The Ibaraki International Association contributed the following information to put into the Alien Times:
While Alien Registration is handled at the local city/town/village government office, all aspects related to oneís visa, such as visa application (bisa shinsei), visa extensions (bisa koushin), reentry permits (sainyuukoku kyoka), and changes of visa status (bisa henkou) are processed at an immigration office (nyukoku kanri jimusho). There are two immigration offices in Ibaraki, both of which are difficult to reach without a car. They have the advantage, however, of usually being far less crowded than Tokyo, and thus usually, the time required for completing your transaction is considerably less.
Hitachi Immigration Office
To get there by train, take the Joban to the Omika Station (the station past Tokai). Itís about a 30 minute walk from back towards Tsukuba from there (taxi fare, about •1500), or you can change trains and go to the Kujihama Station on the Hitachidentetsu Line for a 20 minute walk. The hours they can accept applications are from 9 to 11 am and 1 to 3 pm Mondays through Fridays. Typically, they are busiest on Monday and Tuesday mornings. The address is Hitachi Mokuzai Bldg, 2435-6 Tomemachi, Hitachi 319-1231; tel:. 0294-52-0582.
By car, proceed up the Joban Expressway to the Hitachi Minami Ota exit and proceed north on route 6 a few hundred meters up to the intersection with route 293. Turn right and follow for about 3 km. The office is located just past the railroad underpass on the left in a 2-story building with a reddish brown roof surrounded by a lumber yard.
Kashima Port Immigration Office
To go to Kashima by train from Tsukuba involves going via Mito or Narita, which is much more difficult that going to Hitachi or Tokyo, and even if you do get to the nearest station (Kashima Jingu), itís still a long taxi ride (about •6000!). Thus, only consider this option if you have a car. Travel east to Kashima on route 51. The port is located about 10 km south of the city. For •200, you can bypass the city on the route 50 bypass and come out near the port. There is a very prominent observation tower that looks kind of like a giant torch that is part of the Minato Koen. (If itís a nice day, the view is well worth the time to go up it). The office is located near the tower. Use the side entrance. The office hours are 9 am to noon and 1 to 4 pm, Monday through Friday, with the busiest times usually being Monday and Friday mornings. The address is Kashima Kouwan Goudou Chousha Bldg., 9 Higashi Fukashiba, Kashima 314; tel.: 0299-92-2600.
Tokyo Immigration Bureau
The head office of the Immigration Bureau is, of course, in Tokyo. Going there by car is essentially out of the question, but as itís near Tokyo Station, public transportation gives relatively easy access. You can take the highway bus to Tokyo Station or get there by train with a change in Ueno at the end of the Joban Line. The bus is a good option, as it drops you off at the north end of the station, which involves less walking. You proceed under the train tracts to the west for 2 blocks and then to the north for 2 more. A good way is to descend into the underground passageway leading to Otemachi Station on the Chiyoda, Tozai, Hanzomon or Mita lines, and follow it. The entrance to the underground passageway to the subway system next to the bus parking lot where you get off the bus is "B-7". The immigration office exit is "C-2", which is basically at the other end of the passageway system. There are bilingual maps on the walls that tell where you are. Itís hours are 9 am to noon and 1 to 5 pm Monday through Fridays, and it is basically busy anytime you go there. Since it may take all day, you are best advised to go in as early as possible. The address is 1-3-1 Otemachi, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo 100; tel.: 03-3286-5244. Inquiries can be made in English, Spanish, Korean or Chinese from Monday to Friday, 9:30 am to 5 pm. Inquiries in Portuguese are available during these same times, except that it ends at 4 pm. Inquiries in Thai are available from 9:30 am to 5 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays only. These can be made at the above number plus five other lines with the same number except the last digit, which goes from 5 - 9. Another number you may be able to get through on is 03-5993-3205.
The dates for the free legal consultation at the Ibaraki International Association during October are the 13th and 27th. To contact them, call 029-244-3811.
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