Japan Working Holiday Visas
Japan might be a tiny island nation but it is undeniable that there are a lot to discover and explore in every corner of this fascinating country.
The working holiday programmes are based on bilateral arrangements, intended to make it possible for the youth of Japan and its partner countries to enter each country primarily for the purpose of spending holidays while allowing them to engage in employment as an incidental activity of their holidays for the purpose of supplementing their travel funds.
A working holiday visa is an ideal option in uncovering a new perspective on not just Japan’s lifestyle and culture but on life in general. With a work holiday visa, you can work as you go which means you will be able to support your travel and not strain your wallet while you enjoy and immerse yourself with the new exciting environment.
Although a short holiday overseas can provide a general understanding of a new culture, nothing beats an extended visit while simultaneously working with the locals and meeting other foreign nationals.
As this visa provides you an opportunity to stay for a longer period in another country, this allows a chance for you to assess whether or not this would be a good permanent move.
You have first-hand experience on how good or bad the economy is functioning, what the job market is like in your intended field, compare your experiences with other foreign nationals and whether or not you mesh well with the setup in general. A working holiday in this case would be more of a trial run.
Japan just one of many countries that offer Working Holiday Visas to let you stay and work in the country while travelling. For more options, check out our Working Holiday Visa blog post!
If Japan is your ideal destination, you should know how the process works.
If you are from one of the countries on the table below, you may qualify for a work holiday visa.
|Countries||Quota per Year||Countries||Quota per Year|
|New Zealand||no limit||Slovakia||400|
|Republic of Korea||10,000||Hungary||200|
|Germany||no limit||Argentina||From Japan to Argentina: 200|
From Argentina to Japan: 400
|The United Kingdom||1,000||Chile||200|
|Hong Kong||1,500||Sweden||no limit|
|Norway||no limit||Estonia||From Japan to Estonia: no limit|
From Estonia to Japan: 100
To participate in the program, you must meet the following additional criteria.
- You must be currently residing in your country of nationality. For residents in Hong Kong, an applicant must possess a valid HKSAR or British National Overseas passport and for a resident in Taiwan, you must possess a valid passport of Taiwan.
- Intending primarily to spend holiday in Japan for a specific length of time.
- Being between 18 and 30 years of age. As for Australia, Canada and the Republic of Korea, you should be between 18 and 25 years of age except in those cases where the competent authorities of Japan agree to extend the limitation of age to 30 years. In the case of Iceland, you should be between 18 and 26 years of age.
- Not being accompanied by dependents or children.
- Possessing a valid passport of his or her country and a return travel ticket or sufficient funds with which to purchase such a ticket.
- Possessing reasonable funds for the maintenance of his/her stay during the initial period of stay in Japan.
- Being in good health.
- Never having been issued a Japanese working holiday visa in the past.
If you meet the conditions above, you can submit your Working Holiday Visa application to the Embassies or Consulates-General of Japan in your country. The usual turnaround time for the application is a week to a month. We recommend submitting your application a month prior to your departure date.
Here is the general document you need to prepare for submission. Please note that additional documents may be requested depending on your nationality.
- Valid passport
- Completed visa application form (You will be exempt from filling in the “Guarantor or Reference in Japan”, as well as “Inviter in Japan” information, unless you have a plan to stay in a specific place in Japan.)
- Recent photo
- Personal resume/curriculum vitae
- Detailed itinerary of your stay in Japan
- Letter explaining your reason for applying for a Working Holiday Visa
- Note from a physician stating that you are in good health (Original note)
- Proof of Financial Capacity
- Airline ticket or flight itinerary to Japan.
You are strictly prohibited from working at bars, cabarets, nightclubs, gambling establishments and other places affecting public morals in Japan.
If you work at such a place, you are deemed to violate the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act and will face deportation except where you are deemed to be a victim of human trafficking
Upon arrival in Japan, you will be issued a Residence card. You are required to notify the Ministry of Justice where you live within 14 days. For more information, visit the official website.
Your Working Holiday Visa is for a single entry. However, if you have to leave Japan for any reason and wish to return to Japan within your original one-year period of stay, you can leave Japan with a Special Re-entry Permit.
Foreign nationals seeking a job in Japan may seek assistance in English or other languages at the Employment Service Center for Foreigners.
Please see the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare website for more details.
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