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Spouse VISA with no Work and no Savings?

Lauchan

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Hello,

I would like to describe a situation and see if anybody has any similar experience from which to give me any advice :)

I am a citizen of Canada, my wife is a citizen of Japan.
We have been living in Canada for the past three years. My wife has Permanent Resident Status here in Canada. I have lived 6 years in Japan in my life and I speak fluent Japanese.
Our wedding was in Japan and is registered in both countries.
We have a son born in Canada (6 months old) and he is both Canadian and Japanese.
His birth is registered in Japan.

We are now planing to move to Japan for various reasons irrelevent to the discussion :)

My question is so-forth;
We don't have any relevent savings, and even though we are not in financial troubles, we do have the usual credit cards, loans etc. that most young couples have in Canada nowadays. Nothing terrible but no Capital per se.
We have been living in Canada for a while and we have no work in Japan.

My wife and my son are obviously entitled to enter Japan any time they please for any length and with any purpose (tourism, work, etc.) as Japanese nationals, but what about me? I will want to apply for a Spouse VISA, but from what you read do you think my wife can easily sponsor me and/or that I can sponsor myself in any way?

Her mother could in theory be my sponsor, but we're looking for a way to not go through her and do it on our own (Long story short; Japan is a conservative country and having her help us means we have to go by her rules/timing and uphold a debt towards her and if possible we would not want that :) this is not the kind of relationship I want with my in-laws).

We are quite confident we can find work and make a living in Japan relativelty quick, but for this I need a VISA that allows me to work in Japan (Spouse VISA) and because we have a very young child to take care of, it would be difficult for my wife to work full time when we arrive until I can find a work myself. If possible I would like to be working full time ASAP and my wife can work part time and we'll work something out from there.

I would be curious to hear about anyone who went through a similar situation. How trivial is it for me to get a Spouse VISA as a husband and father of japanese national? Does my lack of an employer or saving stop me from getting the VISA or not? It appears you would need to show one year worth of Tax Report to be a sponsor in Japan? If we would want to self-sponsor ourselves how much savings do you think we would need to show in our bank account to satisfy the Immigration Authorities?

A lot of questions I am sorry! But reading this forum has lead me to think it is full of very resourceful people. Thank you in advance for any opinion or experience :)

Regards,
 

Mike Cash

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Her mother could in theory be my sponsor, but we're looking for a way to not go through her and do it on our own (Long story short; Japan is a conservative country and having her help us means we have to go by her rules/timing and uphold a debt towards her and if possible we would not want that 🙂: this is not the kind of relationship I want with my in-laws).

Dude, just lighten up and have an in-law sponsor you. It ain't that big a deal. You make it sound like some kind of ancient samurai drama. My brother-in-law has served as a sponsor/reference so many times I've lost count. Having your mother-in-law as your sponsor doesn't give her the slightest bit of power over you.

Other then your fluent Japanese, are you bringing any marketable job skills with you? What do you plan to do once you get here?
 

Lauchan

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Hello Mike Cash, thanks for answering :)

I am not sure this is a question that can be answered "in theory". Everyone is different, and I am not "making up" anything about my mother-in-law hehe, she is in fact from an old samurai clan background ;) But that's not the point at all lol - Even this option would probably not save us instantly. I don't think this is the main problem in our plan right now. To put it more precisely, that means that we can't stay at her home, so we need to find a place before we even go to Japan, which makes everything more complicated. If we want to stay at her place for one month or so the time we can settle down, find a job and find a place, then she needs to agree and we need to play by her terms. I don't think that's being overdramatic :) It's logical from her point of view as well, I'm not blaming her.

As for me personnally, I am not sure how 'marketable' I am on today's market in Japan.
I speak fluent French, English and Japanese. My work experience in Japan is Director of an English School way back when it was still hip hehe - I have a nice letter of reference from the Head Office and I think I could find work as a teacher even if for just a short period of time. I am not sure how saturated the EFL industry is right now though. Work experience in Canada and France is mostly in the service industry, management and operations. Also a lot of experience in Translating/Interpreting and Event Coordination. Unfortunately, I don't have a university degree as I started working at an early age and grew from inside the companies I worked for. Which works relatively fine in Canada/Europe, but not so much in Japan. I will see.
 

Glenski

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we can't stay at her home, so we need to find a place before we even go to Japan, which makes everything more complicated. If we want to stay at her place for one month or so the time we can settle down, find a job and find a place, then she needs to agree and we need to play by her terms.
I really wish you had put this thread together with the other one. I hate dancing between the two when they are on the same topic.

So, for some reason you can't stay with your MOL. Fine. Since neither of you is working or have much money to show, you may not get an apartment or house of your own, either. How about a temporary place like LeoPalace21 until one of you gets a job?

My work experience in Japan is Director of an English School way back when it was still hip hehe - I have a nice letter of reference from the Head Office and I think I could find work as a teacher even if for just a short period of time. I am not sure how saturated the EFL industry is right now though.
It is VERY saturated, and as I wrote in the other thread, you may not get hired right now, but you should be looking to get hired by the standard April date. If language school work experience is all you have, then get another one.

What is your wife qualified to do?
What had the two of you thought you would do for work to survive here in the first place? You may not like winters in Canada, but what else are you doing there now? Why move back to Japan? You don't sound the least bit financially or vocationally prepared.

I have lived 6 years in Japan in my life
My work experience in Japan is Director of an English School
Unfortunately, I don't have a university degree.
Wait a minute. How did you manage to do that? Work visas in your lifetime have required college degrees, and even a working holiday visa was good for only 1 year max. Fess up here.
 

Lauchan

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Sorry for the double thread, I do feel it is quite unnessecary as well now that it's done.
Lesson learned.

1) It is a good idea to rent a furnished place to start with, thanks for the advice! We can stay at my MOL however. We are just trying to find different options, but I must reiterate that we are not in bad terms with my in-laws at all :) I understand this is the most logical, cheap and reasonnable solution. But I'm a stubborn B型 French boy and having the option not to would give us more freedom. More freedom is good ;)

2) English teaching is not the only experience I have. Browsing through the various "gaijin" oriented job searching sites, I found that there are still many english teahing jobs posted online. So I was hoping this could still be a "easy" to find transitioning job to settle down in the first place. At least until we can rent a place, open a bank account, get a cell phone contract, etc. :) I could also probably find a job in restauration, but the pay is usually much lower and the hours terrible.

My wife is an artist. So her income is irregular and depends on many factors very different from the traditionnal job market.

As for my "vocational and financial" preparation, please keep in mind that this is a public forum and I have to: 1) condense the information into something substantial but easy to read in a reasonnable time frame and 2) keep the private parts private, and reveal only the relevent information that I think can help people answer my questions :)

In Canada I was the Operations Board Director of an east asian import furniture business and stores, a job that I quit to take a long parental leave when our son was born. My parental leave will end in April 2018 and we decided we want to raise our son in Japan and not in Canada so we want to move to Japan by or before this time.

3) I am to understand that you do have a university degree? My life has taught me that people with university degrees are often under the impression that it is much more useful than what it is in reality. I am sorry if this is not the case. That being said, no you don't need a university degree for all of this :) I first went to Japan as a student, then on working holiday, then I switched to a spouse visa from my first marriage. I grew in the school from the bottom up, started as a regular teacher and became director with time, experience and hard work. The position did officially ask for a degree, but when you don't have one you just keep fighting until they realise you can do the job fine. Japanese Immigration did not require me to have a degree otherwise. I have nothing to confess sir lol ;)
 

Glenski

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3) I am to understand that you do have a university degree?
Yes.

My life has taught me that people with university degrees are often under the impression that it is much more useful than what it is in reality. I am sorry if this is not the case.
"Useful" here is as I have described. That is, if you are on a work visa, 99% of the time you need a degree.

That being said, no you don't need a university degree for all of this
Right, but only after you have gone through two threads and several posts to explain it in your situation. Exasperating.

This is what happens when you try to keep private things private. Best of luck whatever happens. I'm done here.
 

musicisgood

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When Glenski bails out, well, by then you've probably got all the help you need.
But...
1. You'll need a sponsor that will show the city ward that they can financially take care of you, that means your wife's mother will have to show her bank account to the city ward and it MUST have at least 1 million yen in it. But your wife already knows that, doesn't she.
2. Starting a new life in Japan with a child at that age is something to be prepared for. Again, in-laws come in mind. I know, I have had to go through this when my family moved to Japan. (Yes, I have a Japanese spouse, but that too didn't even matter at the beginning.
3. IT'S THE SPONSOR THAT IS YOUR MAIN CONCERN FIRST, THEN HOUSING ALONG WITH AN INCOME COMING IN.
4. Really, this may sound weird, but many of us here would probably agree on this, have at least 10 grand with you when you move here, you'll see how fast that goes.
 

Mike Cash

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1. You'll need a sponsor that will show the city ward that they can financially take care of you, that means your wife's mother will have to show her bank account to the city ward and it MUST have at least 1 million yen in it.

The local government has nothing whatsoever to do with it.

Where did you get that "MUST" have at least 1 million bit?
 

musicisgood

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The local government has nothing whatsoever to do with it.

Where did you get that "MUST" have at least 1 million bit?

That's funny, my wife's mother had to show the city ward (they may have forwarded to proper authorities after that, but, yes, she had to have 1 million cash in her bank account. I made sure of that this morning before posting my reply. Keep in mind though, this goes back a quite a few years ago.
 

Mike Cash

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That's funny, my wife's mother had to show the city ward (they may have forwarded to proper authorities after that, but, yes, she had to have 1 million cash in her bank account. I made sure of that this morning before posting my reply. Keep in mind though, this goes back a quite a few years ago.

You're confusing this with something else and spreading misinformation.
 

musicisgood

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You're confusing this with something else and spreading misinformation.


Well, I do know when we first moved here her mother had to prove financial ability to sponsor us. And she had to have at least one million yen in the bank. But... maybe I am confusing this with something else, maybe it has to do with a Japanese lady that wants to sponsor a future husband here in Japan and show she has the means. Do you think that is it?
 

Mike Cash

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Well, I do know when we first moved here her mother had to prove financial ability to sponsor us. And she had to have at least one million yen in the bank. But... maybe I am confusing this with something else, maybe it has to do with a Japanese lady that wants to sponsor a future husband here in Japan and show she has the means. Do you think that is it?

I don't have any idea what you're confusing it with. But your local government has nothing to do with visa processing and the only financial documentation that is required is related to tax documents, not bank accounts, and I still have no idea where you got that arbitrary one million yen on deposit thing.
 

Vincent3

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Lauchan, I can relate to your visa concerns, because it's the same hurdle I face when I think about returning to Japan. In my case, it's my wife who refuses to ask her family to sponsor my visa. She was actually ready to return several years ago (she seemed relieved by the opportunity to go back), until I called the embassy and confirmed that sponsorship by her family would be the only path to a spousal visa. She dropped it like a hot potato.

I too wonder about the possibility of the sponsor holding that sponsorship over my wife and me. At this point, her brother is probably the most likely person to be a sponsor. I don't get the impression that he'd lord it over us.

According to the stated requirements for the permanent residence visa, I should be able to apply for that now. But when I asked the embassy about that, they strongly suggested that I apply for the spousal visa as somebody coming from abroad. That's what I expected.

How does your wife feel about asking your mother-in-law to sponsor your visa?
 

Glenski

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I too wonder about the possibility of the sponsor holding that sponsorship over my wife and me.
Unless you have a shoddy relationship with that person, I don't know why you would think this way. My father-in-law sponsored mine. I was between jobs here, so I was converting from a work visa and was already in Japan, and the spousal visa came in short order. He never once even mentioned the sponsorship.

There are 2 people in your family who can work. One can stay home and mind any kids. Shouldn't matter which one. Plan carefully which person will get the job first. If it's the foreign spouse, not the Japanese spouse, you either go for the spouse's family as sponsor for a spousal visa, or you get a work visa first. Planning where and how you look for a job is something to do even before you come here, no matter which of you it turns out to be.
 

Vincent3

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Unless you have a shoddy relationship with that person, I don't know why you would think this way. My father-in-law sponsored mine.
He and I don't know each other very well, so I don't have any indication either way. But I think it's reasonable to wonder generally if the sponsorship might come up if things get tense. It's not so much about the potential sponsor, but about the relationship dynamics some of us have experienced in our own families (or heard about from friends, coworkers, etc.).

There are 2 people in your family who can work. One can stay home and mind any kids. Shouldn't matter which one.
It doesn't matter to me.

Plan carefully which person will get the job first. If it's the foreign spouse, not the Japanese spouse, you either go for the spouse's family as sponsor for a spousal visa, or you get a work visa first. Planning where and how you look for a job is something to do even before you come here, no matter which of you it turns out to be.
I've been thinking the same thing. Since it'll most likely be me getting the job, a work visa is probably the way in.
 
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