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Risingfromashes
October 26th, 2014, 01:17
I spoke with an Interac rep who sounded a little less than convincing about their policies regarding a spouse, so I thought I'd throw a few questions out here and see if anyone can help shed some light on the issue.

My husband and I would like to move to Japan during the Fall 2015 intake. I would like to be hired as an ALT. (I've taught ESL stateside since 2006 and have a MA in TESOL). My husband wants to study at a Japanese Language school (BA in Asian Studies). My concerns were accommodation, placement, and visa status.

When I spoke to the rep she sounded as if finding an apartment for two was as easy as letting my branch office know and they would be sure to secure a double occupancy instead of a single. The website, however, makes it sound like a no-go. Does anyone have any experience with this?

My husband doesn't know if he should attempt a dependent visa after I find a job from here or try to secure a student visa through a school. I've heard rumors that Interac will not assist in any way with getting dependent visas, but I don't know if that's the case. The lady on the phone sounded iffy about it and didn't give me a clear answer. Getting a visa through a school without knowing my job placement feels like a crapshoot. Anyone have any luck with this?

sharpinthefang
October 26th, 2014, 16:16
Hello, I am with Interac and may be able to answer a few questions.
My neighbours are also with Interac, and they applied together and were luckily placed together. But they are both on separate visas. Unless your partner is willing to work to, they wont carry you.
There is also quite a few single parents here, with children enrolled in local schools. It does happen, but as i said, both of you must be willing to work and be on separate visas.
Your best bets are to apply separately, but on your application note that you want to be placed together. (I think there is a spot for extra notes).
As long as you have your degree cert, you can get an instructors visa which Interac will help with.

Risingfromashes
October 27th, 2014, 23:15
Thank you so much for the info! It's strange because when I asked the rep if they had many couples applying together, she said most have one person apply, and the other person "follows" the spouse over. But she wouldn't confirm if Interac would help with the visa of the following spouse. If they won't hire me without my husband applying too, then I'll have to do some serious thinking. I'm sure my husband would be willing to teach if it was our only option, but he's pretty shy so the idea of him standing in front of a class of 40 students will take a little convincing.

I'm happy to know that it is possible for couples to get placed together. I'm just wondering how likely. Is the couple you know living in the same apartment or do they have to have separate places?

Zolrak 22
October 28th, 2014, 00:33
If your schools are close enough, I don't see why you wouldn't live together. [emoji6]

Risingfromashes
October 28th, 2014, 01:16
Yeah that makes sense, but since the website faqs mentioned that they could only secure apartments for singles I thought it might be a bit complicated. Hoping that it's easier than they made it sound. I've been searching all the forums online to read anything about married couple situations, but everything I found is for JET.

Didn't know that we both would have to be accepted. My husband doesn't have teaching experience at all, so I guess we would have to figure out how to beef up his resume some.

Zolrak 22
October 28th, 2014, 01:42
Unless the contract explicitly says so, I'm pretty sure you can find your own place.

You don't need teaching experience (though it helps).

What you need is the right attitude for it.

If they denied everyone without teaching experience, they'd lose over half of their applicants.

therealwindycity
October 28th, 2014, 02:20
It will be a pain if they don't help you find housing, but they can't force you to live anywhere you don't want to. You'll just have to go through the trouble of searching for an apartment on your own (which basically just means going to a real estate agency). But since you're married I don't see why they wouldn't help you find couples' housing.

(Edit: I looked at the Interac website and they do make it sound like it's impossible to get couples' housing - I can see why you were confused. But since some interac ALTs on here have seen couples housed together it must not be a hard-and-fast rule, just a preference)

As for the visa, I think you can apply for it on your own without going through your company. You will have to arrange it through your local embassy or consulate, so it's best to contact them and ask about the specific paperwork required (most of it is pretty straightforward, but he needs a letter of guarantee and I'm not sure whether you function as his guarantor in this case)

You seem pretty qualified to teach English - are you considering JET as well?

miamicoordinator
October 28th, 2014, 02:44
It will be a pain if they don't help you find housing, but they can't force you to live anywhere you don't want to. You'll just have to go through the trouble of searching for an apartment on your own (which basically just means going to a real estate agency). But since you're married I don't see why they wouldn't help you find couples' housing.

(Edit: I looked at the Interac website and they do make it sound like it's impossible to get couples' housing - I can see why you were confused. But since some interac ALTs on here have seen couples housed together it must not be a hard-and-fast rule, just a preference)

As for the visa, I think you can apply for it on your own without going through your company. You will have to arrange it through your local embassy or consulate, so it's best to contact them and ask about the specific paperwork required (most of it is pretty straightforward, but he needs a letter of guarantee and I'm not sure whether you function as his guarantor in this case)

You seem pretty qualified to teach English - are you considering JET as well?

In order for the spouse to apply for a dependent visa, they would have to secure a Certificate of Eligibility from the Ministry of Justice(through your local immigration bureau) in Japan. This process normally takes 6-8 weeks for them to process it. Once the wife in Japan has the CoE, she sends it to her husband, who willa pply at the nearest Embassy or Consulate. General processing time is 3-5 business days. Without the CoE, an interac spouse will not be able to get a visa. It will be a pain, and paperwork to fill out once you get Japan. It is not impossible, just time consuming. Since JET employees are covil servants, they do not need to go through the traditional CoE process as long as the spouse applies for their visa around the same time as the program participant.

Risingfromashes
October 28th, 2014, 06:16
You seem pretty qualified to teach English - are you considering JET as well?

I wasn't considering it mainly because of the extremely involved hiring process and the fact that they tend to place people in the countryside. My husband admits that living in the sticks would be really helpful for learning Japanese, but we think he would be bored to tears without a 9-5 in a super rural area. Also it looked like with Interac you sacrifice money for vacation time and I'd love to have more time to explore. But sometimes I find myself glancing at the JET website wondering if I'm overthinking it.

Zolrak 22
October 28th, 2014, 06:19
Apply for both, see how it goes.
You could change your mind before the interview phase.

Risingfromashes
October 28th, 2014, 07:07
Apply for both, see how it goes.
You could change your mind before the interview phase.

Thanks for the advice. I just logged in to see if it looks feasible to complete by Nov. 14. I know most people have been working on their SOPs for quite a while now. My hope was to apply at Interac in January and avoid the rush of people who are using it as a Plan B for JET, but I'll look at both apps and see if I should give it a shot.

Risingfromashes
October 28th, 2014, 07:11
It will be a pain if they don't help you find housing, but they can't force you to live anywhere you don't want to. You'll just have to go through the trouble of searching for an apartment on your own (which basically just means going to a real estate agency). But since you're married I don't see why they wouldn't help you find couples' housing.

(Edit: I looked at the Interac website and they do make it sound like it's impossible to get couples' housing - I can see why you were confused. But since some interac ALTs on here have seen couples housed together it must not be a hard-and-fast rule, just a preference)

Yeah, even the rep sounded a little less confident when I brought up the website info. I'm not sure if they just make exceptions when they feel like it or not. So I thought maybe I should see if I could ask some of the people that already work there to see what they knew.

Zolrak 22
October 28th, 2014, 07:22
Thanks for the advice. I just logged in to see if it looks feasible to complete by Nov. 14. I know most people have been working on their SOPs for quite a while now. My hope was to apply at Interac in January and avoid the rush of people who are using it as a Plan B for JET, but I'll look at both apps and see if I should give it a shot.
It's feasible, heck I honestly took about 3 days to make my SoP. (The rest were small edits from people's inputs/ critique)

I imagine it's not gonna be the same quality as the others, but if JET thinks it's good enough, then why not?

The rest is up to how quick you can get the other documents.

SomePeopleJustSaySnow
October 28th, 2014, 09:15
Thanks for the advice. I just logged in to see if it looks feasible to complete by Nov. 14. I know most people have been working on their SOPs for quite a while now. My hope was to apply at Interac in January and avoid the rush of people who are using it as a Plan B for JET, but I'll look at both apps and see if I should give it a shot.

Risingfromashes, I created my SOP the night before the final day of the deadline with absolutely nobody else checking it. I now live in Japan as a second year JET. If you're right for the job, even a hurried SOP can get you there - a lot of people shoot themselves in the foot by obsessing over the smallest things when they could actually be working on something useful.

greyjoy
October 28th, 2014, 15:47
Yeah my sop involved waiting until the last week and then churning out some dreck in an hour and shipping it off overnight.

I have no idea what the actual ratio of inaka to civilization is on jet, but it's nowhere near so lopsided that you need to worry about it.

sharpinthefang
October 28th, 2014, 17:59
Glad i could help.
The couple near me do live in the same apartment. It is a leopalace and they have loft beds, so are the pair of you able to get up and down ladders easily? When in the loft bed, theres plenty of head clearance sitting up, but i have to bend my head if I'm kneeling up. Are you willing to live with that?
If the answer is no to either of these then you will have to look for apartments elsewhere.

You can come out here on a Working Holiday visa and then get it changed over into an instructors visa once here. So if only one of you gets accepted (and the hubby is a little unsure) he could come out on that. Be careful about looking for work on it though as it states nothing in the entertainment industry (i.e bars).
Teaching experience is not an issue, although it is preferred, but thats the same for JET too. Why don't you look for local scout troops or kids after school clubs to help out with to make your applications stronger?

The sacrificing money for holiday is a bit of a pain, but you can have a side job as well to boost that. With Interac your report directly to the office, it stops the BOE taking advantage and you can put your foot down. With JET i believe that you have to do everything the BOE tells you with no extra pay regardless of how long it takes. But then they do have a better salary.

Another thing to think about is your age. (Not trying to be rude!) JET states on their website that older applicants are unlikely to be accepted (but it never defines what an older applicant is). Interac hires all ages.

Any more questions be sure to ask. I don't bite!
(I will point out that this is just my experience, and every ones differs)