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Re: [tlug] From an enthusiast TLUG follower

On Fri, 28 Aug 2020 at 14:03, Edward Middleton <> wrote:

I think its just the immigration office in Japan.  I have always found
the ward office, tax office and health insurance to be really helpful.

My experience with emigration has been fairly consistently bad.  When I
first moving to here (20 years ago) after all required paperwork was
lodged by my sponsoring company they insisted they needed some
supplemental documentation (had to be original) and it had to be lodged
by the end of the week.  I sent it the next day international delivered
at great expense and it somehow didn't arrive in time and I was delayed
starting by 6 months.

I think I have had my fair share of this at immigration but I have also had
positive experiences.

In my experience, you need to produce paperwork for anything that is
out of their ordinary processes. You can explain why this or that is the
way it is and they might in principle agree but if they do not have a
process for it, then they don't know what to do and that then leads
to a negative outcome.

However, most of the time, Japanese authorities do have a process for
things that are put in writing and especially when it is backed up by
supporting documentation.

There is somebody at each authority who is in charge of dealing with
such out-of-standard processing cases, but they will only be involved
if you put your stuff in writing because the ordinary folks there do not
wish to put unnecessary workload on whoever it is who deals with the
"special" cases.

But if you make an effort to put in writing and even better have plenty of
supporting documentation, they will pass it on to whoever deals with
"special" cases and then the outcome may well be positive.

Let me give you one example.

There is a rule now that the photograph you supply at immigration must
not be older than 3 or 6 months (not sure exactly which). If you had your
sairyu card renewed recently and the photo is the same because you
wanted to use up those photos you made then, they will be able to tell
that the photo is at least as old as the renewal date on your sairyu card
plus the expected processing time.

When I renewed my sairyu card however, the ward office got back to me
and had an issue with the photo so I had to supply another photo. Once
that photo was supplied they issued the card very quickly. At immigration,
they then looked at the renewal date and estimated 4 weeks or so of
processing time and determined that the photo must have been older
than that minimum period. But I had anticipated that and produced a
letter to the immigration office in which I explained the matter and I
also produced a copy of the letter I had received from the ward office
asking for a better photo, plus the receipt for the photos from the machine.

When the immigration officer then looked at my sairyu card and said the
photo was too old, I produced the letter and supporting documentation
and explained the matter. She then said she would pass this on but
could not guarantee that it would be acceptable and I might have to
supply a new photo in the end after all, that I could just go downstairs
to make a new photo to avoid the uncertainty. I thanked her and declined.

A few weeks later, I got a positive response. Only, it had taken longer than
usual which was to be expected since there was the extra process of
having that department dealing with out of the ordinary stuff look at
my case. But I accepted that delay.

Sometimes there is even a further step as the department dealing with
out of the ordinary stuff may ask for additional supporting documentation.

So, whenever you have any dealings with Japanese authorities where it
is to be expected that the usual flow of processing will not work, then I
recommend you try this approach I described.

Apart from making their work easier, it is also a matter of courtesy.
If you come to them and ask for something "out of the ordinary" it
will mean extra work for them. So, at the very least you should be
able to show that you didn't just show up asking for extras but that
you did make an effort yourself, that you didn't merely save yourself
effort and shifting that effort to them without investing any of your own.

And this is not necessarily limited to Japan.


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