Getting a US Visa for Foreigners Living in Japan



Living in Japan? Need a US visa?


It must sound silly, but one of my first questions when I decided to get a Visa was whether I need to apply in my home country or not (the answer is not!). I naturally did my research and eventually got the Visa I wanted! Here is how it went. :)

First of all, if you are a tourist in Japan, and just decided to get a US Visa while you are here, it will not work well for you. Sorry. :( One of the most important things your interviewer considers when deciding whether they will give you a Visa or not is whether you have strong ties to the country you are applying in.

Personally, I have been working in Japan for 4 years now. And last year, I got married to a Japanese national. Surely these two things worked in my favor. On the other hand, if you are a student here, it may be difficult for you to get a Visa, despite having traveled in the USA before, as they do not consider it a strong enough tie to return to Japan. (Take this with a grain of salt, there may be a chance you get it after all ;))

It was a fairly easy process. I came over prepared, but that is much better than the opposite. One of the things they recommend (not require!) you prepare before going to your interview is an evidence of your finances or capability to pay for your stay. Aside from my bank books, I also got my credit card statements with me. They asked for neither. But, like I said it's better you bring everything they may ask from you. I even had my marriage certificate with me. lol!

Ok, enough about my story, let's get down to the facts.

1. D-160 Form

Have your passport with you, and a digital photo with a white background. Then click this link, register an account and fill up the D-160 form fully and truthfully.

You can save your D-160 form and come back to it at a later time if you can not finish it in one sitting.

2. Pay the Visa/Interview Fee
Upon completion of your D-160 form, you will be allowed to schedule your interview at the embassy.

Note that the time you choose is the time the guards will allow you to enter the premises, not the time of your interview.

3. Your Interview
Come to the embassy a few minutes before the schedule you chose. Depending on the number of applicants, your wait can last for over an hour.

The website says do not bring bags bigger than 10x10 inches. I followed this closely, but I did see regular-sized purses bigger than 10x10 inches when I went there. I guess just don't bring a suitcase or something unnecessary, or you will be turned away.

Personally, I think it is always best to follow the rules so you avoid trouble.

The interview takes a few short minutes. Answer directly and concisely. You will be told whether you will get a visa or not right after the interview. :)

4. Wait for your Visa in the mail!
 Your passport will be returned to you within a week. You will then know whether you got a single-entry visa or a multiple entry visa.

Congrats!

I hope that this is somewhat helpful. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions for me. GOOD LUCK!
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Apple Orchard Ruruko りんご園のruruko 青りんご

Hello!

I haven't written in a while. Sorry about that. But this blog is still live! I should probably update it more often but I find it easier to upload videos than write blogs. T_T Have you seen my Youtube channel before? On top of that, I'm usually to excited about new packages to have the time and patience to document anything. HAHAHA.

But here we are today, I managed to restrain myself a bit and take photos of an unboxing. :P





Apple Orchard Ruruko came in two releases. The first one in April 2017. She was dressed in a rose colored gingham dress. I think she sold out very quickly because the same month, Petworks took reservation for a new batch that was released May 2017. Only this time, she was dressed in the same green ginham dress as Ruruko of the Gables (I wrote about Gables here).

I am fairly certain Apple Orchard is based on Snow White. What with her very black hair, deep colored lips and rosy cheeks!

She is a bit hard to come by, but I got lucky when I found her on a flea market app. A couple of days later, I received her.


She has the same simple box that Gables came with, a white cardboard with a photo of the doll on the cover.

 
 She is secured in plastic molded to accommodate her physique.

She comes with nothing but the clothes on her back and a pair of shoes.

Apple Orchard retailed for 17,280 yen. Same as Gables.

Look at her cute face!!! TT_TT How adorable is this little girl?! I'm in love with her.

Of course, I had to dress back Ruruko of the Gables (who I have been calling Anne, because you know why) back into her gingham dress, to meet her new friend! I've named Apple Orchard "Blanche." Blanche, as some of you may know, is a french word that means "white." She is Snow White, so it's easy to connect the dots. :P
 

And finally, I redressed her in something cuter. I actually bought this dress for my Blythe doll, Ari. I found that they are able to share some clothes. ^^

So there's that. If you guys want to follow my dolly adventures, please go to my instagram page: @dolliberate!

See you all next time.

xoxo,
Jona



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Barbie Collector: Captain Jack Sparrow

I had been on the hunt for this doll for a bit of time, and I finally received him tonight!

Captain Jack Sparrow of the Pirates of Caribbean franchise is a Pink Label doll. It means that he is not a limited-edition doll. He has been quite difficult to find though, and as a result, his price has jumped up quite a bit!

Barbie Collector Captain Jack Sparrow box front
The front of the box/packaging.

Barbie Collector Captain Jack Sparrow box back
And here is the back. You can read a bit about the movie series here.

Here he is, semi-unboxed. Look at that handsome face.

Can we just appreciate the level of detail for this PINK label doll!

He even has this dangling head accessory!

Pink Label, but honestly better than so many higher-tiered dolls now...... ; 3 ;

Jack Sparrow fully out of the box!

And an official promotional image for reference. He doesn't have the ring or the guns, but there are several accessories that they did include.
  
Not bad, I'd say! It could use some aging and tattering, but for a pink label, I am not complaining.

My main intention of getting Jack is to photograph him with other dolls. Keeping him in his stock clothing would limit that. So I did re-dress him! I do not have a lot of male doll clothes at the moment (as he is my third male doll, and one of them is still a boxed fashionista from my lovely friend, Terra.)

Seriously good-looking despite the lame fashion I have available for him! XDD

Now what should his new name be?

I am overall very satisfied with this doll, which I had bought for $100 including shipping to Japan from Australia. I would say it's not bad... but I can hear some of you screaming at me now for unboxing a hundred-dollar doll. lol But looking at eBay's sold list now (January 2018), the highest he has gone for was $165.99....... and that's without shipping too! On Amazon I am seeing two listings for $224.99 and $515.75. Yeah you read that right! And yes, I am trying to justify my purchase! Hahaha. But seriously, I do not regret getting him at all. So happy to add him to my group of dolls. ^___^

Well then, this is all for now. See you next time! ^^

xoxo,
Jona




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Petworks Ruruko





PetWorks, the maker of Ruruko, was originally an e-mail software company, until they developed Momoko to be the office's mascot.


From then, they have created so many dolls! The newer addition being Ruruko, introduced in 2013 as Momoko's sister.

To be honest, I can't see it... Ruruko and Momoko are both 1/6, but if they are supposedly sisters, then I think the scale should correspond... and in this case, though the bodies used for the dolls are balanced, the head size isn't. That doesn't mean Ruruko isn't adorable, though, because she definitely is!!!

Just take a look at some of these photos grabbed from the Ruruko Website.



The first Ruruko. October 2013.

Adorable. I can understand why she became so popular soon! 

My first Ruruko doll was CCSGirl 17SS. I was so eager to get her out of her box that I failed to document. :P But she will be in this blog so you can meet her, too!

Today, however, we will be meeting my second girl, Ruruko of the Gables.

Promotional photo lifted from the PetWorks website.

Here is my CCSGirl 17SS, dressed in Licca-chan clothes, helping me with today's box opening!

And here she is!

Like most PetWorks boxes, this one is simplistic. Almost too simple. I collect other dolls as well, and ones at this price range usually have really fancy boxes.

Now, certainly, I am fascinated with Ruruko--the reason why I bought a second one.

But maybe it's just me... but the price and the item you get just doesn't match compared with other doll companies...

I'm going to go ahead and compare Integrity Toys dolls to Ruruko. They'd retail for around the same. Let's be more concrete and compare an FR Nippon Misaki Doll-Always Me. She costs 20,520. The same cost of one of the newest Ruruko Girls CCSGirl 17AW (Can't compare Ruruko of the Gables because she retailed for cheaper).

Ruruko Stock
The shoes are plastic.

She is in a Pure Neemo Body Full Flection XS (JPY 2,340--This leaves us JPY 18,180 for the head and stock.)

 

I can not find any pictures of just her stock items... but here are the contents:

[Set Contents]
-Main doll
-Denim jacket
-Shirt
-Skirt
-Socks
-Shoes
-Bag
-Doll stand

  

None of these are plastic. A Misaki・Poppy Parker replacement body costs JPY4,800 which leaves us with JPY15,720 for the head and stock.

And then you can see easily the difference in content and the amount of items you get!

Nevertheless, Ruruko has a very special charm about her. And so here I am, unhappy about her pricing, but still buying anyhow! 😭😭😭

Moving on!
Sorry for the half-dark photo... XD But anyway, here is what we get in this box. She retailed for  JPY17,720 (tax included). I got her for JPY 23,000 as I was late at this Ruruko party and got her from a reseller... XD


Her dress is cute and all, but I wanted to redress her, just like I did with my first Ruruko. I grabbed another Licca-chan clothes set to try on her.


I removed the pearls because it looked so weird on her. The dress also looked weird to me... So I changed her into...

A handmade skirt and shirt. I used the trench coat though, because it is so cute!

Here are more photos of this cute, freckled girl!




I do have a video of the day I got my first Ruruko. I went to Akihabara! If you'd like to see that, please click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tsUue0xdIE

That is it for now. See you all next time. ^^

xoxo,
Jona

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