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Thread: Japanese citizens living abroad OFFTOPIC about visa requirements and cost in various countries

  1. #1
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misa.j
    I'm not sure if a Japanese immigrant who has been naturalized in a foreign country can become a Japanese citizen again. Do you know, Maciamo?
    Maybe possible, but difficult. Otherwise those people could live in Japan on a visa called "child of Japanese citizen" which allows to work normally like a "spouse visa".

    PR status can be as convenient as being naturalized except you would want to have the passport issued in the country you reside if you travel frequently to avoid trouble.
    PR is usually better than being naturalised in Japan's case, as Japan, like most Asian countries, does not accept dual nationality. I especially do not want to lose my nationality, because as a EU citizen it allows me to live and work permanently in the 25 EU countries (and without having to keep a sticker that says so in my passport like in Japan).

    I was a bit disappointed with the Japanese system that even as a PR I still need to carry an alien registration card and purchase a new re-entry visa every 3 years (that means spending a few hours going to the immigration bureau and pay 5000 yen every time). I am not sure if the PV is so permanent in Japan, as it seems that if I exit the country and come back without a re-entery visa I would lose my PV (!). Is that the same in the US with the Green Card ?

    As for the passport, it really depends on your nationality. I am going to get a new passport from my embassy in Tokyo and it only takes 2 weeks from the time of application. In comparison my wife had to wait one month for it to be ready at the Yurakucho office in Tokyo, although she was in her own country.

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  2. #2
    Regular Member misa.j's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I am not sure if the PV is so permanent in Japan, as it seems that if I exit the country and come back without a re-entery visa I would lose my PV (!). Is that the same in the US with the Green Card ?
    You need a re-entry visa on top of your PV? That sounds like a pain.

    The documents required to PR of the US for traveling are a passport, a Permanent Resident Card(Green Card), Reentry Permit(if gone for more than 1 year), or a Returning Resident Visa (if gone for 2 years or more).
    If you are traveling to Canada or Mexico, PR Card is sufficient, although carrying a passport as well could help facilitate your reentry.

    I think the benefits of being a PR in the Western countries are greater than the ones in other countries, that might explain why 93% of the Japanese PR in the whole world live in those countries.
    And of course, other social and cultural differences might make a lot of Japanese feel comfortable.
    Last edited by misa.j; Jul 8, 2005 at 08:54.

  3. #3
    JREF Resident Alien Pachipro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I am not sure if the PV is so permanent in Japan, as it seems that if I exit the country and come back without a re-entery visa I would lose my PV (!). Is that the same in the US with the Green Card ?
    No it is not. My wife has left the country numerous times in the past 17 years and a couple of times it was for three months or more and she never once had to get a re-entry permit. Also, she still has the same green card she was issued 17 years ago and never once had to re-file or renew it! And she has never once had to go to the immigration office since she came here! Most unusual if you ask me, but that's the way it is here.
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  4. #4
    The Wonderer Nebiki's Avatar
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    Out of idle curiosity, just what are the advantages of becoming naturalized?

  5. #5
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misa.j
    You need a re-entry visa on top of your PV? That sounds like a pain.

    The documents required to PR of the US for traveling are a passport, a Permanent Resident Card(Green Card), Reentry Permit(if gone for more than 1 year), or a Returning Resident Visa (if gone for 2 years or more).
    If you are traveling to Canada or Mexico, PR Card is sufficient, although carrying a passport as well could help facilitate your reentry.
    So in the US one needs one needs a Reentry Permit or Returning Resident Visa if they leave the country for over a year. So it's like a re-entry visa, except that in Japan it is required to leave the country even for a day.

    The other problem is that the re-entry visa cannot be valid for more than 3 years, so if one wishes to live in another country for 4 years, then go back to Japan, they would not be able to re-enter, even being a permanent resident ! It means that one has to return to Japan at least once every 3 years to get a new re-entry visa. I really didn't expect that when I applied for the PV. There is almost no difference with the 3-year Spouse Visa as anyway we need to go back to the Immigration Office every 3 years. Getting one or two stickers in the passport at that time makes very little difference (well maybe one doesn't have to prove one's revenues anymore).

  6. #6
    Regular Member misa.j's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nebiki
    Out of idle curiosity, just what are the advantages of becoming naturalized?
    As a US citizen, you get the right to vote, are able to have a US passport which allows you the freedom to travel and will receive US Government protection and assistance when abroad, can change your name in the process of naturalization.

    There are some responsibilities you must agree as well such as, support and defend the Constitution and the laws of the US; swear allegiance to the US; serve the country when required. These sound so official, but I don't think they would change my life in any drastic ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    The other problem is that the re-entry visa cannot be valid for more than 3 years, so if one wishes to live in another country for 4 years, then go back to Japan, they would not be able to re-enter, even being a permanent resident !
    Well, the Reentry Permit that I mentioned is valid for two years and it costs $165 to get, but I still think it's cool.
    Last edited by misa.j; Jul 10, 2005 at 12:22.

  7. #7
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misa.j
    There are some responsibilities you must agree as well such as, support and defend the Constitution ans the laws of the US; swear allegiance to the US; serve the country when required.
    The last one can be a problem, especially for men in the warlike US. Many countries still have conscription or military service, some even for women (e.g. Israel). Some countries allow dual nationality (e.g. English-speaking countries), but many don't. So it's important to decide carefully before changing nationality.

    Well, the Reentry Permit that I mentioned is valid for two years and it costs $165 to get, but I still think it's cool.
    The Japanese one cost only about US$40 for 3 years. The PV itself was about US$70.

    In Europe, it seems that at least a few countries do not have spouse or permanent visas at all (e.g. Belgium). My wife doesn't need any visa to stay in Belgium, just register the act of marriage at the local town hall. That's simple and doesn't cost anything, but she has no proof that she can live in and work there for employers (she doesn't need one, but most employers don't know that, so I am not sure it's a better system ).

    I know it's a bit similar in the UK for the spouses of British or EU nationals wishing to live there. They just need an entry clearance, which is a bit more complicated to get (e.g. "evidence that you will be able to support yourselves" and "evidence of accommodation" are not required in Belgium).

    Having a look at the types of visas for the UK, I was amazed at the length of the list and how expensive they were compared to Japan. In Japan, the cost of visas range from 25 to 70 US$ (15 to 40 GBP). In Britain, just an antry clearance (the cheapest in the list) cost almost as much as a PV in Japan. A spouse visa cost 260 GBP (over 50,000yen !!). The good point though is that they have visas for enganged partners and even unmarried partners, while these status are not recognised in Japan.

  8. #8
    Regular Member misa.j's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    In Europe, it seems that at least a few countries do not have spouse or permanent visas at all (e.g. Belgium). My wife doesn't need any visa to stay in Belgium, just register the act of marriage at the local town hall. That's simple and doesn't cost anything, but she has no proof that she can live in and work there for employers (she doesn't need one, but most employers don't know that, so I am not sure it's a better system
    Wow, so practically, does that mean she can get a job without a work permit and live as long as she would like to after entering the coutry with a tourist visa?

    The process of getting a Permanent Resident status in the US was long; I had three interviews including the one in Japan to get my K-1(fiance) visa, fingerprinting, waiting for three to six months to hear from the immigration office, and the fee cost $315 only for adjusting the status.
    I think I have paid close to $1,000 for everything.

    I wonder what kind of requirements you need to become a PR in other Asian countries.

  9. #9
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misa.j
    Wow, so practically, does that mean she can get a job without a work permit and live as long as she would like to after entering the coutry with a tourist visa?
    Almost. She just has to register our marriage certificate at the town hall, and in case of divorce she could not stay (or at least work) in the country anymore. This is for Japanese citizens, but the rules are surely different for other nationalities (i.e. developing countries).

    The process of getting a Permanent Resident status in the US was long; I had three interviews including the one in Japan to get my K-1(fiance) visa, fingerprinting, waiting for three to six months to hear from the immigration office, and the fee cost $315 only for adjusting the status.
    I think I have paid close to $1,000 for everything.
    Wow ! That's much more of a hassle in the US. I didn't get any interview and paied $70 in total for the Japanese PV. The thing that seemed to matter most was the stability of my annual revenues. But it also took 7 months to get a reply.

  10. #10
    As the Rush Comes Duo's Avatar
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    Actually Maciamo now in Belgium they have tightened the rules on the spouse getting the citizenship. Before it was simple and easy, now I think there is a living together period or smthing of the type to make sure the marriage is not just for the papers. And yeah I think rules do differ from country to country. And on a sidenote on Belgian bureacracy they are known to be sometimes hardheaded and well frankly a bit stupid
    They put my friend's birthplace as Yugoslavia instead of Slovenia because at the time when he was born Yugoslavia still existed; by that train of thought somone born in a former soviet republic would have USSR on their ID
    I'm trying to figure out though, why doesn't Japan allow dual citizenship ? Is it an honor thing or are there other reasons ?

  11. #11
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duo
    Actually Maciamo now in Belgium they have tightened the rules on the spouse getting the citizenship. Before it was simple and easy, now I think there is a living together period or smthing of the type to make sure the marriage is not just for the papers.
    Well I asked the embassy last week, so I don't think it has changed since then. They also said that this system worked from 1 day of marriage. As I said, this is valid for Japanese citizens and may be different for other nationalities.

    They put my friend's birthplace as Yugoslavia instead of Slovenia because at the time when he was born Yugoslavia still existed; by that train of thought somone born in a former soviet republic would have USSR on their ID
    I'm trying to figure out though, why doesn't Japan allow dual citizenship ? Is it an honor thing or are there other reasons ?
    Interesting. I wonder is they put "Belgium" for people born in Congo before 1960. (that may look weird: "Born in Mbandaka, Belgium" ).

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