Requirements for the Japan Working Holiday Visa as a Canadian

Are you a Canadian citizen wanting to travel to Japan for an extended trip with the possibility of working? Then you are looking at doing a Japan Working Holiday. Before you leave on your trip you will be required to apply for the Japan Working Holiday Visa. If you are unsure what this visa is, check out our post on everything Canadians need to know about the Japan Working Holiday Visa.

In order to be granted the Japan working holiday visa by the Japanese government, you must meet a number of requirements that we’ll break down in this post.


The Japan Working Holiday Visa is a type of work permit Canadian passport holders can get that allows you to stay in Japan for up to one year. It also allows you to get a job to help fund your travels around the country. This visa was created as part of an agreement between the Canadian and Japanese governments allowing the exchange of youth between Canada and Japan. You can read more about these agreements, including other countries that have similar agreements with Canada in our post on working holidays for Canadians.

Unfortunately, this visa is not available to everyone. There are a number of requirements to meet in order to be eligible to apply for the visa. These requirements are set out by the Japanese government and are reviewed by Japanese officials when you submit your application.

To help you determine if you are eligible for the Japan Working Holiday Visa, we’ve broken down the eligibility requirements below.


  • Hold a valid Canadian passport
  • Be between 18 and 30 years old at the time you submit your application (you can submit while 30, but not after your 31st birthday)
  • Primary trip intent is to travel with casual work
  • Have reasonable funds to support your stay in Japan
  • Can prove you will be leaving Japan before your visa expires
  • Are in good health
  • Have no criminal record
  • Have never before been granted a Japan Working Holiday Visa

To give you a better understand of each of these requirements, we’ve explained them in more detail:


Your Canadian passport must have an expiry date that is no earlier than three months after your intended return date from Japan. If your passport is going to expire before then, you will need to reapply for a new one before you can submit your working holiday visa application.


The Japan working holiday visa is only available to Canadian youth aged 18 to 30 inclusively. This age limit only applies to the timeframe that you submit your application, not when you are actually in Japan. This means you can submit your visa application up until your 31st birthday. However, we recommend leaving a buffer of at least a month in case they require additional information from you, or you get denied (you may be able to reapply depending on the reason for rejection).

If you are granted the visa, you have up to one year to enter Japan before your visa becomes void. As long as have the visa before you turn 31, you can enter Japan after your 31st birthday and then stay for up to a year.


This visa is primarily for Canadians intending to travel to Japan and take on casual/temporary jobs in order to supplement their travel funds. If your sole purpose for going to Japan is to work, then you will need to apply for a work visa and get sponsored by your employer in Japan).

It is important in your visa application to demonstrate that your intentions are not to just work, but to work and travel. If you do not make the right impression to the officer, your visa application will be denied.


The Japanese government wants to make sure you will have enough money to support yourself before they grant you an extended stay. Even though you will be getting a job, you may not work full-time hours or make a high enough salary to support the cost of living in Japan’s large cities. Therefore, you must have access to about $3,500 USD (fluctuates depending on the exchange rate). If you are a Stepabroad participant we will review your proof of funds document to ensure you have all the appropriate information and meet the minimum requirements.


In order to receive the working holiday visa, you must prove you will be leaving the country before your visa expires. The best way to do this is by including your round trip flight itinerary in your application file.


The best way to provide confirmation you are in good health to travel to Japan is with an official doctor’s note.


This is fairly straightforward. Stay outta trouble kids!


This is because you only get one working holiday visa for Japan in your life! If you have already used your Japan working holiday visa, you will need to find another visa you are eligible for to live and work in Japan. Otherwise, there are over 30 more countries that offer Canadians working holiday visas!


Do you meet all of the eligibility criteria? Congrats! The next step will be to apply for a visa.

If you would like assistance filing your Japan working holiday visa application, our Japan Send-Off Package for Canadians might be just what you’re looking for. We guide you through the application and review your documents to ensure they are filled out correctly. Japanese officials are very particular about how the forms should be filled out and will reject your file if not done correctly.

Stepabroad’s special agreement with the Japanese Embassy allows us to submit visa applications on behalf of our participants who live in BC or the Yukon. If you live in another province or territory, we can still help you complete the application, but you will need to submit your papers in person at your closest consulate.

In addition to visa application support, we also provide a detailed guide on how to begin your working holiday. It includes how to set up your Japanese bank account, cell phone, find a job, a place to live and so much more!

Start Planning Your Japan Working Holiday

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