I am looking for academic jobs and Japan came up as one potential possibility. I am in the USA now and my visa is tied to my work here, meaning that when my appointment is up, I need to leave. There might be a gap of a couple of months between the end of my current appointment and the start of the appointment in Japan. For various reasons it would be strongly preferable for me to go directly to Japan from the USA instead of spending that gap in another country.
Is this possible? Is it at all legally possible to go directly to Japan on a tourist visa, then change status while there? If possible, is it relatively easy or common to do so? Or is trying to do this likely to lead to significant bureaucratic complications? (I am aware that in the USA trying to do something like this is not recommended and risky, but I have absolutely no idea about Japan.)
More details on my situation:
- I am married. I can stay 90 days visa-free in Japan, but my spouse does need a visa. The question applies to both of us.
- In this question I'm not interested in discussing staying in a third country during the gap.