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Professor visa for a part time lecturer?

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Hi there,

I’ve been living in Japan for 12 years working as an ALT, and want to make the transition to part-time lecturer at three universities from April.

I have applied for permanent residency but am still waiting for the result (applied in August last year).

My question is if I cannot get the permanent residency, can I get the professor visa? I will be teaching 11 classes and making more than enough money to qualify. I have a Master of Arts.

I know the universities cannot sponsor me so can I apply by giving details of my employment contracts?

Immigration has said to just wait for the result of my PR but I want to hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Cheers.
 
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I don't think so.

There is no minimum requirement for income. That's a myth. People used to say 250,000 yen/month was the minimum you needed to get a work visa, but employers have been taking on people for 150,000-200,000 for quite a few years. Besides, there is no financial remarks made in the description of visa requirements.

You should be hearing about PR any time now. Mine was a switch from spousal visa, and I had not been here as long as you, but it took only 2-3 months. Hang tight.
 
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I don't think so.

There is no minimum requirement for income. That's a myth. People used to say 250,000 yen/month was the minimum you needed to get a work visa, but employers have been taking on people for 150,000-200,000 for quite a few years. Besides, there is no financial remarks made in the description of visa requirements.

You should be hearing about PR any time now. Mine was a switch from spousal visa, and I had not been here as long as you, but it took only 2-3 months. Hang tight.

Thank you for your reply. I found this information about the professor visa:

Professor Visa (Details) - TN Immigration Lawyer's Office (Consultation is Free of Charge)

Not sure how accurate it is.

I’m worried that I’ve thrown all my eggs in one basket in getting PR and I won’t have any other options if I don’t get it.

So all part-timers at universities are either PR’s, married, or working for dispatches?
 
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So all part-timers at universities are either PR’s, married, or working for dispatches?
My school has a couple contracted part-timers, with enough classes (income) that they can get a working visa (tho they do also work elsewhere) or self-sponsor. And if your PR doesn't come thru in time, with your history here, my guess is that immigrations would look favorably on you for self-sponsorship.

My uni tried dispatch teachers only briefly, and they left a bad taste--that was 10 if not 15 years ago. None since. And while I am not particularly well-connected, I don't know of any uni in this area who use dispatch.
 
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So all part-timers at universities are either PR’s, married, or working for dispatches?
A few years ago, there was a dispute whether companies could dispatch people to universities legally. I don't recall the final decision, but maybe it was that they could do it for classes that are not for credit or that were mandatory. Most uni teachers I know either have PR or a spousal visa.

EDIT: See what the General Union has to say. Not sure how relevant this older news is about the "ALT Scam". And make sure you read this.

What work visa do you have now?
 
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What work visa do you have now?
I have an instructor visa, valid until 2020.

I have been a direct-hire ALT for six years. Before that, I was a dispatch-ALT, and before that, a JET.

I was blissfully unaware that the instructor visa couldn’t be used to teach at University so I’m very thankful that I applied for PR when I did.
 
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My school has a couple contracted part-timers, with enough classes (income) that they can get a working visa (tho they do also work elsewhere) or self-sponsor. And if your PR doesn't come thru in time, with your history here, my guess is that immigrations would look favorably on you for self-sponsorship.
Thanks for that information.

How long should I give the PR result before I have to look into another visa? Beginning of March? Do you need to have a visa already sorted before you begin working at university or can it be under application?
 
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How long should I give the PR result before I have to look into another visa? Beginning of March? Do you need to have a visa already sorted before you begin working at university or can it be under application?
Good questions for your immigration office...! :emoji_wink:
 
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How long should I give the PR result before I have to look into another visa? Beginning of March?
PR is not a visa. Don't confuse the terminology.

You have until 2020 to renew your current visa, or get another, or get PR. That's quite a long time. You wrote that you applied for PR in August 2017. Ok, that's about half a year ago. If you haven't checked on the status since then, politely ask. Sometimes they lose paperwork on a desk.

Do you need to have a visa already sorted before you begin working at university or can it be under application?
You need to have PR, spousal visa, or a proper work visa before you begin work there, yes. If you don't have the proper immigration status, you would be working illegally, and I don't think a university would allow you to be hired.
 
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PR is not a visa. Don't confuse the terminology.
...
I don't think he is.

It's understandable. What does he do if PR doesn't come thru (in time). I'd be concerned/worried, too.

Gamble on waiting on PR, and bite your nails along the way? What happens if it is late? Maybe the prudent route would be to apply for a backup in the meantime.

Again, questions best asked at his local immigration office.
 
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I don't think he is.

It's understandable. What does he do if PR doesn't come thru (in time). I'd be concerned/worried, too.

Gamble on waiting on PR, and bite your nails along the way? What happens if it is late? Maybe the prudent route would be to apply for a backup in the meantime.

Again, questions best asked at his local immigration office.

I asked Tokyo immigration about PR about 10 days ago. They said they are still processing ones applied for in June.

Can I ask you how some of your part timers got their work visas and what they needed from the university? It would be great to hear how someone in a similar situation went about it.
 
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Sorry, I'm not privy to that. I only know that they are there.

As with anyone else here, I'm just some internet person--not god or a legal advisor.

You've been here a long time, and you're making a transition that, to me, looks completely reasonable. Hopefully, if they're backlogged on approving PR, they'll look at you favorably for the right kind of working visa.
 
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You have until 2020 to renew your current visa, or get another, or get PR. That's quite a long time. .
I don’t really get this. Once I quit my ALT job, I’ll have three months to find another similar job before I lose my instructor visa, isn’t that right?
 
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You said "I have an instructor visa, valid until 2020." A few years ago, news reports (not hearsay, real news articles) said immigration was going to be stricter on how much time people could stay valid if they stopped working. I have no idea whether that was indeed what happened. Perhaps you are thinking about this, too. I don't know.

If immigration is backed up with June PR applicants, I'd look to continue as an ALT for a while longer. Hiring for the coming academic year is coming to a close, and you can't tell them you are merely hoping to get the PR before April.
 
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If immigration is backed up with June PR applicants, I'd look to continue as an ALT for a while longer. Hiring for the coming academic year is coming to a close, and you can't tell them you are merely hoping to get the PR before April.
I have already been officially hired by two universities and am awaiting approval from another.

What is strange is that I was never asked the visa question by these two of these universities. And I was unaware of that limits of the instructor visa so I never spoke of it. Only University C raised the point after I was officially approved. I am now being upfront with them all about my situation.
 

cez

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One year from now, I will very likely be in a similar situation like yours. My current status of residence is "Professor" and I have a full-time contract (常勤講師) with one university that will expire in March 2019. I'll probably have to go the self-sponsorship route with several 非常勤講師 contracts afterwards.

If I were you, I'd be just as upfront about my situation with the Immigrations Office, asking whether they would advise you to apply for change of status to "Professor" or wait for your PR permit to come through.

Did you get the universities to fill in the necessary form? (s. page 4 of this document: http://www.moj.go.jp/content/001138347.pdf). What I am not sure about is whether you would need only one university to do it and you provide confirmations of employment from the others or you need the same form from all of them.

What I do know is that you have to provide a copy of your residence permit to the university that they have to forward to MEXT so you definitely want to have everything sorted out by April.

I am very curious how this works out for you in the end but I am confident that you will get the necessary permit.
 
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Thank you for sharing that link.

My only concern is how will it look to immigration if I apply for the professor visa for part time work whilst my PR result is still pending? Will this application for professor be made known to Tokyo immigration?

I guess I’m just telling the truth and my intentions are pure.

I already went into my local immigration office two weeks ago and was advised to wait for the result of PR. I have also called two immigration lawyers who advised me to do the same.

However, once March comes I don’t think I’ll be able to wait anymore.
 
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My only concern is how will it look to immigration if I apply for the professor visa for part time work whilst my PR result is still pending? Will this application for professor be made known to Tokyo immigration?
It will look like you're being proactive, that you understand that PR might not come thru in time, that you want to insure that you are legal/compliant when you start at you new jobs in April. All of that is commendable, it shows respect for the system and laws. It is not a warning flag, and should not jeopardize your PR application.

If anything, Tokyo immigrations may be relieved that they have more time to clear their backlog.
 
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I have already been officially hired by two universities and am awaiting approval from another. What is strange is that I was never asked the visa question by these two of these universities.
Yes, VERY strange indeed! They should know better. I don't think it's legal to work for a university on that sort of visa. You'd better darned well make sure with immigration!

My only concern is how will it look to immigration if I apply for the professor visa for part time work whilst my PR result is still pending? Will this application for professor be made known to Tokyo immigration?
You can apply for a visa or renewal of a visa at the same time you file for PR. No connection there. If you get PR, you can tell them to cancel the visa application because you won't need it. If you DON'T get PR, you WILL need the visa, though.

Criteria for Instructor visa:
(i) In cases where the applicant is to engage in instruction at a miscellaneous educational institution (kakushu gakko) or an educational institution equivalent thereto in facilities and curriculum, or in cases where the applicant is to engage in instruction at a school other than these in a capacity other than that of a teacher, the applicant shall fulfill all of the following requirements. In cases where the applicant is to engage in instruction at a miscellaneous educational institution or an educational institution equivalent thereto in facilities and curriculum which has been established to provide primary or secondary education in a foreign language to children who attend such schools and who have the status of residence of "Diplomat" or "Official" as listed in Appended Table I (1) of the Immigration Control Act or "Dependent" as listed in Appended Table I (4) of the Immigration Control Act, the applicant need only fulfill requirement (a).

(a) The applicant shall fulfill one of the following requirements.
(1) The applicant shall have graduated from university or acquired an education equivalent thereto.
(2) The applicant shall have completed a specialized course of study at a vocational school in Japan (limited to cases coming under the requirements designated in a public notice by the Minister of Justice relating to such completion) majoring in a subject pertaining to the necessary skills and knowledge for the subject which he/she intends to teach.
(3) The applicant shall hold a license to teach the subject that he/she intends to teach.
(b) When the applicant intends to teach a foreign language, he/she shall have acquired an education in said language for at least 12 years. When the applicant is to teach any other subject, he/she shall have at least 5 years' teaching experience in that subject.
(ii) The applicant shall receive no less remuneration than would a Japanese national for comparable work.
Japanese Law Translation - [Law text] - Ministerial Ordinance to Provide for Criteria Pursuant to Article 7, paragraph (1), item (ii) of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act
 
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One year from now, I will very likely be in a similar situation like yours. My current status of residence is "Professor" and I have a full-time contract (常勤講師) with one university that will expire in March 2019. I'll probably have to go the self-sponsorship route with several 非常勤講師 contracts afterwards.

If I were you, I'd be just as upfront about my situation with the Immigrations Office, asking whether they would advise you to apply for change of status to "Professor" or wait for your PR permit to come through.

Did you get the universities to fill in the necessary form? (s. page 4 of this document: http://www.moj.go.jp/content/001138347.pdf). What I am not sure about is whether you would need only one university to do it and you provide confirmations of employment from the others or you need the same form from all of them.

What I do know is that you have to provide a copy of your residence permit to the university that they have to forward to MEXT so you definitely want to have everything sorted out by April.

I am very curious how this works out for you in the end but I am confident that you will get the necessary permit.
My one question about the universities filling out page 4 of the form linked above is are they doing it as my 'sponsor' or merely as my place of employment? I notice they have to put their seal on it. Who in the university does that?
 

cez

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The office of personell affairs (人事局、じんじきょく) would be the place to ask. As for your first question, that's also something I would like to know. Do you have one university where you would feel comfortable asking 人事 about that? Otherwise you'd have to ask at immigrations yourself.
 
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