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Working/Living in Japan

DanialG

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Hello, I'm planning on moving to Japan within the next 10 years, I started learning Japanese last year, and I'm doing okay. But I'm more worried about staying there. I only plan on living there for no more than maybe 2 years.

I'm wondering, hypothetically, if I'm a freelance artist, getting my work through the internet, could I still get a visa and live there? If I make $35,000 on a bad year, and $60,000-70,000 on a good year?

I have no bachelor degree, and I am not going to get one. I'm not sure if that effects my chances of getting a working visa or not. However, not having a bachelor degree has not effected me in my freelance career.

Thanks.
 
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Mike Cash

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I believe the Japanese government would find that as your work is from overseas your presence in Japan would not be serving the interests of a Japanese employer and there is no need for your physical presence here. The nature of your work and your income would be entirely irrelevant to the question. Japan's stance toward immigration has never been one of, "Come live here a while just because you think you'd like to" and this is not a country in which immigration has traditionally played anything other than a very minor role. You actually have to be fulfilling some sort of purpose benefiting a Japanese entity (family/employer) in order to justify your presence here beyond the limits of a tourist visa. There are niche categories such as diplomat, missionary, trainee, etc which fall outside the bounds of what I described, but it doesn't sound like you fit into any of those.

Have you looked at the different categories of visa? Under which do you think you might qualify for a stay in Japan?
 

DanialG

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Thanks for the information. I was told that there were artist sponsors, but I did not know if it allowed for freelance artists or not. Thanks for clearing that section up.

I'm looking at other categories right now, I don't think I qualify for anything other then a tourist visa. If I wanted to stay longer, I would most likely want to apply for a home stay program, yes?

I thought of doing the JET/ALT program at one point, but I'm terrible at English, so I decided against it.
 

Mike Cash

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Don't take my word as being gospel on this stuff; check further into the artistic categories and consult with the Japanese Embassy's visa section for authoritative information.

What's wrong with coming on a tourist visa once and just hanging out for six months? If I were unattached and my income weren't dependent upon where I happened to be on the planet I think I'd like to just bounce around to several countries in succession maxing out tourist visas.
 

Glenski

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I'm wondering, hypothetically, if I'm a freelance artist, getting my work through the internet, could I still get a visa and live there?
No, you would still need a proper visa which requires employment from a source inside Japan.

I have no bachelor degree, and I am not going to get one.
Your choice, but that severely limits you to any work visa situation. Essentially, unless you plan to teach English, a work visa requires 5-10 years of experience. English work visas require only 3 years without a degree.

Other options would be student visa and cultural activities visa. You would need special permission to work, and it would only allow PT work anyway.

Look here for visa requirements.
http://www.japaneselawtranslation.go.jp/law/detail/?id=1927&vm=04&re=01

Homestays exist, of course, but those are for students, I believe.

Take Mike's advice. Come as a tourist first. People often have false impressions of what Japan is like, and LIVING here is far different than VISITING here.
 

DanialG

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Thanks for the replies, yes I know I should visit first. I was going to visit with friends for summer break of next year.

I have decided to get a bachelor degree since you brought up the job market.
I'll probably make a topic in the Studying in Japan as someone brought up studying at a language school would also be a good idea. $7000-9000 a year for base tuition doesn't seem that expensive, but this of course isn't counting an apartment and the such.

But really though, I appreciate the help.
 
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