Working Holiday Japan Visa: How To Get It?

woman cycling at Mt. Fuji

Do you want to travel to a modern-cultural country like Japan without spending enormously? Obtaining a working holiday visa maybe is the right answer for you. How to apply for the visa? What are some of the visa qualifications? Will the visa permit you to work part-time in Japan? This article will help you know the answer to these valuable questions about the working holiday visa in Japan.

What is a Working Holiday Program in Japan?

The working holiday program is based on the bilateral arrangements, in which the primary purpose is to promote cultural interchange between countries. It opens the opportunity of young people between the age of 18 and 30 (25 in the case of some countries) to learn and experience Japan’s culture and lifestyle for a year while allowing them to engage in part-time jobs.

However, those only originated from the countries where Japan has mutual working holiday agreements can be able to participate in the program. Please refer to the full list of countries below.

1 year with no extension

  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Chile
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hongkong
  • 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 Australians, New-Zealanders, and Canadians. However, applicants to these countries may able to extend their visas for another 6 months.

How to Obtain a Working Holiday Visa?

working holiday visa

Check your Eligibility

It is important to determine your eligibility for the preliminary conditions of a working holiday visa before you accumulate the required documents.

✔Being between 18 and 30 years of age both inclusive at the time of application for the visa; As for Australia, Canada, and the Republic of Korea, an applicant 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, the applicant should be between 18 and 26 years of age.
✔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 have a valid passport and must have enough funds for the round-trip tickets.
✔Hold reasonable funds to cover total expenses during the first stay.
✔Must haven’t been issued a Working Holiday Visa in the past.
✔Must not be accompanied by dependents or children
✔Must be in good health and no criminal record.

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

Apply for a Working Holiday Visa

Apply at the Embassies or Consulates-General of Japan in your country/region. Here’s the flow of the application.

  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 and of sufficient funds to sustain the beginning of the stay and medical certificate.
  3. Submit the application form and the required documents to the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Japan in your home country.
  4. In some instances, you will have an interview with a visa officer.

The Working Holiday visa holder must do the following:

1. Visit Municipal Office for Registration

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Working holiday visa holders are required to register their address at the local municipal office within 14 days after having moved to his or her permanent address. You will need to bring Your Passport and Residence Card to the municipal office and fill out the Notification of Change of Address form.

After you have fulfilled the registration process, then your new address will be printed on the backside of your residence card. Don’t forget to bring your residence card where your registered address is listed, every time you go anywhere in Japan.

To know more about the residency management system, please see the Immigration Bureau of Japan’s website.

2. Secure Japanese Health Insurance

Obtaining Japanese health insurance, which covers both health and repatriation for anyone staying long-term (6 months or more) in Japan, is required by law. Therefore, a working holiday visa holder must have to enroll in national health insurance.

There is a big difference without having health insurance for hospitalization in Japan is very expensive. Consequently, those who have health insurance in Japan can benefit from the 70% cover of the hospital bill and medicines.

After you have arrived in Japan, you should go to the nearest city government office or city hall to subscribe or enroll for national health insurance. Furthermore, the amount you will pay for it will depend on your age and income status.

3. Know the Work Restrictions

  • This type of visa allows foreign nationals to work as a related activity of their holidays to support their travel funds.
  • Strictly prohibited from working at nightclubs, gambling establishments, bars, cabarets, and other premises that may affect public morals in Japan.
  • If doing such things above is deemed to violate the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act and possible deportation otherwise he or she is considered a victim of human trafficking.
  • If working at these establishments promoting illegal work or the buying or selling of persons could face criminal charges.

4. Find a Job

There are many jobs in various industries in Japan that hire part-time workers. Some of these part-time jobs do not even require Japanese language skills such as positions being offered in restaurants and cafes, also jobs like English tutorial. However, it is also better to learn some basic Japanese, which may able you to interact with locals at work or traveling the country.

Start your job searching using magazines, newspapers, employment services (Hello Work and Tokyo Employ), and online job search engines, as shown below.

woman carrying bed sheet

List of Working Holiday Visa Jobs

Here are the common jobs for having a Working Holiday Visa in Japan:

  •  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

The Benefits of a Working Holiday Visa

  • You don’t need to spend more on your savings as soon as you get the job.
  • You can fully immerse yourself in Japan’s unique culture
  • You can enjoy exploring new destinations every weekend
  • You will gain local friends
  • You earn a better cultural understanding
  • The travel period is prolonged than usual.

woman carrying bed sheetAlthough the working holiday visa program is intended to promote relationship and cultural awareness between Japan and the 22 countries, enrolling at a Japanese language school is one of the opportunities you should try while under the program. The fact that learning a language is an effective way to deepen your understanding of the country’s own culture and lifestyle, it could also help you gain local friends and even makes your part-time job application less hurdle.

If ever your country cannot participate in the working holiday program or your age doesn’t permit you for the visa application, then you may consider another option, like applying for a student visa to study in a Japanese language school. Even though this visa differs from a working holiday visa, at least you may have the chance to explore Japan and can also get part-time jobs while studying there.

If you want to apply for a student visa and know the cost of study in Japan, please visit the links below for more detailed information.

How Much Does it Cost to Study in Japan?

How to Apply for a Student Visa to Japan


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