(The passport on the left and the visa on the right with the Certificate or Eligability folded on top.)So, when you I started the process they gave me a list of things to do. One of them was to get a passport. I already had a passport from the last time I went to Japan so that was one less things that I had to pay for.Which is nice because I am not exactly flush with money. I think the cost has gone up since I got mine, but mom and dad have the new one and they look a lot cooler than mine with pictures every where in the background.
Another thing that I had to get was a visa. On my budget they set aside $300 to get a visa, but after calling the consulate they said that it would cost me nothing. Hooray! If you are going to stay in Japan for up to three months you don't even have to get a visa, which is nice. As my stay is going to be for four months I will need to get a student visa. You can find a lot of info about this at http://www.chicago.us.emb-japan.go.jp/ .The Chicago Embassy is the one you will use if you are in the center of the US. Before you get a visa you have to have a Certificate of Eligibility from the Japanese government. In my case I had to get it from Kansai Gaidai who got it from their local government. KG are the ones hosting me. It has to come to me within three months
of my arrival in Japan or it is not valid. So I had to get KG all of my info in a timely manner so that I could get both the Certificate of Eligibility and my visa. So I finally got my CoE about the middle of July, and I was very excited.
I filled out my visa application and mailed it to the consulate. Then I got a call about three days late when they informed me that I had forgotten to sign my application! OOps! They said that I could fill out another application and send it to them, but I didn't need to worry about my passport info or a photo, which was nice. I sent it out that Saturday and waited with great anticipation for about two weeks until it finally came. I am very proud on my visa. Nobody else seems to understand my excitement about it though.
I got my ticket for about $1200, and I will fly out on the 24th of Aug. I am planning on visiting some friends in Tokyo before taking the Shinkansen up to Kyoto then to Kansai Gaidai for orientation.
Only two weeks left. I still need to find a suitable suitcase. Mom is encouraging me to try to get me one at a garage sale which would be a lot cheaper, but they tend to be a bit junky. I have the urge to start packing now but I need the suitcase and really I still have to wear the clothes.