Moving to japan, without a degree, nor a company sponsoring you... Is it possible?

Moving to japan, without a degree, nor a company sponsoring you... Is it possible?

Just like alot of people on this site, I myself want to move to Japan. This question is asked alot! But, it seems most people have the basics to get over to japan… A BA in something, a company to sponsor them because they have experience in some big executive job (i.e. IT, Financial, Graphic design… etc…). But what about the guy… (Like me, who is just winging it?).

Short history of myself, because I am sure someone will ask… “Why do you want to come over to Japan?” “What kinda job do you want?” I am willing to take just about anything, if there is something other than teaching? Anyways… I was born in the Philippenes back in the early 80’s (Dad was in the Airforce, stationed there for about 6 years.) , traveled around Japan, when I was a kid. Fell in love with the place! Now in my late 20’s, I am looking to move back, permanently. Every time I ask about going back, and getting a job, everyone mentions teaching english, teaching english, teaching english!!? Is that really all there is available for americans for work over there?

I have been studying Japanese off and on, for the past couple of years, I got the basics down, soo I can at least get by for now. I have a commercial drivers license, to drive semi trucks, and heavy equipment. I went to a trade school for 4 years, and became a full time electrician a couple years back. Got a certificate that is good all over the US, would that be good enough to go to japan?

I hear people just fly over there with what ever visa they can get, and then look for a job shortly after arriving. Have to leave the country, to re-apply for a different visa to work there, wait for approval, and then come back to Japan no problems? Also heard people marrying a local japanese person (Which I don’t really want to marry someone just to live there…). Any info on this topic would be most appreciated! Thanks, and sorry for asking this question… again!

ask yourself the following questions

  1. what visa do you qualify for and can you reasonably expect to obtain. Dont worry about other people. You are not them.

  2. To teach English you need a minimum of a degree OR 3 years related teaching experience. Do you have either?

  3. To do jobs outside teaching English you still need a visa. For the kinds of skills you have you would be looking at a Skilled Labor visa, and that requires ten years experience including training. You also need to be licensed to practice your trade in Japan. I doubt a couple of years as a sparkie in the US will be enough.

Skilled Labor The applicant should fall under one of the following categories and should receive no less salary than a Japanese national would receive for comparable work.

A person with at least 10 years’ experience in foreign cooking or special food preparation originating abroad (including the period of time spent studying at educational institutions in a foreign country while majoring in the skills concerned) who is to engage in a job requiring such skills. A person with at least 10 years’ experience in architecture or civil engineering characteristic to foreign countries (including the period of time spent studying at educational institutions in a foreign country while majoring in the skills concerned) who is to engage in a job requiring such skills. (If the person concerned is to engage in a job under the guidance of a person who has at least 10 years’ experience, his or her experience of 5 years would be accepted in lieu of 10 years.) A person with at least 10 years’ experience in manufacture or repair of products special to foreign countries (including the period of time spent studying at educational institutions in a foreign country while majoring in the skills concerned) who is to engage in a job requiring such skills. A person with at least 10 years’ experience in processing of gems, precious stones or fur (including the period of time spent studying at educational institutions in a foreign country while majoring in the skills concerned) who is to engage in a job requiring such skills. A person with at least 10 years’ experience in training animals (including the period of time spent in studying at educational institutions in a foreign country while majoring in the skills concerned) who is to engage in a job requiring such skills. A person with at least 10 years’ experience in seabed digging for oil exploration or development of terrestrial heat or the study of the seabed for minerals exploration (including the period of time spent in studying at educational institutions in a foreign country while majoring in the skills concerned) who is to engage in a job requiring such skills. A person with at least 2,500 hours’ experience in piloting an aircraft who is to engage in a job as a pilot of an aircraft used for air transport provided for by Article 2, Paragraph 16 of Aviation Act (Law No. 231 of 1952) which a person cannot pilot as a captain without the qualification of pilot in air transport of an airline provided for by Article 24 of the Act. A person with at least 3 years’ experience in instructing sport (including the period of time spent studying at educational institutions in a foreign country while majoring in the skills concerned and engaging in the sport with remuneration) who is to engage in a job requiring such skills or a person who has ever taken part in Olympic games alike world championships or such international games as a representative player and is to engage in a job requiring such skills concerning the instruction in the sport.

  1. What reason would a Japanese employer have to hire you over a Japanese electrician or a truck driver? (In case you havent noticed cars and trucks are right hand drive here, opposite to the US)

  2. Japanese skills? Can you read a wiring diagram written in Japanese?

You can renew your visa from a tourist visa to work visa within Japan as long as you have a sponsor and hand in all the paperwork for processing your visa.

You can renew your visa from a tourist visa to work visa within Japan as long as you have a sponsor and hand in all the paperwork for processing your visa.[/QUOTE]

I did not realize you can come into japan with one visa, apply for/ and wait for approval on another? Shows what I know! Thank you for responding with all this information! The two jobs I mentioned (Just two that I have worked at the longest, and had most skill at,) I have worked at each of them for about 5 years now? My katakana is decent, I really need to study up on kanji!!! Maybe that is what I should do? Just take a trip over to japan, next year, and see what happens?

Finances are not a problem, I have a general idea of where to live, and since my dad is retired military, I can crash at a hotel on any military base over there. So that would be nice on the cost. Also did some research on apartments in the area to live in, if it comes to that? Thanks again for the info!!!

Originally posted by hcsurfer28 View Post I have been studying Japanese off and on, for the past couple of years, I got the basics down, soo I can at least get by for now. I have a commercial drivers license, to drive semi trucks, and heavy equipment. I went to a trade school for 4 years, and became a full time electrician a couple years back. Got a certificate that is good all over the US, would that be good enough to go to japan? “On and off” Japanese study. What level are you? You must realize that most non-teaching jobs here will require a fairly high level of reading/speaking/writing Japanese. There’s a truck driver on jref.com who can verify what’s needed for that position (can you read any bills or shipping papers? If not, learn before trying for that kind of job.) Electrician requirements…reverse the situation and ask whether someone with similar experience in Pakistan could get a job in the Philippines. Probably not, eh? Same here. And then there’s the language barrier again.

I hear people just fly over there with what ever visa they can get, and then look for a job shortly after arriving. You heard wrong. A work visa is granted after one gets a job. The only exceptions don’t really seem to apply to you: working holiday visa, student visa, spouse visa.

Look into student visa or cultural activities visa and see if they are something you can get into.

Have to leave the country, to re-apply for a different visa to work there, wait for approval, and then come back to Japan no problems? As pointed out, you don’t have to leave the country to finalize visa processing. Just land a job first with a company that sponsors visas.

Also heard people marrying a local japanese person (Which I don’t really want to marry someone just to live there…). Any info on this topic would be most appreciated! Immigration frowns upon marriages of convenience. Don’t risk it.

You are willing to “do anything”. Ok, get qualified first. That’s the most basic of philosophies.

“On and off” Japanese study. What level are you? I am… I guess you can say a mediocre basic level? If that? I started studying japanese a couple years ago. Just to get basic phrases down (i.e. greetings, salutations, where can I find this, how do I get here…) I took it seriously at first, thought I was on my way to japan at that time. Some things came up, and my dream was put on hold for awhile. I didn’t go back to studying the language till a couple years later. Pretty much starting over again from square one. Then again, some things came about, and my dream was put on hold, yet again.

Kinda gave up on my dream, thought it just wasn’t meant to be? I joined the military (currently active duty as we speak) about 3 years ago now. Thought I would eventually make my way over there? I went to Okinawa for 7 months in 2009. Just a temporary assignment. Now there is a possibility of me going in 2012 or 2013? Still debating this thought? That is why I wrote this thread, to see if there may be any other way? Or if the military is the way to do it? Not asking someone to make my mind up about this decision, just trying to get facts before I commit myself one way or the other in accomplishing this goal.

I definitely frown on “marriage of convenience” myself! Just doesn’t seem right? Not really fair to the other person as well. I have heard of people doing this, don’t know how they can live with themselves?

I am working on getting certified on my Heavy Equipment certification (a.k.a. CDL Commercial Drivers License) I am already a certified electrician. Got that a couple years back. It’s still good to this day.

Really going to take your advice (both of yours) on being able to read documents in japanese. I am somewhat o.k. with katakana, working on improving my kanji. I have met some Japanese people here in california, who I practice conversation with.

Thank you all soo much for the info into my question. I have the drive, motivation, and determination to fullfill this dream of mine, just need some help in direction? Ha ha! Thanks again! If anybody else, knows anything, please feel free to let me know! I greatly appreciate it!

What kinds of jobs could I get on a spouse visa w/out a degree?

I plan to marry my Japanese gf(because I love her not for convenience). Anyway, once I get my spouse visa, I know that I will be able to work a part time job. This is very vague though…what types of part time jobs could I even get w/out a degree? My Japanese is pretty good. Not fluent, but can at least hold conversations with people at an intermediate level. Has anyone on here seen any foreigners working at places like: convenient stores, music shops, gas stations, department stores, restaurants, etc? I plan to tutor English, but I was wondering if Japanese would even hire foreigners for these types of jobs? I will greatly appreciate if anyone can answer this(I’ve asked this question in at least four different forums about Japan and nobody seems to know the answer to this).

I guess you could work at a bar or something. Gaspanic always seems to be hiring. I know nothing about how the military works but couldn’t you leave the army and get a job as a civilian on one of the bases here?

It’s great that you love your Gf, but how do plan os supporting her and the babies that will follow? Most of the places you listed do not exactly need foreigners working for them. specially with the lesser Japanese skills that you seem to have. You say you are at an Intermediate level (according to which test? or whom?) Be realistic, you get a spouse visa and you can work for any company if they are willing to hire you , but with no degree your chances are very low. Why not get your Japanese levels up reading, writing and speaking will be very important. Also learn or get a skill that Japanese companies would need. English tutoring is not one. THe English teaching field is flooded and you can not support a wife (let alone kids on 220,000 a month which is about what you’d have left after taxes and health insurance deductions. Japan will always be here, consider coming to live here much later.

Good luck!

Originally posted by hcsurfer28 View Post "On and off" Japanese study. What level are you? I am… I guess you can say a mediocre basic level? If that? I started studying japanese a couple years ago. Just to get basic phrases down (i.e. greetings, salutations, where can I find this, how do I get here…) I took it seriously at first, thought I was on my way to japan at that time. Some things came up, and my dream was put on hold for awhile. I didn’t go back to studying the language till a couple years later. Pretty much starting over again from square one. Then again, some things came about, and my dream was put on hold, yet again. I dont want to rain on your parade but you will be functionally illiterate here. It would be like someone coming to work fro you from China or Teheran but couldnt read speak or write English. Would you hire him? Unless you have at least 1000-1500 Kanji under your belt maybe Level 1 or 2 of the JLPT then I wouldnt even put on my resume that you can speak Japanese. Maybe you can speak some but could you understand what was said to you if its not word for word what you learnt out of a textbook? You have next to no functional vocabulary.

I definitely frown on “marriage of convenience” myself! Just doesn’t seem right? Not really fair to the other person as well. I have heard of people doing this, don’t know how they can live with themselves? Having been married myself I find it hard to believe there is a woman in Japan who would marry a guy here with no degree and cant speak Japanese and is close to unemployable. Woman would be your permanent translator, secretary, interpreter and interlocutor with the outside world in the absence of decent language skills. As mentioned having kids will eat you alive financially. $150,000 per child from birth till they graduate college.

I am working on getting certified on my Heavy Equipment certification (a.k.a. CDL Commercial Drivers License) I am already a certified electrician. Got that a couple years back. It’s still good to this day. what can you do here that a Japanese sparkie cant do? You’d probably have to be certified or licenced to practise a trade in Japan anyway. Your quals may not be recognised here.

Originally posted by gaijinpothead View Post gas stations I know one guy who got a job at a gas station. He was an exchange student and a friend of his at the university, who worked at the gas station, introduced him to the owner.

Other than corporate always saying “Oh, kokusai kouryuu, ha ha ha ha” everytime they came by and a small incident of putting gasoline in a kerosene container because he didn’t know what “touyu” was, he didn’t mention any huge problems.

But I’m sure most any gas station manager would be afraid of a kerosene incident listed above, and be wary of hiring a foreigner without advanced language skills. And I wouldn’t be surprised if any such manager would say to you “Why don’t you just teach English? It pays better.” The idea that a western-looking foreigner might not want to teach English, or that they may actively dislike teaching English, doesn’t seem to be something that most people consider.

Originally posted by KansaiBen View Post [The w]oman would be your permanent translator, secretary, interpreter and interlocutor with the outside world in the absence of decent language skills. I’m sure there are a few people out there that actually kind of like doing all of that, but I personally wouldn’t want to marry them.

Non-teaching jobs in Japan

Alright so it is possible to work at a bar, restaurant or gas station that is cool. I actually recall an Australian guy I met at the hostel I was staying at in Kyoto who would sometimes cover his Japanese girlfriend’s shifts. I remember him mentioning that his girlfriend would let him work there in the mornings to make some money and he would just sit at the desk in the mornings and check people in and out of the hostel. His case is just really lucky due to the who he knows factor involved. So it seems I have a chance if I can improve my Japanese. I would rather teach English because the pay is better…but I don’t have a degree. I really don’t want to make my girlfriend wait two years until I finish college to get married. Do any teaching jobs hire without degrees…besides teaching young children?

Originally posted by twelvedown View Post I guess you could work at a bar or something. Gaspanic always seems to be hiring. I know nothing about how the military works but couldn’t you leave the army and get a job as a civilian on one of the bases here? That’s the soundest advice so far. Being a Gaspanic bouncer is one of the best ways to practice beating people up, “legally.”

Probably one of the J-babes there would consider you to be her hero, and she’d be saying, “let’s wedding,” before you know it. Hello, spouse visa!

I can’t remember where I read it but it was an article about a foreign guy who started working in the kitchen of an izakaya and then eventually moved up to waitstaff. He did not speak Japanese well (at first).

I’ve also seen a white guy working the register at a Starbucks in Tokyo, the one on Aoyama dori, near and on the same side of the street as the Aoyama Gakuin. His Japanese sounded okay; granted, I didn’t hear a lot of it.

I’ve seen a few people who aren’t Japanese working at McDonald’s. Some Italian and French restaurants employ Italian and French speakers.

you cant work here unless you can get a visa. No one will sponsor your visa unless you can show immigration you are qualified to work here. Employers wont hire you unless you have a visa in your back pocket.

You dont need a degree to teach English you need a degree to obtain a work visa/visa sponsorship. Kapische?

PS Getting married will take you ten minutes at city office (and marriage supposed lasts a lifetime) and you can get a spouse visa which doesnt require a degree, only a marriage licence. Getting married is your own viable option here mate.

Not on a tourist visa mate. thats called working ILLEGALLY.

Working on a spouse visa.

No man I’m listing ideal places I can work AFTER I get married. I’m listing these places because even after I get married I STILL will not have a degree to get a teaching job. I know they require degrees because I have tried to get a teaching job in Japan in the past and found only a crappy job where I taught children.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. And they must have had proper visa status before anything. Anecdotes without such details are meaningless.

you only got a crappy job as I assume you didnt have a proper work visa. A degree is required to sponsor regular work visas. If you have a spouse visa you dont actually need a degree to get hired.

That said your job advancement in Japan will be practically zero and the only thing between you and deportation is remaining married to your wife and renewing your spouse visa after a few years. Once you get Permanent Resident (after about 5 years on a spouse visa) then it becomes almost impossible to kick you out. A degree will be your insurance in case your marriage implodes on you and you have to run around to find a job or a visa when your spouse visa expires and you want to stay in the country.

do you call working at a convenience store or a waiter as a restaurant as ideal employment for a married man? I call it working for minimum wage.

My advice to you is to start thinking about how you can make yourself employable in Japan by either certifying your current qualifications to work here or learning a completely new set of skills.

God forbid you ever get your wife pregnant. Then you will really be in the poo.

Especially the bit about being “in the Poo” if his wife lands a bun in the oven.