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Multiple Sponsors Visa

Japan With Kids - Forums: Immigration/visas/re-entry permits/naturalization: Multiple Sponsors Visa
By Tina Peterson on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 4:24 pm:

OK, HELP. I will try calling the right numbers, etc on Monday, but am panicking now. I work for an Australian who is here on a spousal visa (he is married to a Japanese national). He owns and operates his own rafting company here in Hokkaido. I am their nanny, (came for a different job, which I left), and my visa expires in Aug. Trying to figure out how to get responsored. I don't make enough (have enough in contracts) to self sponsor. I also have another part time employer, who is willing to sponsor me for the part time hours I work for them. Can I have multiple sponsors (a few hours here, a few hours there, or is that what self sponsorship is all about?) Are there certain limits in pay, etc, that the family I nanny for have to offer to me in order to sponsor me? Someone in the thread said something about national health insurance, other comments sound like their has to be a minimun salary earned. HELP! Scott, if you are out there, you sound like you know what you are talking about. Or does anyone else have answers that can help me? I am only 3 months away from D day, and starting to panic, as I know the application process takes time. Feel free to email me at if you want to speak more in detail, more privately.

Thanks in advance for your help!!!

By Scott Hancock on Sunday, May 30, 2004 - 3:13 pm:

Maybe this discussion is better in an "immigration related" section. Cornelia will move it, if so.

DISCLAIMER- Stated and unstated conditions with Immigration change all the time, so you need to check for yoursel, though you can ask in an "educated" way.

I think you have to try to construct your paperwork to justify the self-sponsoring method. I do not think your employer on the spouse visa can sponsor a childcare giver. (There is other discussion confirming that Japanese person cannot, so I think spouse visa is similar.)

When you call immigration, maybe ask what their minimum wage contract for self-sponsoring is. I seem to remember a figure of 250,000 or so. You usually just need the contract, not your bank book or anything.

Here in Tokyo, it's less stressful to get these things asked in native Japanese - OR - there may be a volunteer English speaker in the Immigration office in Sapporo. However, remember that anything you get on the phone is not "binding". You can get a different answer when you get there.

ALWAYS stay pleasant, not insistent or indignant.

It's good you're starting now, rather than 2 weeks before.

And above all, notice the articles in the paper recently about "normal" people being held, then deported and then banned for 5 years from coming back to Japan for overstaying. By all means DO NOT OVERSTAY! You can always try again from outside, but not if you've been banned.

Hope this is helpful.


By Sandy Cox on Monday, May 31, 2004 - 1:19 am:

Dear Tina,
if you look at the 28 June 2000 post at
you will see a list of the possible visa types. The list does not include the "Working Holiday Visa" which I am assuming you are probably using since you are coming from Australia and you are probably young.

Reading between the lines here, I am guessing that you have used up your working holiday visa and that it can not be extended or renewed again, so now you want to change to a different visa category. Well, you have to somehow fit into one of the categories listed. Domestic workers can only be sponsored by foreigners with a certain visa and a certain title (rather high up). So if you could get all your sponsors to re-write the contracts to say that you are working as a private English tutor, you might be able to get this piece of work off the ground with a Specialist in Humanities/International Service visa. But you will need a College degree, and I think you will need to get the "eligibility permit" arranged and then leave the country to get your new visa status stamped into your passport, and come back, etc.

But don't take my word for it, consult with the authorities, and maybe even call several times (or visit in person) to speak to different people, since they will probably all say something slightly different and see if you can get a consensus on what your options are.

By Tina Peterson on Thursday, June 3, 2004 - 9:16 am:


I have been advised to repost my questions here, with more specifics. Thanks to those of you who have already helped.

Some background. I am a single American currently here on a one year humanities/international specialties visa. It expires in August. I no longer have the job which sponsored me for the original visa.

Now my goal is to remain in Japan for at least another year, to experience the culture and enjoy life for a while. My goal is not to make money, and I am not. I currently have two jobs. As a full time nanny (in a remote area of Hokkaido) I make 40,000 a month (plus free room and board, no other benefits like health, etc) working for an Australian who owns his own rafting company, and at my part time job (teaching math online through a great program based in Tokyo), I make approx 80,000 a month. The teaching position is permanent, however the nanny position isn't, as the family will be returning to Australia from Nov-Feb, when they will return again, this time permanently.

My questions:

1) can I stay in Japan without making the rumored minimum of 150,000 a month?(or whatever the magic number is?) I am more than happy to stay here and make only 40,000 a month, or whatever my part time job brings in after the Australian family leaves. (Luckily for me, I can afford to...)

2) I don't think the Australian will help sponsor me as the humanities visa is for a minimum of 1 year, and they will be gone 3 months, so he feels uncomfortable giving me a statement saying that I am working for him when I am not. Is his feeling correct, or does it not really matter, as I am working for him now, and as far as I am concerned he doesn't have to hire me/pay me after Nov, I just want the visa.

3) If I could convince my Australian boss to write a contract letter for immigration, could we include my free housing and food as part of my salary, thereby raising my salary considerably, and hopefully then with the two jobs I do meet the minimum requirements?

4) If I get "contract" letters from both jobs, then am I basically sponsoring myself, is that correct?

5) My part time job is more than happy to write a sponsorship letter saying I work up to so many hours a week for them and make approximately so much (it is a teaching gig, you get new students, make more, lose students, make less, no guaranteed minimum monthly income). Could I just submit their letter (though it is not full time and doesn't pay 150,000) and get the visa and then work for the nanny family also, or do I have to submit everything in writing upfront?

I know, I know, too many questions, all a jumble. I apologize. I just know that it is time to apply NOW, and want to figure out the best way to do it so it gets approved.

PS, I do not want to pick up more jobs to meet the minimum amount of money required. If my teaching online hours increase, that is great, but I don't want to go out and find an english teaching job to supplement the income, or whatever. My goal is to enjoy life, not be a slave to work in order to maintain my visa.

By Sue Slater on Thursday, June 3, 2004 - 5:59 pm:

It seems sometimes that it doesn't matter how much you make as long as you supply your tax receipts for the year you have been here to show you are paying tax. Get the letter from your english teaching company and from the nannying job and give the english teaching one first and then show the other one if they ask. Maybe you can get away with just that tax receipt and a contract. If you aren't working for the same company as originally got your first visa it won't matter so much as that visa will be expiring anyway.

By Scott Hancock on Thursday, June 3, 2004 - 11:43 pm:

OK, I'll try to respond to some of your ideas/questions, Tina.

Q1- In order to stay in Japan for a year, legally, you need a visa. To get a visa, you need to satisfy some requirements of Japan Immigration. The trick is to figure out which of the couple of possible sets of requirements you can meet.

Bear in mind, the principle behind the immigration rules is aimed at keeping immigrants off the streets or public rolls. So, they want you to prove you are supporting yourself in a manner of THEIR definition, not yours.

Q2- You ask, " his feeling correct?". This person is entitled to their feeling. If his judgement is that he's risking more than he wants to for your sake, you have to accept that. I think you only risk alienating him more if you pressure him or try to "talk him out of his feeling". No one has a definitive enough prediction of what Immigration will do in any case to make a reasonable "argument".

Q3/4 Be clear that Immigration's reference to contracts are not for a "contract letter", but a contract. It has to have the name & address of a real business entity with a real, registered hanko on it. They are quite capable of checking thoroughly. The only part that I have not known to be checked is the bank account activity of either party.

Q5 Assuming the 150K figure is correct, you would certainly have to submit the contracts that say you make that much. Immigration is not an entity that is likely to say "let us know if it works out". So, yes, you do have to submit everything in writing upfront. Before your current one expires.

I'm sure there are hundreds of people who could tell you how they've outsmarted the system and are living 'legally' here without the real stated requirements. If you want to join those ranks, you have to learn those skills, I guess. But, I thought the article in Japan Times a few weeks ago about the students (and others) who have been deported and banned after a very unpleasant holding period was pretty sobering. (I'll try to find the blog of someone who wrote a horror story about this..)

At least you are trying to solve this prior to a week before, which is good. But, honestly I don't think you can get an easy set of instructions here for circumventing a process that is notoriously inconsistent.

I have to disagree with Sue's note above. Of course, anything 'might work'.

Sorry if I sound negative, but you are asking an uphill question.

By Bethan Hutton on Friday, June 4, 2004 - 1:13 am:

One option (if you are prepared to pay) is to use an immigration consultant/lawyer here in Tokyo. They know the system, can advise on what category to apply for, and know which documents you need and how best to present whatever documents you have.

They can also, through knowing the people and the system, sometimes manage to work things that are not technically allowed, eg transferring from a tourist to some other kind of visa without leaving Japan.

We have used an immigration lawyer here, and from what I remember (this is a couple of years back) he charged about Y20,000 for a fairly standard visa renewal, and about Y50,000 for something rather more complicated. I don't have his business card to hand, but I can probably dig it out if you are interested - if so, please email me. There are also quite a lot of similar people who advertise in gaijin publications like Metropolis, so you might find them online (eg try
Good luck.

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