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Thread: Obtaining a dependent visa after arriving?

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    Default Obtaining a dependent visa after arriving?

    Hello, and apologies if this question is redundant. I'd ask on facebook, but I'd prefer something more anonymous for this subject.

    1st year, here. Were I to get married, how would I go about getting a visa for my spouse? I'm assuming it's through my organization, but I want to double check that its even an option after arriving in Japan.

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    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obtaining a dependent visa after arriving?


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    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obtaining a dependent visa after arriving?

    Hi, poster child for "How to do this the wrong way" here. If you're from the US, it is a trillion, bazillion, jillion times easier to get married in the 'States and have your spouse apply for a dependent visa from home.

    If you bring him/her to Japan on a temporary visitor pass (the 90-day thing that is not actually a visa), it is technically illegal to get that converted to a visa of any kind. It is possible, however, despite what nay-sayers may tell you. MG and I are living proof. It is NOT easy to do, by any stretch of the imagination. If I'd known it was gonna be such a monumental pain in the arse (read: if I'd bothered to do a few minutes of googling/reading; apparently it was too much for me to do because I am a complete f*cktard), I'd have gotten married on paper before I left the US.

    Edit: Also, this has absolutely nothing to do with your CO. The visa stuff is all handled by the national immigration offices. If your CO is nice, they might help you out, but they're not obligated to do so, and certainly aren't the ones who'll be making decisions about whether or not the visa will be issued.
    Last edited by word; October 10th, 2014 at 11:58.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

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    Default Re: Obtaining a dependent visa after arriving?

    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    Hi, poster child for "How to do this the wrong way" here. If you're from the US, it is a trillion, bazillion, jillion times easier to get married in the 'States and have your spouse apply for a dependent visa from home.

    If you bring him/her to Japan on a temporary visitor pass (the 90-day thing that is not actually a visa), it is technically illegal to get that converted to a visa of any kind. It is possible, however, despite what nay-sayers may tell you. MG and I are living proof. It is NOT easy to do, by any stretch of the imagination. If I'd known it was gonna be such a monumental pain in the arse (read: if I'd bothered to do a few minutes of googling/reading; apparently it was too much for me to do because I am a complete f*cktard), I'd have gotten married on paper before I left the US.

    Edit: Also, this has absolutely nothing to do with your CO. The visa stuff is all handled by the national immigration offices. If your CO is nice, they might help you out, but they're not obligated to do so, and certainly aren't the ones who'll be making decisions about whether or not the visa will be issued.
    Thank you for answering these questions, I hope I have a nice CO.

    Question...would it be acceptable to get married in Japan, the person leaves, then convert it to a dependent visa from my side and the US side? Im assuming that would involve sending copies of documents to the US, though. I didn't intend on having the person move and immediately converting it (he's finishing school), but I definitely need to plan the marriage date due to our long distance status limiting the amount we meet. Ideally, this person would get into JET this year and just move into one of the spots available in my area, but I need to know marriage/visa laws if a plan B or C must take place. If a marriage in the US is absolutely necessary we can make the winter trip there, but I was hoping to have him visit for the holidays instead.
    Last edited by sourdoughsushi; October 10th, 2014 at 12:05.

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    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obtaining a dependent visa after arriving?

    Yeah, you can get married here and then get the dependent visa issued if your spouse is back home. Getting married here is relatively easy except for one bizarre thing--you hafta go to the US embassy and get a "certificate of competency" that basically states you're mentally capable of getting married.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

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    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obtaining a dependent visa after arriving?

    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    Yeah, you can get married here and then get the dependent visa issued if your spouse is back home. Getting married here is relatively easy except for one bizarre thing--you hafta go to the US embassy and get a "certificate of competency" that basically states you're mentally capable of getting married.
    I think that is also due do the requirement that you must be legally able to be married in your home state for the marriage to be legal in Japan. So instead of the Japanese Government being liable, they leave it up to the US embassy to check the varying laws from 50 different states.
    That is just a educated guess.

    Also I didn't have too much trouble converting a tourist visa into a real visa, nor did two of my other friends.

    Word does your dependent have the "no work restriction" type visa?

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    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obtaining a dependent visa after arriving?

    Quote Originally Posted by ihatefall View Post
    I think that is also due do the requirement that you must be legally able to be married in your home state for the marriage to be legal in Japan. So instead of the Japanese Government being liable, they leave it up to the US embassy to check the varying laws from 50 different states.
    That is just a educated guess.
    Makes sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by ihatefall View Post
    Also I didn't have too much trouble converting a tourist visa into a real visa, nor did two of my other friends.
    Are you referring to the Temporary Visitor Pass (it's not actually a visa) issued to US citizens? If so, I'm curious about your definition of "too much trouble." Multiple visits to Immigration, rather unpleasant amounts of paperwork, the distinct possibility that I might be forced to write an essay (in Japanese) explaining precisely why I was applying for the "emergency circumstances" conversion of said pass, and the even more distinct possibility that the application could be denied... it was certainly moar trouble than I wanted to deal with.

    Quote Originally Posted by ihatefall View Post
    Word does your dependent have the "no work restriction" type visa?
    No. Immediately after we had the visa converted to a dependent visa, MG went down to our prefectural immigration office and converted it to a working visa (that one was relatively simple, in comparison).
    Last edited by word; October 10th, 2014 at 13:27.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

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    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obtaining a dependent visa after arriving?

    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    Makes sense.

    Are you referring to the Temporary Visitor Pass (it's not actually a visa) issued to US citizens? If so, I'm curious about your definition of "too much trouble." Multiple visits to Immigration, rather unpleasant amounts of paperwork, the distinct possibility that I might be forced to write an essay (in Japanese) explaining precisely why I was applying for the "emergency circumstances" conversion of said pass, and the even more distinct possibility that the application could be denied... it was certainly moar trouble than I wanted to deal with.

    No. Immediately after we had the visa converted to a dependent visa, MG went down to our prefectural immigration office and converted it to a working visa (that one was relatively simple, in comparison).
    Not too much trouble = I did a bunch of research regarding the required paperwork. Called immigration twice before going, got two different asks so I called again, I took everything all 3 people asked for.
    I had the tourist visa, 90 day passport stamp....I had a few of those in a row.
    Anyway, I went to the Office in Shinagawa, dropped off all my stuff, they asked me like 5 questions, stamped my passport, and sent me on my way. (Questions were like why are you applying for this visa? I said that it was supposed to be a business trip that is becoming a long term assignment. He just said, "Oh I see. You do a good job.")
    1.5 months later I got the postcard in the mail. Went back and got my G-card / visa.


    In regards to MG's visa, I was asking if there were any working restrictions.
    I heard that even if the 1st person in has the Instructor or Humanities visa, that the spouse will end up with the "spouse visa" aka you can do anything.
    That is what I am asking.
    Last edited by ihatefall; October 10th, 2014 at 15:06.
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    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obtaining a dependent visa after arriving?

    Keep in mind that what you're talking about is quite different than what the OP is asking--getting married + getting a dependent visa for your spouse could be a bit trickier.

    I guess it is probably does feel a lot easier if you actually live in Tokyo. We lived like five hours away, so it was a bit moar of a hassle. A minimum of 3 separate trips to Tokyo (Cert. of Competency from US Embassy, dropping off paperwork, picking up paperwork) and two more trips to the prefectural immigration office (probably not necessary for some; necessary if you want to change visas after you get the first one).

    I have no idea if she had any working restrictions or not; she went to change her dependent visa to a working visa (instructor) the day after she got her dependent visa from Tokyo.

    Incidentally, you can do all of this at your prefectural immigration office, but the bureaucracy-loving J-friend who was helping me through all of this warned me that we should definitely submit the application to Tokyo. He said they get requests for these "emergency circumstance" visas regularly and were less likely to give us a lot of sh*t about it. He'd spoken to someone at the prefectural immigration office and they'd basically told him that our application would be immediately denied without the essay and probably denied unless the circumstances were truly unavoidable.
    Quote Originally Posted by 00Bear00 View Post
    When I read your post I suddenly feel like I am so far away from being crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ananasboat View Post
    It's festivals days like these on which I really try really hard to make up for not partying in college.
    yeah, because who needs free flowing drugs and alcohol fueling adventorous sex with taut, lithe young bodies when you could wander around a dying town in the freezing cold with a can of asahi super dry in your hand while some toothless old farmer shouts at you.

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    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obtaining a dependent visa after arriving?

    Fair enough, I am only 40 minutes away door to door.


    I know my situation is different from the op (ESID), I was just saying it is possible to get that 90 visa switched over. (I did it, and I know 3 other people that did as well.) But I advise against it.
    Everything I have ever said was a lie, and that's the truth.

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    Comrade therealwindycity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obtaining a dependent visa after arriving?

    Quote Originally Posted by ihatefall View Post
    In regards to MG's visa, I was asking if there were any working restrictions.
    I heard that even if the 1st person in has the Instructor or Humanities visa, that the spouse will end up with the "spouse visa" aka you can do anything.
    That is what I am asking.
    No, you're thinking of the "spouse of a Japanese citizen" visa which allows you to work basically anywhere. The dependent visa for spouses of non-citizens is much more restricted.

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    keepin' it real ihatefall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obtaining a dependent visa after arriving?

    Quote Originally Posted by therealwindycity View Post
    No, you're thinking of the "spouse of a Japanese citizen" visa which allows you to work basically anywhere. The dependent visa for spouses of non-citizens is much more restricted.
    No I am not thinking about that visa. I am asking because I met some JETs once that the wife got on JET but the husband didn't and his visa was less restricted then hers, I guessing maybe it was the humanities visa.
    Everything I have ever said was a lie, and that's the truth.

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    Comrade therealwindycity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obtaining a dependent visa after arriving?

    The work permission for a dependent whose spouse is employed or studying in Japan is the same as a student visa, up to 28 hours per week, so your friend's husband might have started out with that but then switched to a regular work visa once he found a job.

    JAPAN : visa, immigration, working visa, spouse visa

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