Working Holiday Visa

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and State of Emergency, Working Holiday visa applications have been paused. 
For details, see here
Australia passport holders and travellers from Australia currently need a valid visa to enter Japan

1. Purpose of the Working Holiday Arrangement

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

This Arrangement is aimed at promoting mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries. Working Holiday Visas are issued to young Japanese and Australians intent on accomplishing these purposes while planning a long-term stay in each others’ country. An Australian applicant’s primary aim when acquiring 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 designed to promote international interaction and enhance the friendly relationship between Japan and its partner countries/regions by providing opportunities for young people to deepen their understanding about the partner countries/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 associated 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 consider applying for a work visa instead.

Also 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 fully understand the purpose of the Working Holiday Arrangement and apply for your visa accordingly.

COVID-19 Related Update: Working holiday visa applications can be processed, but must have include a Written Pledge (Residence Track) signed by a Japanese company to be accepted. 

Update 26/12: Due to the new strain of COVID-19, Japan has paused most visa applications from Australia, including working holiday applications. For more details, please see here. 

2. Eligibility to participate in the Working Holiday

Application details

1. An applicant must be an Australian citizen currently residing in Australia. Accordingly, an Australian citizen who is travelling or living abroad is not eligible to apply unless they return to Australia to submit their application.

2. An applicant must be aged between 18-30 (inclusive) 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 eligibility 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 maintenance during the 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. Valid Australian Passport and a copy of your passport photo page

2. Visa application form (Sample) Please fill in the application form answering all the questions. You are required to sign the application form and attach a passport-sized photograph (3.5 cm x 4.5 cm or 2in. x 2in; taken within the past 6 months) in the space provided.

3. Flight details to Japan and back to Australia from an accredited travel agent or airline, preferably in English and with your name on it. A one-way ticket or reservation is acceptable if you have sufficient funds to purchase the return flight later on.
*We do not require the purchase of a ticket, but we do require at least a confirmed reservation. We are not responsible for tickets which may become unusable due to the delay or denial of a visa.

4. Curriculum Vitae or Resume detailing your personal, educational and employment history.

5. "Proposed schedule"
The schedule for the first 6 months must be completed without any “As above”, “Unknown” or other such marks.
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. 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:
You are required to provide your most recent formal bank statement showing funds in excess of A$2500 (A$3500 for a married/de facto couple) if you have provided a paid airplane ticket to support your application. The amount needed is A$4000 and A$6500 respectively in the case of only a confirmed booking.

The proof of funds should be a current three month bank statement, with your full name, current Canberra address and current balance on it. Please bring an interim statement if your most recent bank statement is older than 1 month.

Further information regarding source of funds may be required in writing.

8. COVID-19 Related Measure
A Written Pledge (Residence Track) signed by a Japanese company. Please see here for more details. 

Further application advice:
*Please do not staple any part of your application or documents.
*We do not offer any kind of printing service at the Embassy if you forget documents. Please bring all the documents you will need to apply. If you are unsure that you have the correct documents to apply, please call us.

3. Processing Time

  • The minimum processing time is 1 week.
  • It generally takes longer if additional documents are required for further assessment.
  • There is NO priority processing service. Therefore, early preparation for visa applications is highly recommended.
  • Visas are valid for entry for 1 year. An applicant may therefore apply for his or her visa 1 year prior to entering Japan.

4. 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.

5. For Your Information

  • A Working Holiday Visa will only be issued to an applicant who has not obtained one previously. A second Working Holiday Visa application will not be accepted.
  • The ability to speak Japanese is desirable, but not mandatory, to apply for the Working holiday Visa.
  • 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 contact you if this is necessary.
  • Telephone assistance is available if you have an enquiry on 02-6273-3244, Monday to Friday, excluding holidays, from 9:00 to 12:30 and 1:30 to 5:00. Please try to make your enquiry be telephone instead of E-mail.

6. Resident Card and extension of stay in Japan

Working Holiday Makers will receive a Residence Card from the Government of Japan and must carry it at all times. If you arrive at Narita, Haneda, Chubu (Nagoya) or Kansai Airport you can receive your Residence Card upon arrival and there are special lanes at these airports dedicated to those waiting for their Residence Card to be issued. If you plan to arrive at another airport you can apply for and receive your Residence Card at an Immigration Office in Japan. Your Residence Card, in principle, allows you to leave Japan and return without first acquiring a Re-entry Permit.

In accordance with the conditions of the Working Holiday scheme, the visa can only be issued as a single entry visa and is valid for an initial stay of 6 months, which will commence from the day of entry into Japan. An application for an extension of your period of stay can be made at an Immigration Office in Japan, but please note that an extension is granted only at the discretion of the immigration authorities in Japan and there is no guarantee that it will be granted. Please make your application for an extension prior to the expiration of your visa.

7. 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)

You should 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.