After going down to the Japanese consulate in midtown Manhattan a few months ago with The Professor to get our visas and finding out that because I was not leaving until November and that my Certificate of Eligibility (COE) which is only good for three months would be expired by then, I discovered that I would have to start the whole process over again after the good Professor was long gone. I left clutching my passport.
This required him to request a new COE for me that would last long enough for me to get into the country.
This meant that the good folks at the Japanese University had to resubmit the paperwork and reapply for a new COE.
This required me to wait with baited breath for a couple of months for the updated COE to come back.
This waiting caused me much angst as the days/weeks passed and I continued to wait and worry that it might not come back to me in time to get the visa since I was leaving in early October for work and then to California for some family time before I actually departed for Japan.
Finally, a couple of weeks ago I received the updated COE and I quickly ran down to the consulate the next day. The woman at the window remembered me—which I’m not sure is a good thing. She took my passport and new COE and started speaking in Japanese to her coworker. I was nervous. If I were turned down for whatever reason, my chance at getting a visa would be pretty nonexistent now. Once you’re turned down, you have to wait months to request it again.
All worst-case scenarios kicked into overdrive and multiplied exponentially at lightening speed as they always tend to do for me in situations such as these. It’s a gift I have. Just when I was sure I would remain in the US while The Professor enjoyed Japan for the next eleven months without me, she turned her attention back and informed me that she needed a copy of The Professor’s visa that day to complete my visa process.
The Professor is in Japan. Japan is thirteen hours ahead. It was noon on the East Coast.
This meant I had to get a hold of The Professor to take a pic of his visa at a very late hour, and email it to me so that I could send it to her from my email account. Luckily he never sleeps and I got him—and it—sent it, and received a confirmation back that they had received it, and that I would be able to pick up my visa the following week.
This meant another trip to the Consulate.
This time, however, I left with my passport complete with my very own long-term visa. Now, not only will I get a residence card upon entering Japan, but also I will be considered a long-term visitor—not one of those run-of-the-mill short-timers who don’t require a visa! I am now special.