For the most part, the visa application is relatively simple. That’s if you have all the necessary information that you need. Important information like your passport number, your employer’s address and phone number, your Japanese supervisor’s contact information, your Japanese address…You know, the basics. Unfortunately, I had none of this information for various reasons. Loads of “line” messages, head scratches, confusion, confidently incorrect responses and finally google to the rescue. Below you will find the link that confirmed my suspicions. Also, be advised that common sense is a very helpful tool. Oh, and remember that patience is a virtue not commonly had.
Honestly, if you have all the information it really is a simple application. The first portion of the application consists of your personal information. Don’t be thrown when it says “ID number issued by the government” that’s just form speak for social security number.
The real trick is knowing that after you’ve signed a contract, you are legally employed by the issuer of said contract. There was tons of misinformation in this second section about which employer to use (past or present). Common sense will lead you in this case. After signing a contract you are now an employee of whatever company or school district that you applied to work for. The visa peeps don’t care who you used to work for. What they really want to know is who are you working for in whatever country you are applying to for a visa.
And the final section was a bit tricky as well. We were told to put our Supervisor’s info down but to use board of education’s address. It might be helpful at this point to google the differences between how addresses are written in different countries or just the country you’re heading to. Addresses in Japan seem super long with “seemingly” random numbers mixed throughout the address. For example, “street name street name 3 8 5, Apartment Name, Himeji, Hyogo, Japan, 0769-0986″.
The most awesome thing about doing the visa paperwork is that, roughly two weeks prior to leaving the states, I have finally gotten my address for Himeji! Cool beans and colla greens. Now I can share my new address with my penpals and family members. Hopefully those care packages that I used to receive in college will start poppin again!
Care package desirables
- Organic, Creamy peanut butter (peanuts & salt are the only two ingredients)
- LouisianaHot Sauce
- Arm and Hammer PeroxiCare Toothpaste
- Chunky Salsa