Friday, August 2, 2013

I'm a Legal Alien

First a quick rant: For whatever reason, loads of my YouTube layout edits have disappeared. My recommended channels, background art, channel description, URLs, etc. Why? So I am slowly trying to redo them. I feel especially bad because I can't remember whose channels were on my feed/list thingy. If you disappeared, I didn't do it! Grrr.

Right. So I got my permanent resident visa the other day. That's a big deal. Unless you marry a Japanese national, you basically have to live in the country for ten years consecutively before you can even APPLY. That process can take nearly a year, and then you might still be rejected. They took their sweet time reviewing my application, but 10 months later, I got the postcard in the mail saying I should show up at the Immigration Bureau.

That postcard also said, however, that if I had changed employers without notifying them that I might have my permanent visa revoked. Scary. I had changed employers, legally of course, and my work visa sponsor was my former employer. Said former employer was aware of the situation, but needless to say I was less than excited to give the Immigration Bureau any reason to reconsider.

But I told the lady at the counter anyway.

"Oh, I see. Please wait a moment." She had been all ready to hand over my new visa. Not anymore.

She came back and asked me more questions, and said the same thing again. Repeat. Repeat.

Finally, she said she had talked to "The Boss", and he had reviewed my application personally and given the go ahead. PHEW!

Too many emotions to process that day, and the drama at the end only amplified them. So naturally I went to the convenience store across the street, sat down, and had a beer. I needed to regroup.

Finally the long wait/journey was over. No more requesting special permission to do other jobs, no more paying for that permission, no more dependence on an employer for the right to live in the country. YES!

I'm off the cloud now, but it's great to have completed a goal that took 10 years to accomplish. Now I am thinking about what is next! Ironically, perhaps, my new visa allows me to leave the country for up to five years at a time without losing my permanent resident status. Grad school is looking a bit more likely, now. Much to ponder. Meanwhile, I'll keep playing video games and eating weird food and making videos about it. Thanks for your support.