Further Immigration

Yesterday I got a letter from Japanese immigration asking for some more information for my permanent residence application.

One thing they wanted was, basically, directions to my house, in case they wanted to pop round. Now, it is fundamentally reasonable that they might want to pop round. I believe it’s virtually standard practice when applying for permanent residence in the USA, for example. And, certainly, it is very difficult to find a house from an address in Japan. However, the way I produced the map they wanted was to type my address into Google Maps. They could have done that themselves, and it would almost certainly have been less work for them than preparing the request letter and sending it out. No doubt the rules say that they aren’t allowed to do that; it can take government departments a long time to update their rules.

The other thing was a list of all my relatives, out to two degrees. I count as zero, and you add one degree every time you travel along a parent-child link. So, my parents and Mayuki are my first degree relatives, and my sister is my second degree relative. So far, so good. But spouses count as the person they are married to. So my parents’ spouses’ children’s spouses are also my second degree relatives. I ended up with eighteen people on my list. Yuriko’s parents have stayed married to each other, so she only has three. This also made it a bit harder to gather the information. It’s all things that you would just know about your siblings, like name, address, date of birth, phone number. I don’t, however, know this information off hand for my mother’s husband’s daughter’s husband, for example. I don’t think I’ve met him as many as ten times. Fortunately, I know people who do know this information, so it won’t take long to gather it.

I do hope the Japanese government has nothing against complicated families.

Mayuki Being Cute

Since it’s a while since I posted anything in this blog, I thought I’d post a couple of things about Mayuki being cute. People with no interest in yet another cute baby can simply read something else.

Both incidents happened yesterday, before we went out to do Mayuki’s birthday shopping. This is probably the last time we’ll be able to do the birthday shopping with Mayuki, at least for a few years, and she even went to sleep while we bought her presents, so she hasn’t actually seen them yet.

Anyway, the first cute incident involved a cup of barley tea. Mayuki spilled quite a lot of it on the floor, and Yuriko was cross with her, taking the cup away. Mayuki was just sitting on the floor, looking annoyed herself, so I went to get the floor cloth, and got Mayuki to help me wipe the tea up. She didn’t want to at first, but soon came around. This is our basic policy; she’s only one, so she will make a mess, but she normally helps to clean it up. (Only helps, of course, because at the age of nearly-two she can’t quite clean up properly by herself.) When we’d finished wiping the floor, I said “Now go and give Mummy an “I’m sorry” cuddle,” and Mayuki stood up, went over to Yuriko, and gave her a hug. Yuriko was behind me, sitting on the sofa on the other side of the room, when I said it, and I didn’t look at her, so Mayuki must have understood at least most of the sentence. The only bit she might not have understood is “I’m sorry”, but from the context, I think she did.

The second incident was a lot simpler. Mayuki and I were both drinking, and Mayuki suddenly touched her milk bottle to my glass and said “kanpai!”, the Japanese for “cheers!”. I know we did that while we were visiting Yuriko’s family in Gifu last week, so maybe that’s where she picked it up. Of course, I said “kanpai!” back, and from that point Mayuki was doing “kanpai!” every thirty seconds or so. She hasn’t entirely mastered that particular social skill yet.

Today is my day to look after Mayuki, so maybe I’ll get to see even more cute things. I’m looking forward to it.

Permanent Residence Application

Today I applied for permanent residence in Japan. It didn’t actually take that long; I needed about a dozen pieces of paper, most of which were issued by the local ward office, and a simple application form. A lot of the simplicity is because I’m applying on the grounds of being married to a Japanese person; if you are applying on other grounds, things are a bit more complicated.

So, now it seems that I just have to wait for the result. It could take up to a year, apparently, so I may well have to extend my current visa while I’m waiting. Fortunately, that shouldn’t be a problem. I’m still married to and living with Yuriko, after all, so getting my marriage visa extended really ought to be a formality.

I hope the Japanese government are willing to let me stay.