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Entering the country on a work visa sponsored by a different employer?

Grrcat

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To be more specific, if you have a COE and subsequent work visa sponsored by an employer, but instead use that visa to enter the country to work for a different employer (in the same field) is that going to cause problems with immigration at the airport?

I've got a bit of a situation where I have a COE to work for a school that at the last minute the owner turned out to be a not so great person to work for (there was a problem and their "true colors" came out I guess you could say), so I'm trying to think of other possible options. The best would be to just get a job with a different school since the COE is valid for three months. However, I'm worried that if I enter the country with a residence address different than the one on my COE and visa applications it will raise a red flag at the airport and I could be denied entry or something.

Does anyone have any idea if when immigration checks your visa your application info will come up and whether or not this is a problem I should worry about? Thanks in advance!
 

Glenski

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I don't know, but 2 questions arise.

When are you going to come?
Why would you come if you don't plan to work for them?
 

nice gaijin

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Do you have another job lined up or are you talking about trying to come on a COE from an employer you've already severed ties with, and you have no other prospects to speak of? I'm guessing that's what you mean, since your new employer should be handling this for you.
 

Grrcat

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I haven't severed ties with my employer yet. I'm still contemplating options right now. I probably won't be leaving until sometime in January. I'm not sure because they originally wanted me to be in the country already but the COE took too long to get here and now it's not plausible to go over there until the holidays are over. I don't think they actually need me in the country until March now though. I was thinking if by chance I was able to get a better job lined up in the next month or two, is it possible to ditch the current employer but use the visa sponsored by them to enter the country to work for the new employer?

The visa doesn't actually state where you will be working/living so I'm not sure if it matters who you work for if you already have the COE and work visa. For instance, if you cut ties with the employer and got a new job would that visa then be invalid and you'd have to apply for a COE all over again? That just doesn't seem like it makes sense to me. However, if you get there and when they check your visa or print your resident card an address in Kyushu comes up but you're in Hokkaido or something I'm worried that might cause problems.
 

Mike Cash

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is it possible to ditch the current employer but use the visa sponsored by them to enter the country to work for the new employer?
Possible or not, its kind of a scuzzy thing to do, doncha think?
 

Glenski

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if you get there and when they check your visa or print your resident card
How can you already have a resident card?
 

Grrcat

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Possible or not, its kind of a scuzzy thing to do, doncha think?
Yeah, it's scuzzy alright. It's definitely not something I'd be proud about, but sometimes you've got to think of yourself first.
How can you already have a resident card?
I don't. It was my understanding that the new system is when you arrive at the airport on a work visa they print your resident card since they don't use the alien registration cards anymore. I could be wrong though. I've never traveled to Japan with a visa before.
 

Glenski

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It's definitely not something I'd be proud about, but sometimes you've got to think of yourself first.
I understand, and you wouldn't be the first to do such a thing (or worse). However, are you also thinking about the students who may have seen your face or description on the company brochure and who have paid money to sign up for your classes, only to learn that you're not there? Employers may not always be the most forthright here, but screwing them over even before you land is what makes some of them put awful clauses in contracts and further treat foreign teachers badly.

All you've told us is that"at the last minute the owner turned out to be a not so great person to work for (there was a problem and their "true colors" came out I guess you could say)," so we really have no idea what the situation is (and only your side of it). If you'd care to explain...? Perhaps there is more to this than you let on.

And, what's the rush to get here? That is, is there anything wrong with telling them to cancel your visa/COE, finding another employer that you like, and coming then?
 

WonkoTheSane

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Yeah, it's scuzzy alright. It's definitely not something I'd be proud about, but sometimes you've got to think of yourself first.
I wanted to leave this alone, but it annoyed me too much.

You do not need to deceive and use these people, including students who may well be looking forward to learning from you. You want to because it's expedient. You could very well be honorable, stand up, and tell them you cannot take the job. Later you can get a new job and come in correctly with a COE from a company you plan to work for. This is the right thing to do.

You are not a refugee from a war-torn country.

It's up to you, but you already said it's scuzzy and not something you'd be proud of. So why do it?

Look, from a middle-aged guy, let me just tell you that you are the sum of the decisions you make, and your worth will be judged by them. I regret none of the decisions I made that inconvenienced me but I knew were the right thing to do, but I regret every decision I've ever made for expediency at the expense of my sense of ethical behavior.
 

Mike Cash

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Company 2: "You need us to help you out on a COE for your working visa, right?"

You: "Nah, I've already got one from shafting another place!"

There are places that will hire you anyway, but I suspect you'll find out that they're not the kind of places you'll like working for.

It's a poor and very flawed analogy, but it's like marrying the married woman you've been banging and who left her husband for you....then being surprised when you find out she's banging some other guy on the side after marrying you. I mean, it ain't like you couldn't see it coming.

If they hire you knowing you pulled some scuzzy stuff on some other school then you have no room to kick when you find out they do scuzzy stuff to their foreign staff. God knows there's no shortage of such places.
 

Glenski

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If you come here and waltz through immigration with your COE/work visa, then you have to set yourself up with housing and look for the job you really want. Housing rentals require a guarantor, typically your employer, so you won't have that, and you'll have to live in something shorter term in the meantime.

But as Mike wrote, that next employer should see that you have no work experience in Japan under that work visa, and they should raise an eyebrow at what it means. Eventually, someone will hire you, but I side with Mike in thinking it won't be any better than the place you just decided to abandon, precisely for the reason I just stated -- you look unreliable. Plus, you make foreign teachers like the rest of us look bad. Thanks in advance. (sarcasm mode on, there)

If you don't want this first employer, quit now, cancel the COE, and start anew. If you got the COE with little problems the first time, it will be the same the second time.

When do you want to come?
What's the rush?
(2nd time I've asked this)
 

Grrcat

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Short version of the story is it turns out the school is a shady school, if it even is a school... I'm not sure if the owner is just an overworked bipolar nutjob or the organizer of a very elaborate sham, but I'd seen enough to know that flying over there to work for them would be a huge mistake. Unfortunately, I didn't figure this out until after the COE was finished.

Bottom line is I have a COE for a working visa (I haven't applied for the visa yet), decided not to work for the employer that sponsored the COE, and am not in Japan. Is it legal to get another job before the COE/visa expires and simply enter the country on the visa sponsored by the previous employer, or is it technically necessary to start the whole COE process all over again with a different employer?

For the record, I did tell the employer the I decided to quit and there isn't really a rush for me to get to Japan. I would just rather come to Japan with a new job already in place on the old visa, if it is legally possible, than go through the whole several month process from scratch all over again.
 

nice gaijin

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For future reference, see if your potential employers have made it onto any of the eikaiwa blacklists. Lots of horror stories out there, you could save yourself a lot of grief with some research beforehand.
 

Mike Cash

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"Very elaborate sham" is an apt description of the entire Eikaiwa industry.
 

Glenski

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Since you have told the employer you won't take the job, get a different COE. They may have already told immigration to cancel your COE, and you'd look pretty silly coming to Japan with high hopes and a COE that doesn't get past immigration.

Who is the employer? Some of us here are teachers and could have offered advice. The ESL Cafe is probably the best place to get teaching advice because everyone there is a teacher or wannabe.
 
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