The Working Holiday Programmes in Japan

February 2013

Working Holiday Visa

The Working Holiday visa is a special visa for young people that have the following features.

  • Validity of Visa:
    The Working Holiday visa is a single-entry visa. Visa recipients must enter Japan within one year (three months for Hong Kong and Norway) after the date of issue.
  • Period of Stay:
    (1)An initial stay of up to six months is granted for Australia and Canada .This may be extended up to another six months by the immigration authorities. Details are available from the Immigration Bureau. ( site)
    (2)A stay of up to one year is granted for New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, France, Germany, U.K., Ireland, Denmark, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Norway. This cannot be extended.
  • Limits on Issue:
    Working Holiday visas will be issued only to persons who have never obtained one before.
  • Special re-entry permit system:
    Details are available from the Immigration Bureau. ( site)
  • Remunerative Activities:
    The Working Holiday participants can engage in any kind of job as long as their stay is deemed to be primarily a holiday in Japan. They may not, however, work in places where business is being regulated by the Law on Control and Improvement of Amusement and Entertainment Business, such as nightclubs and dance halls and etc.
  • Visa Fees:
    There is no charge for a Working Holiday visa. (except for U.K. ,Taiwan and Norway)

Conditions of the Working Holiday Programme

Since the Working Holiday programme is intended to promote greater mutual understanding, the applicant's primary aim should be to holiday in Japan. The programme is not designed for persons who mainly intend to work or study in Japan (for which purposes the appropriate visa should be sought). To ensure that the programme's objectives are met, the following requirements are to be satisfied.

The applicant

  • must be a citizen/national of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Republic of Korea, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark or Norway currently residing in his or her country of citizenship, or must be a resident of Taiwan or Hong Kong.
  • must intend primarily to holiday in Japan for a specific length of time.
  • must be between 18 and 30 years of age.
  • must possess a valid passport and a return ticket or sufficient funds to purchase a return ticket.
  • must possess reasonable funds for living expenses, including medical expenses, during the period of the initial stay in Japan. For a single person, the minimum is US$2000, for a married couple, US$3000 or equivalent amount of the national currency.(France:3100Euro)
  • must be in good health and not have a criminal record.

Application for Working Holiday Visa (Requirements and Procedure)

I. Requirements

The documents required for application include the following.

  • Application form.
  • Photographs:
           Identical photograph (45mm x 45mm), to be glued to the application form.
  • Resume:
           Resume on A4 paper, including educational background, work experience, hobbies, and other relevant information.
  • Outline of planned activities in Japan.
  • Statement of the reason:
           Statement of the reason for applying for Working Holiday visa on A4 paper.
  • Proof of travel funds:
           Proof of adequate travel funds (a return ticket, proof of possession of a bank account, traveller's cheques, etc.).
  • Proof of sufficient funds to support the initial stay in Japan:
           At least US$2000 for a single person, US$3000 for a married couple.(France:3100Euro)

II. Procedure

  • In principle the applicant must apply for a visa in person.
  • Place:
           All application documents must be submitted to the nearest Embassy of Japan, Consulate-General of Japan in the applicant's country/region of residence. For the residents in Taiwan, please consult with Interchange Association Japan (Taipei Officeother site or Kaohsiung Officeother site).
  • Processing time for visa application:
           Application must be made at least three weeks before the anticipated departure date. Applications submitted on short notice will not be accepted.
  • Other documents:
           Alternative and/or additional documents may be required. Particulars can be obtained from the nearest Embassy of Japan, Consulate-General of Japan or interchange association Japan (Taipei Officeother site or Kaohsiung Officeother site).
  • Interview:
           An interview with the visa officer by appointment may be required.

Further information on visa application procedures can be obtained from Embassies or Consulates-General of Japan.

Other Information

  • Procedures after arriving in Japan:
    The Working Holiday participants are required to submit a "notification of moving in" to the municipal office they live within 14 days of taking up their abode.(More information on procedural flow of the new residency management system)( site)
  • Life and Health Insurance:
    The Working Holiday participants are advised to make arrangements to see that they are fully insured for all medical expenses that may be incurred in connection with illness, injury, or accident during their stay in Japan.
  • Ability to Speak Japanese:
    Ability to speak Japanese to some degree is desirable but not required.
  • Job seeking in Japan:
    The national public employment security office (Hello Work) and the Employment service center for foreigners in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya provide assistance to job-seeking in Japan (Information for foreigners who are seeking jobs in Japanother site).

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