Aug 1, 2019

Are you a Canadian wanting to live in Japan? The great news is with the Japan Working Holiday Visa, you can! The working holiday visa is a type of work permit eligible youth can obtain that allows you to live in Japan for up to one year. Wondering what the criteria is that makes you eligible for the visa? We’ve broken it down in our helpful post on requirements for the Japan Working Holiday Visa.

Stepabroad has helped many Canadians get started on their working holiday in Japan and we’ve answered a lot of questions along the way. To give you a better understanding of the Japan working holiday visa, here are some of the most common questions we get asked:

What is a Japan working holiday visa?

The working holiday visa for Japan is a type of entry permit that allows you to live in Japan for longer than the 90-day tourist visa. The working holiday visa is part of a youth mobility agreement between Canada and Japan which gives youth the opportunity to experience living in Japan or Canada. The visa allows you to obtain employment to help fund your stay in Japan.

How do I get a working holiday visa for Japan?

The visa application cannot be done online. Instead, you must apply in-person at the Japanese embassy in Ottawa or consulate in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary or Vancouver. Bring a book (both when you drop it off and go to pick-it up) because the wait can often be hours! Stepabroad has a special agreement with the embassy that allows us to submit applications on behalf of persons living in BC or the Yukon. If you are interested to learn how we can save you the time and cost of traveling to a consular office, check out our Japan Send Off Package for Canadians. If you live outside of BC/Yukon, we can still help you with correctly completing your application and support documents to reduce the risk of it being rejected and prepare you for your working holiday.

Japan Working Holiday Program for Canadians
Canadians can experience living in Japan with a Working Holiday Visa

Can I work in Japan without a visa?

No, unfortunately not. Travelers who enter Japan on a tourist visa are not allowed to work. There a several types of visas you can get that allow you to work in Japan, however, not all of them are easy to get. The working holiday visa is the simplest way to work in Japan without needing a degree, a Japanese spouse. having to write a Japanese fluency exam, or arranging a company to sponsor you. All you have to do is meet these requirements and you can apply!

Can I work in Japan without a degree?

Yes, you certainly can! While most teaching positions require you to have a bachelor’s degree, there are many other types of jobs in Japan for foreigners. If you are really interested in teaching, many schools will let you work as a tutor without a degree or TEFL.

How do I find a job in Japan?

In addition to visa assistance, our Japan Send Off Package will help you find a job in Japan. Our team will help you create a resume that meets Japanese standards and provide you with resources for current job openings for foreigners. Prior to your departure, we also provide a one-on-one video call orientation where you will be equipped with tons of information needed to begin living, working, and traveling in Japan as a foreigner.

Enjoy the sights, culture and food of Japan on a working holiday

Do I have to work on a working holiday visa?

You don’t have to work while in Japan on this visa. The working holiday visa allows you to travel in Japan longer than the 90 day tourist visa allowance. However, you may find that you want to find a job to help offset the cost of travelling. If you don’t plan to work, be sure to have plenty of savings set aside for your trip.

Is there an age limit for the working holiday visa?

Yes – this visa is specifically for youth so applicants must be between 18 and 30 years old inclusively. This means you have until your 31st birthday to apply for the visa. If your visa is approved by consular officials, you have 365 days to enter Japan. For those near the age limit, this means you do not have to enter Japan before you are 31. You can apply when you are 30, then move to Japan within the following 12 months, and stay for one year (until you are 32). If you have passed your 31st birthday, unfortunately you are not eligible for the working holiday visa. You may be eligible for another type of visa which you can read more about here.

What are the work restrictions as a Canadian in Japan?

There are no major restrictions regarding hours you can work or your length of employment in Japan. Your job should be temporary in nature and only obtained as a means to support your travels around the country. You can work in any type of job with the exception of premises affecting public morales such as cabarets, nightclubs, or gambling establishments.

Canadians can live in Japan for up to one year on a working holiday visa

How long can I stay in Japan?

Japan Working Holiday Visa holders are granted an initial 6 month period of stay. This can be extended an additional 6 months by the Immigration Authorities in Japan. If you are a Stepabroad participant, contact your personal trip coordinator for assistance extending your visa.

What documents do I need to apply?

You will need to fill out the application forms provided by your local Japanese consulate. In addition, you will need to gather a doctor’s note, proof of finances, a passport photo, return flight information and your resume. Finally, you also need to submit a motivational letter and trip itinerary. If it sounds like a lot, don’t worry. We’ve broken it all down in our detailed step-by-step guide to the Japan working holiday visa application.

How long does it take to apply?

Once you have submit your application, it takes approximately one week for consular officials to process your application if everything is correct and you have all  of the correct support documents.

Canadians can experience living and working around the globe on working holidays

What other countries can I get a working holiday visa for?

Canadians can get working holiday visas to over 30 more countries! Yes, 30! To read the full list check out our post on the countries where Canadians can do a working holiday.

I am not Canadian, can I get a working holiday visa for Japan?

Only citizens of countries that have arranged youth mobility agreements with Japan can get the Japan working holiday visa. At the time of writing, these countries include Australia, New Zealand, Korea, France, Germany, the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Iceland, Austria, Hungary, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Taiwan and Hong Kong. If you are a citizen of one of these countries looking for more information on the working holiday visa, visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan website.

I’m ready! How do I apply for a Japan Working Holiday Visa?

After you have confirmed that you meet the eligibility criteria for the visa, check out our step-by-step guide to applying for the Japan working holiday visa to begin! For expert assistance ensuring you correctly complete your visa application and gather the required supporting documents, check out our Japan Send Off Package for Canadians. We’ll also provide you with a personal orientation (via video call if you’re not in Vancouver) to navigate finding a job, a place to live, setting up a bank account, mobile phone, getting a residence card, filing taxes and much more!

Have a question we didn’t answer? Leave it in the comments below!
Canadians can live in Japan and see the countries magnificent sights like Mount Fuji and the Fushimi Inari Shrine
The opportunity is out there, what are you waiting for?

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