Monday, 17 September 2012

Life in Japan: Changing from UK Working Holiday Visa to Working visa


I'm making this entry because I feel like there is a lack of information (or perhaps too much mis-information) on the internet about this. I'll keep this as simple as possible but let's start with the main point.....

IT IS POSSIBLE!

Let me just rewind a little bit and put you in my position around 1 month or so ago....

My company had just received my certificate of eligibility (COE) which we had applied for through immigration and so what was I to do next? Well, according to pretty much EVERYONE, I needed to leave the country and come back. That seemed a bit drastic to me and I was determined to stay in the country if i could. However, it seemed that everyone I came across was telling me the same thing; I have to leave the country. By 'everyone' I mean friends, co-workers, even the Japanese embassy in London told me it wasn't possible to change the visa domestically and advised me to return to the UK and apply for my visa. Apparently, Korea would not EVER be an option.

Well, I had nothing to lose really, so i headed to the immigration office in Shinagawa....

'no problem, here's a change in status of residency form, please fill it out and await the results of your application'. So i put my application in with my COE and awaited the results. Two weeks later, a postcard arrives telling me to come pick up my visa at immigration!

So here's the main point of this post:

UK CITIZENS ON WORKING HOLIDAY VISA IN JAPAN CAN NOW CHANGE TO WORKING VISA DOMESTICALLY


WITHOUT HAVING TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY!

I made this post because I found it difficult finding any information on this and when I found something, it always lead to the conclusion that I would have to leave the country and come back again to 'activate my visa'. There were some cases where i found discussion forms ending with 'Ok well I'm gonna go to immigration and see what happens....'. I guess they forgot to update everyone on their success? So I have put this post on here in the hopes that those looking for answers will find hope in this post of mine. I understand that a year or two, UK citizens were forced to re-enter Japan but it appears this is no longer the case :D

I hope I have been helpful :)

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