bittersweet wrote:-First and foremost: TAX purposes. If your dependent is going to be making money while living in Japan, they need to reside in Japan for an entire year to take the foreign earned income exclusion. That's 330 days IN a foreign country during a SPAN of 365 full days (12 months). So now my dependent has to stay until mid-August because he came a few weeks after me ( I arrived Aug 1). We have to be out of the apartment by August 1st. See the problem here?
First, your dependent probably should not be making enough money for this to stress you out. It's illegal for them to work more than 20 hours a week without dispensation from the government. If they get a full-time job, they need to change their visa status. Second, if they arrived within a month after you did, they'll be fine. The only way they wouldn't qualify is if, say, in the middle of your contract, they went back home and stayed long enough to disqualify them. You can both leave August 1st and still qualify.
bittersweet wrote:-Doing everything over a second time: When I arrived I had to sign a bunch of papers, get my gaijin card, etc. The whole process had to be repeated over again a few weeks later, when it could have gotten done at the same time as me and saved the person from the BOE multiple trips to the city office.
Umm. Look, I don't wanna be jerky about this, but imho, you shouldn't be involving your BoE in your dependent's paperwork. That's your responsibility, not theirs. Involving your BoE with your dependent's paperwork and such is exactly the sort of behavior that results in BoEs looking for JETs without dependents in the future.
bittersweet wrote:-I live in the inaka and had no car yet: My dependent had to get rides from strangers and stuff just to get here, and got lost in the process. Would have been a lot easier if we had just come together.
Why? Japan has trains and buses covering every square inch of the nation. It should never be necessary to get a ride from a stranger (I mean, assuming you don't consider the bus driver a "stranger"). I don't know how one could manage to get seriously lost here; it's easy to get mixed up in a place like Shinjuku, perhaps, but everywhere you go, there are friendly Japanese people who will go out of their way to help you if you're just really confused. To me, that's part of the adventure, anyway.
bittersweet wrote:-being lonely- once again, if you are in the inaka with no transportation and you're the only foreigner in town (not even my JTEs live here! they drive in), sitting around your apartment for a couple weeks by yourself really sucks. no internet or cellphone yet either, so i racked up a nice bill on my usa cellphone at $1.99 a minute (it was worth every penny).
Nothing to say about that one; if you're the kinda parson who is gonna sit around in your apartment for weeks when you first get here, then, yeah, having a fellow foreigner might be nice. I preferred to get out, meet some new people, and explore my tiny village. For me, the first couple of weeks flew by insanely fast. Because I didn't have a car, phone, or internet initially, I quickly learned how to use the train and bus system, where to find things, and cool stuff that my tiny BFI village had to offer.TL; DR
- In my humble (and no doubt insignificant) opinion, bringing your dependent with you when you arrive is only a good idea if you are needy and helpless. Edit: Please don't take that as an insult. It's just a type of personality, and I think everyone should know themselves well enough to know their own personality traits, even if they're things that aren't generally considered "positive." I, for example, am independent to the point of stupidity; I've gotten myself in trouble a few times by assuming that I could do something on my own that I really had no business doing. I am also pretty bad at expressing myself from time to time; as a whale biologist, my brutal honesty tends to upset people. These are characteristics that I work to improve, but also accept about myself and work to accommodate.