Working Holiday Visa




The Japan-New Zealand Working Holiday Scheme was established in 1985. The reciprocal arrangement is intended to promote mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries. Visas are issued to young New Zealanders intent on contributing to these purposes.

The Scheme enables visa holders to enter Japan for a long-term holiday, and if necessary, work on a casual/temporary basis to supplement travel funds. It is not for the purpose of regular full-time employment in Japan.

With this visa, New Zealand citizens need not obtain further permission to engage in remunerative activities while in Japan, provided these activities do not contravene Japanese law regulating businesses offering food and entertainment as well as any other regulations in force which affect public order and good morals.


To be eligible for the grant of a Working Holiday Visa you must:

  1. Be a New Zealand passport holder residing in New Zealand (more than 3 months). New Zealand citizens who are travelling or living abroad will not be eligible.
  2. Be aged between 18 and 30 years (inclusive) at the time of application
  3. Have no dependent children
  4. Be in good health and have no criminal record
  5. Have NOT previously obtained a Working Holiday Visa for Japan (on a passport of any country)

You must also agree that your main reason for visiting is to holiday and that any work should be casual/temporary to supplement funds. If your main purpose is to engage in activities for income/remuneration, you will be asked to apply for a work visa.


Please submit the following items:

  1. Valid New Zealand passport with sufficient space for the visa 
  2. Completed visa application form
  3. One passport sized photo (45×35mm) taken within the last 6 months and printed on a photo-quality paper
  4. Letter stating reasons for applyng for a working holiday visa - Typewritten on A4 paper (must be one page in length). Please sign and date. 
  5. Curriculum Vitae - Detailing your personal, educational and employment history. Must be up-to-date.
  6. Itinerary in Japan - Use the attached Stay Programme form. The schedule must be completed in detail, without remarks such as “unknown” or “as above”.
  7. Proof of sufficient funds to support initial stay in Japan – Please provide an official bank statement (on letterhead and/or stamped) which shows the last three month’s transactions with your own name and residential address in New Zealand. This will need to show at least NZ $3,000 (or NZ $4,500 for a married couple)The statements of overseas banks, records of credit cards or loans are NOT accepted.
  8. If your return ticket from Japan is not yet purchased, your bank statement must include a further $1,000. (i.e. We can accept a bank balance showing at least $3,000 plus proof of your ticket purchase.)
  • Visa fee (if applicable) payable when visa is issued. Payment must be by cash when passport is collected.
  • If you wish to nominate another person to collect your passport on your behalf, please complete the official authorisation form with your handwritten signature. Your nominated person must provide this authorisation form, his/her official ID, and pay the visa fee (if applicable) in cash at the time of collection.
  • Please use the checklist below to ensure that your visa application can be submitted without any missing documents and to avoid unnecessary delays. Incomplete applications significantly increases processing time.

    Application Checklist

NOTE: Application procedure

  • Only your passport will be returned to you
  • Additional documentation may be required
  • Some applicants may require an interview
  • Applications from agents or group applications will not be accepted
  • Please allow at least ten working days for the processing of the application
  • Where to lodge your application: Please deal directly with the office that has jurisdiction over your area.
    • Residents of Northland, Auckland, Ruapehu District, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions should apply to the Consulate-General of Japan in Auckland
    • Residents of Taranaki, Manawatu-Wanganui (excluding Ruapehu District), Hawkes Bay, Gisborne, Wellington, Marlborough, Tasman, West Coast, Otago & Southland regions should apply to the Embassy of Japan in Wellington
    • Residents of Canterbury region should apply to the Consular Office of Japan in Christchurch

Consulate-General of Japan
Level 15, AIG Building,
41 Shortland Street
(P O Box 3959)
Tel: (09) 303 4106

Embassy of Japan
Level 18, The Majestic Centre
100 Willis Street
(P O Box 6340)
Tel: (04) 473 1540

Consular Office of Japan
172 Hereford Street
(P O Box 13-748)
Tel: (03) 366 5680

  • All visa applicants should come and collect his/her passport in person.
    *If you wish to nominate another person to collect your passport on your behalf, please complete the official authorisation form with your handwritten signature. Your nominated person must provide this authorisation form, his/her official ID, and pay the visa fee (if applicable) in cash at the time of collection.

NOTE: After Visa issue

  • Life and Health Insurance – Foreigners who reside in Japan for more than 3 months must have Japanese National Health Insurance. This should be instigated when you receive your residence card. It is also highly recommended that private insurance is arranged before leaving New Zealand. National health insurance 4-3 at:
  • Validity of Visa – Applicants must enter Japan within one year of the date of issue of the visa.
  • Period of Stay – Stay permission is for one year only. This may not be extended.
  • Residence Card – Medium to long-term residents newly entering Japan will be issued a residence card at 4 major airports (Narita, Haneda, Chubu and Kansai). In case of arrival at other airports and seaports, a residence card will be mailed to the place of residence from the municipal office.
  • Re-entry permit – The Working Holiday visa is only valid for a single entry. Therefore, if the Working Holidaymaker has to leave Japan for any reason and wishes to return under the same status, he/she may obtain a re-entry permit from the local Immigration Authorities before leaving Japan.
    Working holiday makers departing Japan with a passport and the above mentioned residence card, who plan to re-enter Japan within one year and before the expiration of their period of stay, will in principle be able to apply for special re-entry permit at the airport before leaving. For more information:
  • Notification (change) of place of residence – Those arriving in Japan for the first time must report one’s place of residence within 14 days of finding a place to live. Notification is made at the municipal office bringing and showing a residence card, if issued at the airport. Those who move into a new residence must report one’s new residence within 14 days of moving to the new residence.
  • Regional Immigration Bureaus will help with the above Immigration procedures.
Location Address Tel
Tokyo Konan 5-5-30, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8255 (03) 5796 7111
Osaka Nankou Kita 1-29-53, Suminoe-ku, Osaka 559-0034 (06) 4703 2100
Nagoya Shoho-cho 5-18, Minato-ku, Nagoya City, Aichi 455-8601 (052) 559 2114
Hiroshima Kami-hacchobori 6-30, Naka-ku, Hiroshima 730-0012 (082) 221 4411
Fukuoka Shimo-usui 778-1 , Hakata-ku, Fukuoka 812-0003 (092) 623 2400
Sendai Gorin 1-3-20, Miyagino-ku, Sendai 983-0842 (022) 256 6076
Sapporo Odori-nishi, 12-chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo 060-0042 (011) 261 7502
Takamatsu Marunouchi 1-1, Takamatsu, Kagawa, 760-0033 (087) 822 5852
  • Useful tips regarding living in Japan can be found at Guide to Living in Japan( in a Booklet or leaflet version.
  • JNTO (Japan National Tourist Organisation) – A Government organisation established to promote international exchange through tourism. Provides up-to-date information on travel, and operates Tourist Information Centres for foreign visitors to Japan.


  1. I am 30 years old and will be 31 next month. Can I apply?
    Yes, but your application must be received before your 31st birthday. The visa will be valid for one year from the date of issue so you may have turned 31 by the time you enter Japan.
  2. What kind of jobs to supplement my travel funds can I do while on a working holiday?
    You may do almost any job on a part-time basis as long as the job does not contravene Japanese law regulating businesses offering food and entertainment or affect public order and good morals. For example, some bar work or hostess work will not be allowed.
  3. How long can I stay in Japan with a working holiday visa?
    The visa is valid for up to one year. It is a one-time only opportunity and it is up to you whether you wish to return home after 3-4 months or spend one year in Japan.
  4. Is there a quota or best time to apply?
    There is no quota limit or designated time of year to apply. Anyone who is eligible may apply for a working holiday at any time.
  5. What are the requirements for a working holiday visa?
    Please see the eligibility criteria. Note that your main purpose is to have a long term holiday to travel around Japan. Therefore, your stay programme must show as much detail as possible of all the places you would like to visit and the activities you would like to engage in. It is not for the purpose of full-time work. You must also have sufficient funds, as you may only work part-time if you can find a job in Japan.
  6. What is the difference between a work visa and working holiday visa?
    A work visa is for the purpose of going to Japan to live and work full-time. See work visa application information.
    A working holiday visa is for a long term holiday travelling around Japan. You may work part-time to help fund your holiday.
  7. I am a New Zealand citizen but I am currently residing in Australia. Can I apply?
    No. the guidelines require that all applicants must reside in New Zealand at the time of application.