I just received an interesting note from a man living in the Philippines with his Japanese wife. They are considering moving to Hawaii. Here’s the note:
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I’m a 50 yr old UK citizen currently living in the Philippines. My dream has always been to live in Hawaii since watching Hawaii 5-0 as a boy in the 70’s. I still don’t think it possible but I thought I’d ask as your page makes it sound so, except maybe only for US citizens?
What would it take for me and my Japanese wife and 10 yr old son to move there? What would I have to apply for? Would I be able to work and put my son in an inexpensive school? We work online as translators of Jp to Eng. It’s enough to live here but I’m sure we couldn’t survive on it their. Could we get jobs with local Jp companies translating?
Sorry for many questions,this is my last chance I feel, if I don’t do it now I never will!
Regards, A. T.
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Wow, this is quite a situation, and I’ll apologize first for not having the answers you require. You’re a UK citizen with a Japanese wife and dual nationality son, I imagine. I don’t really know anything about citizens of other nations coming to live in the USA in Hawaii. There is just too much to know and figure out for each person or family intending to do so, I couldn’t possibly stay on top of it all.
I can comment on your question about putting your son in an inexpensive school. Don’t. That’s my advice. I wouldn’t move to the Hawaiian Islands unless you can provide a decent private school education for your 10 year old son. The public school system works OK sometimes for locals that grew up there and already have many friends. I wouldn’t say it is a good experience for kids coming new to a public school and trying to fit in.
Could you get jobs with local Japanese companies doing translation? Yes, I think you could do that without a problem. There is a great need for it. In fact, since your wife is Japanese and you both can probably translate really well, you might consider opening a business in Hawaii. I don’t often say – “Yeah, Open a Business in Hawaii!” but, in this case you might be able to make something work because you’ll have low overhead, you have great skills, you have the online business going already. I think you could probably do quite well on Oahu. There aren’t many Japanese on the other islands in comparison.
Anyway, just my two cents.
I’m curious, does your son speak English, Japanese, and Tagalog?
There are PLENTY of Filipinos in Hawaii too!
This is very complex. You would have to apply for a US Green Card – resident visas for yourself and family. From the Philippines that is a pure nightmare. The daily lines outside of the Manila US embassy, I have seen them myself – often – are about a half a kilometre on a good day on Roxas Blvd – it can be a km. It is extremely hard for Filipinos to navigate…and being British – difficult, very. There are tons and tons of Filipinos trying to get into the US. Some succeed. They earned their stripes on Roxas Blvd.
I would recommend applying from Japan. But be aware – age counts. If you are not sponsored in some form – 50-ish will be very difficult. You may want to reconsider. If you have a going concern in the Philippines – it is a beautiful place for the most part. You might want to consider ramping up your business. Your wife is Japanese – world’s best work ethic – but you know that. Cost of living is a fraction of Hawaii and with the low cost of living and the internet – you certainly have options. Places like Dumaguete, Bacolod, Iloilo, CDO…..great places with good infrastructure and cheap to live. Public schools in the Philippines vary – but generally not too wonderful (teachers try hard but are unsupported) – but if you move to a lower cost of living area – you might be able to afford a good private school to get them ready for a quality Manila university. Did I recommend Dumaguete? I think I did. I know it well….