Tuesday April 28th I – or rather: my lawyer – filed my visa application, and since then I have been waiting for a reply. Usually, this particular visa application can take up to two months, so right now is probably the time to start getting anxious.

stack of papersFinally, yesterday – precisely eight weeks and two days after filing – I received a notification from Immigration. It was short and to the point. Almost a standard form letter. They want yet more documents… Time for another issue of our popular series “Fun with Immigration”!

Let me explain: I have set up my company and explained its main source of income to Immigration. In the business plan, however, I had to be realistic and say that it will take time to establish this source of income until it will become substantial enough to pay all the company’s expenses. Until then, I promised, I would supplement the company’s revenues by doing web design, language teaching etc., and it was very likely that in the beginning this would be the only revenue stream for a while.

My company is set up in a way that I could fish in many different ponds, so as such, these quite divergent types of work are not an issue. However, Immigration found that one sentence in my business plan – the other three pages did not matter – and latched onto it. Essentially they said, okay, that all sounds swell, but you really don’t have much time to get this all going, so we want to know that you can hit the ground running and start making money the minute we’ll give you that visa. In order to prove that, why don’t you give us a list of your clients for the beginning?

A client list. Surely you must be joking? Which part of “I am not allowed to work in Japan with my current visa” do you not understand? How am I supposed to get clients if I’m not allowed to start working right away? Especially language teaching is something which, once you found a good teacher, you would want to start immediately, not in five weeks or whenever that lady is finally legal…

So, I did the only thing possible at this point: I panicked. After all, it’s not as if I could summon clients out of thin air. If I could do such a trick, why not skip the detour and delve straight into producing big wads of cash, complete with paper trail? However, my lawyer talked me down again. I received guidelines and a few examples of what I could do to convince Immigration to give me that visa after all. It will take a few days to neatly write that all up, but I am much more confident now. Once this is done, Immigration should issue the visa without much further delay, according to my lawyer. Let’s hope this is indeed the case…