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Cultural Activities Visa Questions

RinVael

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I am planning to move to Japan hopefully in March of next year. I am a freelancer who works online. I am still considering applying for a student visa. Besides a student visa, the only other visa that fits the activities that I would like to engage in is a Cultural Activites visa. Would I be able to freelance while having this visa? (Otherwise I have to prove that I have the money to support myself without working, and I don't believe that I can do that depending on how much I would need. I know that I can apply for permission to have a part-time job though.) What are the qualifications for this visa? Do I have to have any experience in the activity to apply? Also, I have to prove my residence and I am homestaying with a wonderful family. Does homestaying count as a place of residence when applying for a visa? I am sure that it does, but I want to make sure before applying.
 

Mike Cash

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I am planning to move to Japan
Do you mean that you intend to move here permanently or do you mean that you intend to come for a visit of a few weeks/months?
 

RinVael

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On a Cultural Activities visa?
Yes, I was planning to apply for a Cultural Activities visa to cover my stay for a few months to a year. And try to get permission for work. Since I haven't found a visa that may allow freelance work. I was also considering applying for a Student Visa.
 

Mike Cash

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Yes, I was planning to apply for a Cultural Activities visa to cover my stay for a few months to a year. And try to get permission for work. Since I haven't found a visa that may allow freelance work. I was also considering applying for a Student Visa.
You can't move here permanently on either of those visas.

You can't move here permanently just because you decided you want to move here permanently. You can't even move here temporarily to work unless you meet the immigration requirements to do so.

It sounds very much like you have taken it in your head they you are going to make a permanent move here, know full well you don't meet the requirements, and are trying to figure a way to game the system so you can sneak through the door.

Japan isn't like the U.S. which turns a blind eye to illegal immigrants and has a large proportion of the population who supports their presence. If you're figuring on getting in on whatever visa you can and then just doing a permanent illegal overstay, forget it.
 

RinVael

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You can't move here permanently on either of those visas.

You can't move here permanently just because you decided you want to move here permanently. You can't even move here temporarily to work unless you meet the immigration requirements to do so.

It sounds very much like you have taken it in your head they you are going to make a permanent move here, know full well you don't meet the requirements, and are trying to figure a way to game the system so you can sneak through the door.

Japan isn't like the U.S. which turns a blind eye to illegal immigrants and has a large proportion of the population who supports their presence. If you're figuring on getting in on whatever visa you can and then just doing a permanent illegal overstay, forget it.
No, I wasn't saying that I was trying to get a visa to get in and then stay illegally. Not at all. I apologize if it came off that way. That is certainly not my intent. My plan is to come here under either a Cultural Activities or a Student Visa (and perhaps get permission for part-time work) for a couple of years. And I believe that both a Cultural Activities and a Student Visa can be valid for up to a few years and can be renewed if needed. If any of my information is incorrect, please correct me. I am not trying to be ignorant, I am just trying to get as much information as possible on this.
 

Glenski

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The confusion lies in your use of the phrase "move to Japan". That implies pretty much permanently. We now know what you want, so do you have any questions that haven't been answered?
 

Mike Cash

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"A couple of years" and "permanently" are very different things.

The reason I asked for clarification initially was to make sure you weren't making plans to come live here forever despite perhaps not being eligible to do so. (We get a lot of posters like that).

It does sound like you have no particular aims in mind regarding being educated in Japan or in furthering your experience in some cultural activity but are just considering those as expedients to facilitate your coming to Japan to live for a couple of years. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing... but you're going to have to come up with something you intend to study here (and pay a buttload of money for) in order to qualify. If you don't even really have anything in particular in mind regarding what to study, one can't help but wonder if you have any plans in mind what to do with what you learn during the stay after it is all over and you're no longer eligible to remain here any longer. Is the whole purpose of your coming to Japan just to be in Japan?
 

Majestic

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For a student visa you need to have a firm plan to come here to study, at a school that is recognized by the government as a legitimate school (in other words, you can't come here to study anime in your friend's apartment). The visa is the government's endorsement of you and your school's plan to provide you with some education.

It is more or less the same for a cultural activities visa (and a work visa, for that matter). You must have a plan that includes sponsorship by a genuine provide or cultural activities. Once you have the plan, the government then either endorses it and grants you permission (the visa) or not.

For work, you have to have a job lined up and the specifics of the job have to be clarified by a contract between you and your future employer. Once you have this, you apply for the visa.

You cannot apply for a visa with a vague plan of living in Japan and then figure out the job, school, or activity when you get here. Even if you have a detailed plan, you cannot apply for the visa if that plan isn't somehow validated by the institution in Japan where you will study, train, work, etc...

It is a common misconception, and a common question: I want to live in Japan, which visa do I apply for? As above, Japan only allows residence here as a condition of employment or school (or if you are a dependent here). So you need to sort out your activity and the sponsor first.
 
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salyavin

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If you don't have a 4 year degree I suggest you get one, many accredited universities (even state universities) allow online degree tracks these days so it can work around your schedule. You can get student loans or grants to help. Once you have that how about coming over to teach English? Really I think this is the path of least resistance to come over if that is your basic goal.

Also it is cheaper and easier to get your degree at home instead of going for the student visa IMHO.
 
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