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Frequently Asked Questions
Working Holiday Visa Requirements for Canadian Citizens
For the purpose of promoting greater mutual understanding between Japan and Canada, the governments of these two countries agreed in 1986 to start a Working Holiday scheme to help encourage the exchange of young people. This program makes it possible for citizens of one country to enter the other primarily for a holiday over an extended period, and also to engage in employment as an incidental aspect of their trip in order to supplement their travel funds.
With this visa, Canadian citizens need not obtain further permission to engage in remunerative activities while in Japan, provided that these activities do not contravene the Japanese law regulating businesses offering food and entertainment as well as any other regulations in force which affect public order and good morals.
The Government of Japan, on a reciprocal basis, will issue, free of charge, a single entry visa for the Working Holiday to persons who satisfy each of the requirements outlined below:
- Must be a Canadian citizen currently residing in Canada;
- Intend primarily to holiday in Japan for a specific period of time;
- Be between 18 and 30 years of age at the time of application;
- Possess a valid Canadian passport and a return travel ticket;
- Possess reasonable funds for their maintenance, including medical expenses, during the period of initial stay in Japan;
- Be in good health and not have a criminal record.
- Have never before obtained a Japanese Working Holiday visa;
Procedure and Requirements for the Working Holiday Visa
Applicants are required to submit the following:
- Valid Canadian passport and a photocopy of the passport's first page (the one with your picture);
- Completed application form (You will be exempt from filling in the “Guarantor or Reference in Japan”, as well as “Inviter in Japan” information, unless you have a plan to stay in a specific place in Japan);
- One photo (Canadian passport size, approx. 45mm x 45mm, taken within the last 6 months);
- Personal resume/curriculum vitae;
- Detailed itinerary of your stay in Japan;
- Letter explaining your reasons for applying for a Working Holiday visa;
- Note from physician stating that you are in good health (Original note);
- Minimum amount of $3,500 CAD ($4,500 CAD for a married couple) in a bank statement providing proof of that amount;
- Airline ticket or flight itinerary to Japan. Add an additional $1,000 CAD to the above amount if you have not paid for a plane ticket.
Application forms are also available at the Consular Section of the Embassy of Japan in Ottawa or one of the Consulate General of Japan offices located in Canada. For all papers to be submitted, please type or print legibly on letter-size paper. Write in black ink only, and do not use correcting fluid. (Should you make a mistake, strike it off and write above or next to it.) All submitted documents must be originals (copies will not be accepted.)
- Come in person for an interview with all the documents mentioned above.
If you satisfy the requirements, you will be informed that your visa will be processed. Working Holiday Visas take at least one week to process. Applications submitted on short notice will not be accepted.
Application for the Working Holiday visa must be made at the diplomatic or one of the consular missions of the Government of Japan in Canada. Applicants will be interviewed, when necessary, by the representatives of such missions to determine their eligibility.
Please note that all of the above may be modified without prior notice.
- It is recommended that insurance coverage be arranged before leaving Canada as under the conditions of employment for the Working Holiday Visas. The period of employment is usually not long enough to qualify for coverage undertaken by the employers or companies.
- Applicants must enter Japan within twelve months after the date of issue of the visa; the visa is valid for twelve months.
- A period of stay of up to six months will be initially granted, at the port of entry. This may be extended up to an additional six months by the Immigration Authorities in Japan.
- Working Holiday visas are single entry. Therefore, if the Working Holiday participant has to leave Japan for any reason and wishes to return, it is essential that the person obtain a re-entry permit from the Immigration Authorities before leaving Japan.
- Working Holiday visitors will be issued a resident card at the port of entry. Please visit a local municipal office in Japan with your resident card within 14 days of finding a place to reside. Please click here and here for more information.
- You should ask for a statement of earnings in English while in Japan and call Revenue Canada for the appropriate information when you return to Canada.
The working holiday visa is not applicable to persons wishing to enter Japan to engage in full-time employment or to enroll in academic institutions.
Additional information may be obtained from the Embassy of Japan in Ottawa and the Consulates General of Japan in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal.