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Visa options short-term volunteer 2018/10/1 11:33
Hi, Has anyone done any volunteering or informal au pair work as a "tourist" in Japan?
Did you have any issues?

I want to do some volunteering in Japan for about a month to experience the life and culture of Japan. I would prefer not to use a Working Holiday visa as I would like to travel to Japan again for a longer period of time. There are many Japanese families asking for people to stay as guests in their houses in exchange for English exposure and help with kids or around the house. It would be very informal au pair work and I wouldn't receive a wage. Any help would be much appreciated.

Thank you.
by Stephanie Fairhall (guest)  

Re: Visa options short-term volunteer 2018/10/1 15:34
Au pair job might be found in Japan, but you have to be careful under which visa you're staying.
Definitely you cannot get paid under tourist visa, because it is illegal.

I really wonder if a family would take someone who is not going through an organisation.
Since you have no insurance and if something happens with the children, house etc who will be responsible?

by justmyday rate this post as useful

Re: Visa options short-term volunteer 2018/10/2 15:45
Even accommodation/board in exchange for services is considered paid work and people had gotten into trouble with immigration on that before.
For example: https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20161013/p2a/00m/0na/004000c
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

Re: Visa options short-term volunteer 2018/10/2 17:19
Hi Thank you for that helpful article, it's definitely helped to clarify what is considered "paid activities". I have contacted the Immigration Office and hopefully they will get back to me but what I could find was the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act which states under Article 19-1

"Any foreign national who is a resident ... shall not engage in the activities set forth in the
following items... A foreign national who is a resident with a status of residence [Temporary Visitor]: activities related to the management of a business involving income or activities for which he/she receives remuneration."

I'm not sure what classifies as "activities related to the management of a business" but the situation in that article would definitely fall into this category.

Stephanie Fairhall
by StephHasQuarks rate this post as useful

Re: Visa options short-term volunteer 2018/10/3 10:02
The key phrase is "activities for which he/she receives remuneration" because remuneration does not need to be cash/money. "In kind" payments like accommodation or food count as income.

There are some volunteer organisations around, but most people come for simple sightseeing. And certainly different countries have different rules and regulations. I am not sure if Japan is at the strict end of the scale or just average, but the enforcement and approach seems to suggest it might be above "average".
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

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