As a working holiday-er in Japan, I really recommend Working Holiday visa as one of the easiest and best ways for eligible foreigners to enter Japan, enjoy life in a foreign nation and do some work to earn money in our idle time, even to find a visa sponsor to change to another working visa.
Though eligible applicants are limited for youth citizens from 23 countries/regions, you don't need a full-time job, a university course, or a visa sponsor to apply for, and you are allowed to engage in almost all of the jobs in Japan, including low-skilled jobs. As we all know, there are quite strict work restrictions on other visa holders such as that a Student is not allowed to work over 28 hours per week.
Because of Japan's severe labor shortage and no need to be a visa sponsor for the employer side, foreign human resources under a Working Holiday visa are highly welcomed by many companies. I'm going to share some experiences on finding a job in Japan, but let's start from what a Working Holiday visa is.
According to the Ministry of Foreign affairs of Japan, Working Holiday is a kind of visa under the Designated Activities category, which is based on bilateral agreements between Japan and other countries, intended to allow their youth to enter each country primarily for the purpose of spending holidays while allowing them to engage in employment as an incidental activity to supplement their travel funds. It is designed to provide the youth with wider opportunities to appreciate the culture and general way of life in Japan to promote mutual understanding between Japan and its partner countries.
As based on countries' agreements, the requirements may differ depending on your nationality. You'd better check with Japanese Embassies or Consulates in your country. Basically you should meet the following conditions to be eligible:
-A citizen of the following 23 countries/regions:
Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Korea, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Iceland, Czech or Lithuania
-Between 18 and 30 years old at the time of application for the visa
While the upper age limit is 25 years old for Australia, Canada and Korea, and 26 years old for Iceland
-Intended primarily to spend holiday in Japan for a specific length of time
-Not being accompanied by dependents or children
-Possessing a valid passport
-Possessing reasonable funds for a return travel ticket and the maintenance of your initial period of stay in Japan
-Being in good health
-Never having been issued a Japanese working holiday visa in the past
Which means that you are only allowed to apply for Japan's Working Holiday visa once during your whole life.
Holders of Working Holiday visa are allowed to stay in Japan for 6 months or 1 year and there is no extension or renewal for this visa. So if you want to stay in Japan after its expiration, you have to change to another valid visa. Basically it is okay to leave Japan and come back with a re-entry permit.
In principle,we are allowed to work as an incidental activity to supplement our travel funds, while it is okay to work part-timely or full-timely after landing in Japan without any travel, of course which should never be mentioned during the visa application. We can work in all industries, except for bars, cabarets, nightclubs, gambling establishments or other establishments affecting Japanese public morals. If violated, we may face deportation or criminal charges for providing illegal work.
In order to enjoy our precious time in Japan, part-time work (Arbeit) may be the best choice for having fun and earning some money to support our fun in Japan at the same time. There are thousands of job vacancies posted on the internet and a powerful job search website like Quick Jobs Japan will be really helpful. It is specialized for foreigners who want to find a part-time job in Japan. You can filter jobs by prefectures, job categories and your Japanese level in both Japanese and English. You can make use of this website to find suitable part-time jobs all over Japan along your travel.
Remember that no matter who we work for, we have to pay 20.42% of our wage for tax.
As mentioned above, actually foreign labor forces are extremely demanded in a lot of industries. Choose your Japanese level on Quick Jobs Japan, a lot of jobs from different industries will be shown.
The most common industry may be customer service and cleaning. If you speak perfect Japanese, you can work in convenience stores, restaurants or hotels to serve customers in Japanese. You can also work at tourist areas to serve foreign customers in your own language if you can speak no Japanese, or do cleaning at hotels if you can speak a little daily Japanese to communicate with your co-workers.
To work in the eating and drinking industry, such as a helper in a restaurant's kitchen is also very popular, as it has little requirements on Japanese language skills and it may provide free staff meal. Light work like picking up and sorting luggage in factories is also a good choice. You can do this job in your own pace without speaking any Japanese.
So we find a good job and work in Japan, but it is only for 1 year. It is against the Japanese Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act if we stay and work in Japan after expiration of the Working Holiday visa, unless we change to another visa. So if you want to stay longer, try to find a visa sponsor to change to a normal working visa. As the visa change process may take 2 or 3 months, you'd better prepare earlier.