Moving from Canada to Japan

People switch continents all the time. They move around the world, and for an outsider, that may seem like not such a big deal. However, there are many things to think about, many things to take into consideration. There is paperwork to do, home to find, and so many new things to learn about a different culture. Moving from Canada to Japan is no different. But do not be afraid, in this article, we will give you some valuable information on how to make your move as stressless as possible! 

Documents you need when moving from Canada to Japan

There are four documents that you will need when moving from Canada to Japan.
There are four documents that you will need when moving from Canada to Japan.

There are four documents that you will need when moving from Canada to Japan. These are your passport, a visa, your photograph and the Certificate of Eligibility (COE). The first three are easy to get (visit the Government of Canada website for more information), but the Certificate of Eligibility may take some work. The COE is a document that proves you can sustain yourself when moving to Japan. You can get it in two ways – through your Japanese employer or through a family member already living in Japan.

Getting COE through a family member is an easier option. They just need to get all the documents needed for it and mail them to you. With these documents, you visit your nearby Japanese embassy to apply for COE.

Getting COE through work

Getting COE through your employer may be a bit difficult for one reason – finding work in Japan. If you are moving to Japan for work, that is, if you already have a Japanese employer, then obtaining COE should not be a problem. Contact your employer (or your company) about it. They should handle the document as well as your work visa. If you are finding a job in Japan yourself, that might be a bit harder – since you will need to do it online. However, there are almost two dozen areas in which you can obtain your work vise (you can find them here), so this might help you narrow your search.

Getting a permanent resident status

Getting a permanent resident status, however, may take a few years. By default, all residents get a permanent status after living in Japan for ten years. However, if you want to speed up this process, you will need to take your qualifications into consideration. The Japanese government has put together a point system that can reduce your wait. If you have over 70 points, you only need to live in Japan for three years. Scoring over 80 points will drop this time down to one year.

Becoming a full citizen, however, is a tougher process. There will be an extended background check of your family (as well as possible home and workplace inspections if not much data can be found about you online), and there is a lot of documents included.

How to find a home when moving from Canada to Japan

You can find a home in Japan in a number of ways, which all have their own good and bad sides. You can search for a home by:

  • looking into online real-estate,
  • finding a realtor,
  • moving to Japan and then finding a house.
There are a couple of ways to find a home in Japan.
There are a couple of ways to find a home in Japan.

The thing to keep in mind is that buying a real estate property online is seldom a good idea. You should be able to see the building yourself before you invest in it, and get ample information about it beforehand. Going through a realtor or a real estate company might be a better choice if you are really keen on getting a home before moving from Canada to Japan. However, make sure you find a reputable and professional international Japan movers.

Also, take in consideration that you will probably need to have a place of residence in Japan when applying for a visa or COE. It’s a good idea to find an apartment to rent for the first few months before settling on a more permanent housing solution once you arrive in Japan. 

Embracing Japanese culture when moving from Canada to Japan

Finally, another important aspect of moving from Canada to Japan is embracing Japanese culture. The Japanese culture is vastly different than Canadian and American ones, so getting used to it may take some time.

Shopping in Japan

Japanese have a different relationship with money when compared to the Western world. A lot of people like to keep a bank account open back in Canada and do some transfers there from time to time. Of course, this applies to you only if you are planning on coming back to Canada after some time. An important thing to remember though is that Japanese seldom take credit cards. However, in some places in Japan, the venues that do take credit cards are quite specific. Sometimes only big convenience stores, a couple of gas stations and a few restaurants will allow you to pay by credit card (if even them). And this is a very logical thing. Japanese don’t have much credit – they only spend the money they have.

Shopping in Japan will probably take some time to get used to. When it comes to clothes sizes, keep in mind that Japanese people tend to be smaller than your average Canadian. If you are a male over 6 feet or a female over feet 10, there might not be as many clothing options for you as there are for shorter people. Same goes for footwear as well. Other things are hard to find too – some people complained about stick deodorants and bed sheets deficient. Inform yourself well about the city you are going to and the things you might need to bring from Canada.

The Language

Learning Kanji might prove to be a difficulty.
Learning Kanji might prove to be a difficulty.

Finally, there is the language difference. Japanese is one of the most difficult languages to learn, but this should not frighten you. Japanese grammar is actually quite simple, and two of their writing systems are easy. They are called Hiragana and Katakana. These are 46-symbol phonetic systems used to represent words and grammatical particles of Japanese and foreign origin, respectively. It’s a good idea to learn these before coming to Japan, just to make your life a little easier.

Kanji, however, is a tough one. It is a written system that uses around 2,000 characters. You don’t have to learn them all, of course, but getting a book while in Canada and learning a couple basic ones will help.

There are many other things to learn about the Japanese culture, and you can explore the Kokusai Express Japan website to learn more!

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