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Tourist visa question

 
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bananamiruku



Joined: 16 May 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:53 am    Post subject: Tourist visa question Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure I'm going to agree to work for a particular school. I already said I would not work on a tourist visa, to which they agreed. However, they do want me to come a couple weeks before I will start working in order to familiarize myself with the area + school. That's fine. They said that if my work visa has still not been processed by my start date, other teachers will work around that until it does.

However, I'm concerned about the round trip ticket business. How can I do this without breaking the bank? I really don't have enough money to be purchasing an airline ticket that I will likely not use. Also, is there any chance that my visa will be processed before I get there? Or is it too late (August 20ish is my arrival)?

Thanks in advance!
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Tsian



Joined: 10 Jan 2012
Posts: 85

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Umm.. how are they applying for your visa? If they are applying from within Japan, then they can't apply for it until you are there -- which is quite probably why they are asking you to come early.

In terms of ticket prices, return tickets are, amazingly enough, often about the same price (or cheaper than) a one-way ticket.
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! Two WEEKS! I got only the weekend to adjust.

Seriously, I see that if they really want you to adjust, that time frame is nice, but if you don't have the visa in hand when you arrive, you will have to buy that RT ticket. Do they realize that?

When exactly are they planning to apply for the visa, or when are you supposed to start work? Time's a'wasting. If you arrive on Aug. 20 and have 2 weeks to wait around (doing what, exactly?), that might be plenty of time to get the visa, despite a few days off in mid August for Obon. No guarantees, though.

As for breaking the bank, if you don't have enough money for a ticket already, think SERIOUSLY about even coming here. You won't get paid for 6-8 weeks, you know, from the day you start. Unless you take out a loan through your employer (and owe him THAT right off the bat, usually taken out in the first 3 paychecks, leaving you less to live on), you could be in dire straits.
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kathrynoh



Joined: 16 Jul 2009
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can get a ticket on the ferry to Busan (Korea) for around $100 -- they only charge a few dollars processing fee if you have to cancel it later.
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G Cthulhu



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 1342
Location: Way, way off course.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Tourist visa question Reply with quote

bananamiruku wrote:
However, I'm concerned about the round trip ticket business. How can I do this without breaking the bank? I really don't have enough money to be purchasing an airline ticket that I will likely not use.



As others have said, return tickets are often cheaper than one way. More to the point, why wouldn't you want a return ticket? Just put the return date one year out and plan on having a holiday then. Going even further, where are you flying from that a ticket to Japan would break the bank and if that's the case how on earth do you expect to survive in Japan until your first payday if you can't even afford a ticket up front?!
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bananamiruku



Joined: 16 May 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Tourist visa question Reply with quote

G Cthulhu wrote:
bananamiruku wrote:
However, I'm concerned about the round trip ticket business. How can I do this without breaking the bank? I really don't have enough money to be purchasing an airline ticket that I will likely not use.



As others have said, return tickets are often cheaper than one way. More to the point, why wouldn't you want a return ticket? Just put the return date one year out and plan on having a holiday then. Going even further, where are you flying from that a ticket to Japan would break the bank and if that's the case how on earth do you expect to survive in Japan until your first payday if you can't even afford a ticket up front?!


According to Japanese tourist visa requirements, your departing ticket must be within 90 days of your arrival.

Perhaps it is just from my area, but a one way ticket is $800, and a round trip ticket is $1400. I certainly have budgeted enough money to survive in Japan and get a ticket there. However, if I have to purchase two tickets, one of which I will not use as I will not have a long holiday during the first 90 days of my time there, I consider that "breaking the bank." It's at least $600 wasted dollars. That's not a paltry amount. For me at least.

Glenski: Yes, I will be shadowing a teacher for two weeks.

Again guys, thanks for the concern, but I am aware I will need several thousand dollars upon arriving in Japan. My concern is not that I can't afford the RT ticket, but more that I do not want to waste hundreds of dollars on a ticket I won't use that is (potentially) non-refundable.

Is from today to August 20 enough time for a working visa? Will the airline accept my ferry ticket in lieu of an airline ticket? Is there some secret place I am missing that sells RT tickets that are cheaper than one way? Those are my main questions.
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G Cthulhu



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 1342
Location: Way, way off course.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Tourist visa question Reply with quote

bananamiruku wrote:

According to Japanese tourist visa requirements, your departing ticket must be within 90 days of your arrival.

Perhaps it is just from my area, but a one way ticket is $800, and a round trip ticket is $1400. I certainly have budgeted enough money to survive in Japan and get a ticket there. However, if I have to purchase two tickets, one of which I will not use as I will not have a long holiday during the first 90 days of my time there, I consider that "breaking the bank." It's at least $600 wasted dollars. That's not a paltry amount. For me at least.


Buy a ticket that allows changes, even if at a penalty. The penalties are usually only ~US$100.


Quote:
Is there some secret place I am missing that sells RT tickets that are cheaper than one way? Those are my main questions.


And an answer for that would require knowing where you're wanting to fly from and too before anyone could answer. If you want to look for airfares in general then ita software (http://www.itasoftware.com/) is exceptionally good for searching posted IATA fares - the Android version of their software is simply the best mobile flight app out there IMO. For specific countries you can find lower fares, but we'd need to know more info first. For example, if you're flying out of the US then airfarewatchdog.com is very good for finding unlisted fares on a "to" & "from" basis.
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Tourist visa question Reply with quote

bananamiruku wrote:
According to Japanese tourist visa requirements, your departing ticket must be within 90 days of your arrival.
I have not heard of this in all my time here. True or not, yes, a ferry ticket to Korea will suffice to show that you are a tourist on his way out.

Shadowing a teacher for 2 weeks does not sound like the norm in this industry. I wonder how many others do this. Usually, you get thrown to the wolves with little to no training.

Quote:
However, if I have to purchase two tickets, one of which I will not use as I will not have a long holiday during the first 90 days of my time there
Technically, employers are not obligated to give you any paid days off for the first 6 months. After that, it's required to have 10 days for each of the next 12 months. What is in your contract?


Quote:
Is from today to August 20 enough time for a working visa?
Nobody can say. It can take 2-8 weeks, and not even immigration will tell you an exact date. If you apply today, that's about 6 weeks, and I'd say that's a fairly comfortable margin, but no guarantees. Add another 2 weeks to that for your shadowing (unpaid, uncontracted non-work), and that adds more time to wait for visa processing. Should be ok.
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kathrynoh



Joined: 16 Jul 2009
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ferry ticket was enough for me to get in and then it was only checked by the airline staff in Australia not by immigration here in Japan. They are not really concerned about where you go to after Japan, just that you are leaving within before your visa runs out.

If you are flying a budget airline, buying a return ticket probably won't be any cheaper than 2 one way tickets. It's only on bigger airlines (where you are paying for your ticket anyway) that you can get the cheaper return flights.
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bananamiruku



Joined: 16 May 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:16 am    Post subject: Re: Tourist visa question Reply with quote

Glenski wrote:
bananamiruku wrote:
According to Japanese tourist visa requirements, your departing ticket must be within 90 days of your arrival.
I have not heard of this in all my time here. True or not, yes, a ferry ticket to Korea will suffice to show that you are a tourist on his way out.


Really? That's interesting. A tourist visa is valid for 90 days. Thus, your return ticket must fall in those 90 days. You can renew a tourist visa, but I'm going to guess that the airline would be a little surprised to see that my return ticket is for a year in advance.

Glenski wrote:
Shadowing a teacher for 2 weeks does not sound like the norm in this industry. I wonder how many others do this. Usually, you get thrown to the wolves with little to no training.


Are you surprised in a good way or a bad way? All the schools for which I have interviewed have offered at least one week training. Maybe the industry has changed?

Thanks for the visa information.
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surprised in both ways, actually.

In a good way, it may benefit you, which has not been the norm, and if the shadowing actually does help, then all the better for you. Kind of hard to say not knowing exactly what is supposed to take place.

In a bad way, I suspect you will not get paid even reduced wages or commuting fees for such shadowing, especially if your visa has not come through. That doesn't mean they can't offer you something after the fact, but I doubt they will. So, you will essentially be in the room with a teacher for 2 weeks, doing what? If it's just observing, I guess that's ok, if the teacher agrees, but who's to say that the students will like it (or understand it)? Just be careful you aren't asked to do any actual work other than the shadowing.

Quote:
All the schools for which I have interviewed have offered at least one week training. Maybe the industry has changed?
Take the word "training" with a heavy dose of salt. It usually doesn't amount to much of anything.
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G Cthulhu



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 1342
Location: Way, way off course.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Tourist visa question Reply with quote

bananamiruku wrote:
Really? That's interesting. A tourist visa is valid for 90 days. Thus, your return ticket must fall in those 90 days. You can renew a tourist visa, but I'm going to guess that the airline would be a little surprised to see that my return ticket is for a year in advance.


You do realize the regulations don't say "return" but, rather, "onward"? As others have said, buy a ferry ticket to Sth. Korea or Russia.

The airlines wouldn't care about a 1 year ticket until the point of check in. Even then they wouldn't care if you had an onward ticket for something else within 90 days.
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bananamiruku



Joined: 16 May 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Tourist visa question Reply with quote

G Cthulhu wrote:
bananamiruku wrote:
Really? That's interesting. A tourist visa is valid for 90 days. Thus, your return ticket must fall in those 90 days. You can renew a tourist visa, but I'm going to guess that the airline would be a little surprised to see that my return ticket is for a year in advance.


You do realize the regulations don't say "return" but, rather, "onward"? As others have said, buy a ferry ticket to Sth. Korea or Russia.

The airlines wouldn't care about a 1 year ticket until the point of check in. Even then they wouldn't care if you had an onward ticket for something else within 90 days.


Yes, I guess I shouldn't have used the word "return." As I mentioned earlier, I intend on buying a ferry ticket. I don't want to bother with a return ticket even if it's for a year out because the contract is two years so who knows if I will use it or not. I don't have a specific plan for returning to the US.

Sorry, I missed your post concerning airfare. I will by flying from Boston to Nagoya. Thanks for the website recommendations.
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Vince



Joined: 05 May 2003
Posts: 505
Location: U.S.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it correct that, if you're in Japan on a tourist visa, you don't need to leave the country for a work visa to be issued?
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the vast majority of cases in the past few years, that's right.
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