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Travel, Teach, Live in Japan

The Working Holiday Programmes in Japan

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

Validity of Visa:
Visa recipients must enter Japan within six months (one year for U.K.) after the date of issue.

Period of Stay:
An initial stay of up to six months is granted (one year for U.K. cannot be extended.) This may be extended up to another six months by the immigration authorities. Details are available from the Immigration Bureau.

Limits on Issue:
Working Holiday visas will be issued only to persons who have never obtained one before.

Re-entry Permits:
The Working Holiday visa is a single-entry visa. If the visa holder needs to leave Japan temporarily, it is necessary to obtain a re-entry permit from the immigration authorities before leaving Japan.

Remunerative Activities:
Working Holiday visa holders 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.

Visa Fees:
There is no charge for a Working Holiday visa. (7 pounds for U.K.)
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, or Korea, Germany, and the United Kingdom currently residing in his or her country of citizenship.
must intend primarily to holiday in Japan for a specific length of time.

must be between 18 and 30 years of age (25 years in principal for the U.K. at the time of application.)

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.

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 in duplicate.

Two identical photographs (45mm x 45mm), to be glued to the application form.

Curriculum vitae:
Curriculum vitae in duplicate on A4 paper, including educational background, work experience, hobbies, and other relevant information.

Outline of planned activities in Japan, in duplicate.

Statement of the reason:
Statement of the reason for applying for Working Holiday visa in duplicate 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.

II. Procedure

The applicant must apply for a visa in person.
Applications submitted by agents or group will not be accepted.

All application documents must be submitted to the nearest Embassy or Consulate-General of Japan in the applicant's country of residence.

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 or Consulate-General of Japan.

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.

Australia New Zealand Canada
Republic of Korea France Germany the United Kingdom

Some views on the programme

Male from New Zealand, 21, professional skateboarder, arrived Feb. 1996
"The working holiday has been a great scheme for me. It has given me the chance to travel, work, and enjoy a different culture over my stay in Japan. I have met many interesting people and made many good friends. I have also learnt more about myself as a person. I think the working holiday programme is perfect for young people wishing to travel."

Female from Canada, 28, teacher, arrived Apr. 1996
"The Working Holiday Program is an exceptional opportunity that has enabled me to work and travel in Japan. The program opens the door of possibilities in Japan. It allows you to meet and work with the Japanese people, to participate and experience their culture. Having been here already four months, I could not imagine being here without the Working Holiday Program, because it has enabled me to do so many things that I would have not been allowed to do. Finally, since I have been in Japan, I have gained much experience both on a professional and personal level. In fact, now I begin to adjust to Japan, I am so glad that I can stay for one year, thanks to the Working Holiday Program and to all the personnel at the Working Holiday Office in Tokyo."

Male from Australia, 23, English teacher, arrived Feb. 1995
"Since I have been in Japan I have found the Japanese people to be friendly and the working holiday program to be a very worthwhile programme that gives foreigners the opportunity to experience the real Japan (e.g., its culture, hobbies, and way of life)."
Support Services in Japan

If Working Holiday visa holders need any help after entering Japan, they are advised to contact the Japan Association for Working Holiday Makers (JAWHM). This is a nonprofitorganization and is the only organization in Japan authorized by the Government to help Working Holiday visa holders. The association provides free job referral services, accommodation information, and opportunities for counseling.

For more information of JAWHM, please click http://www.jawhm.or.jp/

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