Working Holiday Visa in Japan

If you're a young person with one year to spare and you come from a country that allows it, it's super easy for you to spend one year working in Japan with a working holiday visa.

Japan-immigrationThis type of visa is easy to get because it doesn't require a degree or significant amount of money, and you're allowed to do almost any kind of work you can get.

The visa lasts for six months with an option to renew for six more, for a grand total of one year. After one year, that's it – no renewals. If you decide to stay behind, you'll have to get someone to sponsor you for a different type of visa.

You must:

  • Be from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Korea, France, Germany, UK, Ireland, Denmark, Taiwan or Hong Kong (Americans do not qualify)
  • Be between 18-30 years old
  • Have $2,000 available
  • Have no criminal record

You can do any kind of work, but it's up to you to find your job. There's one exception. On paper, you must not work in a club. Bartending is OK, if you can get it, but you are technically restricted from working in a (quoting Japanese law here) "nightclub" or "dance hall." 

Common possibilities include working in restaurants and retail. Teaching English, the go-to job for young foreigners in Japan, is also available to you. Think about places that are OK with workers turning over once every year or more.

Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has a website that guides you through the process and has links to the correct procedure for your home country.

Don't qualify for a Working Holiday visa?

There are still other ways to go to Japan. You can teach English (guide coming soon), study abroad, or just go to play!