Part 1 - Renewing Your Visa, brought to you by elephant ass.
Quick tip! Bring something to read!
Follow up tip! Bring booze.
Renewing your working visa is simple, just bring all the right paperwork and be ready to chill. What paperwork do you need?
- Your passport and Alien Registration Card... duh.
- A photocopy of your contract.
- Your company's brochure. Yeah... a brochure. Ours was colorful and had lots of stock photos of happy multicultural people teaching happy multicultural children. And some pie charts.
- Some official papers from your company - certificate of employment (在職証明書, zaishoku shōmeisho) and certificate of tax payment (納税証明書, nōzei shōmeisho).
- If you changed jobs, you need a letter of release and some sort of tax document from your previous employer. The document is called a Rickshaw or something. Well, anyways, it's something with an R.
- The application form. You can probably print it off the internet.
- Do you need some photos? I can't remember.
Go to the Shinagawa immigration office. Take the Yamanote line to Shinagawa, then take the 99 bus to the immigration office.
In the immigration office, go to the second floor. Not the red A counter! The other counter area on the left side of the building. There is a short line to wait in, a nice lady will check all your stuff, and give you a number. Wait about 4 hours, your number gets called, you give someone your papers, and leave. 2 weeks later you get a postcard and go back to get your new stamp.
After you get the postcard, go back to the red counter A. You should have:
- Passport and Alien Registration Card... duh.
- A 4000 yen stamp. You can buy these at the Family Mart that is located inside the immigration building. Pick up a can of coffee and Anpanman comic while you're at it.
A couple personal points. They wanted me to change my visa from Specialist in Humanities to Instructor. This would mean that if I wanted to do other jobs, like my weeknight conversation school, or fake priest at weddings, or before-model for a tattoo removal service, I would have to jump through all kinds of hoops. The Specialist in Humanities is a generic, do anything permit. Try to keep it! Someone who isn't me was told to fill out a change of status form, but refused. Then this person who isn't me was sent to talk with the official who makes the decisions. This guy said, "No," as well. But then when this guy who isn't me went back to the first counter, he said that the offical said it was all good. Gravy. Duck soup. No one called his bluff.
Also, write 3 for how long the extension will last. 3 years is better than 1. It all costs the same.
That's it. If you found this helpful, leave me a comment.