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Experience for visa? 2008/5/26 10:56
Hi, everyone.

I've been living in Taiwan for the past 7 years, teaching English - lucky enough to have a wonderful wife which made it easy on the visa application.

I don't have a degree, having dropped it to move to Taiwan on a spur-of-the-moment leap of the heart. But I have experience.

In total, I have five years experience teaching kindergarten. About four at an adult cram school and six in a children's cram school. I also have two years experience teaching junior and senior high, which will be three by the time my contract ends and I am ready to move.

My wife wants out of Taiwan due to issues within her family, and isntead of moving back to Australia with her - we are eyeing Japan as an option instead.

I would be able to move over alone at first and set things up, then work on getting her and my little one over as dependants.

What are my chances? Any advice?

[[ And yes, I am about to go and look at ESLCafe ]]
by TaiwanExpat  

no chance 2008/5/26 11:39
sorry but i think you have no chance without a degree. did you finish at least 2 years of your degree? the other alternative is a working holiday visa if you are under 30.
by joseph rate this post as useful

... 2008/5/26 12:11
I'm 27 at the moment, so 28 when I will be ready. By 'completing 2 years' I presume you mean with full passes, to which my reply would be "No."

I studied CSSE for 2 years, just managing to scrape through, but decided that (at the time) I didn't want computing for a job. So I transferred to a BA in Languages and Linguistics, which I only studied for half a year before running to Taiwan.

I speak fluent English (of course) and quite decent Mandarin as well as learning Japanese at this very moment.
by TaiwanExpat rate this post as useful

visa- probably no problem 2008/5/26 12:45
Actually your previous experience will most likely satisfy Immigration, and will probably be attractive to many employers too. People without degrees need 3 years teaching experience as an alternative, and you definitely have that.

It is always on a case by case basis with Immigration, so I can't guarantee you anything, but I think you have a very good chance.

The difficulty may lie in supporting your family- you will probably end up on an entry level salary which is about 250,000 yen per month these days. In the big cities it would be difficult to support yourself and two dependents on that amount.
by Sira rate this post as useful

working holiday visa 2008/5/26 12:47
i take it you are australian - have an australian passport. in this case you can get a working holiday visa. actually i think this visa is better than a working visa although i think it is for a maximum 18 months after renewals.
by joseph rate this post as useful

sira 2008/5/26 12:50
i'm afraid i totally disagree with Sira. Maybe it is technically possible but it is not going to happen.
by joseph rate this post as useful

dependants~ 2008/5/26 13:55
Hmm... so why would a working holiday visa be better than a normal working visa? And a question remains: Would I be able to bring my dependants over on it?

I think in the case of a base salary, my wife might go with the little one and live with her sister in Canberra for a while, and I would take a year there on my own to get things all set up and ready for them.

I don't really want to live in Tokyo either. I would choose somewhere a little cheaper, even perhaps in the countryside somewhere. I'm quite fond of Kyoto too.

My primary hobby is motorcycles, so somewhere with mountains nearby would be good. Oh... and good access to Japanese apples *drools*. The apples I ate last time I was there were to die for - almost as good as chocolate.
by TaiwanExpat rate this post as useful

... 2008/5/26 14:43
No lawyer here, but I tend to agree with Sira - as long as a company in Japan is keenly interested in your past experiences AND you have some papers to substantiate (with reference possibly) those many years of experiences teaching English as foreign language, there is chance, though I can never say for sure.

I say this because at least I know a British person with only high school education but with plenty of experiences in a certain field that the
employer who REALLY wanted him in Japan (had a hard time but) managed to get him a proper visa in the end. So while it's not for sure, it does happen.

And yes you could get started with Working Holiday Visa first anyway, if you are an Australian national. The difference between Working Holiday Visa and other types of work-permitting visas are the requirements, because of different backgrounds. Working Holiday Visa (WHV) does not require university degree, and is given to nationals of certain countries with which Japan has reciprocal agreements with, and its intention is to allow young travelers from these countries to come visit and travel extensively in Japan WHILE earning some money to supplement their travel budget with casual work. So the maximum period is 6 months or 1 year.

By the way... you say you are fluent in English, I am assuming that you are a native speaker of English?

But considering that there are many Engish conversation school/companies in Japan that may look for "easy employees" if you know what I mean - some English conversation schools simply hire people who may want to experience Japan for a while - not intending for a full career in teaching - no complaints about the teaching method or whatsoever, work for a year or two and then move on. You would want to look around carefully to see who you want to work for. And if you try to get into formal education system - meaning junior/senior high schools in Japan - there actually the lack of a university degree could pose a problem.

Note that your wife (I don't know what nationality) will be, if you come under full work-permitting visa (meaning not Working Holiday Visa),
Dependent, under which she can get a permit to engage in part-time job.
by AK rate this post as useful

Yes~ 2008/5/26 16:50
Yes, I'm a native speaker. Caucasian. Born and bred in Australia. Chinese is my second language and while it's not perfect, it's better than a lot of the expats around here.

I'm not looking at Japan for the girls - though I do have to admit that there is a lot of eye-candy around. Nor am I looking to get rich. Just a simple life is more than enough. A home for my family, a bike for me and a decent school for the little one. She's only two and a half right now, so she'll pick up the local lingo easily enough.

I would consider jobs in other industries - as I've often had it mentioned to me that I should work for an international company that deals with Taiwan and China, while not letting my lingual abilities be common knowledge during negotiations. I have a decent mind for negotiations, I've been told - though I've never worked as a negotiator.

Teaching is where my expertise lies, so it's where I think I'd be best off looking.
by TaiwanExpat rate this post as useful

... 2008/5/26 17:36
The "degree or several years of relevant experience" thing is an immigration requirement, so it would pose a major problem if you try to look for jobs in other fields, as your relevant experience that immigration would recognize in place of a degree would be your teaching experience. (Note that there is no "general work visa" - but there are different categories of visa depending on what you do.) And if that's where your expertise lies - I think it's best if you pursue teaching anyway :)
Good luck with everything!
by AK rate this post as useful

it can and does happen 2008/5/26 19:27
joseph, I know people who have got a visa with only experience, and I know of several more, plus the ESL sites have discussions on this very topic with contributions from people who have got a working visa with just the 3 years + experience. Are you disagreeing because you know people who have been turned down?

It does have to be relevant experience, so TaiwanExpat is effectively limited to teaching English, to start with at least.

Given the number of years TaiwanExpat has been in Taiwan, I'm thinking that he either too old for a working holiday visa, or will be soon.
by Sira rate this post as useful

Jet Programme 2008/5/27 00:02
The JET Programme might be one option for you.

I don't know anything about it, I have only heard of it and found the above link through Google.
by . rate this post as useful

Still Young 2008/5/27 09:10
As I said in my second post, I'm 27 until next January, so I will be 28 when I'm ready to head over.

So, my understanding is that I will need to find a sponsor school first, then work out the rest of the details from there. I'm not really interested in JET, as I intend for this to be a permenant move.

It's not possible to get a work permit to teach without a sponsor school?

This is not the foolery of an immature mind. I've considered my options and am very serious about this. In a worst case scenario - not getting a visa - I would end up going back to school in Aus and finish my degree. I would rather get over there while the little one is still young though - to give her the best chance to soak up the lingo while she is still learning to speak. I've already taught her how to say "Oishi" and "Arigato".
by TaiwanExpat rate this post as useful

visas 2008/5/27 09:24
Sorry, missed the mention of your age there. You can get a working holiday visa, but 18 months is the limit (Australians get the longest- the rest of us only get one year!)

Yes, you do need an offer of employment to get a working visa- in Japan you must have a sponsor for the visa, it's one of the prerequisites.

You might want to look at coming over on a WH visa, then changing to a working visa later- it is much easier to get a job if you are already in Japan, and with the WH visa you could start working straight away, as opposed to having to wait a while if you start the working visa process here.

The only problem is that as far as I am aware a WH visa must be applied for and processed in your home country.

With your experience your plan is quite realistic- the main concern would be as above- whether your wife will be able to get a job, and if not whether you can support all of you on the fairly low English teacher's salary.
by Sira rate this post as useful

Applications in Japan? 2008/5/27 10:33
Ok, that sounds like some sound advice, and it does sound like a plan.

Is it possible to apply for a normal working visa while visiting on a working holiday visa?
by TaiwanExpat rate this post as useful

WH visa restrictions... 2008/5/27 13:05
I have just thought of a possible stumbling block with the WH visa plan- I seem to recall something about people with dependents not being granted working holiday visas, which makes sense if you think about it- the WH visa is supposed to be for young people who want to travel in Japan and work part-time to fund the trip.

If you have a look at the website of the Japanese Embassy in Canberra and/ or contact them, you should be able to confirm whether or not this is the case.

If so, you are back to the 3 years of experience and sponsor = possible working visa thing. Have a look around all the Japan job websites and see what you can come up with. It is far easier to get a job if you are actually in Japan to interview, so since you are fairly close you might want to make a trip up here for that purpose before you actually move.
by Sira rate this post as useful

WHV.. problem~ 2008/5/28 09:32
Well a bit of a look on the Canberra Embassy site unearthed a little problem. To get a WHV... you need.... *drum rolls* dum dum dum... Yes, you guessed it! A sponsor.

Though, on the upside, it doesn't say anything about dependants being a problem. But I have to be resident in Aus to apply for it, which means I need to move back before I can even consider it.

I'm looking around on various job sites - so hopefully I will be able to dig something up. Pay is really low for a base salary, considering the higher cost of living there compared to here. The same income with a lot more cost.
by TaiwanExpat rate this post as useful

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