Working Holiday Japan Visa: How To Get It?

woman cycling at Mt. Fuji

Getting a working holiday Japan visa is the best option to consider when you plan to travel to the country without spending enormously. However, you may ask, am I eligible to apply for the visa? What are the requirements? Can I take jobs in Japan holding this type of visa?

This article will help you find the answer to these questions. Keep on reading.

What is a Working Holiday Japan Visa?

It is the type of visa you should apply for when you participate in the working holiday program in Japan. 

Japan has working holiday agreements with many countries, allowing young people to work and travel the country’s unique culture and lifestyle. They must be 18 to 30 years old (25 in few countries) to apply for this type of visa.  

Check the list of countries below to know if your country is participating in the program.

Lists of Participating Countries

1 year with no extension

    • Argentina
    • Austria
    • Chile
    • Denmark
    • France
    • Germany
    • Hong Kong
    • Hungary
    • Iceland
    • Ireland
    • Korea
    • Norway
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Slovakia
    • Spain
    • Taiwan
    • United Kingdom
    • Czech Republic

6 months and may extend for another 6 months

    • Australia
    • Canada
    • New Zealand

The working holiday visa is valid for up to 12 months except for these countries, which are Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. However, applicants to these countries may be able to extend their visas for another 6 months.

How to Obtain a Working Holiday Japan Visa?

Japan Working Holiday Visa | FAIR Study in Japan

1. Check If You Are Eligible To Apply

The working holiday program has preceding conditions for those who want to apply for it. Checking the following requirements is necessary to understand if you are eligible to apply for the visa.

  • An applicant must be 18 to 30 years of age; for Australia, Canada, and the Republic of Korea, the applicants must be 18 to 25 years; and 18 to 26 years of age in Iceland.
  • Must be a citizen of one of the countries mentioned above and residing in your home country at the time of application.
  • The primary purpose of your stay is to travel and not to work, to deepen your understanding of Japan.
  • You must obtain a valid passport and have enough funds for the round-trip tickets.
  • Must have reasonable funds to cover total expenses during the first stay.
  • You have not been issued a Working Holiday Visa in the past.
  • Will not be accompanied by dependents or children.
  • Must be in good health and have no criminal record.

*Please refer Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan for more information.

2. Apply for a Working Holiday Visa in Japan

You can apply for the visa at the Embassies or Consulates-General of Japan in your country/region. Here’s the overview of the entire application process.

  1. Duly filled out the visa application form.
  2. Provide the necessary documents such as:
    • valid passport
    • ID picture
    • resume
    • an outline of planned activities in Japan
    • a written reason for applying
    • proof of possession of a return ticket
    • proof sufficient funds to sustain the beginning of the stay
    • a medical certificate.
  3. Submit the application form and the required documents to the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Japan in your home country.
  4. Prepare for an interview with a visa officer.

What Are Some Important Things A Working Holiday Visa Holder Must Do?

There are certain things you need to do after you arrived in Japan. Typically, there are four things a working holiday visa holder must accomplish.

1. Visit the municipal office for permanent address registration.

Registering your address in Japan within 14 days upon your arrival is a must. To fulfill it, go to the municipal office, bring your passport and residence card with you, and fill out the form.

Then, they will print the permanent address at the back of your residence card once you have done it. To know more about the residency management system, please see the Japan Immigration Bureau website.

2. Secure Japanese health insurance.

Having Japanese health insurance that covers both health and repatriation for anyone staying long-term (6 months or more) in Japan is required by law. That means that a working holiday visa holder must subscribe to it as well.

The fact that hospitalization cost in Japan is expensive, without having health insurance would require you a lot of money. But if you do have, you will get the 70% hospital bill and medical coverage.

To subscribe to national health insurance, go to the nearest government office or city hall once you arrived in Japan. Take note that the cost will depend on your age and income status.

3. Know the working restrictions of working holiday visa holders.

    • You can only engage in part-time jobs, and the purpose is to support your travel.
    • Working at nightclubs, gambling establishments, bars, and other premises that may affect public morals in Japan is strictly prohibited.
    • Doing such things above is deemed to violate the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act and possible deportation. Otherwise,
    • the participant is considered a victim of human trafficking.
    • Working on establishments that promoting illegal work or buying or selling of persons could face criminal charges.

4. Find jobs available for work

There are many jobs in various industries in Japan that hire part-time workers. Some of them do not require a higher level of Japanese, such as jobs in restaurants and cafes, English tutorials, and more others. 

However, if you can converse in Japanese, it would be much easier to look for jobs to support your travel expenses. 

You can start your job-finding journey by using the free job search magazine in Japan, the TownWork. This magazine is available in any convenience store in the country.

Also, you can search job listings using the job sites below:

woman carrying bed sheet

List of Jobs in Japan for Working Holiday Visa Holders:

Remember that holding a working holiday visa will not permit you to perform full-time jobs. You can only take part-time positions to support your travel costs in Japan. Here are some jobs that you can be able to take.

    • Positions at the restaurants, café, and fast food chains
    • Hotel staff
    • Nanny work
    • Sports Instructor (with relevant skills)
    • Sale in shops (with language skills)
    • Language Teacher
    • Photo model for advertising and Performer for television
    • Cleaning Jobs
    • Factory jobs

Final Thoughts

Apart from promoting relationship and cultural awareness purposes of working holiday program, the participants will have the following benefits:

    • no need to spend much on your Japan travel
    • you can fully immerse yourself in the country’s unique culture
    • be able to meet some local friends
    • and the travel period is prolonged than usual.

But to make your travel to Japan more interesting, it is best to know some basic Japanese. Because learning the language will help you understand Japan’s unique culture. Also, you will gain local friends and lessen the hurdle of applying for part-time jobs.

However, if your country is not participating in the working holiday program or you reached the age limit, then look for an alternative by applying for a student visa. With a student visa, you could also do both exploring Japan and work part-time while studying.

If you want to know more details about the student visa application and the cost of study in Japan, read these articles.

How Much Does it Cost to Study in Japan?

How to Apply for a Student Visa to Japan

    FAIR Japan provides useful information about Japan.

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