Visa trouble was alive last week when I had heard reports that they closed the Tier 1 visa which is the visa you can get after you graduate from the PhD, without having a job. It costs a lot (like £550 for you and £150 for each dependant), but it would give us the possibility of staying here between October 2012- March 2013, looking for work, leaving open the possibility of going back to Japan for the 2013-2014 school year in April if need be. Obviously, going back in April 2012 for good work would be choice one, or having something come up here (or elsewhere) in October 2012. Anyway, I heard (and read that) they closed this visa category, but apparently it is only the Tier 1 (General) and not Tier 1 (Post study). So. That's good news, I guess. Not that I can see us paying, what... £1150 for the possibility of maybe finding something. But at least the option is still open. This is also a nice caveat too:
The time you spend in the post-study worker category does not count towards the period you need to spend in the United Kingdom before being eligible to live permanently in the United Kingdom (known as 'settlement' or 'indefinite leave to remain').The underlying message: Get the hell out of the country.
Well, we'll hope something works out in Japan prior to this, or I manage (by some miracle) to get work before I graduate so I can go right on to a working (Tier 2) visa. Or another possibility opens in another country, which is also something I'm working on.