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Dimitree

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I have couple of questions :)

Since my interest in Japan is ever growing and never shrinking i am seriusly considering to move and live in Japan.
I know that it will take years to prepare but i don't have a problem with persistance 😊

I know that it's easy to point me to some guide or internet site but i'm not happy with what i have found so far on the web.
That's why i want to ask what will be needed for a foreigner to survive in Japan ?

Can somone point me to Key things i need in order to survive in Japan ?
Language skills ?
What must i be able to work ?
I'm not looking for finance information for now.
I'm searching for information about basic skills for foreigners ?
Like for example if someone asks me what will he need in order to survive in Bulgaria i would say :

1.Bulgarian language talking and writing.
2.Ready to work in two places with low payment.
3.Best way to try in a small town and not in the capital because it's too expensive to rent an apartment there.


Something like that o-o.
However bulgarians are very open and friendly to foreigners.
There will be no problems to find a job anywhere.In a coffe in a shop, resturant, IT company and so on.
I'm not sure that the same applys for Japan ...
That's why i want to know what are the common jobs for foreigners there ?
What would be easy to get as job for a foreigner in Japan ?
 

karlyboo

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The most common jobs going in Japan for foreigners are teachers, bar work (usually women), entertainment including modelling and acting (again, more common for women) and (although I take it with a big dose of salt) I've been informed that IT is another avenue.

Basically it's teaching, entertaining or (possibly) IT. I'm rather dubious on the last one since Japan already has a very skilled work force and it would be very much dependant on your Japanese skills and your IT skills. I'm an IT professional (1st class degree, several years experience etc.) and my avenue over the next couple of years will be English teaching.
 

Dimitree

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Can't a foreigner get a "Normal persons job" in Japan ?

The only time i teached english (can't belive i did that eather 😌 ) was over Skype to couple of brazilian students 😊 at first it was fun but when things started to repeat it got boring as hell :eek:

My IT skills are one year in a french company working with photoshop and corel but that's all o-o

I mean ... can't i go in japan and get two low payed jobs that no one wants to work for a starter ?Is there such a thing in there ?

Here a foreigner can work in the construction business for some time until he gets to know how things work here wihout any problem ?Or in a supermarket for example ...

Do i have to be some sort of super pro guru in order to survive in Japan ?
 

karlyboo

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AFAIK you don't have a chance, I'm afraid. Hiring a foreigner means filling in many papers, including visa information, and it's unlikely a low-end job will be willing to do that when they could hire a Japanese citizen for a fraction of the trouble.

Your best bet, although this is only IMO, is to save up for a year and do a teaching english course (TEFOL or TESOL) then applying to one of the larger language schools. I don't think any of them recruit in Bulgaria but I see no reason you couldn't attend one of their European recruitment areas. They usually don't take people without degrees but you may have some bargaining power if you have a teaching qualification already.
 

Dimitree

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So what you are saying is that the only way i can get in Japan and stay there is to become an english teacher :eek: ??? O____O

I can't belive that Japan is so low on options ☝:mad:
 

karlyboo

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Well I'm a long way from an authority on the subject so others might have some ideas.

Apart from that your only option is to save up and go to Japan on a holiday visa, sort out work there (but unless you're very fluent you'll have a hard time outside of teaching) then come back to Bulgaria to the Japanese Embassy to arrange a work visa and then actually go back out and start working.
 

Homerduff

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As you are from a non-english speaking country, it may be hard to get a (decent) teaching job in English. I suggest you look for a language school as stated above, and depending on your current level in Japanese, take a 1 or 2 year Japanese course. Most of those courses are college prepratory which means that afterwards you should be fluent enough (have JLPT 1 level) to apply for a college or university in Japan or look for work.

Most of these language schools will help you find a part-time job in the meantime. I'm sure that they will take care of most paperwork. Just maybe you could stick to this job afterwards if they are happy with you.

Anyway, your best bet to stay in Japan is absolutely to study there in my opinion. I know there's a tuition fee but if you go to a language school that has it's own dormitory, you will save money on that mather surely. It's true that most jobs posted above are the common ones for foreigners. But in any case, your Japanese level is decisive.

Here's a nice link to look for a language school troughout Japan:

www.nisshinkyo.org

Oh btw, this may sound weird but it's definetly effective; who knows you get to know a girl during your study period in Japan and you get to marry her. Your further stay in Japan will be guaranteed (as for visa), but finding a job may still be bothersome.
 

Glenski

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Look, there are many types of visas, and a visa is your first step in figuring out how to get here as more than a tourist. Please look at the visa homepage for starters. It's not easy to follow, obviously, but please go there and see what is available.
http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/index.html

Next, I resent the fact that you say bar work, teaching, and modeling are not "normal jobs". What do they have in Bulgaria, anyway? (P.S. One of my university students here is from Bulgaria, so that question was purely rhetorical.)

Next, most visas will require that you have a bachelor's degree or equivalent, or a certain number of years of experience in that field. Do you? On top of that, foreigners from non-English-speaking countries (sadly, Japan often considers them to be only the top 5 or 6) will usually need more than just a degree -- they may need 12 years of their education in English.

Next, Japan has tons of unskilled labor doing the real dirty work here that Japanese don't want to do. Many of those workers are here illegally (and some of those illegal workers are actually hauled in by the government or companies!), but many are here legally. The work can sometimes be only short-term, and the benefits are often pretty crappy. Unfortunately, Japan works like that, so really look hard to see what is being offered to you. REALLY hard! That sort of work, by the way, will either require a skilled labor work visa or something else that I don't know of.

Look at www.jobsinjapan.com for ads on general work, but you MUST bear in mind that the first hurdle to overcome is a visa.

Japanese language? If you are so determined to come here, start learning yesterday. Many of those "dirty" jobs have people who hardly speak a word of Japanese, but your life will be so much better and easier if you know some. It takes a LONG time to become reasonably fluent.
 

Dimitree

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Wow ... going in Japan sounds more like trying to enter North Korea *giggle*

Okeiz i checked the japanese embassy in Bulgaria.
For bulgarians we don't need visas for short term 90 days stay in Japan.
We need visas for work and for long stay in Japan.
We have this -Artist visa type which i didn't find at the MOFA page ?
Do you have information about this type of visa ?

I checked the IT jobs in jobsinjapan.com it seams that i better start learning C++ and java 😊

Well i don't think it will be that hard going in Japan :) After all i will learn the language in 3-4 years and by that time i will learn programming.Programming fits nicely in my current MMORPG project altho i was considering on doing only the 3D art part of the game.Oh well ...
:eek:

The questions i had for unskilled work were asked because my philosophy is to prepare for the worst and wait for the best 😌

Thank you 🙂
 

Kirirao

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I mean ... can't i go in japan and get two low payed jobs that no one wants to work for a starter ?Is there such a thing in there ?
without a working visa?
illegally? probably.
legally? no :) if it was that easy, I bet Japan is already been flooded with foreigner right now.

Labor work is easy to come by when you have very basic Japanese skills and a visa. :)
If you have both of them I can recommend you to a few 派遣(outsourcing?) company in Japan that I used to worked before. They don't pay as well as teaching, but It should be enough to survive.(they can pay more then teaching if you willing to work everyday) No benefits whatsoever tho.

If you have conversational-level Japanese skill and a visa, other jobs are pretty easy to come by too. E.g Izakaya, restaurant, supermarket etc.

note : all of above is just part-time level of work. and visa = non-tourist visa.

oh, and btw, most IT company need you to be in Japan first before they sponsor you with a visa. No idea about other company tho since I only done research on IT company so far.
 

Dimitree

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Kirirao san ^_^ i almost jumped on the airplane to Japan :p
However first i need to learn japanese, programming, make a demo MMORPG world for my portfolio.
So i'll be more then happy to call for your help in 4 years ^_^
My plan is to first go in Japan for 90 days and try to find work and a company that will work out my visa.
Then get back in Bulgaria, get the visa and finaly move in Japan.
I am not sure what you mean with the "IT company need you to be in Japan first before they sponsor you with a visa"
Visas are free of charge for bulgarians if that's what you mean ?
Anyway thank you very much for the information :) i was sure that Japan can offer more then teaching jobs for foreigners :)
Thank you very much ! 🙂
 

Kirirao

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sponsor you with a visa = a company being your sponsor for the working visa, as far as I know you need a company to be your guarantor or something like that for you to get a work visa.

oh and your age gonna be a minus, some of the IT company do have an age limit for people who are inexperience. Different story if you have xx numbers of years of working experience already.
do you have a bachelor's degree?

I still don't know what kind of visa you are valid for, so some of the thing I said might be invalid tho.

oh and to answer your question
Can somone point me to Key things i need in order to survive in Japan ?
from my personal opinion.

1. Money
 

Dimitree

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Oh the details are always painful :eek: :(
Unfortunately i didn't bother to finish a bachelors degree because we don't have IT related studies in our dear South-West University here in my hometown.I became a student every year for 5 years until the military removed the obligatory service ( after serving in the military here you get out with mental problems and nothing useful, my brother is a living example of that :eek:) but as i said i didn't bother to finish any of the different bachelors degrees i studied for :p
We have family business here with two shops and supplying two cities with milk products and that was another reason for not having the time to get into finishing a degree.This gives me a professional experience on the supermarket jobs market *giggle* 😊
I am planing on getting all the certificates that might be required for the language and for the programming skills.
And i hope that with certificates and a good portfolio i can make up for the missing bachelors degree.
I saw job offers with age limit 25-30 o-o i plan on learning to programme for two years and then get a two years professional experiance.So i will have professional experience with Photoshop and CorelDraw and programming hopefully i will learn Java and C++, so i will be 29 when that happends ☝
o well ...
It never hurts to try ^____^
Even if i fail in coming to Japan i will have programming skills and Japanese language which is a rare skill in Bulgaria :)😄
 

karlyboo

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In all honesty matey, I think you'll have trouble.

Don't get me wrong, serious-discussion-forum arguments aside (where I spend most of my time being a smug bastard), I would never presume to tell you how to aim for your dreams. That said I'd like to try and give some practical advice on reaching them.

I'm basing this purely on the fact I'm actually in IT so I know something about it.

I can tell you this, if you spend your four years as you suggest you would have a hard time getting a job here in the UK (with no visa or language barriers), so I don't honestly see a japanese company going for it.

In IT two things rule: your degree and your experience. I've tried the whole 'I ran this little project' line before, it is always countered by "Yes that's nice, but how much professional experience do you have?" Employers wants years worth of experience, they want project details. Homegrown assignments don't cut the mustard for languages like C++ and Java.

I was able to get a basic job with my degree (working on an IT helpdesk with some minor fill-in programming under the .NET framework) and then gain experience to build myself up to something better. Without a degree you'll find that experience hard to gain, and without either I don't honestly see it working out.

Now I say again if you're certain this is the angle you want to go down, by all means do. It's only my opinion and you might well prove it wrong. That said I know a bit about my industry.

All I can advise is how I would deal with this. I've heard your situation and I would probably try and deal with it thusly:

Even with a cerificate/homegrown project, IT jobs within Europe (with free movement of workers without visa and a more common language) would be tricky, let alone Japan.

The most common entry requirement for most things, including a work visa to Japan, is a degree.

I would probably use those 3/4 years to work on a degree. Pick something you like, possibly IT/Computing/Computer Science/whatever or alternatively to train as a teacher. The University I went to trains teachers (including English, with teaching english as a secondary language as an option) and is happy to accept students from all over the EU.

You'll find your prospects improve a great deal with the latter.

That's 3 years. Take another year to gain experience by working as a teacher and to save your money.

When you can over the course of the year, take the time out to visit Japan a couple of times (your profile says you have never been). Then make sure to read up on it, go out of your way to find the potential negatives about living there. Make sure that if you do this it's really what you want and that you are expecting the reality of living in Japan, for example:

Long hours are very common.
Tax is generally less than in Europe.
Food costs more unless you are willing to cook for yourself often and to eat local food.
You will always be a foreigner and always be treated as such, by both the government and the people.

When you've done all that, start hunting for a position out there. Go for IT if that's really what you want (personally I hate the sector, that's why I'm looking to get out!) but teaching will always be a better option (the turnover is very high, and despite ups-and-downs these Japanese will always want people to teach them). Whilst English is not your native language if you are a qualified teacher in the subject you stand a better chance.

As I said, that's all my opinion. That's how I'd deal with this situation you're in from what I know of IT, my experiences of Japan, the time I've spent researching jobs out there, living expenses, taxes etc. You obviously have to call it how you see fit.

If funding for your degree is a problem the UK offers student loans/tuition fee loans and they are open to EU residents. I can point you to various links if you would like, though I would imagine you would need an address and a job over here first.

Best of luck.
 

Glenski

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We have this -Artist visa type which i didn't find at the MOFA page ?
Do you have information about this type of visa ?
Look more carefully. It's there, fourth on the list of visas and second on the list of work visas. It says:
3 years or 1 year
Activities for the arts that provide income, including those carried out by composers, songwriters, artists, sculptors, craftspeople, photographers, etc.
http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/04.html

Well i don't think it will be that hard going in Japan :)
I think you seriously underestimate your chances.
 

Dimitree

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Hurray for the club on "Ney" sayers :p
I have proven wrong way too many people like you guys in my short lifetime to take any notice of what you say 🙂
One of these people still can't belive that i went in Sofia our capital and for one day i found a job and was hired in a Kodak photo studio without any work/degree experience.
One month later i searched for a new job for one single day and was hired in a french company without any work experience and no degree and no portfolio.After a year they bagged me to stay offering me more money or change of job but stupid me i went back to our family business.
This person also preached to me how impossible it will be for me to find a job in Sofia without degree/experience/portfolio.
karlyboo : i want to tell you that the company that will consider a MMORPG (Massively multiplayer online role-playing game) project involving the creation of 3D models, texturing, animating, writing server side plug-ins and so on, realized by a single person as insufficient will be defenatly a company that i will evade by all means.If a MMORPG, Java, C++, Photoshop, CorelDraw, Autodesk Maya in my portfolio is not enough for a company then maby i don't need such a company :p
Did i mention that i whent in France and after one week in Paris i was almost hired (my visa was not ready yet :eek:) as IT specialist ?Again without any experiance/degree and barely speaking french haha ☝
So i had to work in a supermarket for couple of months until it got boring and i got back home 😌 bureaucracy for the lose >_>
Glenski do you mean overestimate ? o-o
Anyway i am sure that Japanese companies are not so dumb to place a peace of paper over a talented portfolio.Most of the people with degrees are only good for just that ... holding a degree paper ☝
Btw where is this "The most common entry requirement for most things, including a work visa to Japan, is a degree" ? Where does it say bachelors degree ? i must be lazy not seeing it ^____^.
Don't get me wrong :) i know that it will be far more painless to have a degree and so on and so forth, and i have requested information about getting an online university degree ( will that do ? o_O) but i don't understand why do you bother giving me the Ney treatment ?
I can do the Ney treatment myself and myne is far more dark then what you painted ;)

Oh boy ... now some people will hate me ☝
 

Eponine

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Dimitree, I admire your enthusiasm and if you wish to move to Japan I wish you luck. But the fact is it's not as simple as you seem to think. Just because you have been lucky in the past does not mean you will be able to blag a job in a country where the culture is completely alien to you. The people on here are giving you good advice, and as you asked for it I'm not really sure what your problem is. Yes, Degrees have been horribly devalued in the UK due to the amount of people taking slam-dunk courses but it is still the standard set for the kind of career you seem to desire, particularly abroad.

You mentioned Artist visas...you imply you have worked in studios but do not say whether you are experienced in the arts or performing arts. Realistically you cannot call yourself an artist without relevant experience in your own country and very good evidence that you'll be in demand in the Far East. I also agree that it would be wise to visit the country before you commit yourself to moving out there for extended periods. Be realistic, play to your strengths and work on your weaknesses. Good luck.
 

karlyboo

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but i don't understand why do you bother giving me the Ney treatment ?

You said you were willing to work at it, I was giving an honest opinion on what you needed to work at. Take it how you like.
 

Kirirao

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Anyway i am sure that Japanese companies are not so dumb to place a peace of paper over a talented portfolio.Most of the people with degrees are only good for just that ... holding a degree paper
This only prove that you know nothing about Japan.

Nay treatment? heh.
The people here are trying to give you some advices from their own experience, and you say that they are the nay sayers?

Why did I even bother posting in this thread.
Should've noticed the red flag from all those smilies.

karlyboo : i want to tell you that the company that will consider a MMORPG (Massively multiplayer online role-playing game) project involving the creation of 3D models, texturing, animating, writing server side plug-ins and so on, realized by a single person as insufficient will be defenatly a company that i will evade by all means.If a MMORPG, Java, C++, Photoshop, CorelDraw, Autodesk Maya in my portfolio is not enough for a company then maby i don't need such a company
yes thats true, the company will consider all those stuff you typed, but come here again when you actually MADE one. (without using already made engine like torque or RPG creation tool or whatever). I hear alot of noobs talking big about wanting to make an MMO, in the end, its all just crap. Nothing but talk.

Talk is easy, come back when you made one and I'll let you brag in my face. :)

Oh and sorry for acting like an ***, I'm quite sensitive when it comes to games/MMO-related stuff.
 

Dimitree

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Sure thing Kirirao
I will even send Pencho to negotiate with you ;)
looolcu8-1.jpg
 

Kirirao

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No point of bragging over 1 model :)
Brag when you have the full thing.
 

Kirirao

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Nah, I can. But just like I said, I'm quite sensitive when it comes to games/MMO-related stuff.
 

Glenski

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Hurray for the club on "Ney" sayers :p
I have proven wrong way too many people like you guys in my short lifetime to take any notice of what you say
Please read what people here are saying to you. Trying to find work in Japan is nothing like finding work in your home country. It's much harder in your situation.

Did i mention that i whent in France and after one week in Paris i was almost hired (my visa was not ready yet :eek:) as IT specialist ?Again without any experiance/degree and barely speaking french haha
I don't understand what it means to not hav a visa ready, but the fact is, you didn't get the job.

bureaucracy for the lose >_>
If this means bureaucracy is a b!tch, then you haven't seen anything until you try to get past Japan's.

Glenski do you mean overestimate ? o-o
Anyway i am sure that Japanese companies are not so dumb to place a peace of paper over a talented portfolio.
You underestimate how hard it will be here. Please realize that companies have their desires and regulations and requirements for foreign employees, but in the end it is immigration that they must contend with, just as much as you will. If you don't meet the requirements from immigration, you won't get the visa or the job. It's pretty much that simple. If the portfolio is all they go by, and yours is what immigration desires, you stand a good chance. I suspect a portfolio is not the only requirement from immigration, and even that will be subject to scrutiny for its relevancy to the job, plus other factors.

Most of the people with degrees are only good for just that ... holding a degree paper
Please take that chip off your shoulder against people with degrees. Not all degree holders get jobs, but the simple fact is, most employers require them, and they are the chief requirement for most visas.

Btw where is this "The most common entry requirement for most things, including a work visa to Japan, is a degree" ?
It's on the web page I gave you. That one shows only one part of MOFA's info on visas. Here's the one you should have looked for (appendix 1).
http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/index.html
Unfortunately, it doesn't list what you need for an artist visa, so you are stuck with having to contact immigration directly. Expect a vague answer at best. That's the bureaucracy here.

i have requested information about getting an online university degree ( will that do ? o_O)
Maybe. That's the best answer I and immigration can give you until they see all of the documentation from you and the potential employer.

but i don't understand why do you bother giving me the Ney treatment ?
Because I have lived here almost 10 years and seen stories like yours a lot. Many times, the person writes as if there must be a loophole in the system for him, or that he will find a way. Discussion threads eventually end up in a flame war, and the person leaves vowing to get what he wants. Nobody that I've ever seen on these threads has ever come back with such information. That doesn't mean what you want is impossible. It just means it is very difficult.

Bottom line:
It it difficult to accomplish.
It is also difficult for anyone on these boards to give you a definite answer either way because we do not work for immigration and we do not know all of the information from you or your potential employer.

However bulgarians are very open and friendly to foreigners.
There will be no problems to find a job anywhere.In a coffe in a shop, resturant, IT company and so on.
I'm not sure that the same applys for Japan ...
It doesn't apply for Japan because you need a visa here and you need to fit the visa requirments, even for a coffee shop job.

The only time i teached english (can't belive i did that eather ) was over Skype to couple of brazilian students at first it was fun but when things started to repeat it got boring as hell
I hate to tell you this, but this is what teaching is about... repeating material until students get it. Don't like it? Don't teach. Want to teach Bulgarian? Frankly, there is little to zero call for it, but go ahead and ask Berlitz if you don't believe me.

My IT skills are one year in a french company working with photoshop and corel but that's all
That is quite clearly not enough to get a job in Japan, IMO, in the IT world. Go to www.daijob.com and see what most of the IT job requirments are (including language requirements).

Homerduff wrote:
Oh btw, this may sound weird but it's definetly effective; who knows you get to know a girl during your study period in Japan and you get to marry her. Your further stay in Japan will be guaranteed (as for visa), but finding a job may still be bothersome.
"Bothersome" is not strong enough. Having a spouse visa merely allows you to work at any job where the employer feels you are qualified. We've already talked about qualifications, though, and you don't have much, so change "bothersome" to "very difficult".
 
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