The Working Holiday Visa in Japan

The Working Holiday Visa in Japan

Update: 8 February 2018

Working holiday is a visa program that allows young people to spend time in the Japan while allowing them to engage in employment as a way to supplementing their travel funds. Only countries or regions that have signed a bilateral arrangements with Japan can benefit from it. Depending on your country, if you are between the ages of 18 and 30, you might be eligible to participate.

The aim of the working holiday visa program is to offer youth from countries around the world the chance to broaden their horizons by providing opportunities to learn about a foreign country’s culture and lifestyle. Japan began their working holiday program in 1980 with Australia. As of 2016, Japan has included a total of 16 countries and regions as part of this program. Over 10,000 people have Japanese obtained working holiday visas.

Which Countries’ Residents are Eligible to Apply for Japan’s Working Holiday Visa?

Which Countries’ Residents are Eligible to Apply for Japan’s Working Holiday Visa?

Residents of the following countries are eligible to apply for Japan’s working holiday visa:

・New Zealand
・The Republic of Korea
・The United Kingdom
・Hong Kong

Requirements and Procedure of Getting a Japanese Working Holiday Visa

Requirements and Procedure of Getting a Japanese Working Holiday Visa

The visa application must be made to Embassies or Consulates-General of Japan in your country or region, or Interchange Association (Taipei Office or Kaohsiung Office).

- For most the countries concerned, the applicant must be currently residing in his or her country of nationality. For a resident of Hong Kong, the applicant must possess a valid HKSAR or British National Overseas passport and, for a resident of Taiwan, a valid passport of Taiwan.

- The applicant must intend to primarily to spend the holiday in Japan for a specific length of time.

- The applicant must be between 18 and 30 years old at the time of application for the visa. For Australia, Canada and Republic of Korea, the limit is lowered to 25 years old, except in specific cases where it can be extended to 30 years of age.

- The applicant must not be accompanied by dependents or children.

- The applicant must possess a valid passport and a return travel ticket or sufficient funds with which to purchase such a ticket.

- The applicant must possess reasonable funds.

- The applicant must be in good health.

- The applicant must never have been issued a Japanese working holiday visa in the past.

The procedure to apply for a working holiday visa differs depending on your country of residence. Usually, a questionnaire, motivational letter, proof of sufficient funds, travel tickets and travel plan will be needed.

Working Holiday Conditions

Working Holiday Conditions

Participants in Japan’s working holiday programs are allowed to engage in employment as an “incidental activity of their holidays” as a means of supplementing their travel funds. Participants are strictly prohibited to work in bars, cabarets, nightclubs, gambling establishments, and the adult industry. Offenders of this rule may face deportation, or even criminal charges.

Please beware of fraudulent organizations offering help in obtaining a Japanese working holiday visa, as there is no organization in Japan with which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs cooperates in regards to the working holiday visa program. Foreign job-seekers in Japan may seek employment assistance in various languages at the Employment Service Center for Foreigners (in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya) as well as at some of the regional national public employment security offices, commonly known as ‘Hello Work’.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.

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