Working Holiday Visa in Japan: what’s that?

Working Holiday Visa in Japan: what’s that?

Working Holiday Visa in Japan: what’s that? 2048 1360 Michaël da Silva Paternoster

The working holiday visa in Japan is not…

Many people have their WHV applications rejected because they imagine that this kind of visa can be seen as an alternative to other visas, which are more complicated to obtain.

The working holiday visa will not allow you to clear all your problems, Japan is not a paradise on earth.

Many people think they can clear all their problems by moving away at the other end of the world. Sure, it can work if you decide to change your identity. But you are not as depressed, isn’t it?

The reality is quite different. The WHV is not a permanent visa, you can not afford this kind of madness. If you have problems in your everyday life, it is likely that you will retrieve them after your year in Japan last.

It is also foreseeable that you will find more complex problems to deal with by living in a country you do not know, where people speak a language you do not master, and where habits are very different compared to those of your own country.

The working holiday visa in Japan is not a classic tourist visa

If you’ve never been to Japan and you are about to submit your application for a working holiday visa, you are perhaps about to make a serious mistake.

Japan is certainly not as you dream it, and spending a year in a country without being able to really see beforehand what it looked like in real life it is taking huge risks for nothing. No, Japan is not exactly what you see in manga, dramas, music video clips or video games…

Working Holiday Visa in Kyoto

Although the WHV is not a classic tourist visa, travel is at the center of its existence. The working holiday visa is an opportunity to linger for several weeks in the city of Kyoto.

My advice is very simple, go a few weeks in Japan with a classic tourist visa. See if you really like the country, and from there start to plan or not to go back in Japan for a whole year with a WHV, even if it means postponing your travel project. In addition, a first trip in Japan will help you to better prepare the itinary of your stay requested for the working holiday visa application, and will prevent you to make unsustainable projects.

The working holiday visa in Japan is not a classic work visa

It is important to note that the WHV is not a classic work visa. If you want to go to Japan only to work there, it is preferable for you to move towards one of the many existing work visas in Japan.

As its name suggests, the working holiday visa must only allow you to work locally to finance your trip in Japan. The detailed itinerary that you will deliver to the embassy or consulate when filing your application is there to show that you have understood that. If your program has an imbalance in favor of work, the visa application will necessarily be refused. Moreover, if you specify jobs beyond your reach your visa application will end in the trash too.

The working holiday visa in Japan is not a classic student visa

Improving language skills may be one of the purpose of your stay in Japan with a WHV, but this should not be reduced to this. Wanting to use his unique WHV ticket in Japan to exclusively take language classes is even more ridiculous that it is not difficult to get a student visa in the Land of the Rising Sun.

The working holiday visa in Japan is not a gateway to a permanent visa

It is essential that you keep in mind that the working holiday program is not a way to emigrate to Japan over the long term. You can start preparing your program and write your cover letter only when you have understood that.

Many people want to live in Japan at all costs, and they imagine that the working holiday program is the key, because it does not require to have already found a job and it allows to stay on the Japanese soil for a long period. These people often think they will easily find a job locally, even if they do not always speak Japanese. and from there they can find a sponsor for a classic work visa. Most of those people are sorely mistaken.

Others despair not finding job in Japan by being on the other side of the world, and eventually become impatient after months or years of unsuccessful searches. So they end up opting for the “Easy” solution that is the WHV.

I can recognize their frustration, but understand that if you do not find jobs in Japan, your problem is surely not your geographic location. Staying in Japan will not make you much more attractive to the Japanese labor market, especially with a WHV

I prefer to break your dreams rather than seeing you spending the next ten or twenty years of your life doing a job that does not fit you and with no future prospects. When I write that, I think about the hundreds of Westerners who end up teaching their native language to Japanese people, whereas they had resumes that do not predestined them for doing this and that could promise them a more attractive career with sufficient income to go on holiday to Japan every year if they wanted.

I am not saying it is impossible to convert your working holiday visa into another visa. I am just telling you that the WHV is not made for that. In any case the old WHVers who managed such a feat and which flourished in the long term are ultra-minority.

I conclude this article on these shaded paragraphs. I hope I have answered most of the questions you could ask about how to get a working holiday visa for Japan.

Michaël da Silva Paternoster

I’m a French guy living in Tokyo, where I work as a digital marketing manager and consultant for several years now. I’ve decided to share my travel recommendations and various tips to help people settle in Japan.

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