With less than a week left in my one-month trip to Japan, my fiance and I were spending as much time as we could together. After our visit to Tokyo Tower the day before, the next day we had to take care of some visa-related business.
After spending Sunday sightseeing at Tokyo Tower & Roppongi Hills, we had to take care of some business on Monday, since I would be leaving in just 3 days. The plan was for me to return to the US to finish up my studies, and then for my husband to move to the US to live with me after I graduated from university. To do this, we were in the middle of applying for a K-1 fiance visa. As part of that, we had received a package directing him to provide a criminal record and a health exam.
Criminal Records / 犯歴
So, on Monday at mid-morning we had to go to the police station headquarters to obtain his 犯歴 hanreki or criminal record. He has no criminal record, but the US just wants to check and make sure, for obvious reasons. All in all, obtaining the record was quick, although he wouldn’t receive it directly and would have to wait for it to be sent in by the police headquarters.
We arrived at the police station just before our appointed time. We entered, were subject to a brief security check, received visitor passes, and then went through to the back where his fingerprints were taken and identity was verified, and then the document was requested. We were in and out in less than half an hour, which was quite efficient for government processes.
We also made plans via phone for him to go to the US-sanctioned hospital to receive his health exam, but he wouldn’t have to do that until after I had already returned to the US.
After returning form the police headquarters, we goofed off a bit at the game center in Ikebukuro 池袋 then went to get my ring back from resizing. My fiance’s parents got our wedding rings when they were in Hawai’i, but my ring was just one size too small. We had taken it in just before the New Year to get it resized, but it took over a week because of the holiday and the volume of requests.
Our Relationship in Flux
We met in the US while I was in graduate school, and after we decided that we couldn’t be apart, we intended to move to Japan and get married. However, several months after my fiance moved back to Japan to begin work, I got an amazing job offer in my chosen field. We discussed our options again over Skype, even going so far as to consult with his father, and decided that since I had worked so hard to get to this point, we would instead live in the US. (For the full version of our story, check my post here).
In the course of less than a year our plans had totally changed. Luckily, we are both pretty flexible and both committed to each other, so we made it work. We had originally planned to get married in Japan or in Hawai’i, but due to the nature of visas for the US, it seemed that a K-1 fiance visa was our best option for him to enter the US. So, until his visa came through, we wouldn’t be able to have a wedding in the US or in Japan. But, we still took wedding photos and even had our honeymoon during the month that I was in Japan!
After we got my ring back we had a date night together and I tried to pretend like I wouldn’t be hopping on a plane back to the US on Thursday afternoon…
Have you moved to another country because of your significant other? How did you know it was the right decision?