The Working Holiday Visa is a special type of visa only available to select countries. It allows you to stay in Japan (日本) for 6-18 months (depending on the country). While there, you can work and study pretty much anything.
The only exception is working in the nightlife or bar business which is not allowed with this visa.
Japan has a Working Holiday agreement with the following 23 countries:
Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Republic of Korea, France, Germany, The United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Iceland, Czech Republic and Lithuania.
As mentioned above, the Working Holiday visa will give you at least 6 months of time in Japan. Depending on the country, you can extend this to 12 or even 18 months total (e.g. Australia). For most of them though, 12 months is usual.
Applying for the Working Holiday Visa Japan
Applying for the Working Holiday visa needs to be done at a Japanese embassy or consulate in your home country. You need to apply for it personally, there is no online method or something similar. The visa does not cost any money.
For your application, you need to fulfill a few requirements first:
- have citizenship of one of the above countries
- The purpose of your visit must be mainly to travel with the ability to work for some extra money
- be between 18 and 30 years old
- You cannot bring any children or your spouse with you
- You can only get this visa once in your lifetime (per country)
If you fulfill all these requirements, you can look into the required documents that you need to present:
- valid passport
- Plane ticket to Japan (return ticket is not needed but will increase the amount of money you need to have)
- frontal photograph of yourself
- bank statement or something similar to prove your financial means (at least 2,000€/$ if you have a return ticket, about 3,200 without)
- statement from an insurance company proving that you have entered a health insurance for the length of your stay (or you can instead pledge to join the Japanese National insurance once you arrive)
- The provided application form
- rough plan on how and where you intent to spend your time in Japan
- one-page letter of motivation
With all these documents in hand, you can set off to your nearest embassy or consulate.
I'm going on an adventure!
If you’re lucky it’s not too far, in my case I had to drive nearly 2 hours to get to mine in Frankfurt.
That’s right, I applied for this exact visa and have been approved just 2 weeks ago! I’m going to Japan for one year starting this November. This means that there’s going to be a lot of real-time content coming with lots of info about everyday life in Japan.
I’m going to try my best to bring you along on my journey, my adventure to Japan. I plan on traveling throughout most of the country around the middle of next year.
Stay tuned for the upcoming content and make sure to check out the new categories that will be filled with lots of posts once I’m in Japan!
See you there!