Lunes, Setyembre 5, 2016

VISA APPLICATION ANSWERED INQUIRIES + CHANGE OF FLIGHT SCHEDULE + JAPAN EMBASSY LOCATION + VOID AND VALID VISA

  • VISA APPLICATION ANSWERED INQUIRIES
In my previous post, I mentioned that I emailed and asked a lot of questions to Prof.Ery. After just a day or two she replied answering all of my questions. Here I will just quote her reply:

"Hope you are doing fine. 
Before answering your questions in a previous mail, I will be asking you something to confirm, please:
1. About dormitory: 
You were assigned to Momiji Student Dormitory, please check the list of Osaka University dormitories attached to this e-mail and let me know if you confirm your application by Monday 22nd
In general, these dormitories are fully furnished, located relatively near from the University and the monthly rent is quite cheap. You can stay there just after your arrival to Japan up to 6 months and meanwhile you can search for your own apartment. For its convenience and fast availability we strongly recommend you to apply for it. (this one just requires us to pay 13,500 yen per month in total, no hidden charges haha! So out of 147,000 yen per month allowance, dorm fee is absolutely cheap/affordable)

2. About Air ticket:
Intended length of stay: 2 years (even though I will be under a 5-year program)
Date of arrival in Japan: according to the attached ticket
Port of Entry: Kansai Airport
Name of Ship/ Airline: according to the attached ticket
Name and address of hotels/persons with whom applicant intends to stay:
Address of the dormitory as attached file
Guarantor or reference in Japan: (I deleted the info for my supervisor's privacy, but all info were provided)
Name: 
Tel: 
Address: 
Date of birth: 
Male/female: 
Relationship to applicant: Supervisor
Profession or occupation and position: University Professor
Nationality and immigration status: Japanese, Japanese national

Inviter in Japan: “Same as above” is OK.

  • CHANGE OF FLIGHT SCHEDULE
WARNING: LONG DRAMATIC STORY AHEAD, SKIP THIS PART!!!
For your Air ticket application, you are given two options to decide when you would like to set your flight. Before choosing your travel dates you are required to consult your lab secretary, since they may arrange a transport or send someone to pick you up at the airport. Fortunately, my laboratory would  be able to pick me up only on the 28th of September, and send me to my dormitory. However during my first application, my used to be "friend", (well she's not actually my friend, we used to attend the same class years ago), who is currently at Osaka and has already finished her M.S. degree told me that she will not pursue Ph.D anymore (personal reasons I guess). She told me that since her flight back to Philippines would be on the 29th, she would like to meet me on the 26th or 27th. Why not on the 28th? Because she will be too busy on that day in preparation for her flight the next day. She'd like to sell to me her bicycle and make me pay for her remaining 3-month data plan. Being a good former classmate, I sacrificed the perks of arriving on the 28th, and submitted a 26 or 27 flight schedule. I know it would be hassle on my part since:
1.)  I would have to find for an accommodation for a day or two
2.) I would have to travel alone from airport to the hotel I'd be choosing. 

But then, I chose to meet her, since she said that in return (pakunswelo) she'll hand me over her winter clothes/ Actually, I don't really need hers, cause I have relatives abroad (HK, Taiwan and Singapore) who already sent me winter clothes.  She told me to inform her as soon as my air ticket itinerary arrives. And when it did (approved SEPTEMBER 27 FLIGHT) , I checked for her messenger's "ACTIVE NOW" status, and sent her an INFORMATIVE MESSAGE, telling her that my approved flight will be on the 27th. After just few minutes she replied with this message:

"ALAM MO BA KUNG ANONG ORAS NA?
DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS?
2AM NA DEZ! NATUTULOG RIN AKO!
IT'S ALREADY 2AM, I SLEEP TOO"

I was shocked. I never thought that after all the sacrifices and hassles she gave me, I would end up being disrespected by someone who has already obtained a graduate degree, yet don't even know how to use proper words. Before I replied to her, I thought of many things. That maybe she's just tired. But after I rationalized, I realize that being tired is not an excuse to disrespect someone, most especially if that someone has already made a sacrifice for your convenience. My message for her:

"If you were really asleep and is dead-tired, I wonder why your messenger status was still in "ACTIVE NOW" mode.
and if really so, why you still have to reply to my message? It isn't even in an interrogative form, where your feedback is required. You could have just ignored it for the sake of you asking me to change my convenient flight schedule! For the sake of you asking me to pay for your 3-month data plan bill. For the sake of you asking me to buy your bicycle."

But my actual message was:

"Oh, I didn't know your asleep, since your messenger status is "ACTIVE NOW". I sent you this message just to inform you of my approved flight schedule since you asked me to. You could have just ignored it you know? Anyway, I apologize again for this inconvenience."

After my last message, I blocked her on FB (haha! that's the least thing I can do to redeem myself).
So I thought I would be doomed arriving on the 27th for not having anyone to pick me up at the airport, for paying a whole day accommodation, and for wasting a day that I should have used as bonding time with my mom and brother. After couple of days feeling frustrated for sacrificing over a worthless (argh) person, I decided to email my professor again. I asked her if I could still change my flight to September 28. After about 2-3 days she replied and told me that it was possible with attached changed e-ticket already, scheduled on the 28th! How fortunate! I'm really grateful that Prof.Ery is doing her very best to assist and supervise me. 

Also few weeks ago I met someone on FB who happened to be a Filipina and UPLB graduate too. She messaged me on FB and told me that we're on the same university and department, we just differ in laboratory we belong to. I felt calmed and happy since I already know someone whom I can be friend with during my stay in a foreign country. She will also be arriving on the 28th. ;) So expect more stories about us soon! :)

  • JAPAN EMBASSY LOCATION
Japan embassy in the Philippines is located at 2627 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. I don't know how to go there, so I asked my mom and my friend Karen (who knows how to) to accompany me. We went on a Monday (August 22). From Alabang, Muntinlupa we rode a jeepney going to PASAY ROTONDA (terminal located at the back of StarMall Alabang). Then we asked the driver to drop us across HERITAGE HOTEL. We walked towards the right corner, and looked for HYATT HOTEL since it is said to be very near to JAPAN EMBASSY. And yes! it's just about 300 meters (5 mins.) away from the jeepney drop off point. We left Alabang around 7am and reached the destination point around 8am. The embassy actually opens at 8:40 A.M. and closes by 11 A.M. Whoever are inside up to 11 A.M. will be assisted. Since we arrived a bit early, we waited outside for 40 mins.more. No chairs can be found! Haha! So much for being an early bird. When we're allowed to enter the building, the guards asked us for an I.D. and to deposit our gadgets (cellphones and ipod). With that I only have a picture of Japan embassy entrance.




Entrance of Japan Embassy (Philippines)

 We were given our numbers, even if I was the first one to arrive, I was given the 10th spot, since some of visa applicants went crazily fast to the entrance, as soon as the guard let us in. 

Inside the building, when my number was called, I handed the following to the staff:
(NOTE: These won't be returned to you)
1.) My number (#10)
2.) Visa application form with 2x2 inch (or 45 mm x 45 mm) picture (white background) attached (pasted)
3.) NSO-Birth Certificate valid for a year upon the date of issue (or issued recently)
4.) Passport without cover
5) Original Certificate of Eligibility/Scholarship (you may ask your supervisor to send/airmail and email this to you)
6) Letter of Notification (This just happened to be sent together with my certificate, so I gave this to them too)

The staff asked me to recite the following information for verification purposes:
1.) My complete name
2.) Birthday
3.) What Scholarship and for how long
4.) How I learned about the scholarship (thru online, since I was University Recommended, I reached/emailed my supervisor directly.

Then they stamped a lengthwise document and handed it over to me, with date and time I should return to claim my visa provisionally (if there are no problems). I was asked to return on the 29th of August (Monday), but since I told them it is holiday, they changed my claim schedule to 30th of August (Tuesday). 

  • VOID AND VALID VISA
30th of August (Tuesday)
It was just 2 minutes before 11 A.M. when I arrived at Japan Embassy. They still let me in, and there I met Chrystelle with her mom at the entrance (the one I told you who would be also studying at Osaka U, under the same department). I presented the lengthwise document (DO NOT FORGET TO BRING THIS WITH YOU) and claimed for my passport with visa. I was asked if I am a MEXT scholar, and I said yes, They verified again my visa and passport.  I waited for about 10 to 15 minutes (and I feel very sorry for Tel and her mom, since they told me that they will be waiting outside). It turned out that the first Visa (VOID) I had has no "JAPAN GOVERNMENT SCHOLAR" on the remarks section, while the second page (VALID) visa has remarks on it. It took me so long to notice for the difference of the two, Actually, it was Bes TIN (hello bes!) who showed it to me. 





I intentionally blurred and meshed some of my personal details, but here's how JP Visa looks like. Notice the GOV SCHOLAR written in the Remarks sec. It must be included there for my student visa to be valid.

After I claimed my passport with visa, I went to JICC Library. You have to exit Japan Embassy building first, then you will be given another ID LACE pass to enter JICC Library with very high stairs! Don't fret, it's just beside Japan Embassy, you'll never be lost :) Ask the guard if you still can't find it. I showed to the JICC staff my passport with visa, she asked me to sign over a paper (listings), and handed me a Tax exemption request letter. Then as soon as I exited JICC Library, I went straight to Tel and her mom (I'm also with my mom :P ). We decided to grab a taxi and this has driven us straight to TIEZA OFFICE (for just 15-20 minutes), located at 142 AMORSOLO ST., LEGASPI VILLAGE, MAKATI CITY. Take note of 142, as it is the number of the building itself that would help the driver to locate TIEZA OFFICE. We were a total of 4 passengers but based on the metric fare we were just asked to pay 99 php. My mom and tel's mom decided to pay him 120php. 21php for the tip (haha!) In Japan, giving tip is a sign of rudeness. You only have to pay the exact amount. In TIEZA OFFICE, we presented our TAX EXEMPTION REQUEST LETTER and our PASSPORT.

After few minutes, we were called and given back our passport together with the tax exemption certificate that looks like a bank cheque. 




I distorted some details here. TRAVEL TAX EXEMPTION CERTIFICATE issued by TIEZA OFFCE


My mom and I went to SM Makati after, and grabbed some Sbarro lasagna and pizza. Tel and her mom went to Glorietta after.







That's it for today's blog :) My next bag will be THINGS TO BUY IN PREPARATION FOR JAPAN FLIGHT