Questions & Answers


I have been accepted. Can I change my port of departure?
If accepted, you will be asked to indicate your preferred point of departure on the Reply Form. It is not possible to change the point of departure after submitting the Reply Form.
Can I change my date of departure?
All new JET participants depart for Japan on the day designated by the Embassy or Consulate General of Japan from which they depart. You are not able to change your date of departure.
Is it possible for a person to be disqualified after being offered a position?
Yes, you may be disqualified without warning if you commit an inappropriate act or there is substantial reason to believe you are likely to commit an inappropriate act; your application documents contain false statements; it is determined that your criminal history renders you unsuitable for the JET Programme; you do not submit the Reply Form, Certificate of Health, or other required forms by the set deadlines; you do not renounce your Japanese nationality before the Reply Form submission deadline; or if it becomes clear at a later date that you do not meet the eligibility criteria for some reason attributable to you or your actions.
Can JET participants change placements before departing for Japan?
No, JET participants cannot change their placements before departing for Japan under any circumstances.
Why is placement/working condition information not given when JET participants receive their initial notification of acceptance?
Placements are not decided until after successful candidates have been chosen and agree to accept a position with the JET Programme.
How can I obtain information about where I will be going?
Once you have received your placement, your contracting organisation will send you information about your new job and living area. After receiving contact, you should direct any specific questions regarding your new placement to your contracting organisation as soon as possible. Also, you can try to find the AJET (Association of JETs) community in your soon-to-be new home.
I have been accepted but I am not sure that I can go. What should I do?
If you have been selected but are not able to go to Japan, you should immediately notify the Embassy or Consulate General of Japan that you applied through. If you withdraw from the JET Programme before you receive your placement, you will still be eligible to apply again the following year. However, if you wait until after you receive your placement to withdraw, you will be unable to re-apply to the JET Programme the following year.
How do I apply for a visa to enter and work in Japan?
If you are a JET participant, the JET Programme Office or JET Coordinator at the Embassy or Consulate General of Japan where you were interviewed will provide you with the necessary information to apply for a visa. All participants will have to provide the JET Programme Office with a signed and completed visa application form, passport (with at least one blank page for the visa sticker), and one 3cm x 4cm (passport-sized) photo. Note: some Embassies require 2-3 weeks or more to complete this process, during which time the applicant will be without a passport. Passports with the visa are generally returned to participants at the pre-depature orientation.
What kind of visa do JET participants receive?
Participants are issued a three-year working visa as either an “Instructor” (ALT) or as a “Specialist in Humanities/International Services” (CIR). Note: participants who are married to or are children of a Japanese national may obtain a “Spouse or Child of Japanese National” visa.
Can I obtain my visa in another country where I will be travelling before coming to Japan?
In general, you must obtain the special visa for the JET Programme from the Embassy or Consulate General of Japan where you were interviewed or from which you will depart.
When is the visa issued?
It is usually issued before the pre-departure orientation, normally held up to one month or sooner before departure. Please contact the Embassy or Consulate General of Japan through which you are departing.
What kind of visa is provided for the spouse or family members of a JET participant?
Spouses and family members are issued a single entry “Dependent” visa.
What kind of visa can my fiancee, partner, common-law spouse obtain?
Under Japanese law, a fiancee, girlfriend/boyfriend, or common-law wife/husband is not considered the same as a spouse and cannot obtain a dependent visa. However, they may be able to enter Japan after obtaining a short-term visa (length of visa may vary by country, usually a maximum of 90 days).
Can my same-sex partner/spouse obtain a Dependent visa?
As Japanese law does not recognise same-sex partnerships or marriages, same-sex partners and spouses are not able to obtain a Dependent visa to enter Japan at this time.
What happens to my visa after my term of appointment ends?
Please check your Status of Residence and be sure not to partake in any illegal employment. You may not stay in Japan even one day past the expiration of your Period of Stay. Should you plan to stay in Japan past your Period of Stay, you must apply to change your Status of Residence to “Temporary Visitor” before it expires, or apply for the appropriate change in your Status of Residence for employment if required. Please consult with your Regional Immigration Bureau of Japan well in advance.
JET with a Family
― Application・Placement ―
How are married/engaged/companion couples treated in the selection process?
Couples are treated the same as every other JET Programme applicant: that is, each applicant is considered based on the strength of his/her application and success in the selection process.
I am applying with my spouse. Will we be placed together?
If both you and your spouse apply and are selected, efforts will be made to place both of you in nearby contracting organisations, however such placement cannot be guaranteed. Please fully consider that you may not be placed near each other. Although we will make every effort to place couples near each other, it is also important to note that Japan gives no recognition of common-law marriages or boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, and that legally married participants will be given priority.
― Coming to Japan ―
Is it possible for family members to travel with me to Japan?
It is possible for JET participants who inform their Embassy or Consulate General of Japan well in advance to have family members travel with them. However, because all JET participants must attend an orientation in Tokyo immediately on arrival and also an orientation at the prefectural level, we recommend that family members depart for Japan after you have arrived and housing arrangements have been settled.
Can accommodation arrangements be made for accompanying family members during Tokyo Orientation?
With advanced notice, accommodation can be arranged for accompanying family members through designated travel agents. However, please be aware that the hotels used for the Tokyo Orientation are expensive (from 13,000 yen per person per night). If no advanced notice is given, new participants will be assigned a roommate for the duration of Tokyo Orientation.
Who pays airfare for family members accompanying a JET participant?
All family members will be responsible for their own airfare to and from Japan.
― Visa・Working in Japan ―
What kind of visa is provided for the family members of a JET participant?
Family members are issued a single entry, three-year, “Dependent” visa.
What kind of visa can my fiancee, partner, or de facto (common-law) spouse obtain?
Dependent visas are only issued to those dependents (spouse or children) with whom a legal relationship to the JET participant can be verified (as defined under Japanese law). Fiance(e)s, partners, or de facto (common-law) spouses are not eligible for this kind of visa and will need to make alternative visa arrangements. Please inquire at the Embassy or Consulate General of Japan through which you are applying to the JET Programme.
Are non-JET spouses able to legally work in Japan?
Non-JET spouses are not legally able to work on a Dependent visa. However, if a non-JET spouse applies for and is granted “Permission to Engage in Activity Other Than That Permitted Under the Status of Residence Previously Granted”, he/she may work within the following two limitations.
1) Work hours are a maximum of 28 per week (i.e. part time)
2) The job should already be confirmed
Note that this permission to engage in other activities is limited within the conditions of the original Dependent visa, so any application for full-time work will require a change in Status of Residence.
Is it possible for spouses to find work?
In some areas it would be difficult for spouses to find work. In order to work full time, a spouse must have a valid working visa. Spouses coming to Japan on a Dependent visa cannot work without prior permission from the nearest Regional Immigration Bureau. If permission is granted, spouses may work up to 28 hours per week, however this permission is not guaranteed. Applicants should not count on their spouses being able to work.
― Insurance・Other ―
Will insurance be provided for family members?
Dependents can be entered under the JET participant’s Japan Health Insurance Association-administered Social (Health) Insurance (costs to be borne by the JET participant), but they cannot be entered into the JET Accident Insurance. You can read more about insurance here.
Is there any allowance provided for JET participants with family?
No, there are no special allowances for JET participants with family members.
Is it possible for my children to attend public schools?
Yes it is, but it is recommended that you confirm education opportunities in the region where you will live with your contracting organisation before coming to Japan.
Is the remuneration enough to support a family?
Although the needs and considerations of each family differ, there are many JET participants with families who are living in Japan solely on this remuneration.
Coming to Japan
Can I make my own travel arrangements to Japan?
No, it is not permitted to come to Japan on any flight other than the one arranged for you. In very special, unavoidable cases it may be permitted under the condition that all relevant expenses are paid by the individual.
Can I change my date of departure?
All new JET participants depart for Japan on the date designated by the Embassy or Consulate General of Japan from which they depart. You are not able to change your date of departure.
Who pays for airfare to Japan?
New participants are asked to designate a point of departure on the Reply Form. Once submitted, this cannot be changed.
Who pays for airfare to Japan?
Your contracting organisation, which will be your direct employer, will provide airfare to Japan.
Who pays for airfare from Japan?
If you complete your appointment, the contracting organisation will provide airfare back to your home country (provided that you depart Japan within one month of completing the term of appointment and are not entering into a new contract in Japan).
After arriving in Japan, can I change my placement?
No, it will not be possible to change your placement after coming to Japan. There are a select few exceptions made to this rule, such as when it is deemed necessary for a JET participant to move due to marriage or to provide care for a family member, or if the participant is suffering from an illness and needs to move in order to receive treatment. However, even in these rare situations a transfer is not guaranteed.
Can I bring my pet?
Please do not bring any pets to Japan. Japanese quarantine procedures are very strict. Quarantine may be extremely long, during which time the burden and cost of looking after the animal can be very high. In addition, many apartment buildings in Japan prohibit keeping animals, and you may not bring your animal to the Tokyo Post-Arrival Orientation.
Terms & Conditions/Insurance
Are JET participants employees of the JET Programme/CLAIR/the three ministries?
No. JET participants are appointed (employed) by various individual institutions or local government organisations (also called contracting organisations) in Japan and the terms and conditions of the appointment are set by each local government.
Are there any differences in conditions of employment among contracting organisations?
Yes. The terms and conditions that a JET participant receives will be based on model terms and conditions provided by CLAIR. Within the model terms and conditions, CLAIR sets certain standards that cannot be changed. These include such items as term of appointment (one year), number of hours worked (35/week), remuneration and vacation days (minimum 10/year). Contracting organisations create their own terms and conditions based on the model terms and conditions and amend the model terms and conditions to incorporate specific local employment requirements and regulations. Please be sure to read your terms and conditions carefully. If you are uncertain about specific areas within it, please consult your contracting organisation. For further discussion on the matter, talk with your Prefectural Advisor or CLAIR.
Are JET participants provided with insurance while in Japan?
Yes, all JET participants are covered under four types of insurance: Japan Health Insurance Association-administered Social (Health) Insurance; Employee’s Pension Insurance; JET Accident Insurance; and Employment Insurance. For more information on these insurances, please see the explanation of insurances here.
>> Insurance
Where can I find more information on JET Accident Insurance policy coverage?
Please see the JET Accident Insurance section of this website.
>> JET Programme Accident Insurance
― Remuneration ―
Are JET participants employees of the JET Programme, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communciations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology or CLAIR?
No. JET participants are appointed (employed) by various individual institutions or local government organisations (also called contracting organisations) in Japan and the terms and conditions of the appointment are set by each local government.
How much is the remuneration (salary) for JETparticipants?
JET participants who started on the Programme in 2011 or earlier receive approximately 3.6 million yen per year after Japanese income and resident taxes are imposed.
In line with revised application guidelines, JET participants who arrive in Japan from 2012 will receive approximately 3.36 million yen in their first year of appointment, approximately 3.6 million yen in their second year of appointment, approximately 3.9 million yen for their third appointment, and for those appointed for a fourth and fifth year, approximately 3.96 million yen for each year. JET participants arriving in Japan in 2012 or later who will have Japanese income and resident taxes imposed on them will have to pay these taxes from their remuneration.
Is the remuneration enough to live on?
Yes. The remuneration is considered enough to live comfortably in Japan.
I have a student loan. Will the JET remuneration allow me to pay it off?
Although the remuneration is sufficient to live comfortably in Japan, it is unadvisable to participate in the JET Programme for the purpose of paying off loans. Money transfer fees, fluctuating exchange rates and financial commitments in Japan (such as rent) will affect how much money you are able to send overseas to pay off loans, and you must first give priority to any expenses you may accrue in Japan (housing fees, automobile fees, etc.).
CIRs are required to have Japanese language ability. Are they paid more?
No. There is no distinction in remuneration based on job-type.
― Taxes ―
Do JET participants have to pay taxes in Japan?
Some do, some do not. Tax requirements in Japan are determined by a number of factors, including your nationality, status of residence (the type of work you are permitted to do in Japan), your previous year’s income in Japan (if any) and whether a tax treaty exists between Japan and your home country or not. For more information on tax requirements in Japan for JET participants, please refer to the General Information Handbook.
Do JET participants have to pay taxes in their home countries?
Tax requirements for your Japanese income is largely determined by whether a tax treaty exists between Japan and your home country or not, and its contents. For more information, refer to the General Information Handbook. However, please note that CLAIR cannot take responsibility for information on home-country tax obligations, so participants are strongly encouraged to contact tax authorities in their home country for the most accurate information.
Life in Japan
― Working in Japan ―
Do JET participants receive any training?
Yes, JET participants take part in both obligatory and voluntary training seminars and conferences. To learn more about some of these, visit the conferences section. Also, JET participants are able to take Japanese language correspondence courses run by CLAIR.
What types of language support do JET participants receive?
JET participants are encouraged to enroll in the correspondence courses that are run by CLAIR to JET participants free of charge as long as they keep up with course work. Also, JET participants who spend more than one year on the Programme are eligible to apply for one of two special courses focusing on translation and interpretation or linguistics and pedagogy.
― Housing ―
Is housing provided for JET participants?
No, housing is not necessarily provided for JET participants. Some JET participants, however, do receive some form of housing assistance from their contracting organisations. Many JET participants receive partial rent subsidies, while others pay smaller deposits or live in government employee housing. All JET participants should expect to pay rent while in Japan. (see General Information Handbook, p. 133)
How is housing decided??
It depends on the contracting organisation. In many cases, housing will have already been decided prior to your arrival and you will move in to housing that was occupied by a previous JET participant. In others, the contracting organisation may have two or three choices pending your consideration. Even if nothing is prepared before you arrive, the contracting organisation may assist you in finding your accommodation. You can choose your own accommodation if you pay ALL costs yourself.
How much money is required to initially secure housing?
Deposits (shikikin), usually anywhere from 1-5 months rent, are generally refunded upon leaving, minus deductions for any unpaid rent and/or expenses for cleaning or repairs. If the deposit is one month’s rent, it is usually used for cleaning or repairs. Key money (reikin), usually 1-2 months rent, is a non-refundable gift given to the landlord. There may be cases where the real estate agent requires the equivalent of an additional one month’s rent as their commission. Furthermore, one month’s rent may need to be paid in advance. Depending on the contracting organisation, some JET participants receive subsidies or loans to cover these costs. However, please note that new JET participants should be prepared to cover all initial costs by themselves before receiving their first paycheck.
― Health ―
I have a medical condition that requires periodic check-ups. Will I be able to receive the medical care I need?
Medical care in Japan is thorough, but please be aware that medical care providers in many locations in Japan do not offer English language assistance.
I require prescription medication. Will I be able to continue using that medication in Japan?
Bringing prescription medications into Japan can be a difficult process. Generally speaking, you will be allowed to carry a one-month prescription with you. Each additional one-month supply must be sent to you bearing all the necessary customs documentation. (See General Information Handbook, p. 25)
Will I be able to buy non-prescription medicines in Japan?
There are many medications that can be purchased without a prescription in Japan; however, medication readily available over the counter in your home country may be illegal in Japan. You will not be able to bring such medications with you or purchase them while you are here. (See General Information Handbook, p. 25)
I have certain dietary restrictions. Will it be possible for me to find foods that meet these restrictions?
Yes, it will be possible. However, please understand that many Japanese have a lack of awareness about what dietary restrictions are, and that if you do not speak Japanese it may sometimes be difficult to explain your restrictions. There is much support provided at orientations and through special interest groups from other JET participants who are in similar circumstances.
― Driving ―
Will I need to drive?
In some situations, JET participants are asked to drive to and from workplaces. Some JET participants may have to purchase or lease an automobile, while some may be granted limited use of one provided by the contracting organisation.
What kind of driver’s licence do I need to drive in Japan?
If you have a licence in your home country and your country is part of the Geneva Road Convention, then you can drive in Japan for one year on an International Driving Permit, which should be obtained from the national automobile association in your home country prior to departure. You can only use an International Driving Permit in Japan for a maximum period of one year from the initial date of entry (arrival in Japan), or until the expiration date on the permit, whichever comes first. (See General Information Handbook, p. 145)
― Other ―
I hear many JET participants are in isolated areas. Will it be possible to make friends?
Regardless of placement, JET participants form communities to support one another. In addition to regional support systems and social groups, National AJET (Association of JETs) and local AJET chapters also plan events for JET participants to come together and get involved in their local communities.
Can I sign up for the internet and a cellular phone?
Internet and cellular phone services are available in Japan, although specifics depend on the region. Please be aware that it may take some time to set these services up after your arrival.
Will I be allowed to take religious holidays off?
JET participants will have days off on the nationally recognised Japanese holidays. Although it may be possible to arrange to take off your personal religious holidays, JET participants will normally be expected to use yearly paid leave (nenkyu) to observe these holidays.
Can I move in my second or third year to see more of Japan?
No, it will not be possible to move to a different location in subsequent years during your time on the JET Programme. You will be expected to stay with the same contracting organisation in the same city/town/village during your entire stay. Transfers may be considered for JET participants with certain special circumstances; however, such transfers are not guaranteed.

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