Blog - Renewing my visa, part 1
Renewing my visa, part 1
On January 15, I went to apply for the renewal of my visa, which expires in March. An engineer work visa lasts 3 years, and mine will soon be up. I heard that about 2 months before expiration is the right time to start the procedure. It's the first time that I renew a visa.
What I hate about this kind of official procedures, is that what you need is not quite documented anywhere, so you're likely to have some surprises. Getting prepared before going to immigration isn't obvious. There doesn't seem to be some decent documentation at a governmental site telling you what you need to bring.
This time I had done some searching on the Web, and this Q&A on Hiragana Times is what was most helpful, since the Procedures for Renewing and Changing Visas page said that, since I have a work visa, I'd have to submit a certificate of employment (在職証明書, zaishoku shōmeisho) "as well as tax documents" which after some more searching I figured out should probably be a certificate of tax payment (納税証明書, nōzei shōmeisho)).
So a week earlier I had asked my employer for a certificate of employment, which took about 2 working days to arrive, and I also went to the ward office to get my certificate of tax payment, which costs ¥300 to prepare.
Then I went over to the new Tokyo Immigration Bureau in Shinagawa. Before there were a few immigration bureaus in Tokyo, including an easy access one in Shibuya, and the largest (and most hectic) one in Ōtemachi, but they were all replaced by this one that's a bit far.
Instead of using Yamanote-line to Shinagawa station, I took Saikyō/Rinkai-line to Ten'ōzu Isle (天王洲アイル) station, and instead of taking the bus as it is suggested, I decided to save about ¥400 by walking to the immigration bureau, which is a 10 minute walk from Ten'ōzu Isle station. It was a bit confusing because from that station there are like no signs saying which way to go for the immigration bureau, there was no decent map to be found either around there. I had brought a map printed from the Web site and it was very useful.
When I got there, I went to the visa renewal application area (2nd floor). It seems like everyone has to tell the lady at the information desk what kind of visa they're renewing in order to get the correct forms. Since I had changed jobs during the period of my visa I also had to fill a form about the company I currently work for.
Then I had to take a number and wait about an hour, even though I had went first thing in the morning there were a lot of people waiting, over 50 numbers to go before mine. Then it went pretty quickly, I gave the forms, and waited a few minutes. I had to write my address on a postcard that would later be sent to me to inform me that my application has been processed.
The postcard just arrived yesterday, which means that it's time for me to go back there once again on Monday. I hope it's good news and that there won't be any surprise in the process.
I'll be glad when this is all done with!
Posted on January 24, 2004 at 12:20 | Tweet
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