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Returning as a tourist (just a few days after visa expires)

 
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thomthom



Joined: 20 May 2011
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:28 am    Post subject: Returning as a tourist (just a few days after visa expires) Reply with quote

In a couple of months, my contract ends and my teaching visa is due to expire. My current plan is to depart 2-3 days beforehand, visit some friends in Seoul for a week, and then come back as a tourist. After that I will indeed be doing a tourist trip around southern Japan, before either returning back to the UK, or possibly applying for new job.

There are a few re-entry denial horror stories floating around, but I'd like to know, especially from your own experience if possible: is there any realistic chance I might encounter trouble getting back-in by doing this?
Out of curiosity, does the *amount of time away* make any difference: eg. could you legally return to Japan literally one day after your visa has expired, or do they expect you to be away for a certain chunk of time?
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kah5217



Joined: 29 Sep 2012
Posts: 264
Location: Ibaraki

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just do what I'm doing- go to immigration and get your work visa changed into a tourist permission. No Korea runs necessary.
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thomthom



Joined: 20 May 2011
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kah5217 wrote:
Just do what I'm doing- go to immigration and get your work visa changed into a tourist permission. No Korea runs necessary.


I hadn't really considered that option. Is it easy?
I would still quite like a week or so outside of Japan anyway, though, if it's easy enough getting back in as a tourist.
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 860

PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My friend did exactly that last year at Narita. We went to Seoul for a long weekend, she cancelled her work visa on the way out and returned for a couple of weeks as a tourist. Immigration didn't bat an eyelid.
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thomthom



Joined: 20 May 2011
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm assuming I hand in my Gaijin card before I depart, and then join the standard 90-day tourist stamp queue when I come return. Is there anything else to do?
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 860

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It might be different in different places, but this is how it worked in Narita.

When you get to immigration, go to a desk as usual. Tell them you are leaving Japan permanently and you want to cancel your visa. They will double and triple check you really do mean that you want to leave, and don't just want a re-entry permit. Then they give you a form and send you to a booth/counter at the end of the desks, near the staff/crew check desk. You give them the form, your passport and gaijin card. They give you another form saying you want to cancel your visa. You fill this one in with your name, etc. They punch a hole through your gaijin card and put a final exit stamp in your passport. Then you go through to the airport.

Aside from the time waiting in line, the whole process takes about 5 minutes.

When you come back you enter like any other tourist would. I guess it wouldn't hurt to have a copy of your onward flight ticket, just in case they ask for proof that you really are planning to leave again. But I doubt they will ask for it.
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thomthom



Joined: 20 May 2011
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HLJHLJ wrote:
It might be different in different places, but this is how it worked in Narita...


Thank you very much, HLJHLJ!
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