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Details about Working Holiday Japan - 2022 updates

Update: 02/10/2022
From October 11, the uketsuke zumisho (ERFS) document is no longer required for the visa application.
Since June 1, there is no more quarantine requirement on entering Japan for travellers coming from countries that are on the "Blue List", which includes almost all countries.
The following information only applies until October 11, 2022.

Can I get a Working Holiday visa and travel to Japan now?

Yes, since March 1, 2022, Working Holiday Visas for Japan are issued again to individuals of all nationalities who can get a Working Holiday Visa for Japan, with the exeption of the embassies of Japan in South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong that are still not yet issuing Working Holiday visas.
For the visa application an inviting company or university from Japan (="sponsor") is required that has to apply for a document issued by the ministry responsible for the company/university, which is called 受付済書 (Uketsuke zumisho). Since there is a daily limit of persons (currently 20.000) who can enter Japan, there needs to be a reason why the visa applicant's entry is of interest to Japan, e.g. a reason could be that the person during his/her Working Holiday stay will do a job needed for the Japanese labour force. The sectors in which Working Holiday participants commonly find jobs all have labor shortages except for the tourism/hospitality sector as individual foreign travelers are still unable to enter Japan. So providing a suitable reason is not particularly difficult, but we have to communicate with you about your plans while in Japan.
In addition, it is the hosting company's responsibility to ensure and assist the traveler in complying with the Japanese Covid regulations. Application by the company/university is made via the "Entrants, Returnees Follow-Up System" (ERFS) that is submitting the data provided to the Japanese Ministry of Health and respective Ministry in charge of the company (which in our case is the Ministry of Economy). The inviting company/university then receives the 受付済書 and sends it digitally to the visa applicant, who has to submit it along with other documents to the Japanese embassy/consulate at his/her country of residence for the visa application. The processing time takes a maximum of 5 business days.

Can I get the ERFS document from World Unite! that is required for the visa application?

Yes, as part of our Working Holiday support programs, we apply for this document, which is called 受付済書 (Uketsuke zumi-sho), for you through the ERFS system.
We will also supply any supporting documents that the Ministry of Economy, or the embassy or consulate might ask for and communicate directly with these authorities as needed. Visa applications are usually not refused (if you fulfil the general requirements), but changes to documents submitted or additional documents may be requested. We will of course help you with that.
We only apply for the Uketsuke zumi-sho if you book our full Working Holiday support package that we have been offering for many years. We don't apply for the Uketsuke zumi-sho as a standalone service. The reason for this is that we are responsible for your compliance with the Japanese government's corona regulations, which is a responsibility that we can only fulfill by being in contact with you during your whole time in Japan, which is only possible within the scope of the full program participation. You do not have to book or stay at one of our accommodation though.
We will send you the Uketsuke zumisho digitally and you submit it together with the other visa application documents to the Japanese embassy/consulate in charge of you.

When should I book with World Unite! and apply for the Working Holiday visa? How do I book?

If you want to go to Japan as soon as possible, this would be possible 3 weeks after contacting us (if you send us the documents required for uketsuke zumisho in time).
Of course you can also arrive later and stil book with us now. You would book program participant with us as the first step. You can inform us later about your exact arrival date if it is not yet clear to you, but we need to know it prior to applying for your uketsuke zumisho. If your planned entry date is more than 3 months into the future, when making the booking you pay a first instalment of 200 EUR and the remainder plus the safety deposit no later than one month prior to your arrival when we apply for your uketsuke zumisho. You can book via our website or per Email in writing. The uketsuke zumisho can earliest be applied for 6 months prior to your scheduled arrival date. For most nationalities the visa has a validity of 1 year (=the time between issuance of the visa and first arrival to Japan).
If you are from a country where there is a cap of the total annual numbers of visas being issued (e.g. UK, Poland), you should book early. The same applies if you are turning 31 years soon. Please contact us and we will advice how to proceed.
Arrival to Japan should be on a Friday. Any Friday of the year is available as arrival day. (If you do not intend to stay at our accommodation and/or you don't require airport pickup you can also arrive on other days). The formalities (e.g. residence registration etc) will then be done on the following Tuesday, so that you can complete the mandatory quarantine, if applicable. Please read more about the quarantine below.
There should be at least 3 weeks between your booking and your arrival. For your booking we need the following documents from you (email to Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!):
Passport scan (the double page including your picture), flight booking confirmation (arrival on Fridays if you want to stay at our sharehouse and/or if you want airport pickup; please book a flexible ticket in case the authorities request you to arrive on another date), covid vaccionation proof (government issued, in English; if applicable) and the signed agreement with World Unite! (that we will send you).
We require your full payment of our program fees before we will apply for the uketsuke zumisho.

Which COVID-19 regulations do I have to follow?

We will inform you in detail before your arrival. The regulations can change at any time.
Please see a brief summary of the current processes: 
1) COVID-19 test
On arrival you need to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result in English no older than 72 hours prior to the departure time of your flight to Japan.
The tests which are accepted can be found here:
You don't need to book a direct flight to Japan, but your flight can have stop-overs on the way to Japan. During the stop-overs however you are not allowed to leave the airport transit area.
On arrival at the airport in Japan you will then need to get tested again (free of charge).
2) Further steps needed prior to your arrival
3) Quarantine
Is not required anymore for most travellers.

What about cancellations? What if I can't get a visa?

After we have applied for your documents via the ERFS system, it is no longer possible to cancel participation in the program with the only exceptions if a) you have applied on time for the visa but it is not issue before you turn 31 years old, b) the application via ERFS is refused, c) if your visa is definitely not issued due to the 受付済書, or d) your visa becomes invalid due to government measures after it has been issued (before you travel to Japan).
If, after we have issued the 受付済書, entry to Japan is temporarily not possible due to travel restrictions, but you can apply for the visa now or later or your already issued visa is still valid for later entry, a cancellation is only possible in case your visa loses its validity. If you have to postpone, you can use the 10% credit of our corona guarantee in Japan on accommodation costs or language lessons.
As part of the support package, we will check your visa application documents for completeness and content. This makes it extremely unlikely that your visa will be rejected if you fulfil the formal requirements (nationality, age, no criminal record, sufficient financial means).

Is it safe in Japan concerning coronavirus? How is everyday life?

Everyday life is almost not affected, except for the fact that most people are voluntarily wearing a mask in public. There are no laws restricting everyday life. Many restaurants are closing earlier as they receive a government subsidy for doing so.

Is travelling within Japan currently possible?

Yes, there aren't currently any domestic travel restrictions within Japan.

How is the job market in Japan now for Working Holidayers?

As Japan has not yet opened its borders to regular individual tourists, it is currently more difficult to get tourism-related jobs (e.g. ski resorts, hotels).
Other typical Working Holiday jobs such as farmwork, factory work, cleaning and sales jobs are available.

Do I need to be triple vaccinated against Covid to enter Japan?

No, it is no longer necessary to be vaccinated three times against Covid. Quarantine is only required for travelers from countries that are not on the "blue list" (which are very few countries and not those that offer the Working Holiday Visa) if they are not triple vaccinated.

Is "recovered" the same as "vaccinated" in Japan?

No, the status "recovered" does not exist in Japan to determine a possible quarantine upon arrival.
Disclaimer: We have compiled this information to the best of our knowledge and belief, but we do not accept any liability for it. Only the official Japanese authorities can provide binding information.

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