Working Holiday Visa


1. Purpose of the Working Holiday Arrangement

The Governments of Japan and Australia started the Japan-Australia Working Holiday Arrangement on 1st December 1980.

The aim of the Working Holiday Visa Arrangement is to promote mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries by allowing young Japanese and Australians aiming for these goals to stay long-term in each other's countries. An Australian applicant’s aim when applying for a Working Holiday Visa should be to holiday in Japan. The program is not designed for those who mainly intend to work or study in Japan.

The Working Holiday Arrangement is meant to promote international exchange and enhance the friendly relationship between Japan and its partner countries and regions by providing opportunities for young people to deepen their understanding about the partner countries and regions.
Working Holiday makers are allowed to work for a certain period of their stay only in order to supplement their travel funds and cover other costs.

The primary purpose of an applicant’s stay should be a holiday and not to work in Japan. Those who intend to mainly work in Japan cannot apply for the Working Holiday Visa. If an applicant’s aim is to mainly work they should apply for a work visa instead.

It is strictly prohibited for Working Holiday makers to work at bars, cabarets, nightclubs, gambling establishments, and other premises affecting public morals in Japan.

Please make sure you understand the purpose of the Working Holiday Arrangement and apply for your visa accordingly.

2. Eligibility to participate in the Working Holiday

Apply in the country of your passport

1. An applicant must be an Australian citizen currently living in Australia
  • An Australian citizen who is travelling or living overseas cannot apply in a different country. They must come back to Australia to submit their application.
  • Likewise, a passport holder from a different country cannot apply in Australia and must apply in their home country or region.
  • This is a condition of the working holiday visa; see the Ministry of Foreign Affair's working holiday visa page for more details.
  • If you do not have an Australian passport, it is still possible to apply for a work or study visa in Australia using a Certificate of Eligibility. 

Other Criteria

2. An applicant must be aged between 18-30 (until the day you turn 31) at the time of the application and must never have previously obtained a Japanese Working Holiday Visa.

3. For married/de facto couples, applications are only accepted provided they both meet the visa requirements and do not have any accompanying dependants.

4. An applicant must be in good health and of good character.

5. An applicant must possess a reasonable amount of funds for their initial period of stay in Japan. The minimum amount for a single person is A$2500 and for a married/de-facto couple is A$3500.

Required Documents

1. Passport

a) Valid Australian Passport and b) a copy of your passport photo page

2. Visa application form (Sample)

  • Please fill in the application form completely.
  • Mark N/A for questions that are not relevant for this visa application (e.g. national ID, Certificate of Eligibility number).
  • Attach a passport-sized photograph (45mm x 35mm or 2in x 1.4in; taken within the past 6 months) in the space provided.

3. Flight details

  • Flight details to Japan and back to Australia from an accredited travel agent or airline, in English and with your name on it. A one-way ticket is acceptable if you have sufficient funds to purchase the return flight later on.

4. Resume

Resume detailing your personal, educational and employment history.

5. "Proposed schedule"

  • Please use the "Proposed Schedule" Template provided above.
  • The schedule for the first 6 months must be completed without “As above”, “Unknown” etc.
  • This schedule will indicate you have thought about your proposed trip and have done some research into the areas that are of interest to you.
  • Please don’t stay in any one place for longer than 3 months.
  • If you don’t have any pre-arranged employment please write this at the bottom of the form.
  • Please provide the details of any pre-arranged employment you may have.
  • We may ask to see your contract if you have pre-arranged employment.

6. Statement of Purpose

A letter, signed and dated, explaining the purpose of your visit and why you wish to travel to Japan as a Working Holiday-Maker.
Please ensure that this is typed and at least one A4 page in length.

7. Proof of funds

A three month Australian bank statement, no older than 1 month, with your full name and Canberra address and enough funds for your trip.

  • The amount is A$2500 for a single applicant or A$3500 for a married/de facto couple if you have provided a paid return airplane ticket to support your application.
  • If you only have a one-way ticket, ensure you have additional funds to support this purchase later.
  • Further information regarding source of funds may be required in writing.


3. How to apply at the Embassy for Canberra residents

If you live in Canberra (or surrounds; please confirm with us if unsure), bring the documents listed below to the Embassy between 9:00-12:00 or 14:00-16:30 on weekdays. You do not need an appointment to come. 


4. If you live in another part of Australia

If you live somewhere else than Canberra, please check the visa information page of the Consulate in charge of where you live.

We recommend to check a few months ahead of your trip where you should apply and confirm the visa processing time and method.

Online visa application is not yet available for Australian residents.

5. Processing & Other Information

  • The minimum processing time is 1 week.
  • There is NO priority processing service. 
  • Working holiday visas are valid for entry for 1 year. An applicant may apply for their visa 1 year before entering Japan.
  • A working holiday visa can only be issued once. A second working holiday visa application will not be accepted.
  • There is no charge for the working holiday visa.
  • Further information may be requested in connection to your application and some applicants may be asked to attend an interview. We will let you know if this is necessary.
  • Telephone assistance is available, Monday to Friday, except public holidays, from 9:00 to 12:30 and 13:30 to 17:00, or please email us.


6. Work Conditions

The following special conditions must be considered if you wish to work in Japan on a Working Holiday Visa.

1. To fully appreciate the many different aspects of Japan, it is advisable that the applicant moves to different areas within Japan every 3 months or so.

2. Work in nightclubs, bars and cabarets, dance halls, and Pachinko parlours, etc., is not permitted. The Act Controlling Business Affecting Public Morals (Fueiho), Article 2; Sections 1 and 4, specify these prohibited areas of work.


7. Residence Card, Re-entry, and extension of stay in Japan

Working Holiday Makers will receive a Residence Card from the Government of Japan when they register with Japanese Immigration. You must carry it at all times while in Japan.

  • If you arrive at Narita, Haneda, Chubu (Nagoya) or Kansai Airport you can receive your Residence Card upon arrival.
  • If you plan to arrive at another airport, you can apply for your Residence Card at an Immigration Office in Japan when you register your residence. 

The visa will be issued as a single entry visa and is valid for an initial stay of 6 months, which will begin from when you enter Japan. An application for an extension of your period of stay can be made at an Immigration Office in Japan. Please note that an extension is granted only at the discretion of Japanese Immigration and there is no guarantee that it will be granted. Make your application for an extension prior to the expiration of your period of stay.

To re-enter Japan on the Working Holiday visa, you need to meet the following conditions:

  1. Having time left on your period of stay & holding a valid Residence Card
  2. Holding a valid Re-Entry Permit (applied for at Immigration Office, if you will be away from Japan for longer than a year) or a special Re-entry Permit (applied for at airport on departure, if you will return within a year)
If you leave Japan without confirming these documents, you may finish your working holiday visa without meaning to, so please be careful.


8. Employment Information

The Employment Service Center for Foreigners in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, and HelloWork (similar to Centrelink in Australia) provide assistance to job-seekers in Japan. The Employment Service Centers for Foreigners and some HelloWork offices are able to provide assistance in English. For further information, please follow the links below:

- Tokyo Employment Service Center for Foreigners
- Osaka Employment Service Center for Foreigners
- Nagoya Employment Service Center for Foreigners
- HelloWork (Japanese)

Ask for a statement of earnings in English while in Japan and call the Australian Taxation Office for the appropriate information upon your return to Australia. This is in relation to the payment of Australian income tax.