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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 Japan Winter Jobs program there are so many things to consider; can I travel with a friend? (Yes you can!) Am I eligible for the visa? Will I get staff accommodation? What winter resorts are available? When should I apply? What is included in the package? And so on… We recommend reviewing our Work Japan Winter Jobs 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

What happens when I first get to Japan?
When you first arrive in Japan you will have your initial accommodation booked in a shared house dorm. You will attend an orientation where they will help you get started in Japan before heading off to your resort.
If I go on the program, what do I get?

The Work Japan Winter Jobs 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 travel and transportation, language courses, Japanese culture, tax and employment laws and much more!

When do I have to leave?

Jobs are for the Japanese winter ski season, which start in late November through early December and last for around 4-5 months.
To be eligible you need to be able to leave New Zealand/Australia in November or early December and employers usually only hire applicants who can commit to 4-5 months of work.

When should I apply?
As soon as you are able! We assign interviews based on when people sign up to our program, which means first applicants get first choice over who they interview with. So the earlier you apply the more likely that you’ll get your preferred employer interviews and times!
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 info@iep.co.nz
What sort of jobs can I do?
  • Front of House Staff
  • Housekeepers
  • Housekeeping Management
  • Restaurant and Bar Waiters
  • Ski lift operators
  • Lodge Assistants and Managers
  • Cooks
  • Ski and Snowboard Instructors
  • Café Staff with Barista Skills
  • Ski Rental Technicians

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

Do I need work experience to get a job?

Attitude is everything and personality is worth just as much as direct experience in these roles. In saying that, it is valuable to have a CV that demonstrates that you have transferable skills from past employment that will help at the resort. There is no need to have actually worked at a ski resort before.

If you have not had any jobs before then you will probably find it difficult to be placed in a job. We recommend that you find employment in NZ (part-time if studying is fine) to improve your skill set and help show off your employability!

Where will I live?
Many of the resorts we work with offer accommodation for staff. This type of accommodation is usually close to the workplace with shared apartments or houses. This may be free of charge or subsidized by your employer.
How will I get to work?
This depends on your resort and accommodation situation. Common ways of getting to work are catching public transport or walking/catching a shuttle from your staff or private accommodation. You should not need to buy a car while you are over there as many of the resort staff will be temporarily living in the area like you and there is infrastructure in place for staff without personal transport.
What happens after the winter season ends?

There is no reason to finish your OE just yet – ask us how to upgrade your in-country support for the full 12 months! Our Japan partner organisation has an office in Tokyo. If you are thinking of heading to a different part of Japan to work out the summer then consider hitting the office on your way. They have job resources and listings that will help you to find work. They are only a phone call or email away if you can’t make it to an office.

There may also be opportunities for summer work at your resort if you prove yourself to be a fantastic worker and express your interest in staying on.

Will I get any benefits around the resort?
All of our employers offer benefits to their employees above and beyond your wage. The benefits differ from employer to employer but all offer a free or discounted season ski pass. It is also common to get discounts on lessons, gear and rentals and food around the resort. Some even offer free or subsidized meals!

ELIGIBILITY

Who is eligible for the Work Japan Winter Jobs program?

Anyone aged 20 years or above that is happy, organized and enjoys taking care of people. Basic Japanese understanding is preferred however not an essential requirement for all of our employers. Previous hospitality experience is also preferred.

You also need to be eligible for the Working Holiday Visa for Japan. To be eligible you must satisfy in full the criteria listed below:

Working Holiday Visa for Japan

  • 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 and 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
  • 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)
Do I need to be able to ski or snowboard to go on Work Japan Winter Jobs?
No! In fact this could be a great opportunity for you to learn during your time off. Some jobs will require you have to have a certain skiing ability, such as Lift Operators or Instructors, but the majority don’t require any ski/boarding skills.
Can I apply if I am at university?

Yes you can apply for the Work Japan Winter Jobs 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.

Do I need a good level of Japanese to get a job?
Basic Japanese understanding is preferred however not an essential requirement for all of our employers. 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.
Do I need work experience to get a job?

Attitude is everything and personality is worth just as much as direct experience in these roles. In saying that, it is valuable to have a CV that demonstrates that you have transferable skills from past employment that will help at the resort. There is no need to have actually worked at a ski resort before.

If you have not had any jobs before then you will probably find it difficult to be placed in a job. We recommend that you find employment in NZ/AU (part-time if studying is fine) to improve your skill set and help show off your employability!

Are there any special uniform/grooming requirements on the job?

Once you accept your job you’ll be informed of any special uniform requirements by your employer. In general it is a good idea to make sure you can bring black shoes, pants and a white shirt for indoor positions as a base for the uniform. For outdoor positions you will usually be provided with the outer layers you need to survive in the snow, but it is a very good idea to bring plenty of warm layers to wear underneath.

Each resort is a little bit different but they all expect tidy grooming. You may need to cut off dreads or dye your hair a natural colour if you have a more alternative style. Piercings may or may not be suitable for their policies depending on how visible they are. At the interview they will let you know if there are any special requirements that you need to know about.

VISA

When should I apply for the visa?
You should 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.
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 a working holiday visa for Japan. They are issued only once in a lifetime and are only good for 12 months.

TRAVELLING IN JAPAN

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.
Will I get any benefits around the resort?
All of our employers offer benefits to their employees above and beyond your wage. The benefits differ from employer to employer but all offer a free or discounted season ski pass. It is also common to get discounts on lessons, gear and rentals and food around the resort. Some even offer free or subsidized meals!
Can I visit other countries while in Japan?
Yes, as you will automatically to obtain a “re-entry permit” from the airport upon arrival.
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.

What is the legal drinking age?
The legal drinking age is 20.
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.

INTERVIEWS

What resorts are interviewing for 2018?

Our employers for 2018 are:

  • NISEKO CENTRAL
  • KI NISEKO
  • GOSNOW
  • SHIGA INTERNATIONAL SKI SCHOOL
  • BASE HAKUBA
  • OKUSHIGA KOGEN HOTEL
  • NOZAWA HOLIDAYS
Can I interview with my friend/partner?
It is possible however we cannot absolutely guarantee that you will be placed at the same resort as all interviews are individual and the employers will be looking at hiring you based on your own merits. Our advice from there is to be extra flexible with the types of jobs you are willing to accept.
What happens if I'm not offered a job?
In this circumstance you will be offered a full program fee refund. Fortunately this situation is very rare! Please note that if you are offered a job but choose not to take it then you will not receive a refund.
Are a CV and references required?
Yes you will be required to provide an up to date CV, contact details of at least 2 references and 2 written references. The CV will need to be organised before the interview so that the employers can review your application. IEP will help out with templates and a CV review before the interviews.
What should I expect from the interview?
Japanese employment interviews are similar to interviews you may have had in NZ. You should be prepared to answer questions about yourself, your skills, experience and also your strengths and weaknesses. The interviews are formal and you should act professionally throughout. While ski resorts may be more casual workplaces than your average office you will still need to make an effort to dress nicely and show off your best manners!
How long will I be working at my resort and how many hours will I work?

This is negotiated between you and the employer, however the usual minimum term is 4 months, or the duration of the ski season. These positions are seasonal so, to some degree, your hours depend on the snow. The majority of our positions are full time seasonal roles, working 40 hours per week.

Your hours will be made clear to you when you are offered a job so it won’t be a surprise. You will probably find that if the snow isn’t falling then work will be slow and you can expect to work fewer hours. On the flipside, during busy times and on holidays there may be the opportunity for overtime! We recommend having some back up savings for emergencies and to put aside some wages from the super busy weeks to tide you over if you have some slow weeks.

FLIGHTS

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 katrina.savage@statravel.com
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.

APPLYING

How do I apply?
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.
When should I apply?
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.