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Change status : tourist to instructor? 2018/2/24 10:08
Hi everyone,

I am trying to figure out if it is possible to change my status from tourist to instructor.

I used to live and work in Japan then my partner (Japanese) and I left the country for a while.
We recently decided to get married and to go back to Japan. I came on a temporary visa first, to help my partner settle and to get the paperwork ready, then our plan was for me to go back to my home country, apply and get a spouse visa, come back to Japan and start job hunting.

However, a few days ago, when my previous employer heard that I was currently in Japan and planning to live here again, I was called in and offered a very good position starting mid-April. They want to sponsor me for a change of status and they seem pretty confident that it will be possible.

As you can imagine, this opportunity is making us reconsider our initial plan. I would rather be able to change status while I am here and start working in April than wasting months and thousands of dollars to go back home to get a visa before coming back here with no job.

Yet, I still have a lot of concerns and I would like to make sure everything is okay before I start such a procedure.
First, is it really possible? I have read a lot of comments and it seems like it is but I am not 100% sure about it.
Second, time. I have only one month and a half before the position starts and my temporary visa expires. I don't know if it is possible to get an extension in such a case. If I start this procedure, what delays should I expect?
Third, I believe a change of status from a temporary visa requires exceptional circumstances but usually qualifies as such?

Thank you for your time.
by Lok (guest)  

Re: Change status : tourist to instructor? 2018/2/24 17:19
Contact Immigration directly. That's the most responsible thing you could do.
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Re: Change status : tourist to instructor? 2018/2/24 17:43
Noone can be 100% sure about what immigration authorities would say :)

"Change of Resident Status" (in your case from "temporary visitor" to "instructor") is certainly possible, though immigration prefers the path of CoE and then visa application from your home country, and makes it sound like that is the only and the right way to go about it. AFAIK, it does not really require "exceptional circumstances," but in your case, you being in Japan currently trying to get ready for your life in Japan, AND your former employer wishing to hire you again should be good enough reasons, I'd say. You are already married, I assume? (If you came to Japan, suddenly got married, got a job offer and applied for a change to "spouse," for example, that "could" sound like you got married to be able to work, but if you are already married, immigration can't even suspect anything of that sort.)

If you (or your employer-to-be) can complete the application before your "temporary visitor" status expires, you can stay in Japan until they reach conclusion. I believe you get two months' extension from the application date, even beyond the original status expires.

Another thing you "might" consider is applying for a change of resident status from "temporary visitor" to "spouse of Japanese national" right away. With the employment offer already in place, you can provide evidence that you will be financially stable to support the two of you.

But you have nothing to lose with what your employer-to-be is offering, right? I would probably go with that. Maybe the process might be quicker because you used to be employed by the same company before. Do you have the documents required for the application, though? If you go down this path, just be sure (even if the whole procedure takes a bit longer than expected) not to start working before the "instructor" status is granted.
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