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Questions about self sponsorship

 
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Kaguyahime



Joined: 22 Aug 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:32 pm    Post subject: Questions about self sponsorship Reply with quote

Hello,
First I have to say that I'm a decade-long lurker here, and I have benefited so greatly from all of you who have taken much of your time to help those of us with questions. Thank you, retroactively!

I have some questions about self-sponsoring visas. I have searched here and elsewhere for answers and found some conflicting information. Hopefully some of you with experience can clear this up for me.
If these questions are answered elsewhere and I missed them, please forgive me.

What I understand so far (not sure this is all correct):
-Must already be in Japan
-Deriving income from multiple sources
-Total income adding up to whatever is considered living wage (approx. 250,000/month)
-Must have contracts from each person/company working for
-Bring contracts to Immigration, fill out other paperwork
-If approved, visa is changed to Specialist in Humanities for 1-3 years (depending upon whim of immigration officer?)

Not clear at all to me:
-Can visa be changed directly from tourist to self-sponsored?
-Do my employers have to be in Japan? To clarify this question:
I do editing, proofreading, and translation that can be done anywhere. If I have contracts showing that I have adequate income from US sources, will that satisfy the requirement? Do they just want to know you have steady income or do they want the income to be from Japanese sources only?
-Can a person with a self-sponsored visa also acquire a dependent visa for their spouse?

Thank you in advance for your thoughts on these questions.
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Apsara



Joined: 20 Sep 2005
Posts: 2142
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can't change directly from a tourist visa to self-sponsoring, you need to be here on a similar status of residence (Instructor, Humanities etc) already.

If all your sources of income are from overseas, then no, you won't be able to self-sponsor for a Japanese visa. Visas are granted by Japan Immigration to people who have a reason to be here- e.g. they have a job with a Japanese employer based in Japan, or are married to a Japanese national. Japan differs from other countries on this kind of point since it's not an immigrant nation- having all your income from overseas doesn't demonstrate to the authorities that you have any need to be in Japan, so you have no basis for a visa application. Just wanting to base yourself in Japan while you work for overseas employers isn't enough of a reason to let you live here in the eyes of the authorities.

A self-sponsored visa (actually meaning multiple sources of income as you say) is still a standard visa, so getting dependent status for a spouse shouldn't be a problem.
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Kaguyahime



Joined: 22 Aug 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much for that very helpful response, Apsara.
You've cleared up most of my questions, and I also appreciate the explanation. It helps to understand why Japan is different in this respect from somewhere like Thailand, where one can get a non-immigrant visa by showing the requisite income or bank balance regardless of source.

I believe that I also read something about being employed (in the profession for which you are self sponsoring a visa) continuously for a period of three years. I wonder if that has to be three years in Japan, or if they just want to see that you are committed to the profession you want to pursue in Japan?

If the three years do not have to be in Japan, it seems that it would be possible to come to Japan, get a job as an English teacher with a one-year Specialist in Humanities visa, and have until the end of the visa year to locate Japanese clients in order to self sponsor a visa for the visa renewal.
Please let me know if this sounds incorrect...

Thanks again!
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the4th2001



Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 130
Location: Tokyo

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just want to point out that you don't need multiple sources of income to self sponsor. I only had one, but the company didn't want to sponsor me. I told immigration that and they rolled with it.
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Apsara



Joined: 20 Sep 2005
Posts: 2142
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The three years' work experience is in lieu of a bachelor's degree. If you don't have a degree then 3 years' experience in the case of teaching is an acceptable alternative to Immigration. For other professions it depends, you'd need to consult with Immigration or a lawyer.

The three years don't have to be in Japan.

Your plan to start out as an English teacher sounds doable- it's at the discretion of Immigration whether the jobs you string together qualify you for a visa extension though. It's also possible to get a 3-year visa right off the bat, which would give you more time to organise other work.
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