Monday, 22 February 2010

Let's get a visa!

So, first thing's first. I need a visa!
As I have no job offers from Japan (on account of me not having a degree yet! Ke) I'll need one holiday working visa. The point being that for the most part you're supposed to holiday...

I should probably tell you all that my plan is to one day find a permanent job in Japan, but I've never holidayed there before! So....what if I hate it there??! It is my mission to find out if I still want to reside in a culture that is completely different to my own. So this trip is much like a gap year for me...just to test the alien water.

SO! Holiday working visas.

This Friday, Carly and I will be going the the Japanese embassy to apply for our visas. You need to fill out some form on the day.

Nothing tricky there, except having to pay £4 for a fugly passport photo.

Then you need a personal statement, basically your reasons for wanting to invade Japan. I won't post the whole thing but I briefly outlined my main interests in Japan, the things that I have read up on (namely the music scene, fashion tribes, and the FOOD) then I put what I found intriguing about the country and things that you can't really know unless you experience them.

Next is your itinerary. Your twelve month plan. AKA your blag cos you actually have no idea what the fuck is gonna happen when you get over there!

Now I know that I'm gonna have to be super careful with the little money I have managed to scrape together for this trip. I also know that travel costs soon mount up. Whenever I go to London for a weekend I always come away feeling like I've been raped by the London Underground and National Rail! I may plan to travel from Osaka to Hokkido during my trip but the reality might mean I stay working in Tokyo for the majority of my stay and just taking day trips and weekends when I can.

I've tried to blag as much as I feel comfortable blagging on the itinerary, putting some districts of Tokyo I want to explore, some festivals I'm interested in seeing and the cities I want to visit but I've kept it very brief and to what I can comfortably talk about in an interview.

I'm being realistic here, I'm not an expert on Japan by any means, but I think its better to have a vague idea about something and go experience it for yourself than to pretend you know everything.

Hopefully in my interview they won't ask too many details

I think that's it for paperwork. The only other BIG thing that you need to deal with for the visa application is MONEY. This has been the cause of many headaches over the last month. You need to have either
£2500 in the bank
£1500 + a return ticket

I presume this is to make sure you get the fuck out of the country when your time is up. They need to know you won't resort to selling drugs or prostitution to get the funds to get you home.
So I have one return ticket (dated for 6 months after I arrive but this can be extended as needed upto a year) but I need £1500. Overdrafts don't count so after rent and plane tickets are paid for I'm still lacking the funds. Don't worry though! A friend has lent me the cash until I get paid. Obviously this is not ideal. I should have been saving like mad for this trip but the truth is I only made the decision to go for a year (before I was planning to take a 2-3 week trip) after I split from my boyfriend a month ago.

Hey, nothing heals a broken heart like moving to the other side of the world!

I think thats everything apart from the obviously things like taking your passport and 3 months worth of bank statement. I'm kinda worried as my funds are being deposited tomorrow so obviously won't show up on my bank statements...and they'll see that I just spend all my money on clothes and drink!
I've been told they take your passport for a week or so which means I'm screwed if I get ID'd in London...and I WILL get ID'd. I want to go drinking with my soon to be Tokyo sister, Carly.

This is the first big step on my way to Japan! Can you feel my giddiness!


  1. I'm so pleased you're getting everything sorted out. I know you'll have an amazing time, and love it as much as I did. It really is everything we expected ;D lol

    Woah that's a lot of money, I hope my student visa doesn't mean I'll need that much lol

  2. whoo hooooooooooo, I'm adding you to my blogroll!!

  3. I just cannot wait until you gays get here!! I'm always thinking 'man I'll have to show the Bobs this' and 'they'll love this place'. I get my final student loan the Monday you arrive. It'll be major happy days! - Maxsu-Sensei