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Am I gonna get deported?
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owly jr



Joined: 03 Feb 2008
Posts: 14
Location: Ho Chi Minh City

PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:15 pm    Post subject: Am I gonna get deported? Reply with quote

Hello all

I apologize if this has been covered elsewhere but I haven't been able to find an answer to this specific question in the forums.

I have been offered a job at an eikaiwa in Hiroshima, which starts in about 3 weeks (obviously a bit of a last-minute hiring). They simply told me to go ahead and fly to Japan on a tourist visa and, as far as I understand, apply for a COE in-country. They basically admitted that I will be working illegally until I receive the COE and can apply for a working visa - presumably for a month or two.

The job seems ideal for me and the sooner I can head off, the better, but I'm just having visions of Immigration catching me and being deported or of being refused the COE when I do apply for it.

Are either of these scenarios likely? Is it advisable to go ahead and do as the school suggests or is it too big a risk?

Your prompt opinions would be appreciated as I have to give the school an answer withing a day and I'm fretting something awful! Confused

Cheers
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ShioriEigoKyoushi



Joined: 21 Aug 2009
Posts: 364
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Text deleted

Last edited by ShioriEigoKyoushi on Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Hot-Carl



Joined: 07 Apr 2009
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed. When any company tells you it's okay to skirt the law a bit, be VERY weary of them. If they are like that with immigration law, just how do you think they're going to treat you? If you take the job, fine... but take anything they say with a grain of salt and look out for yourself.
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GambateBingBangBOOM



Joined: 04 Nov 2003
Posts: 1893
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like someone told them "yeah, I'm going back to Canada / UK / US at Christmas, and not coming back! Consider this my one month notice!" (being in a foreign country at Christmas often weirds people out) followed by them doing the week long shuffle of trying to get them to stay, followed by them finally realizing that 1. Every time they get the leaver to talk about it, it doesn't set the clock on their one-month notice back to zero, 2. They had better get their act together and get a replacement... like yesterday.

The reality is that they could have probably found someone to do the job who is already in Japan. Either they couldn't find someone suitable, or they didn't even try to find someone already in-country. I've known several ALTs who arrived on tourist visas and worked a couple of months before getting the proper visa. It's not a big problem unless for some reason the police ask to see your gaijin card (you won't have one) or see the visa in your passport (you will need to carry that around with you until you get a gaijin card) and also know that you are working. Then, there could be trouble.

Basically, unless there's something sorta shady about them, it sounds like a normal sort of situation in Japan.
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As others have written, there may be a legitimate reason they are hiring in the deadest time of year with such a short notice for start time. It does happen.

I am concerned about a couple of things.

Start time in about 3 weeks.
Exactly when? That would put you on Christmas day or the first work day thereafter. Granted, Christmas is not a national holiday here, and people in most companies do work then, but you would only have less than a week before a major holiday period (not day). Most places shut down for about 3-5 days then. What is your official start day, and what does the company have for New Year's holiday?

Telling you essentially it is illegal.
Yes, but others have done it, yet a blatant disregard like that from an employer shows desperation and a reason to have caution, as others have written. Bottom line is, are you even minimally qualified to get the visa? If so, then you should get it, but it might take more than 3 weeks (especially since immigration is a government office and will shut down for more than 3 days over NY break). Also, be aware that some unscrupulous employers rush teachers over here, start the visa process (so they say), and then have the poor teacher working at lower than normal pay until their tourist status runs out. During that time they tell the teacher there were "delays" or "mistakes" in visa processing, when in reality they never applied at all, and then the teacher is sacked without a final paycheck, and he has no legal recourse since he has worked illegally and has overstayed. If this happens, you will run the risk of fines, detention, deportation, and being blacklisted from returning to Japan for at least a year, probably 5.

Verify your visa application.

BTW, what is the name of the employer? If its name is ABC or something similar, don't do it.
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Bread



Joined: 24 May 2009
Posts: 318

PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be a little wary about this. I've met a couple people who did this, but usually the company won't outright say it's illegal. They'll usually fabricate some reason why it SOUNDS illegal, but REALLY it's okay. I also got a job offer like that and the lady just kind of stuttered and stopped and then made some vague excuses when I asked about it. At least in that situation, if you got in trouble you could plead ignorance, but in this case you would know what you were doing, so it's on you.

GambateBingBangBOOM wrote:
It's not a big problem unless for some reason the police ask to see your gaijin card (you won't have one) or see the visa in your passport (you will need to carry that around with you until you get a gaijin card)


Actually you can get a tourist gaijin card, then you don't need to carry your passport around anymore, even as a tourist. I got one myself. When you get your work visa, they will write on the back of it about your change of status and new expiration date.
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cornishmuppet



Joined: 27 Mar 2004
Posts: 638
Location: Nagano, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's exactly how I came in. Got the phone call two weeks ahead, came over, got the tourist visa stamp, started work the morning after I arrived, got the work visa a couple of months later. The boss didn't tell me it was illegal, but told me to say I was going to look for a job if immigration asked. I was younger and naive and didn't ask, but had no problems anyway.

Not to say you won't, but I was given the impression at the time that it was the usual way of things for smaller eikaiwas, and I imagine it still happens a lot.

The guy I replaced had been an exetremely short term replacement (about two months) for a guy who had gone out for a cigarette and not come back. The replacement guy had come over from Taiwan at 3 days notice.

Be careful, and decide for yourself if you thinmk its worth the risk, but don't immediately consider the company to be shady just because of it.
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owly jr



Joined: 03 Feb 2008
Posts: 14
Location: Ho Chi Minh City

PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for some excellent advice - much appreciated!
I'm very seriously thinking about taking the risk and going for it.

Earlier I mentioned that the school had admitted I would be working illegally - here is the excerpt from their email that I was referring to:

"As for the acquisition of certificate of eligibility, it usually takes 1 or 2 months. It is likely that most of foreign teachers from the English-Speaking countries come to Japan with tourist visa and start working simultaneously while they apply/acquire working visa which technically indicates that they work illegally during this period. In addition, even if they apply for the certificate, it is not promising that all of those who applied are able to acquire the very certificate. From this standpoint, though I can assume that you will be able to acquire one, it is still hard for me to be certain enough to assure you for this matter as it is our first time to have a teacher from your country after all"

As you can see, it doesn't exactly inspire confidence, but from what I understand, I should be able to get the COE without too many problems. I'm certainly qualified to get a COE (Masters, CELTA, 1 year teaching exp in Asia) as far as I know. I'm from South Africa by the way (which is recognised as a native English speaking country in Japan according to JET and in general, before people start harping on that).

By the by Glenski, you have your dates a little muddled there - 3 weeks from today has me arriving in Japan around the 3 of Jan! Smile
I'd rather not mention the name of the school at this stage but not ABC, no. Suffice to say I wrote to an ex-teacher there and spoke to a current one and both of them were happy with working conditions and positive about the school.
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

owly jr wrote:
here is the excerpt from their email that I was referring to:

"As for the acquisition of certificate of eligibility, it usually takes 1 or 2 months. It is likely that most of foreign teachers from the English-Speaking countries come to Japan with tourist visa and start working simultaneously while they apply/acquire working visa which technically indicates that they work illegally during this period. In addition, even if they apply for the certificate, it is not promising that all of those who applied are able to acquire the very certificate.
I wouldn't agree that most foreign teachers come here as tourists first.

Quote:
As you can see, it doesn't exactly inspire confidence, but from what I understand, I should be able to get the COE without too many problems. I'm certainly qualified to get a COE (Masters, CELTA, 1 year teaching exp in Asia) as far as I know.
Yes, you are qualified.

Quote:
I'm from South Africa by the way (which is recognised as a native English speaking country in Japan according to JET and in general, before people start harping on that).
What JET recognizes and what other employers recognize are different. Many don't count SA as a native English speaking country. But that is not important here, as they are willing to hire you.
Quote:

By the by Glenski, you have your dates a little muddled there - 3 weeks from today has me arriving in Japan around the 3 of Jan! Smile
Ok, and that is usually a non-working day in many cases. When is your actual start date, please?

Quote:
I'd rather not mention the name of the school at this stage but not ABC, no. Suffice to say I wrote to an ex-teacher there and spoke to a current one and both of them were happy with working conditions and positive about the school.
Good idea. If you'd feel comfy telling me in a PM, feel free. Otherwise, best of luck.
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bre_anna



Joined: 25 Nov 2009
Posts: 23
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a quick question, since it is related to this topic I thought I would post it here instead of making an entirely new thread.

I was told that if you come over on a tourist visa you are required to have an outbound airline ticket (plane ticket for leaving Japan) with you. Is this true? And if so, are there any ways around it?
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Imseriouslylost



Joined: 09 Nov 2009
Posts: 123
Location: Tokyo

PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bre_anna wrote:
I have a quick question, since it is related to this topic I thought I would post it here instead of making an entirely new thread.

I was told that if you come over on a tourist visa you are required to have an outbound airline ticket (plane ticket for leaving Japan) with you. Is this true? And if so, are there any ways around it?


I believe you need to have a return ticket if you're on a tourist visa. Not having a return ticket is extremely suspicious. This is true in most countries.

If you get a work visa, however, you can cancel/refund your return flight. If you can't find a sponsor within 90 days then you can book a flight to a nearby country (Korea/China), spend a few days there, then head back to Japan and get another tourist visa (if its cheaper than flying back to your home country).
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mhard1



Joined: 09 Dec 2009
Posts: 53
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey bre_anna I was also told that you need a return ticket to somewhere else if you want to come as a visitor. If you want more details, feel free to pm me.[/quote]
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wayne432



Joined: 05 Jun 2008
Posts: 255

PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You technically do need a return ticket (or a ticket that leaves Japan)... whether they actually check for it is a different thing.
If you went one way, you'd probably be fine more than 95% of the time...
However, do you want to take the risk and find out that you're the exception?
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Apsara



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

PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where you will usually run into problems with a one-way ticket is not on arrival into Japan- it is before you even get on the plane in your home country (or wherever you are leaving from). If you have a one-way ticket the check-in staff will usually check for a visa that allows you to enter Japan without an onward flight, and if you don't have one, they will not allow you to board.

I have had the staff checking my passport carefully for this and asking me about it many times, and there are plenty of stories on Japan info forums (which seem credible) where people say they were made to buy a full fare ticket out of Japan before being allowed to board the plane.

This is because the authorities in Japan apparently hold the airline responsible if they bring someone to Japan on a one-way flight and that person is then denied entry to Japan but doesn't have a flight out. The airlines are fined quite heavily in these cases, so to cover their butts they won't carry people on one-way tickets if they don't have a proper visa.
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flyer



Joined: 16 May 2003
Posts: 539
Location: Sapporo Japan

PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes, as others have pointed out

something smells fishy

if they skirt the law openly like this now, whats to stop them doing something illegal to you (eg. not pay as your contract etc)???

I wouldn't do it
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