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Accepting a job for the sake (no pun intended) of the VISA

 
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thomthom



Joined: 20 May 2011
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:13 am    Post subject: Accepting a job for the sake (no pun intended) of the VISA Reply with quote

I have been applying for positions in Japan for a while now, but of course it's cache 22 with most employer's looking for people already in Japan on working visas. I've been offered a position with an ALT company (Borderlink) that I've heard some negative things about (not that there are many with positive reviews, either). Their office staff seem very friendly and helpful at least.

I realise the job location might not be great, the pay might blow, the workload might be ridiculous, and all number of potential negatives... but am I right in believing that a Japanese teaching visa lasts 12 months irrespective of anything? IE: If I dislike this job, won't it be simple enough once I've got my foot in the door quit after a couple of months and find work somewhere else?

Anybody have an experience of this? Of course, I do intend to fulfill the contract to the best of my ability if the job turns out to be fine. This is just a big IF.
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 999
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:16 am    Post subject: Re: Accepting a job for the sake (no pun intended) of the VI Reply with quote

In principle, there's absolutely no problem with quitting. If your new job is exactly the same as your old job, you don't need to do anything although, just to be on the safe side, you might want to contact the Immigration Bureau to receive their official blessing. If your job is a little different -- e.g. changing from an ALT in a high school to a teacher in a conversation school -- you will probably have to amend your visa, but that's a very straightforward matter.

I don't know about Borderlink, but employers have been known to threaten to deduct things like "visa processing charges" from the salary of workers who quit early. That's mostly bogus. My understanding is that, legally, the circumstances in which they can withhold salary are very limited, and the Labor Standards Office should back you up on this if necessary.

Of course, there are other financial commitments you can enter which can become traps -- especially renting your home from your employer -- but you seem sensible and careful so I won't belabor this point.

There is one hidden trap, though. Every resident in Japan is legally required to join some kind of social health insurance scheme. The ideal is worker's insurance (shakai hoken in Japanese), but you will probably find that this is not available to you, so you will be legally obliged to join the national insurance scheme (kokumin kenko hoken, or kokuho for short) instead. The danger here is that the law on kokuho is not really enforced, so some employers push their teachers onto a private insurance scheme of their own.

This becomes a problem when the teacher quits, and leaves the private insurance scheme. The teacher then has no option other than to join kokuho. But since they should have been on kokuho all along, so City Hall will hit them with a bill for all those "missed payments" (up to 2 years worth), which is the last thing anyone needs when they're changing jobs!

In short, make sure you join kokumin kenko hoken ASAP.
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't take a job that you already know sucks, just to get a visa. Yes, you can bail out, but what do you think another employer is going to do when he finds out? He may hesitate in hiring you because you are the one who doesn't look reliable. And, if you stay a couple of months, your students (who are the victims as much as you will suffer).

Wait until you find something you like. There isn't that much of a hurry to come here, is there?

Quote:
The danger here is that the law on kokuho is not really enforced, so some employers push their teachers onto a private insurance scheme of their own.
If Borderlink is like most dispatch agencies, they will not even claim you are an employee, but a subcontractor instead and legally not even offer you shakai hoken. Refuse any private insurance and get kokuho right from the start. But that's only if you ignore my advice above and start with B anyway.
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G Cthulhu



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 1321
Location: Way, way off course.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenski wrote:
Don't take a job that you already know sucks, just to get a visa. Yes, you can bail out, but what do you think another employer is going to do when he finds out? He may hesitate in hiring you because you are the one who doesn't look reliable. And, if you stay a couple of months, your students (who are the victims as much as you will suffer).


I disagree. Contracts are a business relationship and using a company for a visa is simply a cost of business. You owe the students nothing: they do not have a contract with you, they have one with the school. The entire industry around "Think of the students!" is one of the contributing reasons that so many EFL teachers get screwed: employers trot that line out in order to guilt trip employees into accepting crappy conditions. The *only* power an employee consistently has is to leave.
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

G Cthulhu wrote:
I disagree. Contracts are a business relationship and using a company for a visa is simply a cost of business. You owe the students nothing: they do not have a contract with you, they have one with the school. The entire industry around "Think of the students!" is one of the contributing reasons that so many EFL teachers get screwed: employers trot that line out in order to guilt trip employees into accepting crappy conditions. The *only* power an employee consistently has is to leave.
We can agree to disagree on the point about students.

As for "using a company for a visa is simply a cost of business", I look at it this way: treat others the way you want them to treat you. There are so many people who want to come here for whatever reasons, and they don't care about how they treat the job. Many DON'T treat it AS a job, and their behavior reflects on the rest of us (who may stay longer, or who may be looking for the first time). Skipping out on employers soon after you arrive (and in this case PLANNING to do so) only gives those employers a bad image of us as a whole and often makes them perpetuate their own bad business practices. What goes around comes around.

I still say that accepting a position one KNOWS is bad is a poor choice, just to use it to find another. I repeat, what's the rush?
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thomthom



Joined: 20 May 2011
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Skipping out on employers soon after you arrive (and in this case PLANNING to do so) only gives those employers a bad image of us as a whole and often makes them perpetuate their own bad business practices.


I totally agree and I must emphasise that it is not my intention to take the position simply in order to quit. The difficulty with ALT companies is that they tend not to give you the whole picture of where your location, hours, etc, until long after you're expected to accept their offer and apply for the VISA - also there is none of the security found with JET. So I feel having the OPTION of being able to switch jobs is crucial.
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thomthom wrote:
I totally agree and I must emphasise that it is not my intention to take the position simply in order to quit...

I feel having the OPTION of being able to switch jobs is crucial.
You can quit the day you arrive, if you are so inclined. If all you are asking is whether you can keep the visa after quitting a job, the answer is yes. It remains yours and valid until it expires.

According to the latest (July 9, 2012) immigration changes, you have to notify immigration within 2 weeks of changing your status, though. And you need a darned good reason to stay in Japan withOUT a job for the next three months (if you can't find one in that time).
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G Cthulhu



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 1321
Location: Way, way off course.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thomthom wrote:
their offer and apply for the VISA -


Random musing, but does anyone think there's any chance that the great mass of English speaking humanity will learn the difference between "visa" and "VISA"? It's just sort of embarrassing for English teachers to make such a basic mistake so often. Confused
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thomthom



Joined: 20 May 2011
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
any chance that the great mass of English speaking humanity will learn the difference between "visa" and "VISA"? It's just sort of embarrassing for English teachers to make such a basic mistake so often.


To be fair, it's always written in capital letters as it appears inside passports. And actually Visa Inc. don't have it in capitals anywhere other than on their logo. Anyway, from now on, henceforth, forthwith, I shall accordingly refer to it only as my "charta visa" and make sure not to hand the customs and immigration people my credit card. Rolling Eyes
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thomthom wrote:
Quote:
any chance that the great mass of English speaking humanity will learn the difference between "visa" and "VISA"? It's just sort of embarrassing for English teachers to make such a basic mistake so often.


To be fair, it's always written in capital letters as it appears inside passports.
But you should know how it's written in the dictionary and use that.

Quote:
And actually Visa Inc. don't have it in capitals anywhere other than on their logo.
Don't go by logos. It's a company name, so at least capitalize the V. You'd probably do something similar for MasterCard, discover, CitiBank, and American Express, wouldn't you?
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 999
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Quote:
To be fair, it's always written in capital letters as it appears inside passports.
But you should know how it's written in the dictionary and use that.
Quote:
And actually Visa Inc. don't have it in capitals anywhere other than on their logo.
Don't go by logos. It's a company name, so at least capitalize the V. You'd probably do something similar for MasterCard, discover, CitiBank, and American Express, wouldn't you?
Enough of this pedantry, folks!
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Abdullah the Enforcer



Joined: 26 Aug 2012
Posts: 42
Location: In a hole

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

huf!
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G Cthulhu



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 1321
Location: Way, way off course.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pitarou wrote:
Enough of this pedantry, folks!


This one isn't pedantry. Actual meaning is involved, just as with the Oxford comma and all the Philistines that don't use it. Wink
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Pitarou



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 999
Location: Narita, Japan

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

G Cthulhu wrote:
Pitarou wrote:
Enough of this pedantry, folks!


This one isn't pedantry. Actual meaning is involved, just as with the Oxford comma and all the Philistines that don't use it. Wink

Oxford? I went to "the other place".
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