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Starting Over.....??

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Hello, im in a but of a funny situation and i was wondering if anyone here may help me out.
I have lived in japan for about 6 years (2008-2014) and been married for about 5 of those years. I moved back to Canada (originally from) and have been living here since last year may. Unfortunatley, things didnt work out and I will be getting a divorce. My last visa that I had, which was a spousal visa, expired last year in August. Now i will be going back to Japan next month and wondering what would be the best option for me for obtaining a visa and which visa would be best, or maybe trying to get PR? Im still married, no divorce has been finalized. So, if anyone here can give me some helpful tips on what I can do/get, i would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.
 

Mike Cash

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Are you eligible for a working visa independent of being married? If so, go that route.

Do you have children? If so, you may be eligible for a special visa status which lets you remain in Japan to (help) raise your minor children. This eligibility disappears when they reach a certain age, so you would need to work toward a different status by then.

If you're thinking PR, you're probably going to have to suck it up and gut it out for a while regarding whatever it is about your wife that annoys you. You're going to need to be together and need her cooperation at least as far as pretending that you're not already on the road to divorce before you even apply for PR. Remember, they already give spouses a major break by making us eligible for PR in a much shorter period than they do for people with no marital connection to Japan. It is hardly to be expected they would give favorable consideration to an application from a marriage that is disintegrating.

So if you haven't already told her you want to split, keep your mouth shut until you get PR. If you have already told her, kiss her butt and ask her to play make-believe until you get PR. Otherwise, PR looks iffy at best.
 
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no kids, that option is out...

working visa maybe, if i can find a job and get the company to sponsor me...

that third option maybe is best, but would i need to apply for a spousal visa, then apply for PR? or can i apply directly for PR once i arrive in Japan next month?

thanks for the reply mike.
 

Mike Cash

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I don't mean to pry into your business or anything, but your age and the timeline makes me wonder if you have a college degree. As you probably know, in most cases that is a requirement for a working visa. Of course, with a spouse visa that's not an issue.

I believe you can apply for both spouse visa and PR at the same time. Immigration can tell you for sure. I did my last spouse visa extension application and PR application at the same time.
 
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i have a 2 year college diploma, but i have known people who have got working visas without degrees, just by company sponsorships....

interesting, maybe i will apply for both then. i will find out from immigration. thanks.
 

Mike Cash

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i have a 2 year college diploma, but i have known people who have got working visas without degrees, just by company sponsorships....

interesting, maybe i will apply for both then. i will find out from immigration. thanks.
It may depend on the type of work they were doing or the specific category of working visa they were on. What sort of work did you do here before and what do you plan on doing when you come back?

Glenski can give you better info on the visa stuff than I can. When it stopped applying to me personally I stopped keeping up with it.
 
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I was a teacher, will most likely teach when i come back for a while. But i plan on opening my own buisness hopefully.....
 
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My two cents:

You're coming here in the next 30 days. Ok, under what status? Tourist most likely, unless you decide to get a working holiday visa. Otherwise, you have very little chance IMO to get a job and work visa before coming.

So, you'll be here as a tourist married to a Japanese for a short time. Fine. Your 5 years of marriage (spousal visa during all that time, presumably, or at least for 3 years of it) will look good to immigration when you apply for PR. They don't have to know a damn thing about your impending divorce, so if it hasn't happened by the time you apply for PR, they won't have that negative thing to hold against you. You will have to think of a line to put where the application asks why you want PR, but just say you want to continue working and being with your wife here. How are they to know otherwise?

Keep in mind that you will probably have to apply for a work visa (or WHV) on top of PR. PR can take 3 months minimum and usually far longer than that, so you need something to keep you here legally then.

Despite you knowing "people who have got working visas without degrees, just by company sponsorships....", more details are needed before we can say much in your favor. In fact, unless they had darned good lawyers to spin the background they had into something immigration accepted, I'd say the only way that a non-degreed person can get a work visa here is by having enough related work experience. What did you do before you got your spousal visa, if I may ask?

Advertisements for work will be surfacing in larger numbers in the next month or so, which is good for you, but I suggest keeping an eye out starting now. Contact the possibles and let them know when you plan to be here, so they have a date in hand to consider for possible interviews. Not much else you can do in the meantime.
 

Mike Cash

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I think it took something like a year and a half for my PR to get processed.

As long as your wife is playing ball, you should be alright. If she decides to go tell Immigration you're divorcing her (out of spite or for whatever other reason), you can kiss the PR goodbye.

Are your differences irreconcilable? Is the problem between you two not something you can work out?
 
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I had a WHV first, then 5 years of spousal visa. I guess i will have to apply for both spousal and PR at the same time and hope my wife doesnt tell immigration about our situation. She said she doesnt want me to use her to get a visa/PR because she might get into trouble for fraud or something....
My friend and his wife have a english school, maybe they can sponsor me a work visa?
 

Mike Cash

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I had a WHV first, then 5 years of spousal visa. I guess i will have to apply for both spousal and PR at the same time and hope my wife doesnt tell immigration about our situation. She said she doesnt want me to use her to get a visa/PR because she might get into trouble for fraud or something....
My friend and his wife have a english school, maybe they can sponsor me a work visa?
Not without a degree, they can't.

Without her or a degree, your eligibility to live in Japan vanishes into thin air.
 
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well it looks like my situation has gotten worse....I havent paid taxes for 5 of 6 years years in japan, which i think has to be proven in order to get a PR.....****
 
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Wife won't be affected by this at all. Just get the applications in ASAP. And, I second what Mike wrote about your chances at a work visa.

Think of a student visa if you can't get a work visa. Study at some school to learn Japanese. It's not long term, nor does it allow full-time work, but unless you get married again, that's about your only chance to stay here.
 
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well it looks like my situation has gotten worse....I havent paid taxes for 5 of 6 years years in japan, which i think has to be proven in order to get a PR.....****
And whose fault is that? Geez, you're just digging a hole deeper and deeper. Next you'll be telling us you have some criminal arrests on your record here.
 

Mike Cash

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well it looks like my situation has gotten worse....I havent paid taxes for 5 of 6 years years in japan, which i think has to be proven in order to get a PR.....****
This may be a simple matter of civic ignorance on your part. Do you mean you never paid income tax? Or that you personally never filed an income tax return? If you worked for a regular employer (not self-employed or working for some dodgy outfit) then it is conceivable that you paid taxes and just didn't know about it. It is typical for employers in Japan to do not only the withholding part but also the filing part when it comes to income tax.

Do you recall around early December being given a form on which you had to write (or have your wife write) your name, her name, and her income (if any)? Do you recall around late January or early February being handed a small amount of extra cash? If so, your employer handled your taxes for you.

If not, they're going to want their back taxes plus interest.

On a related note: Were you enrolled in and paying premiums into either of the two national health insurance schemes? Despite many foreigners thinking they are exempt (especially if they have some private plan), by law you can't not be enrolled. That means that when you do go to enroll or when the system catches up with you, they're going to want their back premiums for the time you weren't enrolled....plus interest.
 
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Any civic ignorance would not be solely his fault, Mike. A Japanese wife should know far better and harangue her foreign spouse to file, or at least be curious about any returns.

Good catch about the health insurance, too. The back premiums are assessed for a 2 or 3 year period, not the entire time you were here, if I recall correctly.
 
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