Being one of the most sought-after countries for travel, Japan is known for its unique culture. fascinating history, and incredible architecture. Working holiday visa travelers frequent this country for those exact reasons, and plenty of others! However, with the COVID-19 crisis currently at play, many travelers are wondering if Japan is even open for working holiday visa travelers.

Japan, unfortunately, is not currently open for working holiday visa travelers. The country’s borders are currently closed unless you are a citizen of Japan, have immediate family in Japan, or are needing to travel for emergency. We know that’s a little disheartening, but let’s talk about why and what you can expect from Japan when borders do reopen!

Why are Japan’s borders closed?

Right now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Japan is choosing to keep its borders closed to foreign travelers. Although the virus has not spread as heavily or rapidly as compared to other countries like The UK and the US, it is enough to overwhelm the Japanese Healthcare System. Due to the rise in cases in Japan however, the country is currently under State of Emergency orders until September 30th (potential to be extended). For the time being, government officials want to keep borders closed until the virus is better handled and their citizens are vaccinated.

When will Japan’s borders reopen?

Borders do not currently have a set opening date. It’s likely that the Japanese government will start to open borders in 2022, but in a slow and controlled manner. As far as the borders being open to working holiday visa travelers, that may take some time. Be patient!

What to expect when borders reopen?

Working holiday visa travelers should expect a number of new protocols in place upon the country’s reopening. Although there are no set plans for reopening, it’s probably that Japan will follow the lead of other countries. You should prepare for and expect the following:

  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination (fully vaccinated)
  • Proof of a negative covid test
  • Mask mandates in crowded areas

These procedures will likely decrease over time but expect strict protocols when Japan’s borders reopen for the first time.

What you need to know about the Japan working holiday visa

While you wait for the borders to reopen, take the time to gather up everything that you need to apply and to be approved for a working holiday visa in the country! There are several key documents and details you should be aware ahead of time so you are prepared when the day comes to apply!

What you need:

  • Passport
  • Plane ticket (to and from)
  • Proof of employment waiting for you upon arrival in Japan
  • 200,000 yen in the bank and proof of such funds through bank statements

These are the most critical elements for your working holiday visa application. Be sure they are in order prior to applying to keep the process running smoothly.