I hate going to government offices, whether in Japan or back in the United States. They tend to be dreary places with all the atmosphere of an elevator and none of the exotic and exciting allure of a doctor's office. The immigration office here is no exception, and the staff there aren't particularly friendly. Not that I expect them to chat me up, but a little smile every now and then would certainly make the experience more fun and fulfilling for all involved.
On the other hand, what our local immigration official lack in charm, they more than make up for where it counts: efficiency. This year would have been the easiest experience with Japanese immigration if not for the severe screw-up on our part. We tried for the spouse visa, but failed for reasons I won't go into here, but are completely due to my lack of diligence. The work visa proved a quick process, this time with a total turnaround time of less than 60 hours. I went one day, turned in the paperwork, received my postcard the next day, had my new ID card and 3-year extension then next.
I'm curious if anyone has ever had problems extending their work visas despite having valid contracts with established companies. I've known people who had to leave Japan when their cultural visas ran out and the Ministry of Justice refused to grant extensions, but I've yet to hear of anyone losing out on a work visa. No doubt people make mistakes on their paperwork, or else the MoJ blows it somehow on their end. While the whole thing is a bit inconvenient at best, I've never had a visa denied. Am I lucky or just like everyone else? Maybe I should find out.
Yeah. I'll do that. Someday.