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[Work Visa] Intra-Company Transferee

matt6601

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Hi everyone,

First of all I am new here so hello to everybody!

I have a quick question about work visas. Basically I am working for a Japan based MNC company (listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange), at the Singapore office. We are talking about relocating me to Japan office, so I suspect the visa type will in this case be an intra-company transferee if I am correct?

I have visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan: ( Working visa: Intra-company transferee | Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan )
My understanding is that for any type of visa application, everyone must apply for a Certificate of Eligibility first. However the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says on their webpage: "However, intra-company transferees may get the visa issued relatively quickly even without this certificate if they are working for a stock exchange-listed company in Japan or a highly trusted company, for example a company that is well known internationally."

Has anyone experienced this situation before? I am trying to understand if this is a common practice and if in this case I can skip the COE application and save 2/3 months time in the process. Or is this really case by case basis and I better apply for the COE as everyone else.

Appreciate any feedback/advice,
Thank you in advance.
 

Mike Cash

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Have you asked the personnel office at work? They probably have experience with this and it isn't anything you're going to do independent of them anyway.
 

matt6601

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Hi Mike. You are right the application process will be taken care of by them anyway. However my move is not confirmed yet and I haven't been told who at Japan office would handle the admin. So I am trying to get the info in advance from other sources.
 

Glenski

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I would let the office work out the details. You seem to have answered the question about which visa. Now, are you eligible? You need to have worked there at least a year.
 

matt6601

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Hi Glenski - yes I am eligible. I definitely intend to let the office handle the admin etc.. just good to know in advance in the visa process will take 1 week or 3 months! Thanks for the reply.
 

Mike Cash

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Hi Glenski - yes I am eligible. I definitely intend to let the office handle the admin etc.. just good to know in advance in the visa process will take 1 week or 3 months! Thanks for the reply.
They'll have it all taken care of for you in time for you to go. You're like an over-excited new puppy. Calm down before your workmates start spreading newspapers on the floor.
 

matt6601

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They'll have it all taken care of for you in time for you to go. You're like an over-excited new puppy. Calm down before your workmates start spreading newspapers on the floor.
Sorry I doubt we know each other well enough to be that familiar.

Obviously they will handle the visa process. Again, my question is not whether they will handle it or not, but if the COE is mandatory in my case or not. Puppy, kitten etc... are not related.
 

Mike Cash

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Sorry I doubt we know each other well enough to be that familiar.

Obviously they will handle the visa process. Again, my question is not whether they will handle it or not, but if the COE is mandatory in my case or not. Puppy, kitten etc... are not related.
They will know if the COE is required in your case, don't you think? They're HR professionals in a big MNC. They'll get you where you need to be and hold your hand throughout the process.

Can you even begin the process of getting the COE without input from them?
 

matt6601

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Perhaps I wasn't clear enough, apologies if this is the case: of course they will know. As I said in my second post, this is not confirmed yet and I am trying to get this info from other sources (for several reasons, main one being that if I am given a 1 week notice, believe it or not but the logistics for such a move will be different than if I'm given a 2 to 3 months notice).

I am not trying to start any process without my company assisting it. Just trying to get information, since if I understand correctly the Japanese regulations, my estimate schedule will drastically change depending on the fact I have to apply for the COE or not.

No doubt my company will "hold my hand" etc... this is just not my question neither the purpose of the thread.
 

mdchachi

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Perhaps I wasn't clear enough, apologies if this is the case: of course they will know. As I said in my second post, this is not confirmed yet and I am trying to get this info from other sources (for several reasons, main one being that if I am given a 1 week notice, believe it or not but the logistics for such a move will be different than if I'm given a 2 to 3 months notice).

I am not trying to start any process without my company assisting it. Just trying to get information, since if I understand correctly the Japanese regulations, my estimate schedule will drastically change depending on the fact I have to apply for the COE or not.
The question as stated here is different than the one you started with. Really you want to know how long it takes to get the visa for intra-company transfers. I don't have any recent information for you. I sent one of my guys over last year but most of the delay was due to internal processing and since HR did all the processing I didn't pay any attention to how long it took to get the COE or visa.

If you're working for a big MNC there should be other intra-company transferees you can ask even if you don't want to ask HR. If you're working for a company that doesn't do this much (no matter how big it is), I suspect they'll want a COE.
 

Mike Cash

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if I am given a 1 week notice, believe it or not but the logistics for such a move will be different than if I'm given a 2 to 3 months notice
Yes, I can easily understand that would be very different.

I take it you are saying you would prefer to have more notice about the move rather than less. Is that correct?
 

Glenski

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Your employer has virtually no control over how long it takes to process the visa, let alone whether you need a COE. Even for other types of visas here and the multitude of experience people have in processing them or seeing what colleagues have had in processing time, immigration takes its sweet time like any government operation. Even if they say "We're ready now", you will still have 2 weeks or something like that to accept. Bottom line, unless your employer can miraculously get a fixed date (with or without COE), nobody knows how long it will take. The time of year matters, if nothing else. (We're approaching Golden Week, a major holiday that might impact processing time, for example.)

Best advice I can give is be sure your company knows your requirements for giving notice on your apartment/flat/house, and you yourself need to already inform the landlord of potential times without submitting any official letter stating when you will move out. People can be forgiving if they have sufficient notice that you are trying to comply.

If you're working for a big MNC there should be other intra-company transferees you can ask even if you don't want to ask HR. If you're working for a company that doesn't do this much (no matter how big it is), I suspect they'll want a COE.
I agree. So, question to you now is this: have they done this before, whether to Japan or not? The company's experience should be enough for them to tell you what you want to know.
 

matt6601

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Morning all,

Thanks for the replies, really appreciate it. I will dig deeper and get in touch with other transferees since they have been through the same process.

@Glenski: thanks for the advice. Agree that transparency will facilitate the process.

Enjoy your day
 

Majestic

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I once transferred to Japan on an intra-company transferee visa. I was working for a well-known foreign company. It was not listed on the Japanese stock-exchange. The company arranged my visa. The process took about three months, but it was somewhat delayed due to lost paperwork. I probably could have gotten the visa in two months had my paperwork not gone missing.
 

matt6601

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I once transferred to Japan on an intra-company transferee visa. I was working for a well-known foreign company. It was not listed on the Japanese stock-exchange. The company arranged my visa. The process took about three months, but it was somewhat delayed due to lost paperwork. I probably could have gotten the visa in two months had my paperwork not gone missing.
Thanks for sharing your experience here.
 
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