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A lot of questions about spouse visa 2022/3/4 05:12
Just having issues getting information on this, going to try to phone immigration tomorrow, but up until now a lot of the answers I have been getting from the calls i've made to the embassy and other authorities has been very vague. I'm guessing because until we're sitting down with an immigration officer and going over the info they don't want to give any solid answers to anything.

Basically trying to figure out the process of how to marry my Japanese girlfriend and get a spousal visa.

I understand we need to marry and apply for the visa, which is fine. There are a few concerns I have though. This is gonna be a long one sorry.


Both her and I lived in south east asia which is where we met. We met each other about 5 years ago, and lived in the same town for about a year in total. I worked like normal in the country, but when the pandemic started I came back to Canada as that's what the government suggested we do. I thought the pandemic would only last a few months so I moved back in with my parents to weather it out until i could go back to SEA. Unfortunately that was very naïve of me and now we are almost two years into the pandemic. I have not worked steadily since this all started. My parents live in the middle of nowhere and there is not a lot of work here. I work for a few online companies but we also have a terrible internet connection here so i have not been able to do a lot with that either.

My girlfriend and I have about 4.5 million yen in savings. She works part time for her brothers company. When I move there I will continue my online work and try to find a job in construction (have a decent amount of construction experience) so my questions for this portion is: Will immigration care that my work for the last couple years has been dodgy at best? Or will they be satisfied with our savings? I have heard from a few places that her parents can act as guarantors if our finances aren't enough, is this correct?


Our relationship is obviously legitimate, but proving it may be difficult. Our year of dating has been completely online. We have kept our chat logs to prove we are communicating daily. Both our families are also aware of our relationship, and I speak with her parents and she speaks with my parents regularly. We have the same friends who can also vouch for us. We HAVE pictures of us in Cambodia together, but we were not dating at the time of those photos.
My question for this is: Is it likely immigration will understand the extenuating circumstances of the pandemic? Or are they very strict in this area? Would a visit to Japan or her visiting here and taking some photos be a good idea?


I have asked multiple sources this but have not been able to get a solid response. I presently work for a few companies online. If I am in Japan on a tourist visa, can I continue to work for these companies online and make money? Or do I have to stop until I get my spousal visa?
In Japan I would have a solid internet connection so I could go hard and start to make a serious income. Also if I stop working for these companies completely I will lose the jobs.


Again, have heard differing things, so if anyone has a link or source that would be great. Do I have to leave the country to change to a spousal visa after we get married? The embassy in Canada said yes, when my girlfriend phoned immigration they said no. Just wondering if anyone has experience with that.

I think that's about it for my questions. Any input is appreciated! Also we were good friends before we started dating and did a lot together so please don't worry about this being some shotgun wedding between strangers.
by MaybeMovingToSaitama (guest)  

Re: A lot of questions about spouse visa 2022/3/4 13:39
My experience is that they aren't very strict with photos, chat logs, etc. Of course your mileage may vary, but I've known people in very similar circumstances where the could was long distance for some time but they had pictures together from before then. The pandemic has kept a lot of people apart for longer than they would have liked, immigration will take that into account when they see that you haven't met for two years. You will have plenty of chat and call logs you can show them. Each individual application is judged on a case by case basis so who knows what could happen? But personally I wouldn't worry too much about this. All you can really do is show them the evidence you have.

Online work as a tourist is as far as I am aware a grey area. Immigration authorities do not care about legitimate tourists doing business remotely *within reason*. I do (did, before covid) online consultations in Japan as a tourist all the time. I've entered Japan carrying my work computer, and with staff at the border knowing it is a work computer. Nobody cares. It is completely fine. But if you are going to be "living" and working full-time in Japan on a visa waiver (i.e. there as a tourist but with no intention of leaving after 90 days) then it starts to get a little bit more iffy. You are in country waiting for a change of residency status, but already conducting at activity (work) before your status has been changed to allow for that activity. Overall I think it depends on the nature of the work and how casual it is. So... use best judgement? Or hope you hear from someone more knowledgeable than I.

Regarding the change of status in country, this has always been case by case. The interpretation of what constitutes a good reason to do a change of status used to be very, very liberal. Heaps of people went to Japan on visa waivers, married their boyfriends and girlfriends, and were residents before the end of the 90 days. I heard that they became stricter on this in the last few years though. Technically it is still possible. Who knows if it is plausible in your situation though? The "correct" method, even before they got stricter, has always been to apply for a COE with the help of a sponsor, then to take it to a Japanese embassy so they can give you a visa, then you fly to Japan, enter with the visa, and become a resident. So, if you want the best chance of things going smoothly, then that is what you should do. You can try for a change of status and hope for the best, but you also really need to be ready for them to tell you to go home and go the COE route.

Is marriage in Canada not an option at all? Japan is not currently open to tourists. if you had your girlfriend visit you in Canada, got married, then went the COE route, you might even end up getting to live in Japan before tourists are allowed back in (which will be who knows when)
by LIZ (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: A lot of questions about spouse visa 2022/3/4 13:42
As far as I know (Japanese spouse of a non-Japanese here):

Stability is what the immigration authorities tend to look for. So if she has a long-standing part-time job, you have some prospects for finding work in Japan, AND her parent(s) being your financial guarantor, that should be fine.

I donft see any issue there.

Online work in Japan on tourist (the official name is: Temporary Visitor) visa:
If you are not earning money from a Japanese source, some say the local authorities will never find out, so why not? But in reality it is a grey area, simply because the current immigration laws were established when there was no such thing as online work, so this was not even considered.
If you do work while on Temporary Visitor status and make some money, you would not really want to say that gIfm working online so I do have incomeh to the immigration, because the intended purpose of Temporary Visitor does not including just living in Japan and doing online/remote work.

Some who come and just do that for a short while might find it OK, but it is not really recommended (just IMHO) for those who potentially plan to live here long-term; you donft want to start off on the wrong foot. That might be the reason why you get different answers.

Which brings us to the next question:
Going from Temporary Visitor to Spouse of Japanese National:
(First of all, please get some words right: gvisah is something you use to genter Japan,h and once you are in Japan, you have a gresident status.h So once you are in Japan, you apply for a change of gresident status,h not of gvisa.h)

So are you thinking of coming to Japan on Temporary Visitor visa, and then changing to Spouse of Japanese National status? In the recent years (I believe it was in 2019), the immigration authorities have gotten more strict with changes (once you are in Japan) FROM Temporary Visitor status to anything longer term, including work (employer-sponsored) resident status or family-based status. Still handling is inconsistent that depending on peoplefs experiences, they might tell you different things. To begin with, such changes were allowed only under special circumstances.

But currently, people cannot enter Japan on Temporary Visitor status (tourists), so youfd need to apply for Spouse of Japanese gvisah from outside Japan.

If you are not yet married, consider doing gproxyh marriage (Japanese law based marriage procedure, done by paperwork, while the person concerned is not present in Japan).
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: A lot of questions about spouse visa 2022/3/4 14:51
there is no tourist visa right now.
you don't need to think about "entering Japan" and "tax-matters" on TOURIST visa.

she need to take care of necessary paperwork in Japan. she can ask questions to appropriate places and can get correct answers.
in another word, you can't get a spouse visa without her (Japanese side) help. when she (and you) get troubles in paperwork, only she (people in her side) can help you.

why do you want to collect information by yourself ?
by ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: A lot of questions about spouse visa 2022/3/4 21:54
@ ken
"why do you want to collect information by yourself ?"

As OP stated, he is *trying to figure out the process*, so he is asking questions on an online forum. I'm sure his fiancee is doing the same thing in Japanese. Are you suggesting that he just says to his partner, "You're Japanese so go and figure all this out on your own and let me know when you've planned out what we're going to do." ?
by Saru Bob rate this post as useful

Re: A lot of questions about spouse visa 2022/3/5 06:28
Sorry, but all of you stating that there isn't a temporary visa are all wrong. If you marry your spouse by proxy you CAN request a temporary visitors visa (90 days). You can get the documents sorted, marry by proxy, request a temporary visa ( I got mine within the week due to an emergency ) and switch once in Japan. Either that, or you request a direct conversion to spousal at your local embassy, they should be able to tell you more about the latter. This forum honestly needs sticky threads, the amount of information that's drowned in these threads is absolutely mind boggling.

by Potionboy (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: A lot of questions about spouse visa 2022/3/7 13:04
Honestly, this forum is misleading, it should be renamed Spouse Visa and Tax/Pension instead of "Living" which applies specifically to life in Japan.

While I understand there are many inquiries no one here has answers because we are not immigration officials.
by guest (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: A lot of questions about spouse visa 2022/3/12 04:45
Exactly, agree 100% with you @guest.

For anyone reading this thread, you CAN get married by proxy, you CAN get a temporary visa if you're the spouse of a Japanese citizen, this temporary visa will be issued to you in less than a week, regardless of your intent of stay, this is a recent development. Just use the temporary visa and apply for a spouse visa in Japan. What you can also do is to just apply for a spouse visa either together, or let your Japan-based SO do it and simply wait it out (1 month waiting time for the most recent CoE issuance that I know of). The CoE doesn't even have to be sent in physical form any longer ( for the time being ), your SO can send you a scan-copy which you just print out and present to your local embassy. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
by Potionboy (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: A lot of questions about spouse visa 2022/3/12 11:59
To Potionboy and other gguesth poster:

When i said one could not change from Temporary Visitor status to other longer term status while being in Japan, I was more thinking about coming in with a visa-waiver type of Temporary Visitor status (available to nationals of certain countries). Those could come in (before the pandemic), find a job, and apply for a change in Japan, for example. This has no longer been possible, or has been made more difficult, since a few years ago (without the pandemic). Still how the immigration authorities would handle those who applied for a change to another status based on family-based circumstances (such as spouse of Japanese) was not clearly established or known, as far as I was aware.

And I was not aware of the TV visa that was issued for those who have gotten married to Japanese nationals.
by AK rate this post as useful

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