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Work + Visa Questions 2008/4/4 12:11
Hi, thanks in advance for reading/answering my question about working visas in Japan.

I currently live and work in Japan as an English teacher. My visa status is "Instructor". After my teaching contract expires this summer, I want to continue to work in Japan, but as a Graphic Designer, not a teacher. So, I realize I have to change my visa status from "Instructor" to... what? "Artist"? That's my first question. A visa consultant I spoke to said I should change it to "Techinical", but as far as I'm aware there is no such status. Does anyone know what he might have meant by "Technical"?

Here's my second problem: I visited an employment agency (Hello Work) to start searching for Graphic Design jobs, but the staff there said that until the status of my visa is changed from "Instructor" to "(Artist? Technical?)", no company will hire me as a Graphic Designer. Conversely, the visa consultant said that unless I have a company willing to hire me as a Graphic Designer, I can't change my visa status.

So, I can't get a visa until I get a job, and I can't get a job until I get a visa...?!

It seems to me that I'm just going to have to work really hard to find a company who will hire me AND go through the trouble of sponsoring me for a visa. My third question is: is this terribly hard for a company to do? Do they assume extra "risk" in hiring a foreigner- do they have to pay extra taxes or anything like that? Is the paperwork terribly complicated? Is there anything I can do to make myself "easier" to sponsor?

Thanks again for your time!
by amagaeru  

As far as I know... 2008/4/4 14:22
I assume he meant "Engineer," as the word for "technology" (gijutsu) is used in the Japanese version of this document.

In terms of how you should go about chaging the visa status and finding an employer, what your visa consultant said is correct. First you need to find a new employer who is willing to sponsor you.

I believe that since you have already qualified for the Instructor status, the company will have to submit some documents (including an offer indicating how much they will be paying you) to get you to change the status and to actually hire you.
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