The Origins

A Working Holiday Visa (in short “WHV”) was originally established between two countries to promote intercultural understanding and better relationships. Young people were granted the opportunity to live, work and travel in the respective country for a longer period of time.

So what is it actually?

It is a “once in a lifetime” chance to go to Japan for a whole year and work freely in any job or industry you are interested in. You can only be granted it once in your life, that’s why it is a really special occasion for somebody to acquire. So make sure to use your time in Japan wisely and make as much new experiences as possible.

Which countries can apply for a Working Holiday Visa?

The list of eligible countries is long and it gets even longer every year! Currently 16 countries are eligible for the Working Holiday Visa and very soon Spain will also join us in the ranking as the 17th country.

http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/w_holiday/

Are there limited numbers for applicants?

The answer is Yes and No.

Depending from which country you are from the conditions may vary. The list below should give you an orientation on current figures of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Please note the limits refer to yearly applications and might change in the future.

http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/w_holiday/

Criteria & Restrictions

There is a small, yet significant list of criteria you have to meet as well as certain groups that might not be able to apply. Have a look below for a sum-up list.

  • Valid Passport (at least six months prior to expiry date)
  • Age between 18 and 30 years old
  • No criminal record
  • Being in good health condition
  • Not accompanied by children or a spouse
  • Minimum funds covering living expenses; roughly about $2,000

How to apply?

To apply for a WHV you have to go in person to the respective Japanese embassy or consulate in your country. There is no method of applying online. Generally speaking it is not subject to any kind of application fees; meaning free of charge. You can check for the closest Japanese embassy or consulate here.

Note

In some cases the embassy staff at the counter might ask you for a separate talk in a room. This might be to enquire additional information relevant for your application.

You need the following information for your WHV Application:

A valid Passport
  • At least six months valid prior to Expiry
  • Two blank Visa Stamp Pages
Application Form
  • Has to be filled out in the Japanese Embassy
Passport Photo
  • 4,5 by 4,5 cm
  • Taken within the last 6 months
Curriculum Vitae
  •  Provide all basic Information about your studies and work experience
Filled out Resume
  • Template can be found on the Japanese Embassy Website
Declaration of Intent
  • Provide Basic Information of your first month staying in Japan
  • If you have a friend/relative, who lives in Japan, provide their contact information in case of emergency
Proposed Schedule of what you “intend to do while living in Japan”
  • This is just to indicate that you made plans in advance
  • Once you’re in Japan you don’t have to follow the plan you prepared exactly
A brief letter explaining your purpose of visiting Japan
  • No Handwriting, only Typing allowed
  • Length of one A4 Page
  • Signature of Applicant is required
Proof of financial Funds
  • Copy of your Bank Statement (not older than three Months)
  • Bank Transaction Records (from last three Months)
  • Minimum Funds of at least ca. $2,000
Travel insurance for your stay
  • Provide a copy of your Insurance
  • Insurance Period should cover whole stay
Return Flight Ticket
  • Return Flight has to be within one year of your Stay
  • We recommend Open Tickets (flight dates can be changed)

 

When to apply?

You should apply at least three weeks before your departure to Japan (according to one Japanese Embassy). However, we strongly recommend applying as early as possible!

 

How long is my WHV valid?

After issuance of your WHV you have up to twelve months time to use your visa and enter Japan before it expires. Once entering Japan, your visa will start to apply and be valid for a whole year (twelve months). Good Luck!