HSP Visa to Japan Permanent Residence Process

van parked beside the road near handrail and ocean
Photo by gya den on Pexels.com

Edit (August 4, 2021) : I have received my PR card. Updating documents required and all sections after and including “During Processing”.

Edit (April 14, 2021) : Added additional documents required for PR submission (self, proxy/agent). Filled in “Submitting Your Documents” section. Fixed typos. My PR application is currently still being processed.

Legal Disclaimer : The contents of this article do not constitute legal advice, are not intended to be a substitute for legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should seek legal advice or other professional advice in relation to any particular matters you or your organization may have.

This guide outlines my experiences transitioning from an HSP (HSFP) Visa to Japan’s permanent residency. I have lived in Tokyo, Japan since March 2014, starting out with an Engineer Working Visa before transitioning to HSP Visa (90+ points) in April 2019. One who maintains their 80+ points after a year of holding the HSP visa will be given the opportunity to apply for Japan’s permanent residency.

The permanent residence application process may vary from individual to individual, so please do go through the “Before You Read Further” section to understand my situation and background before going through the prepared documents and process. However, one thing you should know before this is that I worked with Deloitte to process my application, and there may be documents which may NOT actually be necessary but were provided for the sake of fortifying my application or just as a just-in-case. The permanent residency application requires so much of your personal information it will be like taking off all your clothes and showing them your bare naked body… the government will give a VERY thorough screening of your situation and background so it is best to provide them with as much transparency and info as possible to reduce delays to your application.

That’s it for the disclaimer… so let’s get right into it!

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Google Cloud CDN for GCP WordPress

The more (concurrent) traffic a website receives, the more important it is for its contents to be hosted on a content delivery network (CDN). By having your site resources spread out across many servers across many regions around the world, it will take much less time (in terms of “hops”, or jumps from server to server a request needs to make) to fetch the site’s contents.

One of Google Cloud’s less-known features is its Cloud CDN which leverages Google’s global network of data centers, servers, and ISP integration to deliver content to the end user in a quick manner. Its efficiency is further increased when coupled or used with other services in Google and Google Cloud, such as Google Domains, Google DNS, and Google Compute Instances. Since 2018, this site is hosted using Google’s Click-to-Deploy WordPress deployment (tutorial) using Google Domains (tutorial) with SSL encryption (tutorial) and maintenance via SSH to instance VMs (such as updating PHP version in Google Cloud VM Instance). Thus it is natural to leverage Google Cloud CDN, with the added benefit that it won’t break with updates to WordPress since the CDN configuration happens server-side and not WordPress-side.

Follow along with me as we explore how to activate Google CDN for your Google Cloud-hosted service.

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Protecting Your Cryptocurrencies – Online and Offline

The cryptocurrency universe continues to grow in popularity in the wake of global turmoil and COVID-19. Despite such uncertainties with the economy and unemployment levels soaring following the first outbreak of COVID-19, younger individuals in the workforce are eyeing cryptocurrencies as a method of investment. Just last week I was pleasantly surprised to hear both my older and younger brother asking me, a three-year cryptocurrency HODLer, the best and practical way of dipping their feet into cryptocurrencies. As I was explaining cryptocurrencies and its risks and how to properly HODL them, I noticed this topic can be extensive and would benefit the masses if compiled into an article such as this one.

So here it is: a live post on tips and advice to secure and protect your crypto from falling out of your hands. Owning cryptocurrencies not only involves risk with its price, but also how it is handled – a small hack or simply a wrong transfer can cause your entire portfolio to vanish in an instant, and once the transactions are verified and carved into the crypto’s ledger one will undoubtedly be at the mercy of the recipient.

Read on to prevent the above from ever happening to you.

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Essence of Taiwanese Mahjong – Introduction

Even after immigrating to California at six years old, I have played Taiwanese mahjong on and off for a good majority of my life – mostly with family and friends. No friends and relatives around me were very serious about mahjong, so it wasn’t until a few months ago I was humbled by the skill of strangers. That night I played 4.5 complete, 4-wind games, and lost about $100 playing $3 base/$1 tai bets. Since that night I have researched – from both them and other research – about how opponents think and how they play.

This is the beginning guide to a trilogy of Taiwanese Mahjong, going into statistics and numbers before delving into player behavior and playing scenarios. I don’t think other places in the internet has quite as detailed analyses (in English), and I will continue to add to it for, as I have always mentioned in other of my posts here, personal learning and memorandum.

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Opening A Rakuten Bank Account

Disclaimer (2020-06-03): The first half of the guide (first page of registration) has now been updated to the latest version. The second section about Credit Card information has been left as-is since its UI has been left nearly the same since two years ago. Ignore the sudden jump in numbering as I have only updated the first half of the guide. That said, if there are any discrepancies please do let me know in the comments section!

Introduction

Rakuten Bank is an online service that aims to provide various banking services to customers. Those who use or subscribe to various Rakuten services will often enjoy additional benefits for their banking needs. Just like with Rakuten Card, there are no physical offices you can go to so everything is managed online instead. Having an account with Rakuten is recommended if you heavily use things such as Card, Securities, Edy, or Super Points. In any case, you can read about a non-exhaustive list of advantages and disadvantages below:

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Driving in Taiwan With Japanese Driver’s License

Visiting Taiwan and want to drive but forgot to apply for an International Driver’s Permit? If you have a Japanese driver’s license then it is possible for you to drive in Taiwan without having to transfer your license to Taiwan D/L or needing an International Driver’s Permit (IDP). On top of that, unlike IDPs which requires one to process before embarkation, those who are too late (already in Taiwan) are still able to process the necessary documents to drive – and it will be available to use immediately.

Read on for details, procedures, precautions, and other important information regarding driving in Taiwan with a Japanese D/L.

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Automation is my hobby. Admittedly I never thought that I would be interested in it when I studied computer science and engineering back in my university days (my father said my personality befits a software engineer, and I blindly followed his advice). However, during my journey to become a competent software developer I invested much time in simple scripts to do repetitive work for me. While most of the above examples involve automating games (via something like Sikuli which can control your screen), lately I have been turning my attention to scraping websites and integrating APIs for data aggregation. This post contains some of the tips and tricks I have used in order to make your web crawler quicker and more robust.

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Update PHP Version For WordPress On Debian 9

As of April 30, 2020, the current version of Google Cloud Platform’s WordPress Click-to-Deploy deploys WordPress 5.2.3 using PHP version 7.0.33. PHP 7.0.33 was released in January 10, 2019 and since then the PHP developers have released the most recent and stable 7.4.5 version. As a site administrator it is highly essential to update system versions in order to improve both security and performance.

There are many blogs – especially the article from WordPress themselves – which go into details about why updating PHP is important. Since I would be spitting out the exact same details I will not write about it here. However, pages I have visited would simply ask WordPress administrators to contact their webmaster/sysadmins to update the PHP version, which will not fly for an amateur such as myself. In addition, building from source often results in faster performance, so I took on that challenge as well. To serve as future reference, I have created a manual in the process of updating this site from PHP7.0 to PHP7.4.5. Continue on for steps on how to do it yourself!

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Did you notice this fade-in??

Many of the UI we see today, whether it’s on TV, slideshow presentations, mobile apps and many other kinds of visuals, all incorporate some form of transition to keep the user engaged. A few days ago I was designing a mock e-commerce website for a local business and spent quite some time stuck on how to implement this fade-in effect. While there are a lot of ways to incorporate fade-in effects and there are many webpages showing you how to do so, I’ve found that there are no articles which matched the exact effect I was looking for, and thus I’m putting it here for the sake of documentation and knowledge sharing.

Read on to learn more about how to incorporate fade-in of elements the moment it is partly visible in the viewport.

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As I was reviving this site after its two-year hiatus, I noticed that I neglected to post an article detailing how to set up WordPress permalinks. Since it requires some modifications on the server side it took a bit of trial-and-error to re-enable it. If even I could forget how to make the settings after two years, then it is definitely reason enough to make an article out of it (for my own sake!).

Read on to learn more about why and how to set WordPress permalinks.

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