You may have heard of people going on a working holiday in Japan. By all appearances, such an experience promises a lot of fun and excitement. Before you consider jumping on the opportunity though, there are a couple of things you need to know.
What is this program?
There are many countries that allow visitors to both work and enjoy holidays. This specific program offered by the Japanese government however is the result of a mutual agreement between Japan and other countries. Australia was the very first country to enjoy this benefit but is now joined by New Zealand, Canada, South Korea, France, Germany and the UK. The newest countries to sign the agreement are Ireland and Denmark. If you are a resident of these countries, you will have passed the first criterion to apply for special working holiday visas.
As the term implies, the program is primarily for people who wish to enjoy a vacation. This means that a traveler’s intention must primarily be to enjoy the sights and sounds of the country. Finding a job is only a secondary focus. Once a visitor has found a job, he is allowed to keep it only for the duration of his visa’s validity. This is usually six months with a possible extension of another six months. Only Australians can apply for extensions that will allow them to stay up to eighteen months.
Who is qualified to apply?
Aside from residency requirements, there are other qualifications that applicants for Japan working holiday visas must meet. They must be eighteen to thirty years old and must have never been to the country on a previous occasion. Also, they must already have their own passports and be in excellent health.
One other important requirement is related to personal finances. An applicant should be able to show that he is able to support himself during his entire vacation stay. At a minimum, an applicant should show that he at least has $2,000 for his stay. With the proof of funds, applicants should also present specific vacation plans and a booked return ticket home.
What are the expenses involved?
If you live in the UK, you would have to pay six pounds for your special visa. The application is free in other countries. The first real expense would therefore be the airfare. That would cost around $2,700 to $3,000 although you may be able to get a cheap deal of a little over $1,000 for a plane ticket.
The living expenses give a little more cause for worry. You can expect to spend a little over 100,000 yen every month for food, transportation and accommodation. If, however, you plan to travel from December to April, you may be able to bag a resort position in a tourist hotspot like Nagano. In winter resorts, food and accommodations are free so you can expect to save a lot of cash in these places.
A working holiday in Japan is truly an experience to remember because it allows you to enjoy the many attractions of the country while maintaining a job. If you qualify as an applicant, you should take the first chance you’ve got to apply for the program.