The (in)famous "Work Holiday" Visa

A bit more information about the work holiday Visa process


Vacation Niseko only hires staff who are legally allowed to work in Japan.

This includes people who hold a Spouse Visa, a Work Visa, Japanese citizens and of course, people with a Working Holiday Visa.


What is a Work Holiday Visa, WHV, and how can I get it?


Japan has an agreement with various other countries and agrees to give Visas to various young people so that they can "experience" Japan, and work in order to cover their travel fees. Click here!


So the WHV is just like any other work Visa, right? No! Why not?


The WHV is first and foremost a holiday Visa. It is not intended for work only. Please remember that you will not be granted the Visa if you intend to come to Niseko for the season, work a handful of months and go back to your country right afterwards. This is why most of the countries participating in this program will ask you for a detailed intended itinerary of your trip in Japan during the application process. We advise you to be as detailed as possible and think very hard about your itinerary beforehand. We strongly recommend you visit Japan before or after your season in Niseko, it is an amazing country and really deserves to be seen!


What kind of things do people do before or after the season?

Staff in the past have worked as English teachers around Japan, diving instructors in Okinawa during summer or seasonal farm workers. It really is possible to find something to do in Japan after the winter.

Most of our staff, if not all, travel around after or before the winter. They visit Tokyo and Kyoto of course, but Nagasaki, Himeji, Osaka, Hiroshima and Nara are all popular.

So how do I apply?


Please look at the website of the closest Japanese embassy and follow the procedure mentioned on the website. The procedure actually varies according to the country.

You can search YouTube as some former people who got their Work Holiday Visa made some videos explaining the process.


Should I wait to get a job before applying, or should I apply now?


It depends. The WHV is activated when you arrive in Japan. If you get the Visa in July but only arrive in November, your period of stay actually begins from November, so you won't "waste" the time between July and November. This considered, there is no real downside in applying as soon as possible. Moreover, already having a WHV actually helps you in the job search. Every year we agree to hire some candidates but their Visa is rejected afterwards. Having your Visa reduces the uncertainty for the employer and already shows potential employers that:

  • you are already motivated

  • you know how to research, get organized and make things happen.


That being said, some embassies may advise you to come back later as they don't like applying too far in advance. 3 or 4 months before arrival in Japan is sometimes the time frame advised by some embassies.


Can I apply outside of my country?


No. You need to apply in your home country. So for people intending to travel before arriving in Japan, please make sure that you apply early enough.

There you go - we hope this is helpful for a first general presentation on this Visa. Good luck in the process, and hopefully see you on the slopes!


#workholidayvisa #seasonalemployment #nisekojobs #admin #winterjobs #whv


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