Japanese Working Holiday Visas: Everything You Need to Know

Calendar September 20th, 2018

If you want to join EA Ski & Snowboard in Japan this season, one thing you will need to organise is a working holiday visa. While arranging a visa might sound like a daunting process, it's surprisingly easily Here’s everything you need to know about getting a working holiday visa for Japan.  



What is a working holiday visa?  


A working holiday visa is a residence permit that allows travellers to work in the country they are visiting to supplement their funds. A working holiday visa enables you to experience living in a foreign country without the hassle of having to find work sponsorship. They are more flexible than work visas and easier to obtain.   

As the name suggests, when applying for a working holiday visa for a particular country, your motivations for visiting should be primarily to travel, enjoy and explore for a short period of time; a working holiday visa will not allow you to live in the visiting country permanently.   

There are a couple of restrictions to be aware of before applying for a working holiday visa. In most cases, you must be between the ages of 18 and 30 or 35 years old and have enough funds in your bank account to live in the country while you are seeking employment.   


Am I eligible for a working holiday visa in Japan?


You are eligible for a working holiday visa in Japan if you meet the following criteria:  

  •  You are between 18 and 30 years of age   

  •  You are a citizen of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Korea, France, Germany, The United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Portugal, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Spain, Argentina, Chile or Iceland

  •  You have a valid passport  

  •  You have not held a Japanese working holiday visa in the past.  

  •  You have a return ticket booked with reasonable funds in your bank account to support you during your stay in Japan.  What is considered "Reasonable funds" varies from country to country. Check out the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website to find out what this will be for you. 

Unfortunately, American citizens are not eligible for working holiday visas in Japan at this stage.  


How can I apply?  


It isn’t possible to apply for a Japanese working holiday visa online. To apply, you will need to visit the nearest Japanese embassy in your country of citizenship. So, if you are currently overseas, you will need to either return home and apply for your visa before heading to Japan.

Likewise, if you're planning on travelling before heading to Japan, it's best to organise your visa and flights at home before you leave so you don't need to make a trip back. 


What documents do I need? 


You will need to take the following documents with you when you visit your nearest Japanese embassy to apply for a working holiday visa:  

  • A valid passport. Your passport must be valid for the whole time you are in Japan.  

  • A completed visa application form (print here)  

  • A short paragraph explaining why you want to work and live in Japan  

  • A basic itinerary for 12 months including your flight details and accommodation for when you arrive in Japan. Your EA Training Consultant will help you with this.   

  • A copy of your CV  

  • Proof that you have reasonable funds to support yourself while in Japan. If you are a British citizen, you will need to provide your bank statements from the last three months. For non-British citizens, you will need to supply a signed and stamped letter from your bank stating you have the funds to support yourself while away.  A simple printed internet statement is not accepted. 

  •  A recent photo that is 35mm x 45mm in size.  This should be from the shoulders up.  


How long does it take to get a working holiday visa for Japan?  


In most cases, it takes about seven days for a Japanese working holiday visa to be processed and returned. But, it some instances it may take longer, so make sure you allow plenty of time when applying. 


In general, you can't apply for a Japanese working holiday visa more than 90 days out from travelling to Japan. But if you need to apply earlier than that, just get in touch with your local Japan embassy to arrange an earlier appointment.


Handy tips


Here are three handy tips that will help make the process of applying for a visa run smoothly 

  • Don't forget; your passport will need to valid during your stay in Japan. Make sure you check the expiration date before applying for your visa. 
  • Plan as far in advance if you can. Even if you’re not looking to join an EA course until next winter, we recommend you reserve your spot now so you don't miss any key dates or early booking discounts.  
  • Make photocopies all your documents.  


For more information on Japanese working holiday visas, and to find out the specific application criteria for your country, check out the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.