The Japanese Visa Series, Chapter 2: Working Holiday Visa - the year that will change your life
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Everything you always wanted to know about the working holiday visa in Japan but were afraid to ask.
First things first - did you read the first chapter of our Visa Series? No? What are you waiting for? All right, is it done now? Let’s jump into it then!
Spending a year abroad is something everyone should experience at some point of their lives. There is nothing more challenging and encouraging than packing your bags, saying goodbye to your beloved ones and heading to uncertainty. We are not going to lie - starting from scratch in a new country is not easy but even if you may feel a little bit afraid in the beginning, this adventure is going to make you grow as a person. Step out of your comfort zone and dare to have the time of your life in Japan!
Why should you have a Working Holiday in Japan
The Land of the Rising Sun is one of the most popular destinations for spending a year abroad and it is not difficult to understand why: from 漫画 (manga, Japanese comics) or アニメ (anime, Japanese animation) fans to people who fall in love with the nature, the hospitality or the food - there is a Japan for everyone, you only have to find yours! In case you are still hesitating, here you go with our top reasons to spend a year abroad in Japan with a Working Holiday Visa:
- You have a whole year to enjoy a brand-new world: that means 365 days of thrilling first times, exciting adventures, new friends and unforgettable memories. Be prepared, the next 12 months are going to be a hell of a ride!
- Experience the real Japan: from the eclectic and always vivid Tokyo, to peaceful farms in remote mountains. You decide where to start and where to end.
- Become fluent in a new language: learning a language is rewarding and fulfilling (also useful for your career, though). Developing your skills in 日本語 (nihongo, Japanese language) will open up doors if you want to stay longer in the country.
- No restrictions on hours: some visas (for example, Student visas or Dependant visas) limit the hours for the beholders to enroll in paid activities. Luckily, you can work up to 40 hours per week with your working holiday visa.
- Perform the job that fits better your skills: in regular working visas (such as Engineering or Humanities visas) you have to engage in an specific activity and sometimes you have to apply for a different visa type if you want to change jobs. That won’t be a problem if you have a valid working holiday visa - you will be able to perform jobs in different areas without changing your resident condition. Having said that, take into account that you are not eligible to work in the entertainment industry - keep away from bars, pubs and those questionable places if you don’t want to lose your visa status!
- You will be able to change into a working visa or a student visa if you want to stay longer in the country: you don’t have to come back home if you don’t want to - you can apply for a new resident status in the nearest Immigration bureau.
You have my attention, tell me more!
Sounds like a plan, right? Now let’s take a look on the basic requirements needed:
- Have a valid passport issued by one of the 20 countries that have Working Holiday Visa agreements with Japan
- Be between 18 and 30 years old (excepting Canada, Australia or the Republic of Korea, whose applicants should be between 18 and 25 years old)
- Clean criminal record
- Be in good health, both physically and psychologically
- Not be accompanied by dependants (children or spouse)
- Show evidence of having enough funds (check with the relevant institution the exact amount) to afford the initial costs of your life in Japan
- Possess a booked flight ticket to return to your country (or have funds enough to purchase it)
- Have not previously been granted with a working holiday visa in Japan
How can I apply?
If you fit the requirements, then head to your nearest Embassy or Consulate of Japan in your country with the following documents:
- Filled application form (don’t fill it on the counter, please!)
- Valid passport
- Updated resume
- A passport-sized photograph taken within the last 6 months
- Outline of the activities you are intended to perform in Japan (and as it is a Working Holiday visa, you are expected to highlight both of these ideas, you will be working in Japan to discover the country)
- Written justification for applying for a working holiday visa (close to a cover letter)
- Proof of being in possession of the required funds, usually a statement from your bank
Please take into account that you have to do the submission in person and you may be interviewed during the process - which usually does not take longer than a week or two.
If everything goes well, you will receive your working holiday visa and you will be ready to start your new life here in Japan! Do you hold your working holiday visa? Register on IZANAU and develop the career of your dreams in Japan.
*Visa applicants are responsible for their own application and IZANAU can not be held responsible if authorities applied changes after the redaction of this article.
About the Author
Half writer, half reader. Tokyo based and deeply in love with - you can easily find me meandering around Shibuya or Shin-Okubo. Communication and marketing assistant by day, video game localizer by night.