You have questions & We have answers!

Planning a working holiday to Japan can be stressful and confusing – especially if you’ve never lived overseas. That’s’ where we come in! We’ve been sending Kiwis on working holidays for over 20 years! We are the experts and are happy to answer any of your questions!

On our Work and Travel Japan program there are so many things to consider; can I travel with a friend? (Yes you can!) Am I eligible for the visa? What jobs are available? When should I apply? What is included in the package? And so on… We recommend reviewing our Work & Travel Japan FAQ below to learn more about the nitty gritty details of the program.

If we don’t answer your questions here just give us a call on 0800 700 705 or contact us here

Work & Accommodation in Japan

When you first arrive in Japan you will have your initial accommodation booked at a share house. You will attend an orientation where they will help you get started in Japan.

If I go on the program, what do I get?

The Work & Travel Japan program is full support. This means that before you even leave the country you will have assistance in obtaining the working holiday visa, access to our expert travel materials to prepare you for your trip and have the assistance from our staff to answer any questions you may have. You will also be given access to our closed Facebook group where you can meet other travellers on the program! This is a great place to meet future mates, ask questions and see where others are working and travelling!

Upon arrival to Japan you will have your initial accommodation booked at a hostel in Tokyo – please ask us if you want to extend this. IEP has an inbound centre where you will attend an orientation in which our staff will; assist you in obtaining your residence card, tax number, opening a bank account and mobile phone contract. They can also help with finding employment, travel and transportation, language courses, Japanese culture, tax and employment laws and much more!

When do I have to leave?

You need to arrive into Japan on a Thursday between 8am and 11pm at Haneda or Narita airport. If you would like to arrive on a different day please contact us.

When Should I apply?

As soon as you are able! Work & Travel Japan is a year-round program.

You will need to allow at least 8-12 weeks for the complete process from submitting your initial application to having your visa issued; however it can take longer depending on if you have  medical or background issues or if the processing time increases. Once the visa is issued you have 12 months to enter Japan.

Do I have to buy insurance through IEP?

Yes, insurance is a program requirement. You will need to purchase insurance to go on a working holiday to Japan. IEP has a very comprehensive policy that covers a working holiday in Japan. If you would like to obtain a quote for insurance please email

What sort of Jobs can I do?

Pretty much anything! There are a few restrictions where you’re not authorised to work in nightclubs, bars and cabarets, dance halls, Pachinko bars etc.

Our inbound centre will help provide you with a reasonable amount of job offers and accompany you to appointment at Employment Centre.

You can also look to secure a job prior to arrival on a Farm or Ryokan (traditional Japanese hotel). More information can be found here.

If you would like a job at a Ski Resort see our Work Japan Winter Jobs Program.

Eligibility for Work & Travel Japan

Who is eligible for the Work & Travel Japan program? Anyone aged 18 years or above eligible for the Working Holiday Visa for Japan. To be eligible you must satisfy in full the criteria listed below:

  • Be a New Zealand citizen with a valid New Zealand passport residing in New Zealand and be able to apply in person
  • Be aged between 18 to 30 years (inclusive) at time of application
  • Have no dependent children
  • Be in good health
  • Have no criminal record
  • Have not previously obtained a Work Holiday Visa for Japan (on a passport of any country)
  • Provide proof of sufficient funds to support initial stay in Japan – at least NZ$3,000 (AU$2,500)
  • Have an insurance policy for the duration of your visa
  • Be travelling on a return/onward passage ticket, or have additional proof of funds to show you can purchase such a ticket (further NZ$1,000)
Can I apply if I am at University?

Yes you can apply for the Work & Travel Japan program if you are at University. For the Japan Working Holiday Visa you do not need to have student status to be eligible.

We do not recommend that you use your working holiday visa for Japan over your summer holidays. The Japan working holiday visa is only issued once in a lifetime, so we encourage you to make the most of the visa.

Can I still travel to Japan if I have a Criminal Conviction?

If you have a criminal conviction you will not be able to apply for the visa

Can I repeat the working holiday visa for Japan?

Unfortunately you cannot repeat the working holiday visa for Japan. They are issued only once in a lifetime and are only good for 12 months.

Can I travel anywhere in Japan?

Yes the Japan Working Holiday visa allows you to travel anywhere within Japan! To fully appreciate the many different aspects of Japan, it is advised that you move to different areas within Japan at 3-month intervals.

Can I visit other countries while in Japan?

Yes but the Japan Working Holiday visa is for a single entry only, you will have to obtain a “re-entry permit” at your local Department of Immigration offices in Japan if you wish to leave Japan and return to continue your working holiday. If you do not obtain a re-entry permit and leave the country, your visa is automatically cancelled.

Can I travel with my friend/partner?

Yes you can travel with a friend or partner. When you apply for the program, just let us know your travel plans and we will make it happen.

For married couples, applications are only accepted provided that they both meet the eligibility requirements and have no dependents.

Will I have the opportunity to meet other people on the program before I leave?

Absolutely! We have a closed Facebook group where you can meet your fellow travellers all before you leave NZ. This is a great way to ask questions, meet mates as well as see what others are doing in Japan.

Do I have to book my flight through STA Travel?

No, it is not a program requirement that you book a flight with STA Travel. We recommend that you speak with our in-house STA Travel agent as she has great flight deals and has a strong knowledge of what kind of ticket you will need to enter Japan. You can contact STA Travel at 0800 55 66 90 or email

Do I need a return or onward ticket?

You need to either be travelling on a return/onward passage ticket, or have additional proof of funds to show you can purchase such a ticket. If you are travelling on a one way then you need to have at least another NZD $1000 on top of the NZD$2500 proof of funds you need for the visa.

How do I apply for Work & Travel Japan?

To apply all you need to do is visit here and fill out the required contact details and make the application deposit payment of $295. Once that is done we will be in touch to start on the Japan Working Holiday Visa as well as provide you with our expert travel materials.

How long does the visa process take?

At a minimum you should allow for 8-12 weeks. You can apply early and let us know when you want to depart. We will plan everything accordingly so you can leave when you want. It is also a great way to break up fees i.e. program fee, visa fee, insurance, flights.

How do I find out more information?

The best place to find out more is here on the website! We also host information sessions throughout the country and this is a great way to learn more. If you cannot make it to an info session you can give us a call at 0800 700 705, contact us here or find us on Facebook. 

Do I need a good level of Japanese to get a job?

Basic Japanese understanding is preferred however not an essential requirement for all. It is recommended to learn some Japanese prior to departure and IEP can offer some exclusive discounts to local language schools in NZ. Many working holiday makers spend some extra time furthering their Japanese skills in Tokyo at a language school or local community centre prior to starting a job – ask us at IEP for more information on how we can arrange this.

What is the legal drinking age?

The legal drinking age is 20.

If you need clarification on anything or would like to chat with the experts, fill out the form below and one of our team will be in touch by phone and email!

Work and Travel Japan Registration Form