Moving to Japan is a fantastic opportunity.
It’s no surprise that so many people from all over the world are considering Japan for their retirement, jobs, or just their new adventure, with excellent cuisine, gorgeous natural sites, some of the world’s most fascinating and trendy cities, and a riveting ancient culture.
Whatever your motives for relocating, moving to Japan can seem like a daunting task. However, equipped with the appropriate information, you’ll be able to enjoy life on the island in no time. This article will accompany you through every step of the relocation process to Japan.
The Moving Process
Relocating to Japan is a straightforward process as long as you do the right planning beforehand. Most home products can be moved into the nation without difficulty by foreigners.
A list in both English and Japanese is an excellent idea. Goods can be allowed into Japan duty-free if you can prove that you’ve owned the item for at least 6 months before your move.
Relocating to Japan with your household pets is also uncomplicated, however, owners might be unhappy to hear that the country requires quarantine. The quarantine period for dogs, cats, and some other large pets, is just 7 days.
Nevertheless, if the owners are unable to present all required evidence, such as immunity test results or a microchip identification, the quarantine may be extended.
Apart from one, the vaccinations necessary for Japan are routine. Outsiders going to Japan should get vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis, a condition carried by mosquito bites.
Despite the fact that the disease is mostly present in rural regions, expats wanting to travel across Japan and some other Asian nations should get vaccinated.
The Essential Documents
If you plan on moving to Japan from the US, there are some documents you’ll need to get your hands on. These include:
- A passport
- A Visa application form
- One photograph
- A Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
While this may sound pretty easy, it’s a bit more complicated than it first sounds. The hardest document to acquire is the last one, a COE.
Essentially, a certificate of eligibility is a letter from a Japanese person certifying that they are willing to financially support you while you’re living in Japan. This isn’t always easy unless your employer is happy to write this letter for you.
When applying for a visa to study in Japan, the process is essentially the same, with the exception that the Certificate of Eligibility must be submitted by somebody at the academic institution or university that you will be entering.
However, certain nations have extra criteria, so verify with the embassy or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan’s webpage before you begin the procedure.
The simplest way is to be offered a job placement before arriving in the nation. Your Japanese company will then initiate the visa application procedure on your behalf.
This will be accomplished through the issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility. This is required for all Japanese visas.
The sort of Japanese visa you qualify for will be determined by your job. There are roughly 30 distinct visa kinds in Japan, including ones for performers, educators, engineers, and others. Every visa is the same price, but the paperwork needed to apply differs.
Those asking for a research visa, for instance, will need to provide documents explaining their research as well as an argument for why they have to be in Japan.
Securing A Job
Finding a new job in Japan (see also, ‘Best Jobs in Japan‘) is not tough due to the country’s booming economy. Nevertheless, simply applying for the job doesn’t really secure you the role, and because Japan is a favorite relocation option for expats, you would have to define yourself as an applicant.
Expats can distinguish themselves by exhibiting some understanding of the Japanese language.
Even though it is not required for every profession, Japan is well-known for its aversion to the English language. As a result, a candidate who is eager to learn and use Japanese will satisfy employers.
In Japan, registering for social security is simple. Once you apply for a residency permit in Japan, you will be automatically enrolled with the Japanese social security system.
You may obtain your 12-digit identification the very same day you register, but you will have to wait a few weeks for your actual card to arrive in the mail.
Expats who want to work for themselves in Japan may encounter some challenges. As a cultural tradition, Japanese individuals tend to stay with the same employer their entire careers. They consider their coworkers to be family members.
As a result, persons who do not work in a typical workplace are looked at skeptically. While self-employment is becoming more popular in Japan, self-employed individuals may have to work much harder to establish themselves.
Bear in mind that, while living in Japan has many advantages, such as higher average pay and a corporate culture that encourages collaborative effort, Japan seems to be a very work-centric country. Expats wishing for a more relaxed way of life may prefer to go elsewhere in Asia.
When it comes to lodging in Japan, two words come to mind: pricey and small. “Costly” since Japan is an expensive country overall, and Tokyo is among the priciest areas (see also ‘Is Japan Expensive?’). Keep in mind that utilities are not usually included.
“Space” since Japan is a small island country and houses a population of almost 130 million people. That’s a large number of people crammed into a little space.
There are many different types of residences in Japan. The housing options consist of high, trendy apartment blocks to separate, Japanese-style cottages with classic woven tatami mat floors.
Bigger, Western-style homes are also available, albeit these are more likely to be found in the country rather than in any of Japan’s major towns.
You don’t have to be a citizen to purchase a home. Purchasing a property does not also ensure foreigners a road to permanent resident status in Japan.
Nevertheless, foreigners who do not have Japanese citizenship or a permanent resident visa, or who are married to a Japanese resident, should be aware that the process of purchasing a home would be challenging.
Japan’s health sector and medical insurance are among the world’s best. This is most likely why the nation itself has one of the greatest life expectancy rates, owing to a heavy emphasis on preventive services.
Expats can readily participate in Japan’s health service.
When you have your residence permit, you can join up for one of two types of health coverage in Japan: Japanese National Health Insurance is an option for jobless individuals, part-time professionals, and students, and normal Japanese Health Insurance, which is accessible to the average professional.
Finance And Banking
Getting a bank account while you’re in Japan is simple, but you must be present in the nation to do this. Most banks allow you to stroll in without making an appointment.
It is fine if you don’t already have a firm command of Japanese. A translator should be accessible at most big banks.
As Japan has one of the world’s greatest economies, it is home to a few of the world’s top banks. If you do not intend to stay in Japan for an extended period of time, you could be able to locate a Japanese outpost of your present bank.
Non-resident bank accounts don’t exist in Japan since there are no limitations on outsiders having bank accounts.
Rather, expats will be able to register a normal account in the same way that a Japanese national would. Expats, like Japanese citizens, will be expected to fill out registration forms in the Japanese language.
If you have recently relocated to Japan, you will not be required to pay income tax or even residential tax before you have been in the nation for a full year.
In general, taxes are divided into 3 groups in Japan: income, housing, and spending. These are distributed on a national, regional, and local scale.
Expats relocating to Japan with kids will have a wide range of educational alternatives to select from, including public, private, and foreign schools (see also, ‘How Long is Summer Break in Japan?‘).
The educational system in the country is excellent, and there is a great emphasis on developing “complete persons” rather than pupils who simply regurgitate data.
Foreigners are welcome to enroll in Japan’s public education system. Expats, like Japanese citizens, will not be required to pay to enter public primary or secondary schools. The only expenses will be for school clothes and other necessary supplies.
While moving to Japan from the US requires a lot of planning, it’s a lot easier than most people would expect. Just make sure you’ve done your research on the local customs and traditions to make sure their way of life is suitable for you and your family.