Thursday, 12 February 2009

A Tad Livid

Warning: language may offend

ARRRGGGGH, bloody Japanese buerocracy. I always knew it was a pile of red tape shite and I used to just bitch about it as it concerned me, which was mainly when I was working full time. I haven't really had to worry about it since applying for my Spouse Visa (Spouse or Child of a Japanese National) three years ago, and at that time I didn't have Shou or Marina so I guess the bullshit didn't upset me as much.

Tomorrow I am off to get a new drivers licence and to apply for an extension of my Spouse Visa. I would ideally like to apply for permanent residency but I have to have six months left on my current visa to apply - and I only have two weeks left so I guess I will have to apply for an extension first. At the present moment the thought of being a permanent resident of this friggen backward shithole country (not much angst there) doesn't appeal much - but then it would mean no more visa extensions. Yip huraah bloody ray.

So, I rung the Immigration Office this morning - I know, cutting it fine seeing as plan on going tomorrow but honestly, the amount of shit we had to hand in for the change in status of residence to spouse status three years ago (where did you meet? how many times do you talk on the phone each day? do you make his lunch? Does he wear undies or boxers? OK, so that last one was made up but still... may as well just ask how many times we shag a week and be done with it) I just assumed (silly me) that to renew the damn thing I wouldn't need so much stuff. My god, give me a country where a little boob flashing will get me some results and I'm off. Stuff the paperwork.

To proceed - immigration lady was very condescending and spoke to me as if was five year old, which I do get in a way as when I was working with international students finding jobs in Japan - and trying to get them to deal with the immigration office it was obvious that some of them needed to be told in very basic Japanese. There is, however, a difference between speaking to a five year old and speaking to an intelligent, tertiary educated person who is just trying extremely hard to communicate in a language that isn't their mother tongue. I don't need the loud voice treatment, I just need you to repeat the titles of the forms I need to submit. I only really hear these words on average of about, oh, once every three years. Get with the program lady.

I can actually feel the heat from my body at this moment. Thought I had lost a lot of the steam in my pregnant woman needs a howl shower but obviously not. Hub has gone to bed too now which helps with the cooling down process I think.

I digress. So it turns out I need to submit lots of documents - most of which I need to get from the town office and which concern hub, HIS household and his income. The documents that are setting me on fire are the jyuminhyo (certificate of residence). I got told by the immigration office that I needed one with ALL of our details on it. I told this to hub. He rings up at lunch time and says I need to come in to apply in person to get my own one as the rules have changed and foreigners don't get a certificate of residence anymore but instead a certificate of gaijin registration - actually don't know what is in English. I USED to be able to get a certificate of residence so the fact that they have further alienated the whole thing fucks me off for one but what really gets my nut is...

Hub's certificiate of residence does not include me. It has both Shou and Marina but not me. Why?? because I am a gaijin and even though we got married by a short little priest in an old Japanese temple and that I have paid social welfare, taxes and pension fees like any Japanese Taro, Jiro or Yuki ever since I have been here, and despite the fact that I went through being pregnant, giving birth, and raising our 'Japanese' national children AND I have to live with my Japanese mother in law who has no intention of leaving us soon, I am not considered important enough to even put a PS on my husbands certificate of residence.

On my gaijin registration certificate print out there is a section for family details. Only hub is listed. The bit on the side says to put in details for mother, father or dependants - is this supposed to include children? The note at the bottom says that only those family members who the 'gaijin' has reported to the city office about by date of application are included. So, while my husband automatically gets labelled 'father' when he submits the birth certificates of Shou and Marina (that has my name on it), I am label-less unless I go in person to the office and say that I want their names on my registration???? Is this true?

So, hub and I had a wee barney about it because hub said I should have sorted it out last week and then we could have checked before tomorrow. I agree. I should have but I don't need to be treated like a two year old - I hate it when he pulls the 'you always blame everyone else' call. I tried to explain that I wasn't blaming him. I was thankful that he took the time out of his busy day to get these forms for me and that should the circumstances be reversed one day I would do all I could to help him and not let him fend for himself at a town office in New Zealand. I should have dealt with it sooner - but that wouldn't have changed the fact that I still feel very upset about not being a part of his 'certificate of residence', and that I could pop out sprog after sprog for ten years and register them all but they still wouldn't appear on my documents unless I report them in person.

Anyway, we shall see how I get on tomorrow. I thought about putting it off until Monday so I could try and get Shou and Marina's names on my gaijin rego certificate but have instead decided to wear the most pregnant looking top I can find and christ, I may even flash a boob if I think it will speed things up.

Hub has gone to bed knowing I am in a huff. He doesn't understand how totally upset I am after seeing how not a part of the family I am - or rather that my own children are listed but not me, their mother. I know, I know, it's only a bloody piece of paper. But then so is a marriage certificate and a birth certificate, and neither of those seemed to make me any closer to being a PART of the family.

Enough already. I needed to vent. Actually I needed to stop crying in the shower so getting out and blogging with half an ear on CSI Miami was good. Despite the most annoying thing not actually being hub's fault I think I will behave like a five year old anyway and go and sleep in with Shou ;)

SDGH&QL

15 comments:

illahee said...

*big hugs* i hope you get everything done today!! not too much boob flashing, you don't want to make the whole office faint! lol

Gina said...

Good luck for today, I hope things go well for you, with the spouse visa thing and the drivers license!!! : )

kasandora said...

God, I totally understand your feeling....We should all have a group hug and comiserate...Why can't we at least be on our own paperwork????????

Hugs

Sara said...

Sounds like quite a frustrating day. I haven't had the "pleasure" of applying for a spouse visa yet but will be sometime soon. It is really annoying about the whole family register... that system as a whole just seems really unnecessary...

Hope you feel better, I've heard ice cream helps - although bread and cheese works wonders too :)

Lulu said...

Oh I know how you feel!!! I am in the process of getting stuff together to apply for my first spouse visa for when we get married in a couple of months...and Shun can not be my guarantor because despite having a job in Japan (they gave him a years leave) they will not accept it and I will have to ask someone in Shun`s family- probably his brother because his father retires 2 months before we get married and his company probably won`t supply the documentation I need. It is all bloody crap.

You know what you should do- print out a photo of Shou & Marina and staple it to the side of the certificate...maybe include a pic of bunster too!!! Even if there names arn`t there, the picture will show them! hehe! I wonder if you would get in trouble for defacing a gov form??

I hope everything goes well and that the boob & bunster showing get you what you need!

thefukases said...

Oooh my pet hate, too!

Add children with non-hepburn names, middle names and DH's home office being 700km away and I am so over beuracracy here!! I got a right ticking off for turning up to apply without DH in tow too. 2yo was nutting out, I was pregnant and hormonal and I got mad 'Call HIM and tell him that. You think *I* don't want him here, right now???' Weird thing? I still got my visa. I thought I'd blown it for sure!! Hope your face to face session is less stressful!

Jenn said...

Sometimes it really seems like they do everything in their power to make sure that we gaijin are completely removed from all things Japanese. You know, just so we don't forget our place. And then they have the audacity to tell us we should do more to assimilate to Japanese culture and society. Yes, little gaijin, prostrate yourself before us in attempts to gain our favor, but know you'll never be anything more than an outsider.

/rant. That felt good.

Now I've worked myself into a tizzy! I've not even begun to even deal with all that visa crap, but I'm certainly not looking forward to it. I hope that things do look up for you though. Best of luck!

Girl Japan said...

That was a good vent, true one and I totally agree with you on so many levels. I'd be livid too. Venting gives us a sense of relief and freedom especially when we can share all our "crap" with those who get us "gaijin". hehe

did I sleep through this process.. all I remember is DH taking care of everything.. I did not even have to show up? (except to pick up my card) did the spousal visa twice and then went for PM. Some the of the process seems so discriminatory, right? Esp the Koseki?

Kelly I said...

Hi.It's Kelly I here- this is the first time I've ever commented ANYWHERE!!! Coming out of lurkdom to say I totally know what you mean. Last week I was in the same boat trying to get a million forms ready and applying for spouse renewal (4th time, 7th anniversary next week yay!) and PR together thinking I could do it at the same time. Didn't realize about the 6 month thing so PR will have to be processed after 4000 yen paid for said visa renewal. They really know how to get you don't they. At least they let you use the same documents though. Also got a run around with one extra form needed from the city hall which was extremely annoying considering I'd just come from there and literally trying to juggle 2 little ones (not yet 2 and a half and 5 months)while writing forms and going to a gazillion different counters is not an easy task...Anyway I hope everything went ok for you. Sorry to go on a bit. Maybe I should start my own blog cause getting that out felt really good!!lol

Nay said...

*HUGS* I hopethat you got everything done today and hopefully as hassle free as possible. The whole thing about foreigners not being allowed on certain pieces of paper really shits me now... I can just imagine how frustrating it would be when you have children in the picture as well. The Japanese really have to do something to fix this stupid system...

Rachel said...

Oh, you didn't know about the non-listing of foreign wives? What a way to find out! Since your husband is listed as a single parent, don't be surprised if you get calls from the welfare office or date companies...it's happened to some (but not to me, just hearsay).

I didn't know my babies aren't on my register though. When you figure out how to remedy that, can you teach me?

Katie said...

Hey - I guess this comment is a little late and hope things are all sorted for you now:)
After reading your "rant" I felt uneasy because I can all too well imagine the kind of bureacratic bullshit that occurs here.
One thing though, is that I got married in Japan in 2006 and I'm on my husband's family registrar - I talked to him about it and he said there's no reason why you shouldn't be on it.....or is that what you mean when you say they have changed the registration certificate rules? hmmm anyway hope you are feeling better now....
from another Kiwi mum in Japan:)

gaijin wife said...

Katie - I am listed on the family registration form but not on hub's resident form - he only has his mum and Shou and Marina. Although I am listed in there sections as the mother I am not listed as hub's wife. The new gaijin resident form (not the same as the Japanese person one like it used to be) has me as being married to hub but with no children. When I went back today I got told I couldn't register the kids on my own form - and why should I want to when it is all listed on hub's.

ARRRRGGGGHHH the frustration at wanting to be my own person with my own paper proof that I have two children. It scares me to think what would happen if things went pear shaped between hub and I and I am left with a piece of paper saying I have no children!

Take into account hub's family registration (koseki tohon) though and all the bumps and smoothed out and we all look like a big happy family - I just wanted my own bit of paper. Pathetic I know but extremely aggrivating all the same.

Kelly said...

Hi, I know how you feel. Though i didn't apply for a spouse visa in Japan, i am only barely listed on yasu's family register, and i know that if we do have kids, my name won't be on there as their mother, only his name as the father! It makes me so angry!! I totally understand why you feel that way, and i wish there was a way we as non-japanese could change that!! I think it's unhuman, and i can't imagine my kids or your kids looking at the family register and saying "where's mummy?".

I hope you get it sorted out soon...:)

Katie said...

Hi sorry if this is a hassle, but can you please delete my email address from the last comment I made - I just had this bout of paranoia last night concerning a pyscho-ex and thought it's better if my email is not google-able.
Thanks