Lessons in Immigration

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ljinfo

Black in Japan blogging from Okinawa has some interesting tidbits in his, 移住のレッスン (LESSONS IN IMMIGRATION). What’s your experience? Be sure to check out the Black in Japan blog to learn more about life in Okinawa!

I went to kaiten sushi last night with a bunch of peeps and had a fortuitous encounter with a former JET. Originally from Turkey, Y-san left JET to return to her homeland, but came back to Okinawa to be with her boyfriend. Obviously the first time coming here she already had a job and her visa situation was taken care of, but this time around she had to do things on her own. So, she had a couple of interesting things to share…1) Apparently, it is possible to get a gaijin card on a tourist visa. A gaijin card, by the way, is like the Japanese equivalent of a green card. Japan likes to know how many foreigners are all up in its borders, and once you register with the government they give you a gaijin card (after a waiting period of some time). It’s helpful for when you want an apartment, or a bank account, or a cell phone, and once you have it you need to keep it on you at all times. If you get pulled over by the cops as I did, the first thing they’ll ask you for is your passport or gaijin card. If you don’t have either you could go to jail or be heavily fined…or even deported. It’s some bullshit but hey…you live in another country and you live by their rules, right?

2) You can also supposedly extend your visa another three months without having to leave the country now, and can get a work visa without having to leave the country as well. Yasemin herself hadn’t actually done the visa extension (she did get a gaijin card, though), but a friend of hers did it multiple time for several family members. So there may be some hope…my tourist visa runs out in mid April, so if I can really extend my visa another three months that’d be completely awesome. Especially if I don’t have to make any expensive trips out the country!

Matter o’ fact I’m about to go take a shower and head out to the prefectural office now to see about that. While I’m still in limbo about a certain job situation, at least other things are potentially looking up right now!

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