Applying for the Working Holiday Visa

So you’ve decided that doing a Working Holiday in Japan sounds like a fantastic idea. What’s next?

Application Requirements for a Working Holiday Visa

Note: If you are keen to work in a Hotel/Resort as part of your Working Holiday experience, we do not recommend you apply for a Working Holiday Visa until after you apply online via our website and receive a tentative offer (usually about 4-6 weeks before the job is due to start).

If you do decide to apply through us, successfully receive a tentative offer, and accept it, we will send you detailed information on how to apply for your Working Holiday Visa at that time.

Until then, you don’t need to do anything (except study Japanese to improve your chances of being offered a position as much as possible)!

If you decide to go to Japan anyway, regardless of whether or not you apply for Hotel/Resort work through us, there are a few things you should know before applying for your Working Holiday Visa.


When you apply for your Working Holiday Visa, the Japanese Consulate will want to see that some thought has gone into planning your trip, so you’ll need to give them a “Proposed Itinerary”, detailing where you plan to go, and what you plan to see and do.

The Ultimate Guide to Doing a Working Holiday in Japan

Even if you are only planning on staying in Japan for a few months, the Visa office often like you to fill out a full 6-month itinerary (because that is the initial length of the Visa you will be receiving).

Once in Japan you’re allowed to change your plans anytime, it’s just to show the embassy/consulate that you aren’t doing the Working Holiday on a whim, and are seriously interested in learning about the culture while you are there.

In addition to the various popular guidebooks you can pick up at any book- store or library, there are also some fantastic online resources to help you learn about all the wondrous sights, flavours, cultural intricacies, and exciting things to do around the country. Here are some of our recommended resources:

For some of our own favourite ideas, check out our Blog post about the topic: Our Suggested Itinerary for Making the Most of your Working Holiday in Japan

The Ultimate Guide to Doing a Working Holiday in Japan

Proof of Sufficient Funds

At the time of application for a Working Holiday Visa you must show that you have a few thousand dollars available in your bank account (the actual amount depends on your country). The Visa office needs to know you have sufficient funds to pay for your airfare, and support yourself while living in Japan. You will need to submit a bank statement as proof.

We know this kind of money can be hard to raise. Before their Visa application, many of our Resort work applicants receive “gifts” from their parents, of a few thousand dollars. This is fine, as long as you show the Visa office an accompanying letter from your parents, explaining that they have given you the money for your stay in Japan.

Tips for Filling Out the Documents

There is a question in the application forms about a “Guarantor or Reference in Japan”. If you have friends etc. in Japan, you can put their details here, or if not, it’s OK to just leave this section blank, or write “N/A”.

There is also a “Declaration of Intent” document, where you must include “Names and Ad-

dresses of persons you Intend to stay with” – in this section, apparently you have to research a hotel/hostel (or friend’s house) where you might stay, and include their details in your application.

Upon arriving in Japan, one of the 1st things you have to do is to register your new address at your local City Hall anyway, so the address you give in the Declaration of Intent document is not so important.

You may also need to submit a “Written reason for applying for a Working Holiday Visa”. This should be about one A4 page in length, and should include all the reasons that you’d love to visit Japan.

The Ultimate Guide to Doing a Working Holiday in Japan

Applying for a Working Holiday Visa

NOTE: You must be in your Country of Nationality to apply for a Working Holiday Visa.

The Application Process varies slightly depending on which country you are from, but you can generally download the relevant application forms from your local Japanese Consulate website. Visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan website to read all about the Visa Application process, find out the specific requirements for your country, and find links to your local consulate, including details about how and where to apply:

The Visa can take up to 3+ weeks to process.

Take care to provide all the necessary documentation and a suitable photo – Japanese are very particular about this.