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Spouse Visa & entering Japan as a tourist 2018/10/27 03:22
Hello everyone!

I've been checking similar threads about this, however, none of them fully answers some inquiries I have about my personal case. So, I decided to start a new topic with my situation, hopefully someone will help me clarify some of my doubts :)

I'll be marrying my Japanese girfriend in Japan. I met her 3 years ago, back in 2015 in my first trip to that country. I was 6 months there, and after I went back to mine, she then came to visit. She spent 4 months here and then went back to Japan. On time, we decided to engage and we've been working in our respective countries and saving money for our new life. (I'm Mexican, and because of my nationality I can stay up to 6 months in Japan as a tourist, same for Japanese people here. So, I was there as a tourist).

Next January 2019, I'll finally be going to Japan again but I have many doubts. I'd be very glad if someone could help me.

1) Once arriving to Japan, in the Airport's immigration, what should I tell the immigration officer about my reason to be in Japan? Is it ok if I say I'm getting married? Or will that turn on some red alarm? I know it could get smoother if I just say I'm going as tourist, but I ask this because I'll be carrying all my documentation with me in my handbag (birthday certificate with apostille and translated, etc, including my University degree papers to look for a possible work after all the Spouse Visa tramit). The first time I went to Japan, the custom officer asked me if she could check what I had in my handbag, so I handed it to her. Of course, that time I only had my laptop and some non-important papers and maps. But this time I'll be carrying all my documentation. What if I say I'm going just as a tourist and then they check again and see that I lied? (And well, they'd also see my University papers and might think I want to look for a job, overstay my visa, or anything). Should I be honest instead and say I'm getting married? But is it ok to say that?

I know one case I read on the newspaper about a Mexican girl who was going to get married with her American boyfriend. She entered the USA with a tourist visa and said she was just as a tourist, but the immigration officer realized after seeing her text messages in her cellphone. Then she was banned to enter the USA for like 5 years or something.

I don't know if Japan is as strict as that, but if possible, I'd like to avoid any unnecessary trouble. Another possibility I've been thinking, is arriving to Japan without my papers, and once there, my parents could just ship them to me via DHL, FedEx, or something. Do you think is a good idea or I'm just being too paranoid?

Ok, the next issue is more about the procedure to get the Spouse Visa, which I've heard and read can take quite some time. Fortunately, as I said before, I can stay up to 6 months in Japan (I'm given only 3 in immigration's airport, but can easily ask for an extension in any immigration office). So, if the process takes that long, I can wait.

Problem is that my girlfriend doesn't earn that much to say she can sponsor me while I wait. I saved money myself. Sadly, the salaries in my country as not that high. And while it's not that much, it's enough to stay 6 months in Japan (we'll not be paying rent for now since we'll be staying in her granma's place). Will we be facing with some troubles with the visa application? She read that if the visa is denied the first time, the next times will get more difficult.

I've called the Japanese embassy in Mexico, and they've advised me to get married here instead of Japan, they say that would be much easier. I've talked to my girlfriend about that and we're considering it. But anyways, I'll be going to Japan this January (at least that is a fact) and we might be getting married there.

She also told me I could look for a job in Japan before getting married to have a work visa and make the marriage procedure smoother. Although, after reading all the complexity to get a work visa there, it might be the least feasible option, even with my University papers, apostilled and transtaled. What do you think?

Thank you very much for reading and I hope someone could help me clarify this issues!

Best regards!
by Yaizu san  

Re: Spouse Visa & entering Japan as a tourist 2018/10/27 11:32
Enter as a temp visitor. Explain that you are getting married and will apply for change of status.

The fact you know the correct process proves you are not attempting to do something dodgy. Like you USA example.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Spouse Visa & entering Japan as a tourist 2018/10/27 13:46
Being a tourist and getting married are separate things. Some people choose to get married in Japan while here on holiday - that doesn't stop them entering or give them issues. Carrying documentation is also not a "crime". In your case you are marrying a Japanese person and it is optional if you apply for a change of status or not - just like those wanting to be covered by one of the working visas. Circumstances change for people, and Japan does not have a border that seek to weed out everyone that might change their status.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Spouse Visa & entering Japan as a tourist 2018/10/27 20:56
Japan, unlike the USA, is not a country that actively seek out reasons to deny entry to Mexicans. If you are really concerned just seal your documents in an envelope. It reduces the odds of the documents being found even if customs do look in your suitcase. I wouldnft worry too much though, customs are mostly looking for stuff which is either illegal or restricted for import.
by LIZ (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Spouse Visa & entering Japan as a tourist 2018/10/29 08:54
"my girlfriend doesn't earn that much to say she can sponsor me"
if her income is not enough, the spouse visa will be denied.
your savings and your income in a foreign country will not be considered.
by ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Spouse Visa & entering Japan as a tourist 2018/10/29 10:30
This is almost exactly how i got my spouse visa. The main difference was that me and my wife were already married when we moved. I came in on a tourist visa (90-days). We waited one month and applied for my change in status and it arrived with in like 6 weeks. My sister in law also married a gaijin and they applied as soon as he landed. I think he got his in 4 weeks.

USA Immigration are even assholes to us American citizens, when entering the country. Every time i would leave the country for work or vacation Immigration ALWAYS gave me shit when i returned and I was born in the USA. They are the worst and DO go out of their way to pick on immigrants (I had to check an agent once for trying to disrespect my wife) . Japanese Immigration is nothing like that. I've been in and out of Japan on tourist visa many times before moving here. Never had a problem. So long as your paper work is legit you should be fine. If you are really worried as mentioned put your paperwork in a envelop and seal it.

A real issue however is who is going to sponsor you. If you don't have at least a few hundred thousand yen in the bank, Immigrant might have something to say about that. The Japanese government wants to make sure you can take care of yourself's before letting you live here. That means having enough to cover food, rent, etc until you can find a job. But if you have enough money at least or her parents are willing to sign as guarantors, you shouldn't have any problems. Especially if she is working. At least from my personal experience.
by Rogue (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Spouse Visa & entering Japan as a tourist 2018/10/29 11:12
I am an American married 28 years to a Japanese national and moved to japan in 2014. I entered japan with my wife on the 90 visa and then applied for a spousal visa which I received within a month.
The most important thing when going through immigration is to be honest.
I do believe what the Japanese embassy told you about being married in Mexico would make it easier to obtain a spousal visa immigration.
If you desire not to marry in Mexico, enter Japan on the normal visa. Your girlfriend in the meantime should go to immigration here in japan and find out what you need to when you arrive to make your life easier.
by Guest (guest) rate this post as useful

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