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Visa Deadline for April 2013


The school year in Japan starts in April each year.  There is a long summer vacation, winter break, and even a small break in the spring before the new school year starts.  That's not including major holidays like Golden Week.  For some reason a large number of national holidays in Japan land on a Monday, which makes school children all over the country quite happy (although most of them may still attend school on those days for club activities).  It's a totally different experience from school in America and other Western countries.

It can sometimes be difficult to find a position in Japan if you don't start looking during the right season and you don't already live here.  Since the school year starts in April, you have to have your work visa processed by then.  Unfortunately, schools aren't the only people looking for new employees from April.  A very large percentage of companies in Japan offer renewable one year contracts and search for new recruits each spring.  That can make the immigration office quite backed up trying to process all the documents for people trying to come into the country to work.

We would recommend to start looking for a position quite early if you're coming over from abroad for a position in the April 2013 school year.  Your visa paperwork should be filed no later than the end of January, and even that may be too late if something goes wrong.  Time is flying by this year faster than ever, so don't miss your chance.  Be open to a backup plan.  Most private junior highs and high schools will not interview overseas applicants, but a variety of other businesses will, including some English conversation schools.  Most contracts last a year, but you could gradually work your way into the Japanese school system and spend that time working on your English teaching skills as well as your Japanese.

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