Tips for Japanese nationals applying for the Working Holiday Visa

visa france
Updated 2022-10-02 12:27

Are you Japanese, and have you always dreamed of exploring the length and breadth of France for several months with the opportunity to get a job to make ends meet during your stay? Well, thanks to an agreement between France and Japan signed in January 1999, the Japanese can make this dream come true.

Indeed, since this agreement came into force on 25 July 2000, young Japanese citizens are allowed to live in France for one year to experience the French culture and way of life. If you are a Japanese national, learn more in this article about the France Working Holiday Visa.


Please note that the information in this article is intended for Japanese citizens only.

What are the conditions to be met to be eligible for the Working Holiday Visa in France?

To qualify for the WHV in France, here are the conditions to be met:

1. Your passport and nationality

To be eligible for the WHV in France, participants from Japan need to have a Japanese passport valid not only at the time of application but also for a minimum of 12 months after arrival in the country, i.e., for the duration of their stay.

Participants must also be citizens of Japan and reside in that country at the time of application. As with any trip, you should also ensure that you have enough blank pages in your passport to accommodate your new visa and that there is enough room for the customs authorities to apply stamps on your arrival and departure from France.

Good to know:

It is strongly recommended that participants who have received their visas keep their passports safe. Loss of the passport would obviously mean loss of the visa — and the additional steps to be taken to reapply for it will not be easy!

2. Your age

To participate in the WHV in France, the young Japanese must be at least 18 years old (the adult age in France) and must not be older than 30 years old at the time of application.

3. Having sufficient savings / a compulsory budget

As with any other trip abroad, savings are required for your WHV stay in France. Except that in this case, it is compulsory to prove that you have the means to survive when you arrive in the country.

In the case of the agreement between Japan and France, a sum of 3,100 euros is required. You will have to prove that you have this amount with a statement from your local bank issued within the last three months.

4. Having a health insurance policy

Illnesses and accidents happen when you least expect them. This is why it is recommended that participants find an excellent insurance company that will cover all of these possibilities. In addition, the French authorities require you to be insured for the whole of your stay for illness, hospitalization, disability, repatriation and maternity.

5. Having a clean criminal record

To be accepted into the French working holiday program, you must have a clean criminal record in Japan.

Good to know:

Luckily, this document is fairly easy to obtain. You just have to get in touch with the federal police or the Ministry of Justice in Japan.

6. Number of participations

As with most WHV agreements around the world, the WHV in France allows only one participation per person. This means that if you have already been on a WHV in France, you will not be able to apply again. However, if you have already benefited from the working holiday program elsewhere, it will not be a problem.

7. The quota per year

When an agreement is made between two countries, a quota of participants per year is usually decided — this allows the host country to monitor the number of entries on its territory. For Japan, 1,500 places are allocated per year.

Good to know:

The quota resets on January 1st every year. To secure a place in France, it is recommended that you apply early in the year.

8. Validity period

Your WHV in France is valid for 12 months and is not renewable. It gives you access to all French departments, except for the French overseas territories.

9. Purchasing your airline tickets

You must purchase return air tickets and present them to the French embassy when applying for your WHV. If you decide not to buy a return ticket because you are unsure of the exact date of your return, you will need to prove that you can afford to buy them later — apart from the proof of compulsory savings mentioned above.

10. Not being accompanied

You must not be accompanied by any dependents during your stay in France. Your WHV application will only apply to you, and if someone wants to accompany you, they will have to apply separately from you.

What are the procedures for applying for a Working Holiday Visa in France?

You must apply personally for the WHV for France at the French Embassy in Tokyo by submitting your application during opening hours. After registration, you will need to make an appointment with the Embassy's visa department.

You will be allowed to collect your Working Holiday Visa at the French Embassy in Tokyo from 9 am to 11 am using the receipt issued when you applied online. You can submit your application up to three months before your departure by providing the following documents:

  • the visa application form duly completed and signed (make sure to indicate your address in France)
  • your Japanese passport, which must be valid for 15 months at the time of application, and a photocopy
  • proof of funds available for your entire stay (bank statement dated within the last month)
  • a cover letter in French or Japanese
  • a separate sheet of paper, in French or English, describing your background and the reason for your stay
  • a one-year health insurance policy covering you from the date of arrival
  • a statement that you are financially committed to purchasing a return ticket
  • a health certificate
  • a stamped envelope with your full name and address so that the embassy can return your passport to you


Photocopies of your passport, proof of financial resources, the letter of commitment, your health certificate, and documents proving your health cover and the purchase of a return ticket must all be A4 size.

Good to know:

Applicants who apply by post will not be considered.

Useful address:

Embassy of France in Tokyo:

4-11-44, Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku,

Tokyo 106-8514


Things to consider before moving to France on a WHV

1. The cost of living in France

Before traveling to France, it is recommended that you have an idea of the cost of living in order to prepare your budget.

Here is a table that will give you an idea of the cost of living in France - (source Numbeo; as of July 2022):


Currency : Japanese yen (JPY)



1-bedroom flat (in the city center)

106 268.53

1-bedroom flat (outside the city center)

83 522.87

3-bedroom flat (city center)

224 218.00

3-bedroom flat (outside the city center)

156 657.63



Water, electricity, air conditioning, heating, waste collection for an 85m² apartment

21 152.66

Internet (60 Mbps or more, ADSL/cable, unlimited data)

4 044.01



1 ticket (one way) for local transport


Monthly pass for local transport

9 011.04



Rice (1 kg)


Milk (1 L)


12 eggs (normal size)


Bread (500 g)


Chicken (1 kg)

1 426.04

Red meat (1 kg)

2 503.85

Oranges (1 kg)


Bananas (1 kg)


Apples (1 kg)


Potatoes (1 kg)


Onions (1 kg)


Water (1.5 L)


Wine (mid-range bottle)


Local beer (0.5 L)


Imported beer (0.33 L)


Cigarettes (pack of 20)

1 386.31



Movie theatre - 1 seat

1 386.31

Sports club - monthly cost for 1 person

4 634.00

2. Looking for work in France

We assume that as a Japanese person, you speak English quite well and, of course, Japanese fluently. It is recommended that you capitalize on these skills as a source of income during your stay — many French people would be delighted to have a private tutor on-site to teach them Japanese, English or any other language you are fluent in. This would allow you to earn some extra money while making new friends who might be interested in sharing and teaching you about their culture.

But if you want to find a job in France that is in another field, perhaps the one you are currently working in, have a look at websites such as Pôle Emploi, Indeed France, France-emploi, Monster or Kel Job.

Good to know:

Some companies offer travelers the chance to come and volunteer in exchange for a small salary, a place to sleep and food. and are good websites to point you in this direction.


Once you have found a job in France, you will need to apply for a temporary work permit from the Service de l'emploi - Direction Régionale des Entreprises, de la concurrence, de la consommation, du Travail et de l'Emploi (DIRECCTE).

3. Looking for accommodation in France

Don't neglect the importance of accommodation that matches your wishes and needs. The platform that is currently in vogue and that could help you find the accommodation that suits you best in France (with a multitude of options at different rates) is Airbnb! The advantage of this platform is that it offers all kinds of accommodation (a room, a studio, a flat with one or two or more rooms, a villa with or without a swimming pool, etc.) in all regions of France.

Cheaper options are also available for those who want to save as much as possible - youth hostels, couchsurfing, small maid's rooms. Check out,,, or

If you're looking for long-term accommodation in France, you can search through an agency. The following websites could also help you: Immobilier France, Super Immo, Bien Ici, Logic Immo, Paru Vendu, Se loger, PaP, and Fnaim.

4. Learning some basic French

It is important that you have some knowledge of the French language before moving to France. This will help you in everyday life — when you go to the market, to the bakery to buy your croissant, to the pharmacy to get aspirin, to ask for the menu in a restaurant or even to ask for directions when you are walking around.

Some of the most popular language-learning applications are Duolingo, Babble, Mondly, HelloTalk, LinguaLift or Memrise.

Useful links:

French Embassy in Tokyo

Employment Service - Regional Directorate for Business, Competition, Consumer Affairs, Labor and Employment (DIRECCTE)

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.