Contrary to popular belief, it’s very easy to get a Visa which allows you to work or study in Japan. However, there are many advantageous points to a Working Holiday Visa – some of which are either overlooked or not utilised fully by many people.
As a Working Holiday Visa allows you to move around Japan working odd jobs here and there, you have the freedom to go from place to place, seeing much more of Japan then would be possible if located in one place for the entire year.
If you come to Japan on a Tourist Visa, you get freedom to travel like on a Working Holiday Visa, however there are two huge differences:
1) You only have 3 months.
2) You can’t work, so unless you have significant savings before arriving in Japan you wouldn’t be able to sustain the life-style a Working Holiday maker could.
A Working Visa allows you to work in Japan, but only applies to full-time work, and only if a company sponsors you for the Visa. In such a case you will be fixed in a sole location due to your job, restricting travel to mainly weekends and public holidays – assuming that is, that you aren’t required to work them as many English teaching jobs require.
Similarly, as a student on a Student Visa you have classes which you must attend that limit your ability to freely travel around Japan.
Finding employment can normally be quite challenging due to the Visa issue – a company would need to sponsor you for the Working Visa. Student Visas, Dependent Visas, and other Visas allow work up to 28 hours a week, but often such restrictions are a turn-off for employers, and would seriously impact the chances of you finding work.
By contrast, a Working Holiday Visa allows employers to legally hire you, with minimal paperwork and far less restrictions. This makes it a lot easier to find work and gives you more choice when it comes to finding employment.
On a Working Holiday you get one year (or 18-months in the case of Australian citizens). That is plenty of time to work a little (in either one or several locations) and travel extensively.
While a tourist Visa (or the 90-day Visa exemption period for tourists of selected countries) still gives a substantial amount of time if you wish to view the major tourist destinations, a Working Holiday gives you the time you need to settle into one (or a few) communities and get so much more out of your experience.
Unlike a Working Visa or a Student Visa, a Working Holiday Visa is very easy to get. Simply fill out the paperwork and submit it to your nearest Japanese consulate or embassy. The application is also free (More details on the application process later in this guide).
While in Japan, you will be deducted 20% tax for the first 12-months, though this is not because you are on a Working Holiday Visa. The 20% tax deduction applies to anyone living in Japan for their first 12-months, including Japanese passport holders who grew up overseas.
Once in Japan, the Visa is looked upon favorably by employers, making it easier to secure a job than on many other Visa types.