View Full Version : The Other Alternative - Working Holiday

April 7th, 2009, 19:05
Well since I'm still anxiously waiting for my results from JET, I decided to look more closely into my plan B. Since I live in Canada I have the fortunate opportunity to be eligible for a Working Holiday Visa (along with many other countries including Australia, New Zealand, Korea, France, Germany, the UK, Ireland and Denmark) should JET fall through or I get placed on the Alternate list i'll start working towards my plan B and apply for a working holiday visa for departure sometime in September.

For those of you unfamiliar with this visa, it essentially is a tourist visa that allows you to work in Japan during your stay there. If you are eligible through your country you can apply for this 6 month visa (extendable up to one year) should you fill the other requirements, those being between the ages of 18-30, be a citizen residing in a participating country, have a valid passport and return air ticket, be in good health, have enough money ($2500 in traveler's cheques for Canada) and intend to be vacationing primarily. What this visa allows you to do however is to work up to 20 hours a week (though I doubt they take this strictly since a friend of mine worked up to 40 hours a week) to supplement your traveling expenses. As far as I know there are no limitations on the industries you can do (teaching, bar/service, combini etc.) but they do say that this visa is not sufficient for full time employment like a regular work visa. Also, you can only apply for this type of visa once in your life so you might as well use the opportunity while it's open to you!

What this means for anyone applying is that you are able to travel freely in the country choosing where you might want to go and since you are primarily vacationing you can rely on your savings to get you around. This does mean however that you are limited in regards to the type of work you are able to undertake (for example I doubt you'd be able to work for a public school under this visa unless you get them to sponsor your full work visa) but you are free to find work in the country with whoever will hire you (eikawa, conversation schools, private tutoring are more common I believe.) It might be a glorified holiday but for me it means I can visit for an extended period of time while waiting for next years JET application (should I be rejected this year.)

Anyway I wanted to inform anyone that didn't know that this was an option since I don't see it talked a lot about on here and had a few questions for anyone that is familiar with this type of visa and can help me out.

1. Is it really hard to upgrade to a full work visa should you find a sponsor once your in the country? Do you have to leave the country?
2. As for finding work, is it hard finding more temporary random tutoring/conversation school type work?
3. I assume that it's much easier finding work as a longer term english teacher/tutor in the country as opposed to outside of Japan. Has anyone been on the job hunt lately? Is it radically harder with the straining economy?

Anyway I hope this post was at least a little informative to those of you eligible, whether or not I get into JET, I hope to be in Japan come this September! Also I certainly don't know everything there is to know about this type of visa so if I made any mistakes or there's something to add, please feel free.