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Thread: Going to Japan Non-Command Sponsored

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    #1

    Going to Japan Non-Command Sponsored

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    I'm going to Japan next week but I am not command sponsored. We submitted all our paperwork just waiting for my area clearance. Does anyone know how long that takes to get approved/disapprove? What happens after?
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    #2
    Is your SO already over there?
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    #3
    Some only takes few days. Some takes months. Really depends on the paperwork and how often your dh checks the status. There could be a missing paperwork or some mistakes and it could sit on a desk for weeks without you guys getting notified so make sure you check on it.
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    Yes he has been there for 8 months he's submitted his package for a tour conversion.
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    #5
    It could take a couple weeks, it could take longer, or it could be denied.

    If and when it is approved, they will issue a command sponsorship letter, and that's pretty much it. (In my experience.)

    What are you going to tell the immigration people if they ask about your departure from Japan? You can't legally stay more than 90 days (I think, or maybe 60) as a tourist, which is what you will be since you are arriving NCS and without SOFA status. They always ask to seem my ID and sometimes ask to see the orders with my name on them and/or my sponsorship letter. Without that, they can technically deny you entry if you don't have a return ticket. Whether or not they will is a valid question, but they can.

    Why don't you just wait? Do you have a place to live? (Does your DH live off base?)
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    It could take a couple weeks, it could take longer, or it could be denied.

    If and when it is approved, they will issue a command sponsorship letter, and that's pretty much it. (In my experience.)

    What are you going to tell the immigration people if they ask about your departure from Japan? You can't legally stay more than 90 days (I think, or maybe 60) as a tourist, which is what you will be since you are arriving NCS and without SOFA status. They always ask to seem my ID and sometimes ask to see the orders with my name on them and/or my sponsorship letter. Without that, they can technically deny you entry if you don't have a return ticket. Whether or not they will is a valid question, but they can.

    Why don't you just wait? Do you have a place to live? (Does your DH live off base?)
    Agreed, just wanted to add that when I visited DB in Japan as a tourist they did ask what my reason for travel was, what my return date was, and the name of the hotel I was staying in. Which are pretty standard immigration questions. If you still plan on going, I would be prepared to answer those questions.
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    They always ask to seem my ID and sometimes ask to see the orders with my name on them and/or my sponsorship letter. Without that, they can technically deny you entry if you don't have a return ticket. Whether or not they will is a valid question, but they can.
    They've actually started to pre-screen at the airport in America before letting a person board the plane, because Japan is very strict about this.

    DB and I were flying back a couple weeks ago and we both have valid visas to work/live in Japan (he's military while I have a proper work visa) and while he didn't get the full treatment, I sat at the gate in for a good 10 minutes while a 'specialist' came and grilled me, even though I produced proper Japanese identification etc. Talking on expat forums, this seems to be relatively normal right now because of an incident that happened a couple months ago.

    OP could easily dodge the questions if she's able to produce a return ticket. Even if she doesn't use it, return tickets are usually fairly cheaper than one-ways. If it takes longer than the 90 days for her thing to clear, she can pop over to Korea for a weekend and come back on another 90 day visa. You can do that for up to 180 days a year (so technically 2 tourist length visas).
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    #8
    Well being pre screened and denied while still in the USA would be a heck of a lot better than flying all the way over there and then immigration denies entry.

    You'd definitely have to produce a return ticket though. I am thinking there's no way they'd let you in without at least that.

    I would personally just wait it out. What's a few more weeks of waiting, when it will save you all the anxiety of possibly being denied entry. Just go about it the proper way.
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    #9
    Another possible wrinkle is that your DH's command could feel compelled to get involved, especially if you overstay the tourist visa. It could cause problems for him. Also, at our base, unaccompanied guys live in barracks rooms, so I'm not even sure where a spouse would stay. If he has housing even as an unaccompanied person, that might not be a problem. Likewise, we have to register in an electronic system and our cards get scanned when we come on base. They give you flack if you aren't in the system, and you can't do that unless you have your CS letter.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by myrin View Post
    OP could easily dodge the questions if she's able to produce a return ticket. Even if she doesn't use it, return tickets are usually fairly cheaper than one-ways. If it takes longer than the 90 days for her thing to clear, she can pop over to Korea for a weekend and come back on another 90 day visa. You can do that for up to 180 days a year (so technically 2 tourist length visas).
    Are you sure you can do two 90 day visas without being out of the country for 90 days? Most countries have rules like that to prevent people from getting around the 90 days by leaving the country for just a few days.

    Also, regarding the original plan of going to Japan non-command sponsored and then changing to command sponsored, visa free entry status (which would apply if you enter the country as a tourist) cannot be changed to other visa status (military spouse) without departing and then re-entering Japan with the appropriate visa.
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