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Details about Working Holiday Japan during Covid-19 (Written Pledge etc)

Last update: November 21, 2020
 

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

 
Yes, since end of October 2020, after a suspension of 7.5 months, Working Holiday Visas for Japan are issued again to individuals of all nationalities who can get a Working Holiday Visa. You can also immediately enter Japan once you have the Working Holiday visa.
 
A new requirement however is that a written pledge from a Japanese company called “Residence Track” is needed to apply for the visa. In this document, the Japanese company takes responsibility that you follow the COVID-19 safety regulations imposed by Japanese government during your whole stay in Japan.
 

Can I get a written pledge from World Unite!?

 
Yes, you will get a written pledge from us as part of our Working Holiday support programs. We will also supply any supporting documents that the embassy or consulate might ask for and communicate directly with the embassies/consulates 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.
 

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

 
You can book at any time with us and even specify the exact travel dates later.
 
If you want to come to Japan as soon as possible, please allow a minimum of 3 weeks of lead time, as the whole process of preparing your application documents and pledge and getting the visa takes around 2 weeks + some buffer time. In some countries you need to make an appointment with the Japanese embassy or consulate that you typically don't get at last minute.
 
The visas are currently usually issued with a validity of 3 months (= the time between when the visa is issued and when you have to enter Japan), so you should hand in your visa application not earlier than 3 months prior to your scheduled flight to Japan.
 

Which COVID-19 regulations do I have to follow?

 
1) COVID-19 tests
 
On arrival from most countries 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. Only if you are flying into Japan from Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Taiwan (and some more Asian countries for whose citizens there is no Working Holiday visa), the test is currently not needed. As the list of countries exempted from the negative PCR test may change, please double-check on time whether your need the test or not.
 
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).
 
The only airports currently receiving international flights are Haneda, Narita and Osaka. Please note that on arrival to Japan you cannot have a connecting flight to any other Japanese airport before having completed the obligatory 14 days of quarantine.
 
To join our programs we recommend you to fly to Haneda or Narita and do the quarantine in Tokyo.
 
2) Quarantine
 
Even if both PCR test are negative, you have to do 14 days of quarantine, which count from the day after the arrival.
 
Legally, you can only do the quarantine at a hotel explicitely offering this option OR at an apartment/room rented by you where you are not sharing any installations with anyone else OR staying with your own family residing in Japan. Staying with "friends", at sharehouses with shared installations or any other type accommodation is not allowed. You are furthermore not allowed to leave your room/apartment during the quarantine (not even to do grocery shopping).
 
We recommend our participants to spend the quarantine at APA Hotel Kiba (3,365 JPY/night for a single and 3,915 JPY for a double room), which is next to our Tokyo office. We come there every morning (Mo-Fr) checking how you are and we can deliver groceries to your room as part of our support.
 
3) Tracing apps
 
You have to install Japan government's COVID-19 tracing app and LINE on your smartphone.
 
You might be contacted by health ministry officials via LINE text message asking about your health status and current location. These messages are only sent in Japanese. You must reply to these messages. World Unite! will help you with this if needed.
 

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

 
The case numbers in Japan are far below those of Europe and America.
 
Everyday life is almost not affected, except for the fact that almost everyone is voluntarily wearing a mask in public. There are no laws restricting everyday life.
 

Is travelling within Japan currently possible?

 
Yes, there aren't currently any domestic travel restrictions within Japan.
 
To revive domestic tourism in Japan, there is even the GO TO travel campaign in Japan until end of February 2021, sponsoring domestic travel, so you get cheaper rates for hotels, tours, transport, domestic flights, attractions etc.
 

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

 
As Japan has not yet opened its borders to regular tourists, it is currently more difficult to get tourism-related jobs (e.g. ski resorts, hotels). Foreign tourism are however expected to be able to enter Japan from around April 2021.
 
Also, there are currently also less job opportunities for teaching English jobs, as many schools still don't have the same attendance compared to before the covid outbreak. A lot of English lessons have switched to online, but teachers providing online lessons are not necessarily physically in Japan.
 
Other typical Working Holiday jobs such as restaurant jobs, farmwork, factory work, cleaning and sales jobs have either been available all the time or are available again after corona-related restrictions have been removed in Japan.
 

What is World Unite! doing for my corona safety during the program participation (after the quarantine)?

 
Our team members wear a face mask when they are in contact with you. In our office, hand disinfectant is available at the entrance. We will give you all the necessary contact information (hospitals, test centers, emergency numbers) and support you with translations if necessary. We will stay in contact with you during your time in Japan and provide you with all relevant information on the subject of corona safety. We expect you to cooperate with us and to adhere to the common corona safety rules in Japan.
 

Which corona safety measures are there at the World Unite! sharehouse in Tokyo?

 
After the quarantine you can (but you don't have to !!) move into our sharehouse in Tokyo (twin or dorm room). If you prefer, we can book you an external single room with your own bathroom instead.
 
At our sharehouse in Tokyo we have implemented various safety measures:
 
  • There is hand disinfectant and an infrared thermometer at the entrance to the house. All people who enter the house must disinfect their hands and measure their body temperature and report a temperature above 37.5 degrees (99.5F). In case of a higher temperature we decide how to proceed, e.g. visit to the doctor, single room accommodation.
  • All surfaces such as kitchen surfaces, door handles and light switches are disinfected several times a day
  • We ventilate all rooms for several hours every day
  • The dorm rooms are not fully occupied, so there is a distance of more than 2 meters (6.5 ft) between the beds
 
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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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