on the program, check out the Philippine investors visa website.
Foreigners are allowed to own condominium units outright but are only allowed
to own 40% of a building or complex. You can also form a corporation
where you and a Filipino or former Filipino partner, divide the ownership.
This partner could be your spouse or child. For corporations, the
Philippine government recognizes the right of succession in the case of
offers a unique environment for your get-away or permanent home.
There are so many islands to choose from and a well developed industry
accustomed to accommodating foreigners.
and Invest in Japan
I have lived
in Japan for over four years. I came here in 1998 at the age of 26
looking for a little more work stability than I thought was possible in
the United States. What I stumbled upon was a country with a lot
to offer any perspective expatriate, with its still excellent job market,
great social welfare system and inexpensive real estate. Yes, inexpensive
real estate! You could write a book about each of these points, but I’ll
just shove you in the right direction.
to live, work and study in Japan you need a visa. There are many
types of visas and different ways to get them. To get a work
visa you have to have a job before you come to Japan. If you have
a four year degree from a university you can be issued the Specialist in
the Humanities visa which is commonly given to those who come to Japan
to teach English. You need a sponsor i.e. an employer to get this kind
of visa. The internet is a good resource for finding jobs in Japan.
Just use your favorite search engine and use key words like, “ESL teaching
positions Japan” and sift through the matches. The are so many English
teacher job posting websites these days that it won’t take long to come
up with a long list of prospects. If you have absolutely no access
to a computer there is always the New York Times. Some of the bigger
language schools over here run ads in the employment section, which is
actually how I got my first job in Japan. When you look for a job
always be aware of your needs. Do you need accommodation or paid
airfare? How much money do you have to start out? Some companies
will pay to bring you over or at least subsidize your trip. Many
companies provide shared or unshared housing. If you have a family
and need your own housing there are nationwide apartment rental companies
such as LEOPALACE that cater to non-Japanese and offer weekly, monthly,
and yearly rent payment options that allow the foreigner to escape the
much hated key money gift/deposit system that operates here and you don’t
need a guarantor.
If you don’t
have a degree there are other options for you. If you are from Canada,
Australia or New Zealand you can come to Japan through the working holiday
visa program. This visa allows you to work in Japan without a degree.
There is an age restriction and technically you are not supposed to have
secured employment before you arrive here but rather look for it later.
Another option is the student visa. If you come to Japan as
a university student you are allowed to work part-time as long as you clear
it with the immigration office and the work doesn’t interfere with your
studies. After you receive your degree you can change your visa status
from “student” to “work” and seek full-time employment. If
you have no degree but have a bit of money you can come to Japan as a language
student. There are Japanese language schools that sponsor student
visas. You generally have sign up for a long term Japanese language
course that could cost in the neighborhood of USD$4000. A different
way to work in Japan is the “heritage visa”. This visa is available
to those with Japanese ancestry. For more information on this visa
you can visit the nearest Japanese consulate or embassy. Then of
course there is always the spousal visa which needs no explanation.
The Japanese Ministry of Justice’s website has a breakdown of all the types
of visas and the requirements for permanent residence and citizenship.
Like most government websites there are English pages that are very informative.
are there? Well, if you are a fluent speaker of English with
a degree you can get a job as an English teacher anywhere at a decent base
salary of \250,000/month. I say fluent because at most schools you
don’t have to be a native speaker just native-like, although many of the
larger companies have a native speaker requirement when hiring. Specifically,
there are assistant English teacher positions in public and private schools
and there is work at private language schools or “cram schools”.
There are teaching positions at universities and regular classroom English
teacher posts at private schools. Jobs in other fields are
available depending on your Japanese ability. Every prefecture and
most major cities have employment offices that set qualified foreigners
up with jobs. Many of the offices have English, Spanish or Portuguese
welfare system of Japan is comprehensive and fair. All long term
residents are required to have health insurance coverage and the national
health insurance system does nicely. When you come to Japan sign
up for it right away because they will make you pay arrears for ever month
you put it off. When you join the national health system they calculate
your monthly payment based on your salary and the size of your family.
Generally the first year of payments is very low because the government
pretends that you were here a year before and had no income thereby dropping
your payments. There is also a refund for baby delivery if you have
a child here and a small income supplement regardless of the nationality
of you spouse or child. Japan has a national pension system that
all residents over 20 must join. The premiums start at about \13,000/month.
Should you decide to leave Japan early withdrawal is available after you
have left the country for a specified amount of time. If you stay
in Japan until the pension matures at the age of 65, the monthly payments
can be sent to wherever you are in the world.
One way to
maximize your earnings is to own your own home, provided that the taxes
are relatively low and you have a low or no mortgage. Japan is famous
as a country with expensive real estate. This is only a surface reality.
In major or appealing urban areas the real estate is expensive because
there is not enough land for the demand. Many Japanese people crave
convenience and inconvenience could mean a 25 minute car ride. A
property in the city center is much more expensive than one on the outskirts.
Newly built properties here have heart attack price tags. Used properties
are reasonable. Properties listed with private realtors carry heavy
fees and commissions, while properties listed with the court system are
cheap enough to buy outright. Every prefecture has a district court.
In some prefectures there is a branch in each major city. The courts
deal in real estate and they have a separate section for this. Unlike
some countries, you don’t have to be a citizen or even a permanent resident
to own, only a resident. This means that your name is on file at
city hall as a foreign resident. Some courts have real estate listed
on websites for easy viewing. Houses, lots, fields, buildings whatever
are available but you have to be here.
common misconceptions, Japan is a big and more importantly, long country.
The people are more diverse than the media would have you believe.
They are also accepting. The north is sub-arctic and the south is
sub-tropical. In the middle there is everything in between.
When you choose a job think about what the area is like. Look at
the real estate, the schools and the businesses. Use the internet.
Yahoo Japan has translations at the bottom of the screen for the first
page anyway. Don’t give up trying to get here and don’t give up after
you’ve been here.