, but they don't seem to offer it either...

If I have to do it myself, do I need special paper or will normal printer paper work? I'm worried I'm interpreting "standard paper stock" incorrectly...

I actually had to call the embassy to try and figure out how to do this. You definitely need to print it out on "card stock". Meaning you can go to a local Kinko's/Fed-ex and buy some if they won't provide you with the forms at the place you chose to use.

I actually got turned away because I printed the form out on regular paper. So make sure it is on card stock. Do not bend or get the paper wet in any way- or they may refuse to let you in. I have to go through this whole thing first thing tomorrow morning, carrying my forms in a special folder so it doesn't get bent or rained on.

So yeah. Don't make my mistake and save yourself some grief.

eminate
April 8th, 2014, 11:36
My FBI Report - Fingerprinting Locations (http://www.myfbireport.com/locations/index.php)

Not sure if this will help anyone, but this is the site I used to locate a Livescan fingerprinting facility. Livescan can tell immediately whether the prints are viable (might save you having to redo them) and doesn't require paper or ink. Apparently they can also print out a copy for you to send in with the FBI form.
I had this done for the background check when I was hired by my local school district, and it was quick and easy. I'm sure not everyone will be close to one but at least this may help for some.
Also... knowing reality you'll probably want call a few places to double check that they'll do things the way you need them done.

Bi-Kun
April 8th, 2014, 12:33
My FBI Report - Fingerprinting Locations (http://www.myfbireport.com/locations/index.php)

Not sure if this will help anyone, but this is the site I used to locate a Livescan fingerprinting facility. Livescan can tell immediately whether the prints are viable (might save you having to redo them) and doesn't require paper or ink. Apparently they can also print out a copy for you to send in with the FBI form.
I had this done for the background check when I was hired by my local school district, and it was quick and easy. I'm sure not everyone will be close to one but at least this may help for some.
Also... knowing reality you'll probably want call a few places to double check that they'll do things the way you need them done.

You must send in physical paper prints with your FBI background check or it will be denied by Tokyo after your Consulate receives it and forwards it over. The instructions my Consulate gave out were very specific about this. You can't just do the digital finger prints. I'm not sure if you mean they try to scan your paper/ink prints to make sure they're usable or not, but that certainly would be helpful. Just be sure to walk out of there with prints on the paper card regardless of what they say.

word
April 8th, 2014, 12:44
Though not widely known, it is possible to do the fingerprinting yourself. Print out the card, get a "gel" type inkpad, fingerprint yourself, and send it off.

[Please note: My information may be outdated. This was the case when I applied five years ago, though. I did two sets; one was official, the other was DIY. Both worked.]

par92186
April 8th, 2014, 12:50
So about the IRS form... What exactly is its purpose? The instructions say that it is to be exempt from paying taxes in Japan. What if we would rather pay Japanese taxes on our income instead of paying USA taxes on Japanese income? Specifically, I ask, because I don't know if I can qualify for this form because I will have spent a year teaching in Korea, and have thus been technically a resident of Korea rather than a resident of the USA. So again, what EXACTLY is the purpose for us filling out this form? Help please! @_@

I am in the same position. I've lived in Korea for two years and as a U.S. resident we are exempt from paying taxes from any "tax treaty nation" for two years. So, we were exempt from paying taxes in Korea (up to 2 years) and we will again be eligible for tax exemption in japan (up to 2 years).

par92186
April 8th, 2014, 12:51
The only thing in the small mountain of paperwork they've sent me I've had problems with is the fingerprinting. Apparently I live in an area where getting fingerprinting is a long and tedious process. I had to get my own cards. And oddly enough I have to show two forms of government issued ID just to get into the fingerprinting place. Which begs the question, why do I have to prove who I am in order to get a background check to prove who I am?

Ugh... Thank goodness I'm almost done.

welcome to U.S. bureaucracy

par92186
April 8th, 2014, 12:55
Though not widely known, it is possible to do the fingerprinting yourself. Print out the card, get a "gel" type inkpad, fingerprint yourself, and send it off.

[Please note: My information may be outdated. This was the case when I applied five years ago, though. I did two sets; one was official, the other was DIY. Both worked.]

I don't know if this still applies. When I had my fingerprints taken for my FBI-BGC in late August I went to a NJ State Troopers Office with the fingerprint card I printed online and the Trooper had to sign and authenticate my paperwork when he was finished. Maybe that's just NJ, but i'd assume that applies elsewhere. BTW you can go to any State Troopers Office to get the fingerprints done...FREE...just complain how your local police department said it was the duty of the State Troopers and usually they will do it with no issues. I'm sure this also workd the other way around lol State and Local PD's always hassle one another.

itsabird
April 8th, 2014, 13:25
I actually had to call the embassy to try and figure out how to do this. You definitely need to print it out on "card stock". Meaning you can go to a local Kinko's/Fed-ex and buy some if they won't provide you with the forms at the place you chose to use.

I actually got turned away because I printed the form out on regular paper. So make sure it is on card stock. Do not bend or get the paper wet in any way- or they may refuse to let you in. I have to go through this whole thing first thing tomorrow morning, carrying my forms in a special folder so it doesn't get bent or rained on.

So yeah. Don't make my mistake and save yourself some grief.

I guess it depends on where you're getting your fingerprints from. I was able to do my fingerprints on regular printer paper at my local police station. I was told to call the person requesting the prints to make sure it was acceptable. I called the IRS and they told me regular printer paper was fine.

The funny part is they made you bring your own form at this police department, but then in order to print it they had to fold my fingerprint card and tape it to a real card to get it to go through the printer.... They couldn't just use that card? I mean $20 for prints should cover a sheet of paper as well...

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createdtodance7
April 9th, 2014, 11:52
I guess it depends on where you're getting your fingerprints from. I was able to do my fingerprints on regular printer paper at my local police station. I was told to call the person requesting the prints to make sure it was acceptable. I called the IRS and they told me regular printer paper was fine.

The funny part is they made you bring your own form at this police department, but then in order to print it they had to fold my fingerprint card and tape it to a real card to get it to go through the printer.... They couldn't just use that card? I mean $20 for prints should cover a sheet of paper as well...

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Well then I really hope printer paper is okay, because I just had my prints done at the police station in Korea, and there definitely wasn't any card stock. I did have then do it twice. My Korean friend told them that if the prints weren't very good, I'd have to come back and do it again. They tried REALLY hard the second copy. Dedication to good work or dislike of foreigners? Who knows. Just hope it goes through!


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