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Ultimate Guide to Japan Working Holiday Visa [Step by Step Guide]

Ultimate Guide to Japan Working Holiday Visa [Step by Step Guide]

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Japan – The Land of the Rising Sun. Full of fascinating history and rich culture. Check out the picturesque Mt. Fuji, the countless temples and shrines, Tokyo Disney Resort, and a lot more. If you want to know more and experience their culture, there’s good news; Japan has a working holiday visa program!

Photo by Lin Mei

Working Holiday Visa programs are based on bilateral arrangements, intended to make it possible for the youth of Japan and its partner countries/regions to enter each country/region primarily for spending holidays while allowing them to engage in employment as an incidental activity of their holidays to supplement their travel funds.

Japan Working Holiday Visa
Photo by Sorasak

This is designed to provide the youth with more extensive opportunities for them to appreciate the culture and general way of life in the partner countries/regions to promote mutual understanding between Japan and its partner countries/regions.

Who can apply for a Japan Working Holiday Visa?

Countries with Age Requirement

Japan Working Holiday Visa

Japan Working Holiday Visa

  • Citizens must be residing in the country of nationality
  • Hong Kong, an applicant must possess a valid HKSAR or British National Overseas passport

Should meet these other requirements:

  • Being in good health
  • Have  reasonable funds for the maintenance of his/her stay during the initial period of stay in Japan
  • Have a valid passport of his or her country/region and a return travel ticket or sufficient funds with which to purchase such a ticket.

Not allowed if:

  • Accompanied by dependents or children.
  • Having been issued a Japanese working holiday visa in the past.

Required Documents for Japan Working Holiday Visa

Sign it afterward and attach a passport-sized photograph

Detailing your personal, educational and employment history

Schedule for the first 6 months without any “as above” or “unknown” or related to that remarks

This schedule will indicate you have thought about your proposed trip and have done some research into the areas that are of interest to you.

Please don’t stay in any one place for longer than 3 months.

If you don’t have any pre-arranged employment please write this at the bottom of the form. Please provide the details of any pre-arranged work you may have. We may ask to see your contract if you have pre-arranged employment.

A signed and dated letter, explaining the purpose of your visit and why you wish to travel to Japan as a Working Holiday-Maker. Typed and at least one A4 page in length.

There are different thresholds per country, but it will be about JPY 200,000 + fare cost if their flight is only confirmed and not yet bought

The bank statement can be a computer printout, but please have the bank endorse the statement by stamping it with the bank’s seal.

One way-ticket or reservation is acceptable if you have sufficient funds, you can also book a flight reservation for $30, here.

rent a flight3

Processing Time for Japan Work Holiday Visa?

Minimum processing time is 1 week, will take longer if additional is needed.

How much is the fee for the Japan Work Holiday Visa?

There is no charge for the Japan Working Holiday visa.

Ultimate Guide to Japan Working Holiday Visa5
Photo by David Edelstein

Steps by Step Guide for Applying for Japan Working Holiday Visa

Step 1: Submit Documents

  • Submit Documents in the Japanese Embassy/Consulate in your country
  • Additional documentation may be required
  • Some applicants may require an interview
  • Applications from agents or group applications will not be accepted

Step 2: Visa Issuance

  • Claim your Passport with your Visa.
  • Applicants must enter Japan within 6 months or one year of the date of issue of the visa.

Step 3: Arrival in Japan 

Life and Health Insurance

Get a Japanese National Health Insurance, or from the country you are residing

Residence Card

  • Get a Residence Card from the Government of Japan and must carry it at all times
  • If you arrive at Narita, Haneda, Chubu (Nagoya) or Kansai Airport you can receive your Residence Card
  • If you plan to arrive at another airport, you can apply for and receive your Residence Card at an Immigration Office in Japan
  • Your Residence Card, in principle, allows you to leave Japan and return without first acquiring a Re-entry Permit.


  • Participant must visit the municipal office where they live and notify the Ministry of Justice where they live within 14 days of finding a place to settle down
  • Those who move into a new residence must report one’s new residence within 14 days of moving to the new residence.

Re-entry permit 

The Working Holiday visa is only valid for a single entry. Therefore, if the Working Holidaymaker has to leave Japan for any reason and wishes to return under the same status, he/she may obtain a re-entry permit from the local Immigration Authorities before leaving Japan.

More information with your Japan Working Holiday Visa 

Things you can do with your Japan Working Holiday Visa

  • Engage in employment as an incidental activity of their holidays to supplement their travel funds.
  • To fully appreciate the many different aspects of Japan, it is advisable that the applicant moves to different areas within Japan every 3 months or so.

Things you cannot do with your Japan Working Holiday Visa

  • Working at bars, cabarets, nightclubs, gambling establishments and other premises affecting public morals in Japan; if a participant works at such a place, he or she is deemed to violate Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act and will face deportation except where he or she is deemed to be victims of human trafficking
  • Stay within an area for more than 3 months

Where to find jobs in Japan?

The Employment Service Center for Foreigners in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya, and HelloWork assist job-seekers in Japan. The Employment Service Centers for Foreigners and some HelloWork offices can assist in help. For further information, please follow the links below:

Additional Tips in Japan

  • Regional Immigration Bureaus will help with the above Immigration procedures.
  • Useful tips regarding living in Japan can be found at Guide to Living in Japan
  • JNTO (Japan National Tourist Organisation) – A Government organization established to promote international exchange through tourism. Provides up-to-date information on travel, and operates Tourist Information Centres for foreign visitors to Japan.
  • The ability to speak Japanese is desirable, but not mandatory, to apply for the Working Holiday Visa
  • Try learning Japanese as most locals are too shy to speak English
  • Make friends and eat local delicacies
  • Explore and Enjoy Japan!
Japan Working Holiday Visa
Photo by TEDDY2 H

One of the best things in a Japan Working Holiday visa is that it is free, eligible candidates are so lucky as the requirements are easy to obtain. The government is also very helpful in getting you a job. Japan is a beautiful country rich in culture and history; spring and autumn are great months. Try Winters in Hokkaido too! I hope you find this Japan Working Holiday visa guide very helpful. If you want to see other options, you can also read Countries with Working Holiday Visa Program. Happy travels!

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