Congrats, you’ve done it—you purchased a one-way plane ticket to Japan! I remember the exhilaration of heading overseas to start a new chapter. Nothing compares.
It isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, however. Even with how prepared I was, one ordeal after another just kept arising. I had to Japanify my name (thus totally altering my identity), negotiate a cell phone contract in a foreign language, and take out a loan because I ran out of money before my first payday. In the hopes you’ll have an easier transition, here are 10 things to help you prepare for and settle into your new life in Japan.
1. Handle your visa situation beforehand
Unfortunately, you can’t just hop off a plane and swagger in, confetti falling. Anyone looking to study or work in Japan long term should secure a proper visa before they arrive.
How to become a resident of Japan
First, apply for a visa. To do so you’ll need:
You’ll then take or send these documents to your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate and let them handle the rest.
Visa sponsorship is a case-by-case scenario, so make sure you investigate your options carefully. Check out the Immigration Bureau of Japan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan websites for help. The two main types of long term permits are for employees and students.
A work visa allows foreigners to live in Japan with the sponsorship of their employer (or a Japanese …continue reading