Monday, March 7, 2016

Getting my work visa for Japan.

Getting my visa was pretty straight forward, after obtaining a certificate of eligibility from my school that is sponsoring my visa I just had to go to the General Consulate of Japan in LA. It's literally in the downtown area near the Broad museum so you can make a day trip out of it if you don't live in the area.

It's best to go in the morning around the time it opens up which is 9:30am. I went around 10am and the room was empty and there was only one person before me. When I came in the afternoon the following time, it was super crowded and it took around 30-40 minutes for them to call me up.

It isn't too bad, but if you want to leave the city before LA traffic starts, it would be better to get there in the morning because the consulate closes for lunch from 12-1pm and LA traffic generally starts around 2pm when heading East.

It's fairly simple, all you need is your passport, the visa application, a recent passport photo, your certificate of eligibility, and a copy of your certificate of eligibility. They will look over everything to see if everything was filled out correctly which takes about 3-5 minutes and then they give you a paper to come back in 3-4 business days, depending on the area you live.

It's all pretty straight forward! Oh, but parking in the building for the consulate is extremely expensive if you get there later, early birds are $15 for parking. Whereas later on it's $33. I wish I can remember the times but I can't remember for the life of me. There is parking around the area which can be anywhere from $15-20 so try to get there earlier to look for specials.

The people that work there are nice, if you need help looking for the consulate they will direct you to it. The old man who helped me with my visa was very kind and let me come even after my name was called because I wasn't in the room at the time. He was also asking questions about when I previously was in Japan because he saw my student visa and told me what I needed to do if I wanted to renew my visa.

I know if you don't have a certificate of eligibility it's a bit different and that I can't help but they have the forms on the website so be sure to download those!

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