Living in Japan
For many people all over the world, living in Japan is a lifelong dream. Why wouldn’t it be? The land of the rising sun is attracting more people than ever.
Living in Japan has many benefits. First, Japan has on average the longest-living people in the world. There must be something about living in Japan that leads so many to lead such long and happy lives.
Another reason so many people are considering living in Japan is the climate. Being such a large and long country reaching up to Siberia and down to the equator means that Japan is unique in having so many different climates.
Do you like the cold? Then try out Hokkaido. How about the heat of the pacific islands? Try out Okinawa. There is a climate for every type of person in Japan, which means living in Japan is for everyone!
Let’s not forget why most people want to try moving to Japan – the culture! Japanese culture is trendier than ever. Whether it be in film and TV, in music, in Art, in food and drink, Japan is slowly becoming the number one tourist destination worldwide.
So, we hope that this article will help you realize your dream of moving to Japan. We will list all of the paperwork you will need, as well as a helpful moving guide and moving checklist. We will even give you a tip about your local city hall registration once you’ve landed in Japan. Read on for more!
Moving to Japan – how??
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that the thing you need more than any else will be a working VISA. Without a VISA, you are not legally allowed to work in Japan. So, if you are desperate about moving to Japan and are thinking of going via a tourist VISA, we highly recommend that you DO NOT do this.
It is very difficult to obtain a working VISA once you are already in Japan, as working VISAs are to be issued and obtained in your home country. If you begin working in Japan on a tourist VISA and are found out, you may be deported and barred from re-entry. Trust us, it’s worth taking the time to get the paperwork right!
The right to work VISA
A right to work VISA comes from one source and one source only – an employer. Without a sponsorship, you cannot obtain a right to work VISA. Therefore, the easiest way to move to Japan is actually by securing a job before your arrival. Today, thanks to modern technology, finding a job online is easier than ever. The paperwork is the hardest part!
Once you have been offered a job, you can begin this dreaded paperwork. Your employer will be the middleman between you and the immigration office, but you still need to assemble the correct information.
The first thing your employer will do is try and get you the Certificate of Eligibility (CofE.) This certificate means you are eligible for the right to work VISA. Each employer may slightly vary on the list of documents you are required to submit, but these are the essentials.
- A copy of your passport.
- A copy of your certificate from your highest level of education. (For example, a University degree certificate.)
- Photos taken in a Japanese-standard frame ratio*
- A criminal background check.
*(The measurements for a Japanese-standard identification photo are 35mm x 45mm (width x height) The area from the top of the head to the chin must be no less than 32 mm, and no more than 36 mm high.)
The process should take between eight and twelve weeks. Once you have been issued your CofE, you can apply for the right-to-work VISA. They will the CofE to you by express mail, you must then take it to your nearest Japanese embassy, where they will process the VISA and mark a page in your passport with it. Then you are free to enter the country!
City hall registration / getting your residence card.
Unfortunately, the work doesn’t stop once you have your VISA. You must complete the paperwork required to receive your residence card.
You have three weeks to complete the paperwork after you enter the country. If you do not complete the paperwork, your VISA will be canceled.
The process is easy, however, you will only need to go to your local city hall for registration. The paperwork is minimal. You will need to list your Japanese phone number, your employer’s address, your new Japanese address, and a copy of your passport.
A moving guide/moving checklist.
From our experience, most people moving to Japan bring far too many things with them. You must remember, Japan is the country of convenience! Nearly all of the everyday items you will need for life in Japan can be found at inexpensive 100 Yen stores.
Trust us when we say that the cost of shipping home goods will far outweigh the cost of buying them in Japan. So – what should you bring? Here is a short moving checklist of things we deem essential, or simply difficult to find in Japan!
- Your passport. Call it obvious but you are not getting far without it!
- Clothes for all seasons. Japan is a country with many climates, meaning that you will encounter both scolding hot days and cold days. However, do remember that Japan is a country that loves shopping. Do not fear, you will surely buy more clothes in Japan than you will bring with you, just bring enough to cover two weeks!
- Plug adapters. We need our electronics more than ever in the modern age. Make sure you pack to converters so that you can charge them in Japan!
- Cash and credit cards. It might be several weeks until you set up your Japanese bank account, be sure to bring cash and your international-friendly credit card!
We believe that those are the essentials. You will be fine in Japan as long as you bring these items. However, one additional thing you might want to consider has nothing to do with Japan at all.
Bring something that will remind you of your home. Pack things that remind you of who you are and the things you love. Photos. Snacks. Ornaments. These might seem like small things, but they will make the difference when you’re missing home.