Working Holiday Visa
Applicant Prerequisites
Application Procedure
Other Information


  Both the governments of Japan and the United Kingdom are committed to cultivating, a closer bilateral relationship among their citizens and promoting mutual understanding between the two countries. From 2001, Japan has operated the "Working Holiday Scheme" for the British, and the UK operated the "Japan: Youth Exchange Scheme" for the Japanese, both of which provide wider opportunities for young people to experience the culture and general way of life in the other country.

  Under the"Working Holiday Scheme", a limited number of British citizens who wish to stay in Japan up to one year primarily for a holiday may be granted a visa which allows them to enter Japan for up to one year, and take work for up to one year, incidental to their holiday in order to supplement their travel funds. British participants need not obtain further permission to engage in remunerative activities while in Japan, although they are not allowed to be engaged in activities at certain sites stipulated under the Law on Control and Improvement of Amusement and Entertainment Businesses.*


*These sites include: where adult entertainment related businesses are carried out.


  In October 2008, the government of the United Kingdom announced that it would introduce a new scheme for young people, the "Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS)", which would replace the UK's existing scheme for young people, including the "Japan: Youth Exchange Scheme". Following consultations between the two governments, it was arranged that Japan would be one of the first four participating countries in the YMS from its launch on 27 November, 2008. Although this new development does not change the basic structure (as described in the previous paragraph) of the "Working Holiday Scheme", the government of Japan is pleased to announce that, from the same date as the launch of the YMS, a wider range of British citizens have become eligible for the "Working Holiday Scheme" as indicated below.

  The annual number of British citizens permitted on the Working Holiday Scheme is currently limited to 1000.
Acceptance of applications will be closed when the number of visas issued reaches this number.

Applicant Prerequisites

  Working Holiday Visas, valid for a period of one year from the date of issue, are issued to persons who satisfy all of the following requirements:
  Be British Citizens who are resident in the United Kingdom
  Intend primarily to holiday in Japan for a period of up to one year from the date of entry
  Be aged between eighteen (18) and thirty (30) years both inclusive at the time of application for a Working Holiday Visa
  Be persons who are not accompanied by children
  Be persons who are not accompanied by spouses unless those spouses are in possession of a Working Holiday Visa or otherwise
  Possess a valid passport and a return travel ticket or sufficient funds with which to purchase such a ticket
  Possess reasonable funds for their maintenance during the period of initial stay in Japan
  Intend to leave Japan at the end of their stay
  Have not previously been issued a Working Holiday Visa (except where you were unable to use the Working Holiday visa issued due to unavoidable circumstances, and an application for
re-issue is made no more than 3 months from the expiry date of the original Working Holiday visa.)
  Have good health


  Those wishing to apply for a Working Holiday Visa are required to submit, along with a valid UK passport, one copy each of the following documents to the appropriate consular missions of the Government of Japan in the United Kingdom. Statements made in these documents must be true and accurate.
  1. Valid UK passport (British Citizen)
  2. One completed visa application form (Sample)
  3. One passport-sized photograph approx. 35mm x 45mm (taken within the last 6 months)
  4. Resume (Resume Form)
  5. Outline of intended activities (Outline of intended activities Form)
  6. A written reason for applying for a Working Holiday Visa typed on A4 paper
  7. Either £2,500 in cleared funds (last 3 months bank statements must be shown)
Or £1,500 and a return or onward journey ticket or a receipt for such.
(Traveller's cheques, credit cards and overdrafts are not acceptable as evidence of sufficient funds)
(In the case of a married couple applying for two visas, the minimum amounts are £4,500 and £2,500 respectively.)
  *In some cases, additional documents may be required.
  *You should provide an original of each document.
  *We do not return the documents submitted. Therefore, if you need to keep the original documents, please bring the original plus a photocopy.

Application Procedure

  Applications must be made in person and applicants may be interviewed.
Visa applicants living in North England (Northumberland, Durham, Cumbria, Tyne and Wear and Cleveland) and Scotland must apply to the Consulate-General of Japan in Edinburgh.
  A visa fee must be paid in exchange for the visa issued.

Other Information

  It is recommended that insurance coverage be arranged before leaving the United Kingdom, as under the conditions of employment for the Working Holiday Visa the period of employment is usually not long enough to qualify for coverage provided by employers or companies.For details about insurance etc., please check the “Guide to Living in Japan” (URL here).

  Within 14 days of moving into an address in Japan, Working Holiday Visa holders must apply for Resident Registration at a local government office near to where they are living (further details).


  Applicants will not be able to engage themselves in activities, which are considered to go against the policies of the Working Holiday Scheme such as working at businesses, which may affect public morals.


  The Job Center (Hello Work) and the Employment Service Center for Foreigners in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya provide assistance to job-seekers in Japan. The above Employment Service Centers for Foreigners and some Job Centers are able to provide assistance in English. For further information, please follow the links below:
Employment Policy for Foreign Workers
Portal Site on Policies for Foreign Residents

  Working Holiday Visas are for single entry. Therefore, if the Working Holiday maker has to leave Japan for any reason and wishes to return to Japan, they must obtain a Special Re-entry Permit (further details).


A questionnaire will be given to successful applicants when the visa is issued (form).

After completing your working holiday in Japan, please complete the questionnaire when you return to the UK and post it back, send it via E-mail (E-mail address: or hand it in to the Embassy of Japan in the UK.



  The Working Holiday Programmes are designed to promote international interaction and enhance friendly relationships between Japan and partner countries/regions by providing opportunities for the young people to deepen their understanding about partner countries/regions.
The Working Holiday participants are allowed to work for a certain period of their stay in order to cover the cost of travel funds to travel and stay in partner countries/regions.

This programme is not designed for persons who mainly intend to work. The applicant's primary purpose of stay should be "holiday" in Japan.
Those who intend to work primarily cannot apply for this visa.
And the Working Holiday participants are strictly prohibited from working at places affecting public morals such as bars, cabarets, nightclubs and etc.

Please apply for this visa after understanding the purpose of this programme.


General Information
Application Form
Temporary Visitor Visa
Work or a Long-Term Stay
Working Holiday Visa
Volunteer Visa
Spouse or Child of
Japanese National Visa
Medical Stay Visa
Long Stay for Sightseeing
and Recreation Visa
Visa Fees
Visa Agents List
Certificate of Eligibility