Monday, September 6, 2010

Crisis Averted

So, after some financial aid confusion, my Certificate of Eligibility is finally in the mail from Japan. It should be here in about 4 days (It's being shipped via EMS, which is nice). Thankfully even with this delay I should have enough time to submit all the Visa stuff even if there's some sort of processing delay. As long as I get my passport back from the consulate in time after I mail it to them, then it'll all be fine :) I should have a comfortable 2-3 weeks to get everything mailed off and returned to me.

Word to to the wise: If you're doing the KCP program you'll need to have 6 months of tuition paid in full to get your certificate generally. The coordinator is more than willing to work with you if you can provide the information of financial aid disbursement dates/amounts and will likely send it to you if you can prove that upon disbursement the amount will be paid in full. In general, though, plan to have the tuition paid off before you leave or make sure to get everything sorted out ahead of time so you're not running around all crazy-like like I just did.

My issue actually stemmed from some confusion with communication between all the universities and people involved. The amount was paid off, but wasn't communicated to the school in Japan that it was. So, I got word back from the representative in Japan about my certificate, but he told me he couldn't send it to me because my balance wasn't paid in full yet. Long story short, I had to contact both the proxy university from CCIS and K-State to figure out where the shenanigans had happened to get it sorted out. I've been frantically emailing people for the past week-ish, but it's finally all figured out. Mr. Tanaka (the rep in Japan) told me the certificate was sent out yesterday. I ended up having to forward a lot of the emails that I'd exchanged with the universities in the US to prove that the balance was paid and it was being figured out, or at least in the process of it--it'll probably take a week for the electronic confirmations to be sent around to everybody :P For anyone considering this program don't overlook the sheer hassle this can be and keep updated invoices and contact with your representatives. It's not difficult, and will save you one hell of a headache and a freakout.

Now, time to fill out the actual Visa application! For you people in Kansas and some of the surrounding area, your regional Japanese consulate will be in Chicago. Click that link to go to the consulate's Visa page. You can get the info you need to submit the application either in person or by mail (which is what I'll be doing. Chicago is something of a drive for me). At the very least you'll need:
  • The Certificate of Eligibility from Japanese Immigration
  • A front and back photocopy of the certificate
  • A letter of admission from the school in Japan (I think; not 100% sure, but KCP is sending it to me so there's no reason not to submit it with my Visa stuff just in case)
  • A passport-sized photo
  • The application form itself
  • And of course your passport.
If you're mailing it DON'T FORGET to send a self-addressed stamped envelope or something prepaid for the consulate to mail back your passport in. They won't mail it back otherwise.

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