Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Still waiting but got tickets at least...

When they said "It may take a while so give it time" they weren`t kidding. Still nothing from Japan and it has been more than a month since I sent everything that was needed to Tokyo. At least I made reservations for the plane ride there. It looks like either there aren't enough flights or a lot of people travel to Japan all the time! It was a tough process to find a reasonably priced flight - even more so on a good carrier. Thank God I managed to get a seat on Emirates. On the positive side I will get to see the Dubai and Osaka Airports and on the negative side I will not be flying directly to Tokyo. Well I am not complaining as long as I get to go at some point. Now onto playing the waiting game again....

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Brushing up on my Japanese

While waiting for the visa stuff to sort themselves out I have been brushing up on my Japanese. I took Japanese for a year and a half at Carnegie Mellon but that was more than two years ago so I do not remember nearly as much stuff as I would like. I have been looking at my copy of Let's Learn Japanese. It's a pretty old series - I think it's from the 80s based on the little skits where they show this clueless Canadian guy, Yan, coming to work in Japan. I think it's pretty useful for anyone who may not have had any instruction in Japanese as well. You can even find videos of the complete episodes by simply searching online - http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=let%27s+learn+japanese+yan.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Certificate of Eligibility...

I realized I did not explain why I was waiting for a certificate of eligibility... Well, as it turns out there are two ways to get a working visa for Japan - either you take all your supporting documents including all diplomas, resume, etc. to a Japanese embassy, or you send these documents to the company you will work for and that company takes them to the local office in Japan. If you decide to go with the first option you end up waiting for the embassy to send everything to Japan and go through the process which may take up to a month. The second option just requires you to sit back and wait while the company does all the work and gets you the Certificate of Eligibility. Basically the official word is (from Ministry of Foreign Affairs website):

The Certificate of Eligibility has the advantage of reducing the time required to obtain a visa and complete immigration procedures, since a foreigner in possession of such a certificate can probably acquire a visa at an embassy or consulate without any inquiries being made to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, by showing the certificate to the immigration officer, obtain landing permission more easily.
You then take this certificate and it's all you need other than your passport (and a picture) to apply for the visa! You only wait for a day or so to get your visa. That being said I am getting a little impatient with waiting for the certificate. It has been about three weeks now.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Everything has a beginning...

Well, here we go... I am still in Cyprus right now waiting for my Certificate of Eligibility so I can apply for a working visa for Japan. I will be working at Secom ISL in Tokyo. Thank God I have people helping me at Secom with respect to getting the certificate. Hopefully in a couple of weeks it will be ready and I will travel to Turkey to get my visa from the Japanese embassy in Ankara. They say it takes only one or two days to get it given that I will have the certificate of eligibility but I will need to make sure that's the case before I get the plane tickets.