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YolkMama
May 13th, 2014, 10:46
Hi, newbie here. I'm finding great information here about applying and I look forward to putting my application in this fall, but I have a concern that I haven't seen addressed here yet (redirect me if I'm wrong).

I'm married and have a child.

I know that this doesn't necessarily disqualify you, but I don't know if I want to bring this up in my SOP or during the interview (if I am lucky enough to get to that point), but I also don't want it to be a bombshell. At what point during the application process does this become information to be shared?

Thet
May 13th, 2014, 10:56
I can't recall 100%, but I'm pretty sure there is part of the application that asks you your marital status and if you have dependents. Hope that helps. :)

Antonath
May 13th, 2014, 10:57
Very early on. It'll be on the application form, in fact. If your spouse and child are coming with you, the people evaluating your application will want to know what your spouse will do while you are working: will they stay at home all day (a horrible plan), find a job... Are they applying to JET too, in which case what happens if only one of you gets on... The age of your child will also be important, if they are old enough to go to school.

Married people with children are absolutely accepted on JET, but CLAIR will have (legitimate) questions about your plans.

YolkMama
May 13th, 2014, 11:12
Thanks, guys. My son will still be young enough to not need school, so no accommodations are needed there. My husband can't apply to JET because he isn't eligible and I hate to admit that you're right about him staying home all day; I don't think he's cut out for house-husband life, but I don't know how to answer what he would be doing there because isn't it a pain to get a work visa?

Antonath
May 13th, 2014, 11:18
Why isn't your husband eligible? If it's a lack of a degree, I believe that will block him from any working visa, not just working as an ALT. Even with a degree, working visas are a pain, especially as you can't come over on a tourist visa and switch (well, you can, it's just illegal). I'm not sure about going from a dependent visa to a working visa, though. Anyone else have knowledge of that one?

word
May 13th, 2014, 11:19
It's not actually very hard to get a dependent visa switched to a work visa, but as far as I know, if he doesn't have a bachelor's degree or higher, he won't actually be able to get a work visa in Japan, anyway.

Edit: derp, too slow; what Ant said about the degree, but...

...yeah, MG and I went through the switch--first from temporary visitor pass to dependent visa (that one was a gigantic pain in the arse and is *technically* illegal-ish... but for one odd loophole), then from dependent visa to working visa (pretty easy).

therealwindycity
May 13th, 2014, 11:24
This is something that will definitely be addressed in the interview. The reality is that many accompanying spouses have difficulty finding work in rural placements. It's not impossible, though. A couple of people that I know have been able to maintain their IT-related jobs at home and simply work from abroad, but this may not be realistic in your situation. The biggest problem will be proving in the interview that your husband will be equally able to make connections, overcome culture shock, and find something meaningful to do in Japan, whether it's paid employment or not.

Edit: derp.

tealparadise
May 13th, 2014, 11:31
Things your husband could do in Japan:

- telecommute
- do piecework like writing for pay
- travel (maybe not so much with a baby, but still)
- volunteer to help local businesses with English stuff
(this is actually really common in my area, since it is a ski resort. People just pop over, make friends with a hotel owner, and handle English stuff in exchange for free stay)
- take up a hobby
- take Japanese lessons
- give English lessons on a "volunteer" basis at the local community center
(I know a few people who do this and accept "thanks" money under the table- whether you want to go there or not is up to you)

that's all I've got at the moment.

word
May 13th, 2014, 11:31
Yeah, I know quite a few people who brought over spouses on dependent visas (interestingly, almost always female JETs with husbands, rather than male JETs with wives). Most of them did so by lying like crazy on the app and in the interview, claiming that their spouse was ridiculously outgoing, made friends easily and with everyone, and would be completely happy exploring the local stomping grounds. In my experience, the opposite is usually true. I have yet to meet anyone who adapted well to the life of a non-working JET spouse.

Ini
May 13th, 2014, 12:11
you dont need a degree to be an ALT, just to get an instructor visa. He could get permission to work a limited number of hours on the spouse visa and do some part time ALT'ing. There are plenty of ALTs/AFTs in this country who dont have degrees.

Randomgirl
May 13th, 2014, 13:22
Yup, it's on the application, so they'll know right away. I believe they also ask if spouses/dependent a are joining you too. I talked about my daughter coming with me and my husband staying behind for the first year right in my SOP and got through OK. All the family paperwork that is coming my way so far indicates that partners can work part time (up to 30 hrs a week, I think?!) on the dependent visa. I'm sure you could call the JET coordinator at your consulate and ask to be sure. Good luck!!!

Ini
May 13th, 2014, 13:28
28 hours - but you need to apply for permission to do this. a standard dependant visa doesn't allow you to work. Best just to wait until you arrive in the country then send him off to the local immigration office with a packed lunch and a note from his mum. once he gets that he can start looking for work.

word
May 13th, 2014, 14:34
So, is the degree necessary for full-time work, or can you get a dependent visa changed to a working visa even if you don't have said degree? I thought the former was true.

Ini
May 13th, 2014, 14:41
need a degree for an instructor visa. if you get the working permission added to a dependant visa you can work 28 hours a week as an ALT (or as anything really apart from morally questionable things - no stripping or snack bar work) without a degree. if you get permanent residency you can work as many hours as you like.

Now some places might not employ you as an ALT if you dont have a degree, some will. Theres a filipino women working as an ALT near me who decided after 5 years of factory work she fancied a change in career. She hasn't been to college.

word
May 13th, 2014, 14:47
Hmm, okay, so you could work full-time as an ALT, but you need either a degree or permanent residency, or you could just stay under the 28hr limit and not hafta worry about either. Interesting. How strictly enforced is the 28hr limitation?

Ini
May 13th, 2014, 15:03
no idea. Your employer will/should ask to see proof of your residence status when they hire you and immigration will be able to check your income tax so trying to fiddle the 28hours rule while keeping everything else above board could be tricky. Of course you and your employer could get "creative" - get paid an overinflated hourly rate but you put in 2 hours "volunteer work" a day.

Ebi
May 13th, 2014, 18:06
Yeah, I know quite a few people who brought over spouses on dependent visas (interestingly, almost always female JETs with husbands, rather than male JETs with wives). Most of them did so by lying like crazy on the app and in the interview, claiming that their spouse was ridiculously outgoing, made friends easily and with everyone, and would be completely happy exploring the local stomping grounds. In my experience, the opposite is usually true. I have yet to meet anyone who adapted well to the life of a non-working JET spouse.
No idea about the app process, but I've met several combinations of couples who came over and only one was a JET. Usually the non-JET spouses ended up doing eikaiwa, English kindergarten, or some other kind of teaching work part time and some eventually found sponsorship to work full time. I can think of one couple where the husband didn't find employment and just stayed home all day and never learned any Japanese. He was miserable and money was tight for them so they left after only a year.

So yeah, I think there's a lot of truth to that. If you don't get a job, or at least do something to get you out of the house and involved in the community, you're going to have a bad time.

miamicoordinator
May 13th, 2014, 22:49
In terms of the visa issue for your husband, and child, please refer to the visa section of the Consulate/Embassy nearest to you. Visa laws in Japan change without notice, so information on boards may be outdated, and you may be in for a surprise when you get there.

Ini
May 13th, 2014, 22:55
What info? We are telling people to go to the immigration office. From my experience embassy's - Japanese and foreign - have no idea what's going on. Unless a Japanese official in Japan tells you something then take whatever you hear with a grain of salt.