Alex Case wrote:I'm afraid most people posting here probably did not move out with their families but got a family when they got here, so most of their advice will be more relevant to their own situation rather than yours.
Save your left-handed snipes, alex. My advice is as sound as ever, no matter if I got married here to a Japanese or not.
If you want to live here permanently, you need to understand a few things about foreigners here.
1) You will always be one, even if you get Permanent Resident status. My J in-laws are wonderful, and I hope yours are, too, but the majority of Japan (especially the government) won't necessarily accept you with open arms. Many times, you will have to earn their respect. Just a heads up here. For all I know, you may have zero problems.
2) Your wife may know a little about what it's like to be a foreigner in Ireland, but she will have to remember that when you return here, because you will probably face stronger anti-foreigner sentiment. Moreover, she will have to translate everything for you until you get up to speed. That means arranging housing, buying cars, dealing with sales people at the door, and tons more. So, learn Japanese as fast as possible, otherwise it is going to be a terrible burden on her.
3) As a foreigner with 2 kids, and presumably the notion to stay here permanently, you have to
think about making more money. Scrimp and save on Interac's salary if you can, take on private lessons or other PT work if you must, but it's going to be tough financially, especially when the kids start going to school (and even more especially if it's an international school). I don't know why your wife is bored in Ireland, but if she returns to Japan and wants to spend money, it's going to require a harsh wake-up call with 250,000 yen/month. Think about more than the take-home money, too. Think health insurance, car tax and mandatory safety inspection (shakken), think pension plan and life insurance. Lots of guys scrape by, and lots of guys work 6-7 days a week whether they scrape by or make 600,000 yen/month.
4) If you work for Interac for a year or 2, you will have enough experience to try something a bit more lucrative in teaching (private HS, or even PT at junior colleges and universities). No need to worry about visa sponsorship from an employer if you have a spouse visa, but you have to move up the salary chain. If factory skills are all you have, you might want to really seriously consider what it's going to take to do well as a teacher or
get the experience/education for a different line of work (coupled with good Japanese skills). Neither is easy, the former is easier than the latter, but there are some people who look down upon English teachers (behind their backs or not), so beware of that in relation to your in-laws, too. Graphic design work for foreigners here is like bringing coals to Newcastle, but if you have something unique to offer, then language skills and a good portfolio are only the start -- you're going to have to land some contacts, so network like mad.
5) Is your wife willing to work, even PT? Once both kids are in daycare/school, she will have more time on her hands, but she may not feel it is her place to bring in the money (more stress on you). And, with her essentially running things due to her Japanese ability, asking her to work on top of coordinating home affairs may be stress on her
. Have the talk soon.
If you want more advice, PM me, or drop me a line.