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Is it really a MUST HAVE DEGREE to work in Japan

 
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DavidR



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2003 12:51 pm    Post subject: Is it really a MUST HAVE DEGREE to work in Japan Reply with quote

Obviously I'm asking because I dont have one YET. 6 years of college and still not quite finished.

But anyways, I would love to be and work in Japan teaching. I'm currently working in Taiwan teaching english. Your supposed to have a degree here too, but you can still find jobs with out one.

Thanks for any help or insight. It's much appreciated.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2003 10:03 pm    Post subject: basically, yes, but... Reply with quote

Please read a related post I made in the General Discussion forum section.

The first thing I have to do to reply to your message (and to the many like it) is ask this: where are you from? Visa regulations differ for different countries.

The work visa requires a bachelor's degree. Period.
The working holiday visa doesn't. (Americans can't get this. Only people from Canada, UK, New Zealand, Australia, France, Germany, and South Korea.)

Other routes to working legally in Japan involve different visa options.
1. marry a Japanese and get a spouse visa
2. marry a non-Japanese who has a full-time job in Japan, and get a dependent visa
3. enroll in a Japanese school to learn something cultural (aikido, ikebana, kendo, etc.) and get a student visa.

I suggest looking at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs web site for more info.
http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/

Secondly, what are your qualifications, and where would you like to teach (high school, language school, university, etc.)? Give us something to go on.
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DavidR



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2003 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for answering Glenski.
I did read your post in the General Discussion forum. And while I don't expect it to be easy to find work in Japan with or without a degree, I would like to know the (cold-hard) facts on just how difficult with out one.

Are there schools that would hire me (full-time)? Of course that would also depend on my abilities in teaching, which actually are good. The schools I have worked for really liked me and said I was a good teacher. I genuinely like teaching and kids.

I understand that I would probably be working illegally (like here in Taiwan). And that I would need some type of visa. Can I really study aikido and get a visa? I know a little japanese already and would love to learn more so maybe studying language is an option.

A little about me if it makes a difference. I am male 30 and from the U.S. I have a professional background back in the states working as a hotel manager in a few different locations including Walt Disney World Florida.

Thanks again for any help in this matter.

Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.[/b][/i]
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2003 2:01 pm    Post subject: cold and hard Reply with quote

David,

Americans need a bachelor's degree to get a work visa. Period. No degree. No visa. If you find a place that wants to sidestep immigration and hire you without a visa, think of their scruples. Do you want to trust them with anything related to your job? Besides, there are tons of degreed people in Japan applying for the same jobs as you. Some with bachelor's degrees, master's, and PhDs. That's as cold and hard as it gets.

Any other info about your background (the hotel stuff) is meaningless to immigration.

Check that MOFA site for info on student visas.

If you want to work illegally in Japan, that's your business. I won't help people who go that route.
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Sherri



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Posts: 748
Location: The Big Island, Hawaii

PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2003 1:36 am    Post subject: working illegally in Japan Reply with quote

If you choose to work illegally in Japan, just remember these things:

1. You cannot open a bank account (you need a foreigner's registration card which you can't get on a tourist visa)
2. You cannot rent an apartment (same reason as #1)
3. IF you find a job, expect to be paid around 1,000 yen an hour or less. Your employer will be sleezy so don't expect to get paid on time and you may not be paid at all--there is nothing you can do about it.
4. You will have to leave the country every 3 months and have to pass muster at Japanese immigration each time. They can refuse you entry for any reason.

If you decide to try for a cultural visa and study Aikido or something like that, it is fulltime study that the immigration department has in mind. That leaves little time for work. The classes will be expensive as all fulltime study is. If you miss your classes the school will report you to immigration.

I would not like to be on the wrong side of the law in Japan--you have almost no rights.
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David W



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 457
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2003 12:49 pm    Post subject: Re: working illegally in Japan Reply with quote

Sherri wrote:


If you decide to try for a cultural visa and study Aikido or something like that, it is fulltime study that the immigration department has in mind. That leaves little time for work. The classes will be expensive as all fulltime study is. If you miss your classes the school will report you to immigration.

.

Sherri, I think you're painting an un-neccessarily bleak picture here. The people I've known on cultural/student visas had lots of time for work and for partying too. Technically I think you are restricted to working 20 hours a week but if you do more I don't think you'll really being risking the wrath of Japanese immigration. For example if you do 10 hours a week in one place and 15 in the other how are immigration going to find out. Maybe they can compare records from the different schools but in the big city how likely is that? Even if they do catch you they're hardly likely to throw the book at you in my experience. Worth the risk IMHO.
I believe in Tokyo there are (were??) places that would offer bogus courses to applicants who just wanted the visa. Of course there were no classes and the "school" took a fee. Obviously you are taking a bigger risk here though.
But the best advice is to finish your degree. You've done 6 years (I took 7 years to finish mine and that was a 3 year one!!!!) so get stuck in and finish it Very Happy
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Sunpower



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 256
Location: Taipei, TAIWAN

PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2003 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sherry, I think that's really nice of you to warn the guy about the possible pitfalls of coming over to live and work in Japan without a degree but I'd like to comment.

I've personally known peoplel who have come over to study a martial art or Japanese on a student visa.

They never had any problems with working (and making pretty good money at that) and studying.

In fact, one of my friends enrolled at a Japanese school and missed a lot of classes. He was never reported to Immigration.

I'm not saying that his won't happen, as you indicated that it could be a problem if you don't go to your classes.

But I think the guy could very easily put this plan into action going this route.

I say, plan it out and go for it.

Yrs.
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Sunpower



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 256
Location: Taipei, TAIWAN

PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2003 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a quick point:

I am working and living in Taiwan at the moment and the situation is similar to that mentioned by the poster above.

Many schools take your money and you can either show up or not and they could give a shit. As long as you pay your fees every 3 months.

They will not report you to Immigration - You are the hand that feeds them!

They will even allow you to tick off your own attendance before you take the documents to the police station to renew your student visa.

There must be thousands of "teachers" in all of Taiwan working illegally under the "student" status-type-visa. Paying 0% tax and working under the table.

A lot of the teachers will go to their classes, like me, but a lot don't.

The Taiwanese govt. even knows that this goes on and nothing changes. They make money off it as well. So, it just stays the same. Everyone seems to be happy.

I would guess that there are similar things going on in Tokyo as mentioned above.

Yrs
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Sherri



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Posts: 748
Location: The Big Island, Hawaii

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2003 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't mean to paint SUCH a bleak picture about working on a cultural visa but it is still not as easy as it sounds. I really don't think it is as lax here as it is in Taiwan, though I am sure that people get around the regulations. Like I said before, I wouldn't want to be on the wrong side of the law here (I have heard plenty of horror stories from people who have been detained here)

I haven't met anyone on a cultural visa doing Aikido or any martial art, so I don't know the expenses. I do know that the tuition and visa fees charged by Japanese language schools for a 6-month visa is around 400,000 + yen. That doesn't include all your other start up costs such as housing and the like. I just figure if you have the time and the money--just finish your degree and then you won't have to jump through hoops to stay in Japan. Also there is no guarantee that immigration will even allow you to work, since technically pre-students visas and cultural visas are "non-work" visas.
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chi-chi



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 127
Location: Back in Asia!

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2003 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michigan Language School just recently posted that they are willing to pay a degree-less person 200,000 yen per month, and a person with a 2-yr degree 225,000.
I have a Bachelor's, and my application (sent two weeks ago) was ignored...they reposted their ad just recently with these new additions...
Let's hear it for all the cowboys in Asia-where playing by the rules is never as good as breaking them, at least to employers....
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