This page provides JET participants who are completing their appointment on the JET Programme with useful information and advice for preparing to leave Japan, as well as information about finding a job and pursuing higher education.
The last few months of your appointment on the JET Programme are likely to be very busy. Between cleaning your apartment, packing your belongings, planning your next career move, and saying goodbye to your coworkers, students, and friends, you might feel at a loss as to where and when to start your preparations. This checklist provides reminders regarding the technical aspects of leaving your current position and place of residence.
- Inform your Landlord that you will be moving
Even if you do not know your exact day of departure yet, it is wise to inform your landlord as soon as possible that you plan to move. Depending on your contract with your landlord, you may be required to inform your landlord up to two months in advance of your departure.
- Check your status of Residence
If you plan to stay in Japan after your term of appointment ends, for example, for travel or to finish moving, be sure to check your period of stay. If your period of stay is set to expire, you must change your status of residence to Temporary Visitor in order to extend your period of stay. See p. 68-71 of the 2019 Edition of the General Information Handbook for more details.
If you plan to find employment in Japan after JET, you may need to change your status of residence depending on the kind of work you engage in at your new employer. Even if you do not need to change your status, you must report that your contracting organisation has changed. For more details, please contact your local immigration bureau.
Application for Change of Status of Residence
Notification concerning the accepting organization or the spouse
- Ship Belongings to your New Residence
Research the options available to you, such as surface mail, economy air, and airmail. Keep in mind that slower but more economical forms of shipping by sea and surface mail can take 2-3 months for the packages to arrive at their destination.
- Complete the ‘After JET Contact Information Survey’
At the beginning of June (or February, for participants finishing in March), CLAIR collects contact information from JET participants completing their appointments on the JET Programme to assist them in maintaining connections with Japan and the JET Programme. You may also send your contact information to JET Alumni Associations (JETAA).
- Preparing for your Successor
While many JET participants make efforts to contact their successors via email or social media, it is wise to leave detailed information regarding your work responsibilities and living situation in written form as there is no guarantee that you will be able to obtain your successor’s name or contact information. CLAIR provides a format for leaving notes to your successor on p. 202-207 of the 2019 Edition of the General Information Handbook.
Sort through the items at your desk and make sure any important documents or reference materials are organised and labeled and properly.
- Begin your Pension Refund Procedures
To receive a partial refund of your pension, you must obtain the necessary forms and designate a tax agent before leaving Japan. See p. 164-171 of the 2019 Edition of the General Information Handbook as well as the information below.
- Obtain a Certificate of Employment and/or Reference Letters
Your contracting organisation can provide you with a Certificate of Employment (在職証明書) that proves you were a JET Programme participant and outlines the content of your work. For a detailed description of your work duties and job performance, ask a coworker, boss, or supervisor to write a reference letter for you. CLAIR cannot provide participants with either reference letters or certificates of employment, so it is wise to obtain both while you are still in Japan. Your contracting supervisor can find templates of both documents online at the JET Programme website; samples of templates are provided below.
- Forward your Mail to your New Residence (for participants staying in Japan)
If you are moving to a new address in Japan, you may apply online or at a post office to have your mail forwarded from your current address to your new address for one year from a designated date.
- Pay Other Bills and Cancel Utilities and Services
Be sure to pay the following utility and service bills and inform the utility or service provider when you would like the service canceled. Please note that while some services can be cancelled online or over the phone, cancelling your cell phone often requires you to visit the store in person to cancel your contract.
Gas Electricity Water TV (NHK, etc.) Credit Card Internet Car Insurance Local Residence Tax Cell phone Any other services registered to your bank account or credit card
- Dispose of your Car or Motorcycle
Disposing of your car or selling it to another individual requires filing the appropriate paperwork. See p. 126-129 of the 2019 Edition of the General Information Handbook for details regarding buying and selling vehicles.
In this section, you may find information about Lump-sum withdrawal payments, for which all JET participants who stayed 6 months or more in Japan may apply. However, in accepting the lump-sum withdrawal payment, the coverage period in Japan used for the purpose of future pension payment calculations will be reduced to zero. Please consider future benefit possibilities before making this crucial decision about your payments. To find information about the other benefit options available, please visit the websites of Japanese Pension Service or The Promotion and Mutual Aid Corporation for Private Schools of Japan.
Japanese Pension Service：http://www.nenkin.go.jp/international/index.html
The Promotion and Mutual Aid Corporation for Private Schools of Japan：http://www.shigakukyosai.jp/en/pension/index.html
1) Submit Address Change Report (tenshutsu todoke) to local municipal office
1) Available at local municipal office
2) Obtain Application for the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payments (dattai ichijikin seikyusho)
2) Download from:
(For Private School ALTs)
|3) Designate tax representative by submitting Declaration Naming a Person to Administer Taxpayer’s Tax Affairs (shotokuzei/shohizei no nozei kanrinin no todokedesho) to local tax office||
3) Available at local tax office or:
4) Submit completed application to Japan Pension Service
5) Receive lump-sum withdrawal payment in bank account
6) Send Notice on Payment of the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment (Entitlement) (dattai ichijikin shikyu kettei tsuchisho) to tax representative
4) Application must contain:
-Photocopy of passport pages showing:
*Date of final departure from Japan
*Name, birth date, nationality, signature, resident status
-Document verifying bank information
-You may apply while still in Japan (without a stamp of final departure from Japan on your passport) if you have proof of submitting a moving-out notification (juminhyo no johyou). In this case, please submit this juminhyo no johyou with the above forms.
|After JET Receives Lump-sum Payment (Tax Representative)|
7) After receiving Notice of the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment, apply for tax refund (kakutei shinkokusho) at local tax office
8) Receive tax refund in Japanese bank account
9) Send tax refund to JET participant
|7) Available at local tax office|
※For enquiries regarding application status (have your basic pension number available):
Japan Pension Service
- Call (Japanese): 03-6700-1165
- Write (Japanese/English): 3-5-24, Takaido Nishi, Suginami-ku, Tokyo, 168-8505, JAPAN
Private School Teachers & Employees’ MAA
- Call (Japanese/English): 03-3813-5321
- Write (Japanese/English): 1-7-5, Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-8441, JAPAN
For information about coping strategies for reverse culture shock, please refer to p.172-173 of the 2019 Edition of the General Information Handbook and the After JET Guide PDF below. You may also find advice from a JET alumna in the essay ‘From JET to JET Alumni; Like Climbing Mount Fuji A Second Time’ below.
For JET Programme participants and alumni looking to make the next step in their career, CLAIR provides opportunities for networking with alumni, learning about the occupations and job fields in which alumni are active, meeting with organisations interested in hiring JET Programme participants, and exploring ways to utilise one’s experience on the Programme in one’s career. To learn more, please visit the Career Support webpage. You can also find useful advice from JET alumni in the After JET Guide PDF below, as well as in the JET alumni newsletter ‘JET Streams’.
For advice about further education after JET, please refer to the After JET Guide PDF below. You may also find advice from a JET alumna in the essay ‘From Teacher to Student: Making the Decision to Pursue an Advanced Degree’ below.