Both the governments of Japan and the United Kingdom are committed to cultivate closer bilateral relationship among their citizens, promoting mutual understanding between two countries. From 2001, Japan has operated the "Working Holiday Scheme" for the British, and the UK operated the "Japan: Youth Exchange Scheme" for the Japanese, both of which provide wider opportunities for young people to experience the culture and general way of life in the other country.
Under the"Working Holiday Scheme", a limited number of British citizens who wish to stay in Japan up to one year primarily for a holiday may be granted a visa, which allows them to enter Japan for up to one year, and take work for up to one year, incidental to their holiday in order to supplement their travel funds. British participants need not obtain further permission to engage in remunerative activities while in Japan, although they are not allowed to be engaged in activities at certain sites stipulated under the Law on Control and Improvement of Amusement and Entertainment Businesses.*
In October 2008, the government of the United Kingdom announced that it would introduce a new scheme for young people, the "Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS)", which would replace the UK's existing schemes for young people, including the "Japan: Youth Exchange Scheme". Following consultations between the two governments, it has been arranged that Japan will be one of the first four participating countries in the YMS from its launch on 27 November, 2008. Although this new development does not change the basic structure (as described in the previous paragraph) of the "Working Holiday Scheme", the government of Japan is pleased to announce that, from the same date as the launch of the YMS, a wider range of British citizens will become eligible for the "Working Holiday Scheme" as indicated below.
* These sites include: where adult entertainment related businesses are carried out.
The "Working Holiday Scheme" from 27 November 2008 can be summarised s as follows:
Permitted duration of stay: Up to 12 months
Permitted duration of work: Up to 12 months (the work should only be incidental to the holiday)
Permitted without prior arrangement or approval: Yes
Permitted age range: 18-30 years old both inclusive at the time of application for the visa
Is scheme restricted to undergraduates/graduate: No
Annual number of UK nationals permitted on scheme: up to 1000
Working Holiday visas, valid for a period of one year from the date of issue, will be issued to persons who satisfy all of the following requirements:
* be the British citizens who are resident in the United Kingdom
* intend primarily to holiday in Japan for a period of up to one year from the date of entry
* be aged between eighteen (18) and twenty-five (25) years both inclusive at the time of application for the said visa, except in those cases where the competent authorities of the Government of Japan agree to extend the limitation of age up to thirty (30) years
From 27 November 2008, the amended condition will be applied:
"be aged between eighteen (18) and thirty (30) years both inclusive at the time of
application for the said visa"
* be persons who are not accompanied by children
* be persons who are not accompanied by spouses unless those spouses are in possession of the said visa or otherwise
* possess a valid passport and a return travel ticket or sufficient funds with which to purchase such a ticket
* possess reasonable funds for their maintenance during the period of initial stay in Japan
* intend to leave Japan at the end of their stay
* have not previously been issued the said visa
* have good health
Materials to be Submitted
Those wishing to apply for a Working Holiday visa are required to submit, along with a valid British passport, one copy each of the following documents to the appropriate consular missions of the Government of Japan in the United Kingdom. Statements made in these documents must be true and accurate.
1. One completed visa application form
2. One photograph approx. 35mm x 45mm in size (taken within 6 months)
3. A personal history, resume or curriculum vita typed on A4 paper
4. A proposed itinerary for the whole stay in Japan (up to 12 months), including details of prearranged employment, if any
5. A written reason for applying for a Working Holiday visa typed on A4 paper
6. Either ￡2,500 in cleared funds (last 3 months bank statements must be shown)Or ￡1,500 and a return or onward journey ticket or a receipt for such.(Traveller's cheques, credit cards and overdrafts are not acceptable as evidence of sufficient funds)(In the case of a married couple applying for two visas, the minimum amounts are ￡4,500 and ￡2,500 respectively.)
7. In some cases, additional documents may be required.
Important note: Working Holiday visas may be issued for up to 400 people in a Japanese financial year, that is, April through March. Therefore, at the time such a number of visas have been issued, acceptance for applications will close. A visa fee of ￡5.00 must be paid in exchange for the visa issued.
From 27 November 2008, a new arrangement will be put in place. As Japan will increase the number of annual allocation from 400 to 1000, up to 605 Working Holiday visas may be issued from that date until March 2009. From April 2009 until March 2010, up to 1000 visas may be issued.