FAQ

Eligibility FAQs
1. I don't hold a UK passport, can I still apply to the UK JET Programme?
No, the UK JET Programme can only accept applications from British Citizens. However, you may still be able to participate on the JET Programme if you are a citizen of another participating country.

Please note that the number of participating countries varies from year to year. Any queries regarding the application process for other countries should be directed to the relevant embassy or consulate general of Japan.
2. I hold dual nationality with Japan/another participating country. Can I still apply?
Those who hold dual nationality with Japan must renounce Japanese citizenship if their application is successful, as you will be ineligible for the JET visa if you hold Japanese nationality. If you hold dual nationality with any two participating countries, you can only apply through one of these countries. Candidates who apply in both countries will be automatically disqualified from the application process.
3. I don't have a degree, can I still apply?
No, all applicants must hold at least a Bachelor’s degree by the time of departure to Japan. No exceptions are made to this requirement.
4. What type of degree do you accept?
The JET Programme accepts any type of Bachelor’s degree from a recognised university (including The Open University).
5. Are students from New Universities (Post-1992 universities) at a disadvantage?
Not at all, the JET Programme warmly welcomes applicants from all universities and all fields of study.
6. I am currently studying for a Masters and my course won't finish until September, can I still apply?
Please note that it will not be possible for you to return to the UK to complete your studies during your tenure on the JET Programme. As such, it would be best to wait until you have completed your Master’s degree before applying.
7. Am I too old to apply?
The JET Programme was primarily conceived as a youth exchange programme and the majority of our participants apply as recent graduates. If you understand the goals of the JET Programme and feel that you have the ability to accomplish these goals, please feel free to apply.
8. Do I need a TEFL qualification to apply for the JET Programme?
Although beneficial, having a TEFL qualification is not a requirement as long as you have an interest in teaching and working with young people.
9. Can I bring my spouse/children with me to Japan?
Yes, the Japanese Government will be happy to arrange visas for direct dependants. These are defined as spouses (as recognised by Japanese law) and children only. Please note that financial responsibilities for flights, living costs etc. are borne by the participant. Do ensure that any such individuals are mentioned in your application.
10. Can I apply if I have a criminal record?
A criminal record will not necessarily disqualify you. However, it is essential that you give full disclosure of your criminal history and tender an ICPC at the time of application. The nature of the crime will be taken into consideration when assessing your suitability for participation on the JET Programme.
11. I am worried that a medical condition will prevent me from being accepted on the Programme. What should I do?
People with a wide variety of medical conditions have been accepted on to the Programme. Applications are judged on their individual merit. Providing that your doctor believes you are fit to live and work in Japan, your medical condition should not preclude you from participating. It is important that you disclose all relevant information on the Self-Assessment Medical Report and provide a Statement of Physician if necessary. This information will aid in allocating your placement, and serve as your medical record should any emergencies arise in Japan.
12. I have applied for the JET Programme before, can I apply again?
You are more than welcome to reapply to the JET Programme as long as you fulfil the following criteria:
  • You have not participated on the JET Programme for 5 years or more.
  • You have not declined the offer of a position on the programme after placement allocation within the last year.
Please note that we are unable to provide any feedback on your previous application. If you wish to reapply, you will need to submit a new application once the next application period opens.
13. I have lived in Japan before, can I apply?
Many of our applicants have previous experience of living in Japan. However, please note that you will be ineligible to apply for JET if you have lived in Japan for more than six years (cumulative) of the last ten
14. Do applicants need to speak Japanese?
Applicants for the ALT position are not required to have any previous knowledge of Japanese. However, successful applicants are strongly encouraged to demonstrate an interest in Japanese language learning – this will help them gain the most from their time on the programme. Please be aware that CIR applicants must have a high level or Japanese language ability at the time of application (see below).
15. What level of Japanese do I need to be a CIR (Coordinator for International Relations)?
Applicants for the CIR position must have a high level of written and spoken Japanese, equivalent to at least level 2 (N2) of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). Most CIR applicants have studied Japanese at university for a minimum of two years, including a period of study in Japan. Please note that interviews for CIR applicants will be conducted entirely in Japanese.
16. I have a number of tattoos/piercings. Will this affect my application?
In Japan, attitudes towards tattoos are different to those in the UK and applicants are encouraged to conduct their own research in order to gain a better understanding. Please note that as public servants, JET participants would be expected to remove any visible piercings (except for small earrings) and keep any tattoos covered during working hours.
Application FAQs
1. How do I apply?
All applicants must complete and submit an online application form. This will be available through our homepage in October. Following the online submission, you must submit a paper application pack to the Embassy of Japan in London. Please see the ‘How to Apply’ section for a full list of the required documents.

Unsolicited CVs and speculative applications are not accepted.
2. Do you accept late applications?
No, your application pack must arrive at the Embassy of Japan in London by the application deadline. This information is available on our homepage. The precise deadline can also be found in the Application Guidelines.
3. How will I know if you’ve received my application pack?
You must enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard, as indicated by your application pack checklist. Once processed, this will be returned to you as confirmation of receipt. Due to the high number of documents that pass through the JET Programme Office, please also allow time for us to process your documents and for the sending out of your postcard through the post service. We cannot confirm receipt of individual documents. For additional peace of mind, you may wish to consider using a tracked delivery service.
It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure the correct postage is affixed to any documents sent in the mail. The UK JET Desk does not collect documents held for insufficient postage fees.
4. Can I apply from outside the UK?
As long as you are British Citizen, you may apply to the UK JET Programme regardless of your country of residence. However, depending on your individual circumstances, it may be easier to wait until you have returned to the UK before applying. Those who live abroad will be subject to the same deadlines as domestic applicants, and must still be available to interview in the UK. No exceptions can be made.
5. Why does the application process take so long?
Please keep in mind that JET is an international programme with over 40 participating countries. Each year, the numerous embassies and consulates around the world must process thousands of applications before selecting a limited number of participants for the final shortlist. Prospective applicants should consider whether they are able to commit to this process before submitting their application.
6. I have several potential referees in mind. Who should I choose?
It is the candidate’s responsibility to choose their own referees in accordance with our criteria. Please ensure that your referees are familiar with the requirements provided on our website. They are welcome to contact us if they have any questions.
7. I already speak Japanese, should I apply for ALT or CIR?
Even if you already speak Japanese, you may find that you prefer working in a classroom to being in an office environment. While CIRs must demonstrate strong Japanese skills, the salary for ALTs and CIRs is the same, so we advise you to base your decision on which role you would most like to work in. Please check Positions for additional information.
8. Can I apply for both ALT and CIR?
You may only apply for one type of position during a single application year. However, CIR candidates may state whether they would be happy to be considered as ALT if they are deemed more suitable for this role at the interview stage.
9. Can I apply with my spouse/partner?
Couples who are both committed to the aims of the programme are more than welcome to apply. However, they must do so individually. Please bear in mind that each application will be judged on its own merits and the success of one partner does not guarantee that the other will also be accepted.
10. Will my partner and I be placed together?
Please note that is not possible to guarantee that couples will be placed together, as our participants’ needs must be balanced with those of our contracting organisations. Couples are advised to consider the potential implications of being placed in different parts of Japan before applying to the Programme.

Do be advised that the UK JET Programme does not have a direct hand in the placement of JET Programme applicants. Please see below for further information about the placement process.
11. How are the placements allocated?
The final decision is made by a joint committee consisting of representatives from three separate government ministries, based on recommendations from the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR). This committee includes members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC).

Special consideration will be given to those with medical or family reasons for requesting a specific placement. However, please note that placement requests cannot be guaranteed. Applicants are strongly encouraged to research a particular placement before selecting it on their application form. Not stating any preferences will not hinder your chances of being accepted.
12. What are my chances of being placed in a large city like Tokyo?
JET Programme participants are placed throughout the country, including major urban areas such as Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. However, please bear in mind that the number of available placements in such areas is much lower than the number of people requesting them. Our applicants are strongly encouraged to consider other parts of the country where there is a greater need to promote internationalisation. You may also wish to consider the local climate and cost of living when making your placement choices.
13. Can I choose which age group I wish to teach?
JET Participants are placed in schools wherever their skills are required and may find themselves teaching at any level from elementary to high school level. If you have experience teaching a particular age group, please ensure that you mention this in your application.
14. I have done some tutoring but nothing formal. Should I include it in my application?
You are welcome to include any relevant experience such special needs assistance, sports coaching, supervising after school clubs etc. Please be clear about the length and type of experience that you have.
15. What kind of extra-curricular activities should I mention?
Please feel free to mention any activities which you consider relevant to your application. We are especially interested to hear about any activities which demonstrate an interest in other cultures or nurturing young people.
16. Why do you require my personal medical information?
JET participants are despatched to contracting organisations throughout Japan, including remote areas where healthcare provisions are relatively limited. Any ongoing health conditions may need to be taken into account to ensure that you are placed in a suitable area. Furthermore, your contracting organisation may need access to your medical information, should any emergencies arise during your time in Japan.
17. What is the Programme looking for in an application?
There is no single type of person who does well on the programme and we have accepted applicants from a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds. We do ask that you are committed to the Programme’s goals and willing to act as a cultural ambassador for the UK. ALT applicants in particular will be expected to demonstrate an interest in teaching and working with young people.
18. How can I use JET to further my career?
The skills and experience gained from living and working in Japan are invaluable and former JET participants can be found working in every field. All returning participants are invited to join the JET Alumni Association (JETAA) which hosts a returnees’ career conference each year. You will also have access to the JETAA job’s board which regularly advertises positions from employers specifically looking to recruit former JETs.
19. Can I apply for both JET and MEXT?
You can apply for both; however please bear in mind that JET is an employment and teaching scheme, and MEXT is an education scholarship, so the two are different from one another. Applicants are advised to gain a precise understanding of the criteria of each programme and consider their options carefully.
20. What can I do before October to prepare for applying?
Please read through our website carefully to confirm your eligibility and to familiarise yourself with the application process. We recommend that applicants contact their referees and start preparing their supporting documents from September as it may take some time to obtain them.
Interview FAQ
1. When will I hear if I have been successful or not?
Applicants will find out whether they have been selected for interview from mid-December. Interviews take place in January (ALTs) and February (CIRs). The final results will be issued in March (Early Departure) and April (Summer Departure). There 3 possible outcomes: shortlist (successful), unsuccessful, or alternate (reserve) status.
2. How will I be notified of my interview?
Interview invitations will be issued via email. It is your responsibility to check your inbox regularly and inform the JET Office of any periods of unavailability, or should you wish to change your registered email address. Please note that invitations are issued progressively and some applicants will hear back sooner than others. We cannot be held responsible for any notifications missed.
3. What are the JET interviews like?
The interviews last approximately 15-20 minutes and are typically conducted by a former JET participant and an embassy official. The interviewers strive to treat all applicants fairly in accordance with strict guidelines provided by the Programme’s sponsors. The interview will be preceded by a short written test to assess your English language ability
4. Can I have my interview at another site? What about a telephone interview?
ALT candidates may choose to be interviewed at the Embassy of Japan in London or the Consulate General of Japan in Edinburgh. CIR candidates will be interviewed at the Embassy of Japan only. Interviews must be held in person, and cannot be held off-site or via telephone/Skype under any circumstances.
5. Can I choose my own interview date?
Candidates must be available for interview at the time and date allocated by the UK JET Office. If you have commitments during the interview period, please include a cover letter with your application stating any dates that you will be unavailable. Every effort will be made to schedule your interview at a convenient time, depending on the availability of interview slots.my
6. I have been selected as an 'alternate candidate'. What does this mean?
If you have been short-listed as an 'alternate candidate', this means that you have been offered a place on the reserve candidate list. Alternate candidates may be promoted to the shortlist at any point until December of the departure year, should a suitable placement become available.

Although we are unable to comment on your chances of promotion, past experience suggests that it is less likely to occur after June. Placements may become available at short-notice and it is the candidate’s responsibility to keep the UK JET Office informed of any changes to their personal circumstances or contact details.
7. How many people from the UK participate each year?
The number of British participants varies from year to year depending on the number of available placements. In a typical year, the UK JET Programme sends over 100 ALTs and approximately 10 CIRs to Japan.
Pre-Departure FAQs
1. I'm having problems obtaining my medical certificate. What should I do?
All shortlist and alternate candidates must submit an ICPC and a completed Certificate of Health by the deadline stipulated by the UK JET Programme. It may take time for the ICPC to be issued or to book a doctor’s appointment for the Certificate of Health, therefore we advise candidates to make arrangements to acquire and submit these documents as soon as possible. If you foresee any difficulty in submitting either of these documents by the deadline, please contact the UK JET Office immediately.
2. Can I make my own way to Japan in July/August?
No, all participants must depart to Japan on a group flight arranged by our designated travel agent. The only exception is made for those who have been living in Japan since the time of application.
3. Can I take my partner who is not applying for the Programme?

Participants are advised to consult with their contracting organisation before bringing their partner to Japan as they may not be expecting that anyone will join you. Please note that it may not be possible for your partner to share your accommodation, an partners will not be able to apply for a visa until after you have departed for Japan. We also recommend that partners wait at least two weeks before joining you in Japan due to the busy post-arrival schedule.

Legal spouses of JET Programme participants may be entitled to apply for a Dependant Visa. Please contact the Consular Section at the Embassy of Japan for more information. Participants should be aware that their partner is responsible for their own travel arrangements.

4. Is TEFL training provided before departure?
ALTs will receive training in team-teaching during orientation which will be specific to the role of the ALT in Japanese schools.
5. Can I miss the Pre-Departure Orientation at the beginning of July?
All participants departing for Japan in July/August must attend the Pre-Departure Orientation. You will need to submit your passport at the orientation for visa processing. Your passport will be returned at the airport ahead of your flight.
6. Can I travel abroad between the Pre-Departure Orientation and departure to Japan?
Please note that it may take up to two weeks to process your visa. As such, you will not be able to access your passport between the Pre-Departure Orientation and departure to Japan.
7. Do I need special vaccinations before leaving for Japan?
No, unless you have a specific medical condition and know that you need a certain vaccination. You may also wish to consider being vaccinated against diseases prevalent in any countries you are planning to visit during your time on JET. Seek professional medical advice for country-specific information.
8. How will I fund my time in Japan?
The JET salary is more than sufficient to live on comfortably during your time on the Programme. However, please note that it may take several weeks to receive your first pay cheque and you will need to bring enough money to cover your housing deposit and other start-up costs. We recommended speaking to your contracting organisation or predecessor to gain an idea of how much you will need to bring with you. Please note that Japan is a cash-based society and foreign debit/credit cards or traveller’s cheques may not be accepted outside major urban areas.
In Japan FAQs
1. How much help will I be given when I arrive? Is it easy to make friends?
Support for JET participants is comprehensive upon arrival. You will have a supervisor who will help you with accommodation, utilities and banking. There will also be a network of JETs in your area to lend their support. However, please remember that it is important to be proactive in meeting people. Learning as much Japanese as possible will also help you to integrate into the local community.
2. How will I arrange accommodation?
In most cases, accommodation will be arranged by your contracting organisation before you arrive. Alternatively, your supervisor will help you in looking for accommodation and buying furniture. In the meantime, a home-stay or hotel will be arranged for you as temporary accommodation. If you are a successful applicant, please liaise with your contracting organisation concerning accommodation matters, as the UK JET Office is not involved in these arrangements.
3. Do I need to pay UK tax/national insurance/student loan repayments while working in Japan?
The UK JET Office does not have the expertise to advise participants on these matters. Please contact the relevant authorities in the UK such as Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Student Loans Company.
4. Can I drive in Japan?
If you already have a full UK driving licence, you may apply for an International Driving Permit from the AA, RAC or Post Office. You will need to do so before the Pre-Departure Orientation in July. After one year, you will need to convert to a Japanese driving licence.

New drivers must be aware that it will not be possible for them to convert to a Japanese driving licence if they have less than three months’ driving history in the issuing country. It will still be possible to apply for the International Driving Permit, but once the Permit expires they would be required to re-test for a Japanese license.
5. What if I don’t have a driving licence?
This will be taken into account when allocating your placement. In general, JETs placed in rural areas are more likely to need a car. However, lack of a driving licence will not hinder your chances of acceptance and the majority of JETs find that they do not need to drive. Japan has extensive public transport links and it is easy to get around the country without a car.
6. How many hours will I teach?
Precise working hours vary between different contracting organisations but as a general rule, you will be expected to work from 8am until 4pm. ALTs typically teach 3-4 periods per day, lasting 45-50 minutes. Time between lessons is often spent in the staff room, preparing lesson plans and making study materials. JETs may also be expected to help with after-school clubs and other extracurricular activities, including occasional weekend events.
7. What age ranges will I be teaching as an ALT?
ALTs usually teach in Senior High or a combination of Junior High and Elementary schools. Some ALTs may also have the opportunity to visit a local nursery school.
Elementary School: 6 - 12 years old.
Junior High: 12 - 15 years old.
Senior High: 15 - 18 years old.
8. What will my role be in the classroom?
This depends on the class and your relationship with the Japanese Teacher of English (JTE). As assistants, ALTs are generally expected to follow the JTEs lead and help by generating teaching ideas and making classroom materials. Discipline is the JTE’s responsibility and ALTs may help by keeping the class focussed. Should you have any concerns about discipline, it may be best to address them with your JTE outside the classroom.
9. What holiday am I entitled to?
Holiday entitlement is detailed in the JET’s individual contract, but JET participants typically receive between 10 and 20 days of annual leave per year. In addition, Japan has 16 national holidays which are observed throughout the country. JETs are advised to be sensitive when arranging annual leave and to avoid clashing with any events that they may be required to attend. Please note that teachers in Japan are usually expected to work during the school holidays, but this may be the best time for JETs to take their annual leave.
10. How do JETs learn Japanese? How long does it take?
All participants are enrolled on a distance-learning Japanese language course with CLAIR, but there will likely be options to learn Japanese locally. Speed of language acquisition obviously varies between different individuals but most JETs return home with a sufficient command of Japanese for everyday life. JETs are encouraged to devote as much time as possible to improving their Japanese language ability and to find a method of learning which works for them.
11. How do you get involved in your local community?
There are many ways to get involved in your local community. Popular activities among JETs include taking part in local festivals, volunteering and learning traditional Japanese arts such as Ikebana, Taiko or Karate. Local clubs and community groups are usually very receptive towards JETs, but you will need to be proactive in seeking out opportunities.
12. Can I change my placement after my first year?
In a minority of cases, candidates may request to be transferred to a different contracting organisation. However, please note that this is extremely rare and only possible in exceptional circumstances. All participants should assume that they will be staying with the same contracting organisation throughout their time on the JET Programme.
13. Is it possible to transfer from ALT to CIR?
This depends on prefectural policy and may not be possible in all cases. If a position does become available, you may need to go through an interview process and there is no guarantee of acceptance. In order to avoid disappointment, you should depart for Japan with the mind-set that you will be an ALT for the duration of your contract.
14. What if I cannot fulfil my one year contract?
Participants are advised to think carefully before breaking contract in order to avoid causing unnecessary disruption for their students and colleagues. Those who return to the UK before completing their one-year contract will be responsible for their own travel arrangements. Help may be provided in exceptional circumstances such as when a JET returns home due to recent bereavement. Please also be aware that you may be held liable for your airfare to Japan if you withdraw from JET after receiving your placement notification.
15. How will Japanese students react to ALTs from ethnic minority groups?
The JET Programme welcomes applicants from all ethnic backgrounds and aims to reflect the diversity of Britain. Japan is known as a homogenous society and the students will be especially interested in JETs from ethnic minorities. Learning about your background will help to increase their understanding of other countries, furthering the Programme’s aim of promoting grass-roots cultural exchange.
16. What is Japan/JET like for LGBT applicants?
Japanese society is generally acceptant towards the LGBT community and there are a number of local charities and special interest groups which can offer support for JET Participants. Sexuality is seen as a private matter in Japan and participants should use their own discretion in deciding how to approach it with friends and colleagues. One issue to consider is that same-sex marriage has yet to be recognised on a national level and dependent visas cannot be arranged for same-sex spouses/civil partners. LGBT JETs may therefore wish to consider other options for bringing their partner to Japan.