Working Holiday Scheme between Japan and Iceland


Introduction of Working Holiday Scheme between Japan and Iceland


Starting 1 September 2018, the governments of Japan and the Republic of Iceland introduced a Working Holiday scheme between both countries, which provides wider opportunities, particularly for young people to experience the culture and general way of life of the other country for the purpose of promoting greater mutual understanding between Japan and the Republic of Iceland. This scheme makes it possible for citizens of one country to enter the other primarily for a holiday over an extended period and to be able to take up employment incidental to their holiday in order to supplement their travel funds.

With this visa, Icelandic citizens need not obtain further permission to engage in remunerative activities while in Japan, provided these activities do not contravene Japanese laws and regulations, especially those regulating businesses offering food and entertainment as well as any other regulations in force which affect public order and good morals.

The Working Holiday Visa is not appropriate for those wishing to enter Japan to engage in full-time employment or to enrol in academic institutions. Applicants who intend to work primarily cannot apply for this visa. Working Holiday participants are strictly prohibited from working at places affecting public order and good morals.

Applicant Prerequisites

Working Holiday Visas will be issued to persons who satisfy all of the following requirements:

1. be Icelandic citizens who are resident in the Republic of Iceland (accordingly, Icelandic citizens travelling or living outside of the Republic of Iceland are not eligible)

2. intend primarily to holiday in Japan for a period of up to one year from the date of entry

3. be aged between eighteen (18) and twenty six (26) years both inclusive at the time of application for the said visa

4. be persons who are not accompanied by dependents unless those dependents are in possession of the said visa or otherwise

5. possess a valid passport and a return travel ticket or sufficient funds with which to purchase such a ticket;
possess reasonable funds for their maintenance during the period of initial stay in Japan

6. intend to leave Japan at the end of their stay

7. have not previously been issued the said visa

8. have good health and no criminal record

9. carry a health insurance policy

The visa is valid for three months from the date of issue and will expire if the holder does not enter Japan within that period of validity. After receiving permission to enter from an immigration officer, the holder will be allowed to stay in Japan for a period of up to one year from the date of entry.

Application Procedure

Those wishing to apply for a Working Holiday Visa are required to submit the following documents to the Consular Section of the Embassy of Japan in the Republic of Iceland. Statements made in these documents must be true and accurate.

1. Valid Icelandic passport: 1 original
2. Completed Visa Application Form: 1 original
3. One photograph approx. 45mm x 45mm in size (taken within the previous 6 months): 1 original
4. Curriculum Vitae (CV) (Form 1): 1 original
5. An outline of intended length of stay and activities (Form 2): 1 original
6. A written reason for applying for a Working Holiday Visa typed on A4 paper: 1 original

7. A return or onward journey ticket and evidence that applicant possesses at least 200,000 ISK in clear funds OR evidence that applicant possesses at least 400,000 ISK in clear funds: 1 original

8. Pledge for National Health Insurance (Kokumin Kenko Hoken): 1 original
9. Note or certificate of health condition by medical doctor stating that the applicant is in good health: 1 original
10. Additional documents or interviews may be required to verify the eligibility of an applicant for the scheme whenever the Embassy deems necessary.

Successful applicants are required to bring along proof of overseas travel insurance acquired in Iceland (1 original and 1 copy).

 For 2,3,4,5,6,7,8, see further details here
Important note: Working Holiday Visas may be issued for up to 30 persons in 2018 (The total number of visas will be reconsidered every year). Therefore, at the time such a number of visas have been issued, acceptance for applications will be closed. This visa is free of charge.


Explanatory Material

Explanatory material and the necessary forms are available at the Embassy of Japan in Iceland. Applications are to be made in person at the Embassy of Japan in Iceland, and applicants may be interviewed.
Embassy of Japan
Laugavegur 182, 105 Reykjavík
Tel: 354-510-8600

Other Information

1. Applicants will not be able to engage themselves in activities, which are considered to go against policies of the Working Holiday scheme, including working at places where its business may violate public order and good morals.

2. Working Holiday Visas are for single entry. Therefore, if the Working Holiday visa holder has to leave Japan for any reason and thereafter wishes to return to Japan, they must obtain a Special Re-entry Permit at the airport they depart. (further details:

3. Within 14 days of moving into an address in Japan, Working Holiday Visa holders must apply for Resident Registration at a municipal office near to where they are living.

4. National Health Insurance (Kokumin Kenko Hoken)
(1) Japan has a public health insurance system, and everyone who lives in Japan must enroll in some form of public health insurance. The National Health Insurance program is one form of public health insurance, and the program is operated at the municipal level.

(2) When a Working Holiday participant notifies his/her place of residence, he/she should take necessary procedures for joining in the National Health Insurance at the municipal office

(3) The National Health Insurance fee is about 3500 yen per month in general (the insurance fee may vary at each municipality). If an insured person shows his/her health insurance certificate at medical institutions before receiving medical treatment, he/she will then in general only need to bear 30% of the medical expenses.

(4) The National Health Insurance does not cover decease, residual disability, damage remedy, urgent medical return, etc. In case a working holiday participant requests the above-mentioned compensation which the National Health Insurance does not cover, it is necessary for him/her personally to take another insurance offered by an insurance company (i.e. overseas travel insurance).

5. Upon arrival in Japan, Working Holiday visa holders are encouraged to register with the Icelandic Embassy in Tokyo. This will mean that the Embassy knows the whereabouts of Icelandic Working Holiday Visa holders in Japan so that they may help Icelandic visa holders in the case of an accident or emergency. 

6. For information on finding employment, please see the following websites:
(1) Employment Policy for Foreign Workers:
(2) Japan Association for Working Holiday Makers: