Renewing/ Extending Your Japanese Working Holiday Visa

To renew your Japanese working holiday visa

(I renewed/ extended mine twice in Okinawa 2014 and 2015 respectively as an Australian.)

1. Ring up or visit the local immigration office in the area you live in to check what documents you need in advance.

2. Prepare and bring all the documents such as residence card, passport, and the application form with reason (s) considered or pre-filled in advance how you justify the reason for the renewal/ extension.

3. Go to the local immigration office and pay the fee, 4000 yen.

4. Wait for the processing time and there you go. (Please the tips below.)



-You can renew / extend it 3 months prior to your expiry date.

e.g. Expiry date is on 5th July 2015 then you can renew it after 5th April 2015.

-Just to make sure you get the right information, it is strongly recommended to call the local immigration office the area where you are staying and go to see them to cross reference what you need for renewing your visa as instead of just sticking to the guidelines that The Ministry of Justice provides.

-The first time you renew you can get the result and the new residence card on the same day.

However, the second time you do it, the process will be around 2 weeks to 1 month.


The Ministry of Justice




Immigration Procedures Guidebook and Application Forms








To view more information about getting a Japanese working holiday visa, please click here.

Good luck!


P.S. I will be staying in Okinawa till October 2015 at the moment.

  29 comments for “Renewing/ Extending Your Japanese Working Holiday Visa

  1. Winnie
    7 June, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Hi Okina! My name is Winnie and I would like to ask you some questions about extending the Japanese working holiday visa.May I ask, was the extension of the WHV from the date that it would have expired? or It was from the date that the extension is approved?As I can renew the visa 3 months prior to my expiry date. If I renew it 3 months earlier, will I lost 3 months? (As the extension is from the date that the extension is approved)Thank you!

    • 7 June, 2016 at 3:59 pm

      Hi Winnie,

      How are you?
      Thank you for your questions. Please see the answers below:
      1. The extension is from the date that is approved.
      2. So if you renew 3 months earlier, you will lose the 3 months.
      I suggest you renew just a month before.

      Just a reminder, I would strongly recommend that you go to the local immigration office in the area you currently
      live in and double check the condition with them based on your nationality as soon as possible. So you have enough
      time to prepare and get things right in one shot.

      The reason is that the information on the official website from immigration office contains most of the information
      you need but some details may very slightly depending on the area you live currently. As I hold a business visa
      (transferred my WHV to Business Visa) now, the required documents did vary slightly in the initial application
      between Okinawa and mainland Japan.

      • Phaon
        30 December, 2017 at 4:11 am

        Hi Okina,

        Is this true? You loose 3 months? As it takes a while to process each visa extension, that means that as an Australian you cannot actually stay 18 months, as you will loose time each time you renew?

        Also, I am registered to an address in Tokyo. I am currently travelling and do not plan to return to Tokyo for a while. Can I apply for an extension at for example, the Takamatsu Immigration Bureau? Would you know?

        Thank you.

        • 30 December, 2017 at 8:16 am

          Hi Phaon,

          Thank you for your question.

          It is true that if you renew your 3 months in advance, you will lose that 3 months.

          However, currently you can only renew your visa a month(minus one day) prior to before your visa expiry date at earliest.

          For example, the expiry date is 31/12/2017. The earliest date you can renew your visa is 1/12/2017, not 30/11/2017.

          In reality, Australian do lose about 1 month in total. So we need to time it right before we apply for extension.

          I got my first extension on the same day I applied. The second time I renewed, the waiting period was about 10 days. This vary depending on your local immigration bureau. You will need to check with them directly.

          As your current address is registered in Tokyo, you will need to renew your visa in Tokyo. If you move to Takamatsu and update your address on the back of your residential card
          from Tokyo to Takamatsu, then you can renew your visa in Takamatsu.

          Hope the above help.

          Warm regards,

  2. Leon Jimenez
    23 October, 2016 at 12:05 am

    Hi there
    I was in Japan on a working holiday from November last year.
    I came back to Australia without extending my visa for when I come back.
    Is there any way i can go go back to Japan on a working holiday visa November this year?

    • 23 October, 2016 at 6:08 am

      Hi Leon,

      Thank you for your question.
      To jump to the conclusion, the answer is that unfortunately you are not able to use this working holiday visa anymore due to the reasons below:

      1. The working holiday visa holder needs to obtain the re-entry permission from the local immigration office where they currently stay in before leaving Japan if they want to leave for longer period of time and come back to Japan with the same visa without losing its valid period of stay left.
      2. When the working holiday visa holder leaves Japan without filling in the re-entry card (tick with permission or no need for permission like leaving Japan just for a week) and give it to the custom, the visa will immediately becomes expired.
      3. Everyone can only use the working holiday visa once in their life. When it’s expired, you can’t re-use or revive it unless you have the permission mentioned in point 1.

      Your other options now will be getting a cultural visa or business working visa.

      Hope the above anwsered your question.


  3. Tom
    26 October, 2016 at 7:20 am

    Hello I have a working holiday visa October 20th with expiry of Oct 20th 2017 but I arrive in japan mid December and it says I can stay 6 months? so does that mean that I lose the time from Oct 20th to mid December? or does it start when I enter japan and after 6 months of entering japan I have to renew for another six months to make it a full year? Also it’s possible to extend even after I’ve done a year in japan?

    • 26 October, 2016 at 4:51 pm

      Hi Tom,
      Thank you for your question.

      The answers here are based on if you hold the Australian passport when applied.
      1. When you apply and obtained the Japanese working holiday visa, the visa itself
      is valid for 1 year before you enter Japan.
      2.Once you enter Japan, the visa only allows you to stay 6 months if you hold
      the Australian passport when applied. This is without any application of visa extension yet.
      3. The visa starts counting the 6 months period from the first day you enter Japan.
      4. Generally, any country’s working holiday visa will be valid up to 1 year or 18 months
      with the visa renewal (extension).
      5. Australian can apply up to 2 extension (each extension is valid for 6 months), which
      makes it up to 18 months in total and also is the maximum staying period for the working
      holiday visa holder. So after 1 year (1 extension), you can apply for the second
      (also the last) extension.

      ・the second visa extension is not always guaranteed.

      Hope the above answered your questions.


  4. Michael
    2 March, 2017 at 5:45 am

    Hi Guys!I\’m currently working in Nozawa Onsen as a Ski Instructor and arrived in Japan on November the 25th, 2016. I\’ll be leaving at the end of may but I\’m hoping to come back December 2017 for the next winter season. Is there any possibility of pausing a WHV twice? I\’m Australian so I have 18 months. If not, would I have to extend the visa twice before I leave so it\’ll last till my arrival?

  5. Kristina
    31 March, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Hi Okina!
    So I am going to Japan in September this year and I have two jobs lined up! one from Sep-Feb then another from March – Sep ! Will I, as an Australian, be able to extend my visa for the 1 year with no problems??

    Thanks, Kristina

    • 31 March, 2017 at 5:46 pm

      Hi Kristina,

      Thank you for your question.
      There should not be a problem as you’ve got 2 jobs lined up. The rest is to make sure when you are going to
      extend the visa, you have good working history for the first job in Japan, well prepared documents, and a good written letter of reason why you would like to stay for another 6 months apart from you have another job lined up for you.

      Passion to explore more of Japanese culture, what you can contribute to Japan and how you going to use what you’ve experienced in Japan after you go back to Australia will help with the application.

      Good Luck!


  6. Hayden
    8 April, 2017 at 11:07 am

    HI Okina,

    i just finished working in japan on a working holiday visa and i absolutely loved it and would love to go back next year, but the problem is i had to leave japan before i had a chance to renew/extend my visa.
    Is there a way i can extend my visa from home, in australia, or a way i can get someone who is still in japan to do it for me?


    • 8 April, 2017 at 2:19 pm

      Hi Hayden,

      Glad to hear that you enjoyed it a lot in Japan.

      Just to make sure, did you get a fill in a re-entry form when you left Japan at the airport?

      If not, I’m afraid that your working holiday visa is already and automatically expired once you leave Japan without filling a re-entry form. If that is the case, I’m sorry that the once in a life time working holiday visa of yours is invalid and cannot be revived again.


      • Hayden
        9 April, 2017 at 1:25 am

        Hi Okina, thanks for the reply.

        Yes i did get a reentry permit when i left japan, does that mean i would have to go back to japan to renew it?

        • 12 April, 2017 at 4:03 am

          Hi Hayden,

          Sorry for the late reply.
          Yes, you can only apply the extension in Japan.

          Just be aware that there are also 2 types of re-entry permit. One extends the period of stay when you leave Japan temporarily, the other only allows you to leave Japan temporarily but doesn’t extend the period of stay.
          So it depends on which one you get though.

          Hope it help.


  7. Enrico
    3 September, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    Hi Okina,Thank you for writing this very helpful article.This topic is very relevant to my situation as I\’m a little confused with the Re-entry Procedures. The information in Sydney/Melbourne consulate websites (in any case, Single/Multiple Permit required) are different to the Embassy\’s (less than 1 year, need only to tick the Re-entry box in the form).I read from your reply above these are possibly two different things – is that correct?So in theory, if I leave Japan for 1-2 months, I can simply fill in the form without paying 3000/6000 JPY for a permit. I initially thought I can also choose to do the latter for some reason and get the same thing – but it sounds like if I do apply there could be period extension granted?Looking forward to hear from you. Thanks in advance!

    • 4 September, 2017 at 4:19 am

      Hi Enrico,
      Thank you very much for your question.

      Yes, the re-entry procedure can get a bit confusing.

      Yes, there 2 different things.

      1. Special Re-entry Permit (The re-entry permit with no need to apply for permission)
      When you leaves Japan for 1-2 months and if you tick this one on the ED card,
      you don’t need to pay anything for a permit.

      This permit does not extend the your period of stay.

      2. Re-entry permit (the permit to ensure your period of stay is not affected.)
      This has 2 two types: single or multiple

      From the official website (, here is what it says about the special re-entry permit:

      ‘Foreign nationals who have departed from Japan on a special re-entry permit will not be able to extend that permit while abroad. Please note that such foreign nationals will lose their resident status if they fail to re-enter Japan within 1 year of their departure.’

      They didn’t talk about the re-entry permit but in theory, if you obtain the re-entry permit that you need to pay.
      Then you will have your period extension granted.

      The official explanation about the re-entry permit is as below for your reference.

      Hope it help.

      Warm regards,

  8. Marie Campbell
    16 October, 2017 at 3:13 am

    Hi Okina,I have a question for you regarding working Holiday Visas. In Canada, when applying for a holiday visa, I need a flight entering and leaving Japan, in order to be a successful candidate. In my case, I am hoping to extend my holiday visa when there, so would have any recommendations for a flight? For example, should I just buy a cheap flight out of Japan and not catch the plane (ex. China) , or would recommend buying an expensive ticket that allows for flexible flying dates. I I am wanting to make this as cheap as possible, but I haven\’t had any luck getting answers with my weird situation. 🙂

    • 16 October, 2017 at 9:36 am

      Hi Marie,

      Thank you for your question.

      The recommendation of a flight from my side would be as below based on if when you leave Japan, you don’t need to go back to Canada and where you currently reside in Japan.(If you have checked with the local immigration office.)

      For example, if you reside in Okinawa, you can land the countries such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, or South Korea within 2.5 hours via the cheap airlines: Peach , vanilla air, or Jetstar.

      Expensive ticket that allows flexible flying dates may not be that economical if you are already sure when you can leave and come back to Japan.

      Hope the above will help.


  9. Doug
    19 October, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Hi Okina

    I was in Japan on a WHV from December 8th last year and extended it before I left about halfway through this year, my current plan is to fly back over on December the 6th and then extend it again on December the 7th. You say that it can take 2 weeks to a month for the 2nd approval to be decided on, since my residency card expires on the 8th how is this situation handled?

    Thanks Doug

    • 20 October, 2017 at 9:39 am

      Hi Doug,

      Thank you for your question.

      The renewal of the visa is to be processed in Japan according to the official website.
      You will need to apply for the renewal in Japan[2].

      What you can do is to fly back to Japan and renew your WHV in the first week of this November
      if you have filled in an Ed card[1] when you first left Japan which allows you to re-enter Japan
      with your residence card.

      Here is the references that are relevant for you.
      1. ED Card:
      2. Q28 (in Japanese) says that the renewal has to be done in Japan.
      3. Application for Extension period of Stay:


      • Doug
        22 October, 2017 at 1:39 am

        So you have to have your visa extended before the expiry of your visa? That seems a bit iffy because according to that 3rd link it can take 2 weeks to 3 months for it to be approved.

        Thanks Douglas

        • 23 October, 2017 at 5:23 am

          Hi Doug,

          According to their official website from Q28 link, yes, you need to apply for extension
          of the visa before the visa expires.

          The direct quote from the also mentions 3rd link
          ・When to submit:
          Up until the applicant’s resident status expires (If the applicant is authorized to stay in Japan for 6 month or longer, the immigration office will start accepting his/her application form three months before his/her stay period expires)

          About the direct quote of the 3rd link, you can renew the visa 3 months in advance. When I renewed my visa before the immigration office in my area said it usually takes about 2 weeks to 1 months and if additional documents are required it will be another 2 weeks at the longest.

          Direct quote from the 3rd link.
          ・Standard procedures duration: Two weeks to three months

          You can also phone 03-5796-7112 (international call) to double check with them.


          • Doug
            23 October, 2017 at 8:40 am

            My main issue was that if the application had to be fully processed and accepted before the visa expires. I might give that number a call just to check.
            Thanks for the Help

  10. David Jon Wallace
    1 April, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    Hi I\\\\’m.going to apply for a working holiday visa in my country (UK) I\\\\’m currently 29 so deadline is close as I\\\\’m nearly 30. But after the age of 30 cam instill renew my visa to stay longer?

    • 2 April, 2018 at 5:10 pm

      Hi David,

      Thank you for your question.
      At the age 30, you can still apply for the working holiday visa and renew/extend it when you are over the age of 30 after the initial application.

      However, the above applies to Australian. I strongly recommend you to check with the Japanese consulate in UK again
      as it may vary slightly depending on what agreement is signed between each country and Japanese government.


  11. Nam
    5 October, 2019 at 1:18 am

    Hey Okina,Thank you for this helpful post.Actually I have the question how long can you extend your visa?Currently I am working in Japan and I will leave my current job for an Internship in December 19.My visa expires on the 11th January 20. but I want to expire it because the internship goes until February.So do my new company have to sign or fill in anything or can I do the process all on my own?Greetings,Nam

    • 6 October, 2019 at 10:56 am

      Hi Nam,

      Thank you for your question.

      For Australians, you can exend the working holiday visa twice and up to 18 months in total.

      For working holiday visa, you can do the renewal process just by yourself.

      Thank you.


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