As a “single” trailing partner in Japan, I’m not granted the rights afforded to married trailing partners. Japan, like the US, does not nationally recognize gay unions, so if you’re like me, you’re shit out of luck.
If you are a straight trailing partner and in a relationship but not married you find yourself in a similar situation. I’ve met a few women in this predicament here in the land of loveless marriages. It’s not the kind of information they share with their married lady friends over lunch at The American Club. But I’m not a married lady friend and I’m much younger than the married ladies these “single” ladies lunch with. So after ten or fifteen minutes with me over coffee or a cocktail, I become Oprah and they become my guests.
The other day, a “single” lady friend of mine told me that she and her partner were not married and that she had been doing the visa run thing every 90 days or so. I know this run well. It involves long, lonely plane rides back home and the ability to earn shitloads of American Airline miles. God love ‘em.
A couple of months ago she tried to extend her visa another six months. So she enlisted the help of a Japanese acquaintance, had her make some calls and then visited the dreaded immigration center in Shinagawa.
It turns out that in order to even be considered for an extension, she and her partner had to provide mortgage information, life insurance documents, joint bank account statements and a declaration of love to one another on paper. And, I shit you not, a letter from her partner’s parents declaring their support of this unmarried union.
My advice? If you can get married, do. Why put up with all this BS? And if he doesn’t want to marry you, I say go on a visa run and never come back.