Working Holiday in Japan – Visa Application Process

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If you are between the ages of 18 and 30 and are a citizen of one of the following countries, you qualify to apply for a Working Holiday in Japan visa:

* Australia
* New Zealand
* United Kingdom
* Canada
* France
* Denmark
* Germany
* Ireland
* Republic of Korea
* Taiwan
* Hong Kong

This is a special visa that is awarded to people who wish to spend some time vacationing in Japan while working in the process. In order to qualify, your intentions must be focused mainly on taking a vacation, with the option of working being a secondary perk.

If you state that your intention is mainly to work you will be required to apply for a working visa instead. There is also a separate visa for people who intend to go to school in Japan. The Working Holiday program is designed specifically to give vacationers who want to experience the full culture of Japan, the opportunity to work while they are exploring the country.

In order to apply for the program, you must visit your local Embassy of Japan or Consulate-General of Japan to obtain the application forms. You must then attach a 45mm picture of yourself to the completed application and return it along with the rest of your documentation, including:

* Complete resume on A4 paper.
* Outline of activities you have planned for your vacation in Japan.
* Statement of your reasons for applying to the Working Holiday program, on A4 paper.
* Proof that you have a return plane ticket already booked (but not necessarily purchased yet – you should not pay for your flights until AFTER you receive your Visa), and that you have a bank account with sufficient funds to cover travel expenses as well as living expenses during your stay in Japan. This is so you can prove that you can financially pay for all of your traveling, including your expenses while you are in Japan.

You cannot expect to live completely off of the money earned from your temporary working position in Japan. When applying for the Visa, a single traveler needs to demonstrate that they have least the equivalent of $2,000 for basic living/travel expenses, while a married couple will need the equivalent of $3,000 or more (varies depending on your nationality). This must be proven by providing a copy of your bank statement as proof when you submit your application for the visa.

In some cases the visa may be approved or denied right away (though this is extremely rare as long as you have the correct paperwork), while in other cases an interview with a visa officer may be scheduled. This process usually takes up to three weeks, so to be safe, you should apply a month or more before your intended date of departure for the Japan holiday.

While it is generally not necessary at the time of your Visa application, you should definitely have travel insurance or another form of medical coverage that will cover any potential medical expenses incurred during the holiday. This is a great idea just to ensure you are covered in case you get sick or something unexpected happens and you are injured.

There is no requirement that you need to know how to speak Japanese, since your primary purpose for the trip is to enjoy a vacation, although knowing at least a little before departure will make your working experience easier and certainly more rewarding.

Once your visa has been approved and you arrive in Japan, you will have three months to register as a visiting alien. This can be done through the local government offices wherever you are staying.

We hope this information assists you in preparing for, and applying for your Japanese Working Holiday Visa. And above all, we hope you have the time of your life while in Japan!