I got accepted to a new job in Japan and have signed a contract with them. Because of the current virus situation, the visa process got delayed and took longer to process until the situation gets better, they told me to just wait.

They mentioned that I can work from home, but ever since I have signed the contract with them, they haven't given me any project to work with. It has been almost 2 weeks now.

Honestly speaking I need to start work so I can get my paycheck to pay bills. What I need help with is wording my email to my employer without sounding annoying or pushy because I have been emailing them asking about my visa updates every 1 or 2 weeks.

  • What industry are you in? Getting/setting up projects that can be worked on remotely can range from trivial to somewhat difficult depending on the industry.
    – buckminst
    Jul 13, 2020 at 4:03
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    Are you still in your country processing your visa or are you already in Japan? Although, I can tell you that Japan does not like teleworking or work from home(IT based not sure about others). I have project that's been stop because they can't accept it.
    – ky-chan
    Jul 13, 2020 at 4:16
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    @buckminst I'm working for a game company. That might be the case, but based on my experience working in animation and games company working remotely is acceptable. Jul 13, 2020 at 5:04
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    @ky-chan I'm still in my country processing my visa and also waiting until my country got whitelist on Japan travel ban. They did mention that they are all working from home right now, in fact they have employees working from outside Japan as well. Jul 13, 2020 at 5:07
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    @nugrohoputra That might be a bit hard. If you keep on asking them every once in a while, they will think you are aggressive. I don't know why but clarifying things in here is difficult. They tend to be vague on everything but they expect you to understand. Also, for 1 year that I am working here, one thing I've learned is that, you need to meet the client face to face(they don't do web meetings for this) in order to build trust, or else you wont be able to joined that project. These however is my experience. Japan is advance in someway but wont change something they are already used to.
    – ky-chan
    Jul 13, 2020 at 5:50

2 Answers 2


Tell them that you need to work and earn a living and that if they're not in a position to provide paying work for you immediately that you'll need to move on and find a position that has such.

They shouldn't expect you to wait indefinitely for work without paying you for your time waiting for them to provide it. You need to earn a living.


You need to read your contract and ask the company what your work expectations are.

There are a number of things that aren't sitting quite right from reading your post. I would assume that you didn't sign a full-time employee contract, because then you'd be getting paid regardless of whether they had a project for you. But I'd also assume you weren't a project-based contract employee, because why would they have you sign a contract for something when there isn't a project yet? Even if you didn't have anything specific to do yet, you should at least know what you're working on - but your post makes it sound like you haven't been given a project. Likewise, why would they sign a full-time contract employee without having something for them to actually work on?

I mean, I would guess that you were effectively being hired as a freelancer or a part-time contractor and they don't yet have any work for you. And if that's the case, then you should absolutely go out and look for another contract - because if that's the case, even if the company had handed you some work, it's not going to be meant to take up your full time.

But that's all guesswork on my side - which is why my advice is: Read the contract and get the work expectations from the company. I have a feeling there was a miscommunication somewhere along the line on what they expect from you hour/project wise - and the fact that there's likely a language/culture/country barrier makes that even more likely.

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