Have you seen one of these before?
This is the postcard that you get from the immigration office notifying you that they’ve finished processing your request. In this case, my request was a visa change. Moving from an eikaiwa (English language school) to a shougakko (Japanese public elementary school) meant that I had to apply for a change of visa status: from a specialist in humanities visa to an instructor visa.
I now have to go back to the immigration office (I’ll go tomorrow actually), buy a 4000 yen revenue stamp, and have my passport in to be updated. It should be pretty painless.
From my experience, status changes and renewals always take time to finish. The paper your receive after filling out this post card on your first visit states that it can take up to 30 days to process and if you don’t hear anything by then, contact the Immigration Bureau. But for me, the general wait time has been about two weeks.
Now with re-entry stamps, there is no waiting involved (although getting it done sooner is safer) and you should be able to get a re-entry stamp the same day, that is of course there’s a special situation (i.e.- A mass exodus of foreigners due to a natural disaster)…but even then you should still be okay.
So if you’re trying to renew or update your visa, you’ll definitely be seeing one of these. Remember that that there should be a central immigration office for your prefecture or you can go to the one in Shinagawa (that one’s closer for me, anyway).
Whenever I see Kamoshida Shihan standing at the front of the dojo, I know class is going to be tough....