How to Get a Japanese Working Holiday Visa?

As I will be going to Japan soon in April this year, I have applied for it late last year and obtained it. Before that I read through few blogs (such as Guillaume Erard and AdventureRob) related to the application. They were pretty helpful and informative. I will share some of my experience as I applied from Australia and hope to help more Australians who are interested in going to Japan with working holiday visa.


What is required for Australians?

  1. Age restriction: 18 to 30 (inclusive). The initial stay is 6 months from the date entering Japan.
  2. Bank statement: within 6 months (no single deposit and has to show the record of saving progression). Minimum AUD2500 for single and AUD3500 for couples. This is additional to your airfare. They stated it has to be formal statement from the bank and no home computer or ATM prints out. When I went to the office and the person asked me to ask the bank to print one out and asked me also to print out the transaction of the account from internet because they need the transaction record to show up till the date you apply. I thought it wasn’t accepted but still went ahead to do it. So the instruction’s requirement was not very clear.
  3. Flight booking ticket under you name. I asked an agent to issue a dummy ticket and it was accepted. Single way ticket is sufficient as well.
  4. New passport photo within recent 6 months when applying (4.5cm x4.5cm or 2inch x 2inch). I wear glasses. I took new photos with glasses to match my passport. It was accepted as long as it had no reflection. Apart from that, I’m told that the new Australian passport needs photo without glasses on.
  5. An updated resume in English.
  6. A letter (A4 size) of proposed schedule and itinerary:
  7. A letter (A4 size) states the reasoning of the application (letter of intent). It must be typed and at least 1 page. I started with background information about myself and how I started learning Japanese, culture interest, how I wish to improve the language skills and understanding of the culture, reasons of the working holiday visa could help me to that. And after returning to Australia, what I will share what I saw and learnt in Japan with people around me for better understanding and interaction between the 2 countries.
  8. Completed declaration form of intent:
  9. Completed application form

Forms to download for Australians:
Visa application form:
Demo sample already filled out:


Please note:

  • The visa approving time can be up 1 month. I received mine on the third week the date after applying.
  • You can apply the visa 1 year before your actual departure date. The earlier the planning, the better and less panic latter on.
  • The visa is worth 6 months long. Australians can apply up to 2 extensions. Each extension is 6 months long as well. You need to apply for extension at the local immigration office at least about 1 month before your visa expires.
  • When you arrive in Japan, as the visa is a single entry visa, if you need leave the country and come back again for whatever the reason, you need to apply for the re-entry visa. Otherwise, once you leave the country, the visa expires automatically.


Official Websites for Sydney, Australia


After Arriving Japan

Resident card application (Previously known as Alien Registration Card before 9/7/2012):

(Also available in Chinese (simplified / traditional), Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, and Japanese of course.)


Additional Information

If you are not attending any program with BoobooSKI or Japan Internships to get jobs, you can go to convenience store in local area to take some free job magazines. They will also have positions for short-term workers, get an agent or you can use go to this JAWHM (Japan Association of Working Holiday Makers) for further details.


For further questions or doubt, please contact your local Japanese embassy office.

The above serves as a guideline and personal experience only. This post is also under the Travel tab on the top of the menu.

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