community-forum community-penpal community-userReports destinations-admission destinations-beenThere-outline destinations-beenThere-solid destinations-city_outline destinations-city_solid destinations-closedDays destinations-date destinations-getThere destinations-hotels destinations-hoursFees destinations-itineraries-3 destinations-links destinations-nearbySpots destinations-pin-simple-outline destinations-pin-simple destinations-sortBy-dots destinations-thumbsUp destinations-tours destinations-town destinations-wishlist-heart-outline destinations-wishlist-heart-solid interests-agriculture interests-amusementParks interests-beaches interests-castles interests-city_solid interests-contemporaryArt interests-events interests-festivals interests-flowers interests-foodDrink interests-gardens interests-hiking interests-historicSites interests-industry interests-koyo-single interests-koyo interests-mangaAnime interests-museums interests-nature interests-onsen interests-parks interests-pottery interests-sakura-single interests-sakura interests-scenicRides interests-shopping interests-shrines interests-skiing interests-snow interests-sumo interests-temples interests-traditionalArts interests-traditionalTheater interests-viewpoints interests-volcanoes interests-wildlife interests-winterIlluminations news-section planning-section planning-tickets-2 planning-transportation-access planning-transportation-bicycle planning-transportation-boat-2 planning-transportation-boat planning-transportation-bus planning-transportation-car planning-transportation-plane planning-transportation-shinkansen planning-transportation-tickets planning-transportation-train planning-transportation-walk shapes-chevron-down shapes-circle shapes-star social-fb social-gplus social-instagram social-twitter ui-alert-construction ui-alert-warning ui-calendar ui-date ui-globe ui-lightbulb ui-no_entry ui-ok ui-pencil ui-reverse ui-search ui-time ui-x user-avatar

Dear visitor, if you know the answer to this question, please post it. Thank you!

Travelling in Japan but need a visa change 2017/4/20 21:13
Hi guys,

First of all, I don't know if this is the right place to ask, but I couldn't seem to find any other relevant forums to post on, so here goes.

I've been in Japan for nearly 7 months now. I'm currently working as a teacher, but I'll be leaving the country at the end of August since my gap year will be near on up. However, before I leave, I want to use a fair chunk of August to travel the country and see some of the sights (working is not the only reason I came to Japan in the first place). Now i've looked at various ways to travel and the best way seems to be the JR rail pass.

However this is where the problem lies. The JR rail pass is only available to those on a temporary visa, or in other words, tourists. I'm currently on an instructor visa which is due to expire at the end of September. Now I've seen that there are ways to change your visa at an immigration bureau, however, I'll be working till near on the end of July, and apparently there could be a problem if I'm still working for my company but happen to be on a temporary visa (apparently it is illegal to do so). I really don't want to leave my job early as it will cut the pay which I will kind of need, but on the other end there could be a legal issue regarding staying in said job with the 'wrong' visa type.

So I was wondering if anyone can shine some wisdom upon me and possibly help out a poor inexperienced fellow.

Cheers!

by Dom1919  

Re: Travelling in Japan but need a visa change 2017/4/21 15:37
Apply for the change of status after leaving your job.
by Firas rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling in Japan but need a visa change 2017/4/21 15:57
As long as you are working, you should not apply for any change of status from what you have now. You need to wait until the end of your job assignment, then apply for the change. If you apply at the end of July, you can still travel during August?
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling in Japan but need a visa change 2017/4/21 16:40
You can't buy the JR pass inside Japan even if you are on a temporary visitor status. You would have to leave the country to buy it.
by Gigi (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling in Japan but need a visa change 2017/4/21 16:44
Oops, sorry, actually they are selling them inside the country on a limited basis, but only at certain stations. Wait until after you have finished working to change your visa status. When you are switching to 90-day tourist status the change will be effective immediately - they will cancel your zairyu card there on the spot, so be sure to take care of anything that needs official identification before you change your status.

http://japanrailpass.net/file/trial_basis_en.pdf
by Gigi (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling in Japan but need a visa change 2017/4/21 18:35
So it doesn't take a period of 2 weeks or the like to change the visa. I know there is some downtime between changing from a temporary visa to an instructor visa but the same doesn't hold true for the opposite? It will be changed on the spot to a temporary visa as soon as I go to the immigration office with the correct documentation? Would love some clarification on this as the period between mine quitting the job and eventually going travelling will be very small (maybe a period of 5 days max).
And also, I know that Japan is currently selling the JR pass in Japan until March 2018 as a trial, and I can easily get one as I live in Sapporo (Sapporo being one of the participating stations that sell it), however, I hear that in order to get one you would need a stamp which can only be obtained if you leave the country and re-enter? Or is it possible to simply get the visa changed on the spot (as someone above has already said) and then buy the JR rail pass as soon as it has changed?

Greatly appreciate your replies so far.
by Dom1919 rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling in Japan but need a visa change 2017/4/21 18:48
So it doesn't take a period of 2 weeks or the like to change the visa. I know there is some downtime between changing from a temporary visa to an instructor visa but the same doesn't hold true for the opposite?

It is unwise to try to estimate the time it will take to complete an immigration procedure, because it varies widely depending on many factors, and such an estimation would be pretty useless anyway because in any case you must wait until your procedure is complete, however long it takes.

That said, it stands to reason that, generally speaking, a change of status (not "visa"!) from "Instructor" to "Temporary Visitor" should take less time than the other way around, because the main purpose of the procedure is to ascertain that you satisfy all the requirements for the status you wish to obtain, and the requirements for "Temporary Visitor" are much more straightforward than those for work-related statuses such as "Instructor".
by Firas rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling in Japan but need a visa change 2017/4/21 22:02
that may work.
but, JR company does not expect that a foreigner, who has a long term residential status, changes his/her status to a temporary one for getting a JR pass.
if a foreigner enters Japan, he/she will have 上陸許可.
if a foreigner changes his/her status, he/she will have 在留資格変更許可.
I think those stamps are different, although immigration situations are the same, a temporary visitor.
by ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling in Japan but need a visa change 2017/4/24 16:17
"So it doesn't take a period of 2 weeks or the like to change the visa. I know there is some downtime between changing from a temporary visa to an instructor visa but the same doesn't hold true for the opposite?"

In my case, it happened immediately (it actually caused some problems for me because I thought the application would take time to process, and didn't realize they would invalidate my zairyu card on that same day. I don't know if this is true in every immigration office (I applied in a smaller one) but I very much doubt that it will take two weeks to go from work to temporary visitor status. If you speak Japanese you could call the Sapporo immigration office directly and ask.

I think you may also have to ask JR about the stamp. Normally I would say just don't bring it up unless they say something, but they'll definitely check your passport in this case so it's best to just be upfront and explain the situation.
by Gigi (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Travelling in Japan but need a visa change 2017/4/25 13:08
Change it after you left your job.
by Sololomon rate this post as useful

reply to this thread