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Getting a Spousal Visa During a Working Holiday Visa - Possible?

DCLXVI

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Mar 12, 2015
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Hello friends,

As the title suggests, is it possible to marry someone and get a spousal visa whilst on a working holiday in Japan?

I know it's cutting a lot of corners, but it's the only way I could think of to stay in Japan permanently. I don't have a college degree, or work in any specialized niche industry. I have an online business that supports me, that's really the only thing that comes to mind which makes me special.

Does anyone know how the spousal visa works? Do you get it automatically changed from a working holiday to spousal or is there a waiting period? Would I need to go back to my host country for some time before it is official? How complicated is this process?

I know it may seem foolish to get married purely for the sake of residency, but I have met someone in my home country and I will meet her again in Japan. We were in a committed relationship before hand and have thought about what the next step looks like for some time. I want to immerse myself in the culture first to make sure it's a fit, because I love her!

Any help is appreciated,
 
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Assuming that your special someone is a Japanese citizen, then you are eligible for the spousal visa after you get married, either here or in your home country. I make this point because some people confuse spousal visa with a dependent visa (being married to a fellow non-Japanese foreigner).

Yes, get married. Takes about 10 minutes in the ward office or city hall. Any ceremony you desire is optional. You'll need signatures from 2 people. Just have your spouse get the simple details from the office. As a foreigner, you will probably have to produce a form that confirms/avows that you aren't already married. Ask your embassy/consulate for that. Since you may not be working in Japan when you do this, you will likely need a document signed by her parents to serve as financial guarantors. Not a biggie. I did it because I got married here between jobs.

Once you get married, pay 400 or 1000 yen for the simple or fancy marriage certificate, respectively.

Do you get it automatically changed from a working holiday to spousal or is there a waiting period? Would I need to go back to my host country for some time before it is official? How complicated is this process?
You apply for the spousal visa and then wait. Could be 2 weeks or a couple of months, depending on the whims of immigration. You don't have to leave the country, and while it is being processed you are allowed to overstay your WHV if necessary. The whole process is very straightforward.
Immigration Procedures Guidebook
Check the documentation link, and then the link on change of status of residence (and link 13 therein for the spousal visa application info).
 

DCLXVI

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Mar 12, 2015
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Hi Glenksi, thanks a lot for that information. I was not too sure what the process would be and you answered my question thoroughly.

To clarify about not working in Japan and the guarantors, is this strictly necessary? I ask because my earnings are in the 20m yen a year ballpark after tax. Her parents aren't supportive of the marriage either but not strongly against it. I am paying for her courses in school and am basically supporting her. I don't know if this complicates things or not, but we are meeting with our immigration lawyer in a couple of weeks so I will have a clearer understanding then. Right now I am enjoying Tokyo for the first time! Cheers.
 
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Immigration is a holy place and therefore works in mysterious ways sometimes. ;) By that, I mean I can't say for 100% certainty that they will accept your online business as "real" support. Based on my experience and my recollections of 15 years on these forums, I'd say no.

Have her or your lawyer ask immigration and see what they say. Then tell us so others will know.
 
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