Visa and Travel Information


Working Holiday Visa Requirements for Canadian Citizens


For the purpose of promoting greater mutual understanding between Japan and Canada, the governments of these two countries agreed in 1986 to start a Working-Holiday scheme to help encourage the exchange of young people. This program makes it possible for citizens of one country to enter the other primarily for a holiday over an extended period, and also to engage in employment as an incidental aspect of their trip in order to supplement their travel funds.


With this visa, Canadian citizens need not obtain further permission to engage in remunerative activities while in Japan. However, this programme is not designed for persons who mainly intend to work. The applicants’ primary purpose of stay should be to “holiday” in Japan. Therefore, applicants who intend primarily to work cannot apply for this visa.


Working Holiday participants are strictly prohibited from working at places affecting public morals such as bars, cabarets, nightclubs and etc.


The Working-Holiday visa will be issued only once to the same Canadian citizen. The Government of Japan, on a reciprocal basis, will issue, free of charge, a single entry visa for the Working Holiday to persons who satisfy each of the requirements outlined below:


Applicants for the Working Holiday visa must:

  1. Be a Canadian citizen who is currently a resident in Canada
  2. Intend primarily to stay in Japan for a specific length of time
  3. Be between 18 and 30 years of age at the time of application
  4. Possess reasonable funds to support themselves, including medical expenses, during the initial period of stay in Japan
  5. Possess a valid Canadian Passport and a return travel ticket
  6. Be in good health and have no criminal record
  7. Have never before obtained the Japanese Working Holiday visa



Applicants residing in the city of Ottawa must submit all of the following documents IN PERSON at the Embassy of Japan (Applicants residing outside of Ottawa must submit the application to the Japanese Consulate in their jurisdiction):

  1. Valid Canadian passport
  2. Completed visa application form
  3. One photo (Approx. 45mm x 45mm, taken within the last 6 months)
  4. Personal resume/curriculum vitae
  5. Detailed itinerary of your stay in Japan
  6. Letter explaining your reason for applying for a Working-Holiday Visa
  7. Note from a physician stating that you are in good health (original note)
  8. Return airline ticket or flight itinerary provided by an airline company or travel agency (Please note we are not responsible for tickets which are unusable due to delay or denial or visa).
  9. Minimum $2,500 CDN ($3,500 for married couple) in travellers cheques or a bank statement

Download the application package (PDF)


Processing Time

Working-Holiday Visas take at least one week to process.  Applications submitted on short notice will not be accepted.


Please note that the above information may be changed without notice.


Other Information

  1. It is recommended that insurance coverage be arranged before leaving Canada as stipulated under the conditions of employment for the Working-Holiday Visas. The period of employment in Japan is usually not long enough to qualify for coverage undertaken by the employers or companies.
  2. Applicants must enter Japan within 12 months after the date of issue of the visa; the visa is valid for twelve months. The initial 6 months period of Entry Permit will start from the date of your entry.
  3. A period of stay up to six months may be initially granted at the port of entry. This may be extended for up to an additional six months by the Immigration Authorities in Japan.
  4. Working-Holiday visas are for a single entry only. Therefore, if the Working-Holiday participant needs to leave Japan for any reason and wishes to return to Japan, that person must obtain a re-entry permit from the Immigration Authorities before leaving Japan.
  5. Working Holiday visitors will be issued a resident card at the port of entry. Please visit a local municipal office in Japan with your resident card within 14 days of finding a place to reside.
  6. You should ask for a statement of earnings in English while in Japan and call Revenue Canada for the appropriate information when you return to Canada.