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Can I visit before beginning work visa? 2007/11/5 06:36
I am an American. I was recently hired at a Japanese company and have been sponsored for a work visa and am supposed to begin Jan 11th. But I'd like to go to Japan before I begin working to visit friends. Is there a way to change my visa without leaving the country?
by Mrs. Optimus Prime  

... 2007/11/5 10:25
Yes, you can apply for a "change of status of residence" at an immigration office inside Japan, however, you better consult with your company about this. The application procedure is somewhat different.
by Uji rate this post as useful

Thanks for the info 2007/11/5 12:23
I actually asked my company about it during the initial interview and they said that I would just have to leave the country and come back. But I figured there had to be another way. There's probably some sort of paperwork that they just don't want to have to deal with, but I will ask them again. However, could you tell me what the normal procedure would be so that I can tell them that?
by Mrs. Optimus Prime rate this post as useful

... 2007/11/5 12:59
The problem with it is that it takes about 1-2 weeks for an application of "status of residence" to be processed, with the exact date of approval being unknown. This can be against the interest of the employer, who wants you to have a work permission from a specific date.

You have to ask your employer.
by Uji rate this post as useful

re:... 2007/11/5 13:50
Ok, there's the catch. I know that my employer wants me to be there by the 11th. I guess that's when the work visa would begin if I just got off the plane and gave customs my work visa. I just wish that there was a way that I could make one trip to Japan, and do want I want to do before beginning work. I will still ask my employer about applying for a change of status of residence while in Japan, but I can guess what the answer will be. Thanks again.
by Mrs. Optimus Prime rate this post as useful

Its OK now. 2007/11/5 16:04
It used to be that you had to leave the counrty to change you tourist visa over to a working visa but you can do it now. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY ANY MORE. I did it myself. It was a hell of a lot easier than changing my drivers license as an American.
by Jupiter Rising rate this post as useful

I want to believe you 2007/11/6 00:28
What paperwork did you file? Did you return to the airport and go through customs again? Or did it change over automatically? I need details please.
by Mrs. Optimus Prime rate this post as useful

I just called the Atlanta consulate 2007/11/6 01:32
In order to enter Japan with a tourist visa you need a round-trip ticket. Then you have to leave and return in order to begin the work visa. She was very adamant about not being able to change visa status in Japan.
by Mrs. Optimus Prime rate this post as useful

... 2007/11/7 09:59
You definitely can change it in Japan (I just did this last month). It is not automatic, you must file paperwork.

As Uji said, you will probably need cooperation from your employer. It is easier for them to just have you leave and come back so they may not be too interested in your idea. By the way, do you have your COE yet?
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Certificate of Eligibility? 2007/11/7 11:04
I don't have that yet. I'm supposed to get that a couple of weeks before I leave, which I then have to send to the consulate to get my visa stamp put on my passport. If it takes a couple of weeks to process an application of change of status, I'm probably not going to have enough time to do it before my contract starts. I'm going to ask my company, but I emailed them last week about shipping some of my stuff and still haven't heard back from them.
by Mrs. Optimus Prime rate this post as useful

... 2007/11/8 11:24
Okay, from what I understand now, the COE may be different if you are applying for a visa outside of Japan versus if you will be applying for a status of residence change inside of Japan. Again, you're going to need to contact and work with your employer to figure this out. Good luck.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

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