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.