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October 23, 2012 2:33 AM   Subscribe

JapanVisaFilter - My visa period is almost up, and my contract is extended but not for a whole year. What's up?

I'm in Japan on a one-year engineering visa. My company has extended my contract, but only for six months (all the paperwork for that is done). I'm going in to renew my visa tomorrow, but it expires at the end of this week (I got careless and forgot about the renewal date).

1. Can I get my visa extended?

2. Is my visa automatically extended while they process my application? If not, what can I do?

This is my first visa renewal in Japan and I'm an American citizen, if that makes a difference.
posted by 23 to Law & Government (5 answers total)
Bonus question: do I need the Certificate of Eligibility for a renewal? (pretty sure this is a no).
posted by 23 at 2:59 AM on October 23, 2012

I think as long as you show up before your current visa expires, and you come with your new contract in hand, you should be fine (in that they will not throw you in an immigration detention centre, and will help you figure out a way to extend the visa).

I'm wondering if you should prepare and bring with you documentation and forms for Application for Extension of Period of Stay.

If you can, you ought to ask your supervisor or your company's HR department for a little help here.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:09 AM on October 23, 2012

Can't answer your question, but just to offer a point on the graph: I once had a three year visa for Japan on account of being employed by a Japanese company. One year into the visa, I left the company and founded my own company, meaning that I technically lost the qualification for the visa, which I theoretically had to report to the authorities. But when it was time for renewal, this little problem never came up. And on the whole, I found the immigration authorities in Japan quite helpful. I wouldn't worry too much, assuming, of course, that you aren't doing anything illegal, such as selling drugs.
posted by sour cream at 11:04 AM on October 23, 2012

After checking with a bunch of sources (friends, coworkers, immigration), I'll be fine, though I'll never cut it this close again. I was going to go today but HR was unable to finish the documents until about 3PM.

KokuRyu, that's the correct form, though unfortunately the information about additional documents is a little vague - for example, it doesn't mention why you might need the linked Guarantor form. Turns out the Japanese page makes it clear you only need that if you're applying for a visa based on being a spouse, but what satisfies the other requirements ("proof of activity" in particular) is a bit vague, as are the requirements.

I'm going to renew tomorrow and will post afterwards.
posted by 23 at 3:05 AM on October 24, 2012

OK, application went in fine. Being there on the last day wasn't an issue, and I was actually missing one form but that was totally OK - they had a form for when you're missing a form, I have a week to mail it in, and my visa was extended two months on the spot to give the application time.

The one form I didn't have (which I didn't see mentioned on the Japanese site or the one above) is a tax form from my company called the 給与所得の源泉徴収票等の法定調書合計表 which HR is going to get drawn up for me. (Interestingly, this form was at the very top of the "you forgot a form and need to mail it in" sheet.) I thought my tax certificate from the Ward Office would be enough, but apparently not.

So, lessons learned:

- The day printed on your visa is the last day (rather than the day before). Don't rely on this.

- It's OK if you can't get the whole application together, but go to Immigration before things expire anyway.
posted by 23 at 1:09 AM on October 25, 2012

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