Working Holiday Visa in Japan: what’s that?

Working Holiday Visa in Japan: what’s that?

2048 1360 Michaël da Silva Paternoster

You are young ? You have savings? And you want to travel in Japan? The Working Holiday Visa, abbreviated as WHV, can help you achieve your dream: Going to Japan for a year!

The working holiday visa allows young people of fifty nationalities to live for a year in a foreign country, in order to discover its culture, while allowing them to work to finance their trip. Relatively easy to obtain, the WHV is an excellent opportunity for young people to gain first experience abroad.

Japan is one of the country accessible by this type of visa. You are already imagining being immersed in the Japanese society for a year? Wait a minute, I said that it was “relatively” easy! There are still a few things to know before making your visa application.

Now that you know what is the working holiday visa, here is the list of questions to be addressed in this article:

Who is eligible for a Working Holiday Visa in Japan?

Never had a Working Holiday Visa for Japan before

You need to never have benefited from working holiday visa in Japan to be able to apply for this type of visa in this country. Indeed, this visa can not be renewed. But you can still obtain a WHV for Japan if you have already had working holiday visa in other countries.

Nationality requirement

Access to WHV result of bilateral agreements between countries. You can apply for a working holiday visa at the embassy or consulate of Japan to which you belong if your country has signed an agreement with the Land of the Rising Sun.

Here is the list of eligible nationalities for WHV in Japan:

  • Americas: Canada (our French article also focus on the WHV for Canadian citizens)
  • Asia-Pacific: Autralia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan.
  • Europe: Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom

As you can see, US citizens cannot apply for a working holiday visa in Japan.

Age requirement

Working holiday visa in Japan is restricted to adults aged of thirty years old or less. So you can submit your visa application until the day before your thirty-first birthday. This is the filing date of your application which is taken into account, not the date of  your visa obtention or the date of your departure in Japan.

Working Holiday Visa in Osaka, Kansai

You meet all the criteria? The Osaka crowded streets are not far away!

Which documents are required to make an application for a Working Holiday Visa?

As with any other visa application, several documents will be requested by the Japanese authorities. However, with the WHV, the Japanese government has set a very high standard, probably to avoid random Japan Maniacs to land in Japan without knowing what to do there.

So you will have to work, as the visa application looks almost like an application for a job, a business school or a university Master.

The list of required documents depends on your country of origin. But most Japanese embassies will ask you the following:

  1. A valid passport.
  2. A completed visa application form.
  3. An ID photo taken within the last 6 months.
  4. A personal resume.
  5. A detailed initerary of your stay in Japan.
  6. A cover letter in which you explain your reason for applying for a WHV.
  7. A note from a physician stating that you are in good health (written with the last month)
  8. Financial guarantees in a bank account, which depend of your country of origin. Here are some examples:
    • Australia: AUD 6500
    • Canada: CAD 2500
    • France: € 4500
    • Germany: € 2000
    • Ireland: € 2300
    • New Zealand: NZD 3000
    • South Korea: ₩ 2 500 000
    • United Kingdom: £ 2500

In some countries, air tickets must be purchased before submitting your visa application. For more information, please visit the website of the Japanese Embassy in your country.

We now talk about matters related to application submission and the validity of the working holiday visa on the next page. If you have already completed your file, the hardest part is already done!

Michaël da Silva Paternoster

French living in Japan since 2016. I work as a manager and marketing consultant for several Japanese and foreign companies.

All stories by : Michaël da Silva Paternoster

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