How to be successful in applying for a Working Holiday Visa in Japan

Japan is one of the prime tourist destinations not just in Asia but in the whole world. Aside from being a great vacation place, Japan also offers a lot in terms of career. If you are curious about what Japan can offer, take a look at Japan’s working holiday visa.

Table of Contents

  1. All About Japan Working Holiday Visa
  2. The application process for the Japan Working Holiday Visa
  3. Work Options in Japan
  4. Summary

All About Japan Working Holiday Visa

Japan is one of the most visited countries by tourists and who can blame them? Japan offers a very exciting and unique experience to foreigners that can only be seen in this country. This is why many individuals are aspiring to go to Japan for an exciting holiday or even go to Japan to work! But… who says you cannot do both? Fortunately, for select countries, the dream of going to Japan to travel and enjoy the country as well as to earn a living is within their reach!

Overview of Japan Working Holiday Visa

The Japan Working Holiday Visa was made with the primary objective of allowing local Japanese to visit and travel to other countries and earn a living while they are on holiday. Likewise, citizens from other partner foreign countries can visit Japan and learn its culture while making a living in Japan all while enjoying their holiday. The target population and eligibility age requirement for the Japan Working Holiday Visa is primarily intended for younger individuals whose age ranges from 18 to 30 years old. Lastly, the Japan Working Holiday Visa promotes peace, tourism possibilities, collaboration, and international ties with Japan and its partner countries.

※ Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, "The Working Holiday Programmes in Japan"


Seeing that the Japan Working Holiday Visa is a great program that encourages a win-win situation for all the parties involved, Japan first initiated this program in Australia back in the early 1980s. As of 2020, the program has expanded into 26 affiliate countries.

※ Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, "The Working Holiday Programmes in Japan"

The application process for the Japan Working Holiday Visa

If you are interested in applying for the  Japan Working Holiday Visa, let us take a look at the eligibility requirements for the visa application, documents needed, and some tips and tricks to get your application approved by the immigration department.

Eligibility requirements for the visa application

Below is the list of affiliate countries who can avail of the Japan Working Holiday Visa. It is also important to note that for each country there may be a maximum number of visas to be provided annually. The countries and their respective quotas are the following:


Japan Working Holiday Visa Quota per Year


From Japan to Argentina: 200

From Argentina to Japan: 400














From Japan to Estonia: no limit

From Estonia to Japan: 100





Hong Kong












New Zealand








Republic of Korea










The United Kingdom


If you are from any of the countries mentioned above, you are eligible (from a citizenship perspective) to avail yourself of the Japan Working Holiday Visa. Lucky you as you can enjoy the culture of Japan while earning money as supplemental funds for your Japan holiday!

※ Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, "The Working Holiday Programmes in Japan"

Eligibility Requirements

Additional eligibility requirements are the following:

  • Valid passport of the countries mentioned above;

  • Ages 18 to 30 years old;

  • Length of stay in Japan initially is 6 months with two allowable six month extension periods;

  • No dependents or children who will stay in Japan during the length of the stay;

  • Has reasonable funds to be able to sustain living in Japan for six months;

  • Has good health;

  • Has not availed themselves of a Japanese Working Holiday Visa in the past

※ Japan National Tourism Organization, "Visa Information"
※ Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, "The Working Holiday Programmes in Japan" 

Documents needed

The documents required to apply for the visa may vary slightly per country so please check with the Embassy of Japan in your country to check for the specifics. Here are the basic documents needed if you are interested in applying for a Japan Holiday Working Visa:

  • Fully filled-out Japan Working Holiday Visa application form;

  • Valid passport;

  • ID photos;

  • Updated CV;

  • Travel itinerary while in Japan;

  • Essay of the reason for applying for the Japan Working Holiday Visa;

  • Return ticket evidence;

  • Medical certificate;

  • Sufficient funds for your stay in Japan

It is also important to note that depending on the strength of the claims of your requirements, you might be called upon in your nearest immigration center for an interview.

Tips to get your application approved

Here are some tried and tested tips to get your  Japan Working Holiday Visa approved in no time!

  • Always check the accuracy and validity of your documents. While it may be tempting to do it via an agency or even through shady and improper avenues, it is best to fill out the forms diligently and proofread the details at least three times!

  • In your travel itinerary, be sure to include the specifics - where will you be staying, what will be your means of transportation, what places are you planning to visit, even if plans change during your actual stay;

  • In your essay, be clear on the fact that you are just going to Japan to travel and find work to sustain your travel. You also have to be very clear that you have every intention of going back to your country. Include future activities that will be beneficial for your home country on why you have to travel to Japan for a holiday.

Work Options in Japan

With your eligibility and required documents all set, how are you going to find a part-time job in Japan? It’s a good thing that there are plenty of odd jobs in Japan that you can apply for! You can approach PESO or the Public Employment Security Office, otherwise known as Hello Work,  where its primary objective is to offer guidance and help to foreign nationals to get full or in this case, part-time work during their duration in Japan.

If you want help, you can simply walk-in, into a PESO office near you (provided that it is within office hours). The procedure for employment is the following:

  1. Fill out a job application form;

  2. Undergo career counseling to find out the area of employment you are interested in;

  3. PESO finds a match for you;

  4. Undergo the company interview process;

  5. Employment

Depending on your experience and qualifications, part-time jobs that you can apply for in Japan are the following: teaching, resort job personnel, hotel, and accommodation front office clerk, service industry jobs, and more. You absolutely cannot work at bars, nightclubs and the sort when on a Working Holiday Visa in Japan.

In some cases, you may end up wanting to live and work in Japan much longer! That is completely allowed as long as the company that hires you helps you go through the process of switching your visa to the appropriate work visa because there’s an expiration date on your Working Holiday visa.

※ Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, "Foreign Nationals who are permitted to work in Japan and those who are not," p.6


Being in Japan to enjoy its unique culture for six months is a definite advantage for anyone to appreciate the Japanese culture. Also being granted the possibility of having extra income to sustain your travel expenses is an obvious additional advantage! If you are eligible for the Japan Working Holiday Visa, make sure you maximize the benefit of this visa and apply now!

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