The Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET) seeks to help enhance internationalization in Japan by promoting mutual understanding between Japan and other nations. The program aims to enhance foreign language education in Japan, and to promote international exchange at the local level by fostering ties between Japanese youth and foreign youth.
The objectives of the program are being achieved by offering JET Program participants the opportunity to serve in local authorities as well as public and private junior and senior high schools.
The program is conducted by local authorities and other organizations of Japan in cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations.
The JET Program began in 1987 with the cooperation of the governments of the participating countries. The year 2006 marked the 20th anniversary of the program. As of 2006, there were 5508 participants in the program from 44 countries.
As the JET Program has achieved an excellent reputation over the last 20 years, it is of great importance that this high level of respectability be maintained. Participants are invited to Japan as representatives of their countries. Therefore, they are expected to be responsible in all of their activities, especially those concerning the promotion of mutual understanding between nations. It is desirable that participants are adaptable and have a positive interest in Japan.
**The application period runs from October through
late November each year. Early submission of applications is highly encouraged.
For more information, please go to the
JET Program Website
Frequently Asked Questions
are your requirements?
be eligible for the JET Program, applicants
should, in principle, be under the age of 40 by
date of hire, have a Bachelor's degree before
leaving for Japan, be a citizen of the United
States by the application deadline, have native or
near native English speaking proficiency, have a
genuine interest in Japan and the Japanese
language, and be eager about sharing American
culture. Teaching experience is not required, but
it is an advantage for ALT applicants.
addition to the above requirements, CIR applicants
also need to have advanced Japanese proficiency
and an interest in international and intercultural
applicants need to have the same requirements as
stated above as well as excel in a particular
sport (such as basketball or volleyball). They
must also be recommended by the U.S. National
Olympics committee and either a U.S. government
agency or an equivalent organization. SEAs also
need at least 3 years' coaching experience and the
ability to easily communicate in either English or
a U.S. resident, but not a citizen. Can I
still apply through the U.S.?
to be considered eligible in the United States,
you must have U.S. citizenship by the application
date. Please go to the main
JET Programme website to see whether or not
your country of citizenship participates with JET.
a junior or associate's degree sufficient to
to be considered eligible for the JET Program in
the United States, you must have at least a
Bachelor's degree from an accredited university
before July 1 of the departure year.
I apply if I graduated from a teacher's
you are eligible to apply for JET if you have
completed at least a 3-year education/ teacher
training program for elementary, middle
or high schools in the U.S. by July 1 of the
I apply before I graduate?
if you will be graduating from an accredited
university with a Bachelor's degree by July 1 of
the departure year, you can still apply for the
JET Program. With your application, you must also
provide an official statement from your
university's registrar stating that you are: 1)
a currently enrolled student, 2) that
you are expected to graduate within the required
time frame (by July 1 of the departure year), and 3)
the exact date (month and year) your
degree is expected to be conferred.
you are unable to receive this proof of enrollment
and proof of date of graduation from your
registrar, we will also accept a letter from a
dean or an advisor (from the university where you
are enrolled at) on official university letterhead
with an official signature stating the same above
information. Without this statement, your
application may be considered incomplete.
I apply if I have dual citizenship?
you can still apply. However, if you have dual
citizenship between the U.S. and Japan, then you
must renounce your Japanese citizenship before
departing for Japan if accepted.If your
citizenship is between the United States and a
country other than Japan then you may apply for
the JET Program in either country (choose only 1;
do not apply through both simultaneously).
kind of applicant are you looking for?
looks for enthusiastic young people with an
interest in Japan and a desire to teach about
their languages and cultures. JET annually hires
applicants from a multitude of ethnic, linguistic,
and cultural backgrounds with varied interests and
skills. There is no single "type" of JET
the program looks for. However, while any
undergraduate major is acceptable, a background
(or at least a genuine interest) in Japanese
history, culture, and language is beneficial and
strongly recommended. Teaching experience and/or
certification is also highly advantageous for ALT
candidates. Enthusiasm, dedication, and a
heartfelt interest in the program are all desired
attributes and can reflect very positively upon a
candidate. We encourage applicants to be honest
and earnest in both their applications and their
interviews. However, given the program's
popularity, not all qualified candidates can be
ALT applicants should be motivated to teach
English, work with children, and participate in
international exchange activities. They should
be flexible and adaptable to new cultures.
They should also have a knowledgeable
understanding of their own countries and
cultures and be willing to share this knowledge
with people of other cultures. Finally,
applicants should be open-minded and interested
in learning about Japanese language and culture.
here for more information about this
CIR: CIR applicants should be
motivated to participate in international
exchange activities and have a strong command of
the Japanese language at an advanced level in
the areas of speaking, listening, reading, and
writing. As CIR duties often include translating
and interpretation, CIR candidates must also
demonstrate a good command of English. In
addition, they should be flexible and adaptable
to new cultures, as well as have a knowledgeable
understanding of their own countries and culures
and be willing to share this knowledge with
people of other cultures. Finally, applicants
should be open-minded and interested in learning
more about Japanese language and culture. See
here for more information about this
SEA: SEA applicants must excel in a
certain sports field (such as basketball or
volleyball) and must be recommended by either
the U.S. National Olympic Committee or by a U.S.
government organization. Alternatively, the
applicant should have equivalent abilities and
recommendations. Furthermore, it is necessary to
have a recognized and prestigious coaching
certification/qualification from a vocational
college or to have at least 3 years of coaching
experience in your specialized field. SEA
applicants should also be motivated to
participate in and intitiate international
exchange activities in the local community, and
have a functional command of English or
here for more information about this
position. Please note that the United States
only rarely sends SEAs to
Japan. Please check the JET
Program USA webpage in January to see if
there are any advertised positions.
I still be considered if I have a criminal
with criminal records will be carefully reviewed,
and decisions will be made on a case-by-case
basis. There is a section on the application where
those who have ever been arrested, charged and/or
convicted of any crime other than a minor traffic
offense (such as for speeding or a parking ticket)
can explain the circumstances and provide copies
of their criminal records (provided by the court
or law enforcement agency). These records must
detail the date, location, nature and resulting
action/penalty of the crime(s). Those who have
been informed that juvenile offenses will be
stricken from their records are encouraged to
review their records to see that this is truly the
case before filling out a JET application.
Applicants are allowed to submit criminal records
separately after the application deadline, but
they must arrive at the Washington, DC JET Program
office by January 31 of the
departure year. Failure to do so will result in
to departing for Japan, we require all accepted
applicants submit an FBI Identification Record. If
something appears on this record that an applicant
did not disclose, then this may be grounds for
everyone eligible be hired?
unfortunate aspect of the JET Program's popularity
is that not all eligible applicants are able to
become JETs. Once the Tokyo office has determined
how many current JETs are recontracting, how many
are leaving, which contracting organizations are
reducing their JETs, and which contracting
organizations are increasing their JETs, it can
then determine how many new JETs each country is
allowed to send. Several applicants who are not
intially placed on the "short list" are
asked to stay on an alternate list, from which
upgrades can be made as late as December.
does the JET Program have an age policy of
of JET's main goals is to promote youth-to-youth
exchange between young Japanese and young
professionals from around the world, which is why
there is an age limit. Applicants who are 40 years
old or a little above may still be considered on a
case-by-case basis. However, only those with
English teaching experience and a background
living in, working in, and/or studying Asia will
be seriously considered.
I have to know Japanese to be eligible?
applying for the CIR (Coordinator for
International Relations) position must have at
least an upper intermediate to advanced level of
Japanese proficiency (approximately JLPT level 2
or above) in order to be considered eligible. ALT
(Assistant Language Teacher) applicants are not
required to have any knowledge of the Japanese
language, although it is beneficial and highly
recommended to have some speaking ability before
going to Japan. SEAs must be able to communicate
in either English or Japanese.
many JETs does the U.S. accept each year?
rates vary from year to year depending upon how
many current JETs choose to stay or leave and
depending upon the needs of various contracting
organizations. The Japanese embassies and
consulates are given set numbers every year, which
strictly determines how many new JETS each country
can send. To see current country statistics,
do I need in order to apply?
see the Applying
page and the JET
Program USA page for detailed instructions on
application procedures and requirements.
I apply again if I applied last year? What
if I turned down a position? What if I'm
currently on an alternate list?
may apply again in a following year if you were
unsuccessful or placed on an alternate list.
If you were offered a position and you
turned it down before finding out your assigned
placement, you may reapply in the following year
as well. However, if you turned down the position
after learning of your placement assignment, then
you must wait 1 year before reapplying. If you
turned down a position after learning of your
placement assignment on account of extenuating
circumstances (such as an illness), please contact
the Washington, DC JET Program Office at jet[at]embjapanDOTorg.
If you are reapplying while on an alternate list,
you will still be eligible to be upgraded until
mid-December. Please notify your JET Program
coordinator upon being upgraded if you have
submitted an application for the following year.
I apply for both the CIR and ALT positions?
you can only apply for one at a time, not both
concurrently. However, CIR applicants are able to
indicate that they would be interested in being
considered for the ALT position if their Japanese
is deemed inadequate or if there are not enough
CIR openings. ALTs will not be considered for the
can I apply for the JET Program?
applications become available on the JET
Program USA website in late September/early
October the autumn before the departure year (for
the 2010 year, applications will become available
the first week of October 2009).
They are due in late November/early December (the
deadline for the 2010 year is November 24,
2009). Please see the JET
Program USA website for updates on application
availability and deadlines.
I send additional materials, such as my
resume or CV?
some additional information, such as results of
language proficiency tests, can be beneficial,
other materials like artwork portfolios, pictures,
and resumes will likely be discarded prior to
review. Please limit your application packet to
include only those items requested and/or directly
relelvant for the program.
you keep my transcripts and letters of
reference on file if I don't get in this
the program's scope and large number of applicants
each year makes it impossible for us to keep
documents on hand in anticipation of future
applications. In order to be considered eligible
for future application seasons, all prior
applicants must resubmit entirely new applications
complete with transcripts and letters of
I send an application after the deadline?
the program's popularity and competitiveness, we
must stick very strictly to our deadlines. Please
note that deadlines are NOT "send by"
dates. All applications must be in the Washington,
DC JET Program office by end of business (5:30 pm
EST) on the deadline date to be eligible. No
applications will be accepted past this time or
was a JET previously. When can I reapply?
of the 2010 application year, JET alumni are
eligible to reapply 3 years after finishing their
prior JET contract. Former JETs who finished their
JET contracts by 2007 or before are eligible to
apply for the 2010 season (prior to the 2010
application season, the waiting period was 10
years). However, there is a 5 year limit to a
JET's participation. Therefore, a JET alum who
previously spent 3 years working with JET would
only be eligible to participate for 2 more years
on a second term with the program.
I open a letter of reference to make copies?
While it would be ideal if your references
supplied you with 2 copies of their letters of
reference and reference forms (in addition to the
1 original of each), if they have not then it is
in your best interests to submit the letters
unopened. It will not count against you to have
only one copy of your letter of reference, whereas
submitting a nonconfidential reference letter
could negatively affect your application.
can't I send letters of reference or
Washington, DC JET office is inundated with
several thousand applications every year. Sorting
through all of the applications takes a great deal
of time and work; having pieces sent in separately
only prolongs the process and increases the
possibility that a vital part of an application
may become lost or not matched with the rest of
the application. Therefore, we ask that applicants
send in complete applications.
I change my interview time or location?
you have submitted your application, your
interview location cannot be changed. Interview
times are determined by JET Program coordinators
at Japanese consulates. To determine whether or
not your interview time can be altered, contact
the JET Program coordinator at the interview
location you indicated on your application.
Coordinator contact information can be found here:
Please be advised that there is a very short
period of time in February in which JET interviews
must take place. If you are not able to
interview during this time, then you will be
can't interview in February. Can't I do it
by phone or in another month?
the JET Program operates by a very strict
timeline. Interviews must take place in person at
the location indicated on the application during
the month of February. If you are not able to
interview during this time, you will be
will I find out if I got an interview?
your application has been processed, a card will
be sent to you with an ID number (this is the same
ID number that appears on the upper right-hand
corner of an application once it has been
electronically submitted). After all of the
applications have been processed and reviewed, a
pdf document will be uploaded at the JET
Program USA website in mid-late January/early
February. If your ID number is listed, then you
have been selected for an interview. The JET
Program coordinator at the interview location you
indicated on your application will contact you to
arrange a time. Interviews take place in February.
I allowed to talk about my interview with
do not discuss your interview questions or
experiences with others, particularly on public
blogs and forums. We understand interviews can be
anxious experiences and therefore you may want to
hear how others did and share your own
experiences. However, interviews can vary from
location to location and from interviewer to
interviewer. Sometimes questions may be the same,
but very often they are tailored to each
applicant. We want to hear each applicant's honest
answers, which is not always possible if he or she
has followed the advice, suggestions, and examples
of other applicants. This is not to an applicant's
advantage. Please listen to your own instincts
rather than to others'.
interviews are confidential, as are the questions
posed therein. JET related blogs and internet
communities are regularly monitored, and releasing
confidential information in a public sphere may
result in disqualification.
will I find out if I got in?
are made in April of the departure year. Placement
details follow in May and June.
is the selection procedure?
received by or before the deadline are processed
and reviewed by a select committee of
professionals and former JETs. After all qualified
applications have been reviewed, candidates will
be notified whether or not they have been chosen
for an interview in mid-late January or early
February. All interviews must take place in
February at the interview location indicated by
the applicant in the application. Interview
results are sent to the Tokyo office where the
final decisions are made. Notifications will be
released in April from the consulate the applicant
interviewed with. Placement notifications will be
made in May and June. Departures take place in
late July and early August, depending upon the
city. Alternate upgrades can take place from April
an alternate. What are my chances of an
coordinators are not authorized to tell alternates
their specific place on the alternate list.
Moreover, as many alternates choose to drop out,
those initial rankings are not necessarily an
accurate reflection as to which alternates will be
upgraded. Coordinators have the right to pass over
a higher-ranked alternate in favor of one who has
already turned in all required documents,
particularly if there is a short time period until
departure. Therefore, we highly encourage all
alternates apply for and submit the same materials
as short list candidates.
a U.S. citizen studying abroad in another
country that participates with the JET
Program. Can I interview there?
country has a different set of standards and
requirements for screening and selecting JET
applicants. Therefore, all U.S. applicants must be
able to interview at a Japanese consulate in the
United States in February of the departure year.
There are no exceptions.
I interview in one city but leave from
depends upon which city you interviewed in and
which you wish to depart from. The interviewing
and departure cities are divided into two groups:
Group A and Group B.
An accepted candidate who interviewed in a
Group A city is permitted to transfer to
depart from another city in the A list. The same
is true for those in Group B. An accepted
candidate who interviewed in a Group A city is not
permitted to transfer to depart from a city in
Group B, nor is an accepted candidate who
interviewed in a Group B city allowed to depart
from a Group A city.
A (late July departure)
B (early August departure)
|New York, NY
|San Francisco, CA
|Los Angeles, CA
|Phoenix, AZ (interview only)
|Spokane, WA (interview only)
|Salt Lake City, UT (interview only)
|Tokyo (departure only -
foreign residents of Japan; Group A)
alternates may leave at the same time as
short-listed JETs if the change in status occurs
early enough (usually before mid-June). Otherwise,
upgraded alternates will leave in Group C in
mid-August. Unlike Groups A and B, Group C is not
determined by departure city, but rather by the
date by which an alternate was upgraded. Group C
will also go to Tokyo for an orientation similar
to Groups A and B. Alternates upgraded after the
Group C departure will not have a Tokyo
orientation and their departure date can vary
based on need.
was I not chosen? Can I contact the embassy
or consulate for feedback?
due to the program's popularity and
competitiveness, not all qualified applicants can
be chosen. In fact, the majority of JET applicants
will be unsuccessful. Sometimes candidates are not
chosen based on technicalities in the application,
insufficient or incomplete required documents
meeting basic requirements
to sign the application or neglecting to sign
at all required places
a statement of purpose that is full of
spelling or grammatical errors or whose
content does not adequately address an
applicant's motivation for participation,
relevant experience, and goals
submitting a complete application by the
applications are unsuccessful because they did not
rank high enough to go on to the interview stage.
Even if an applicant is selected for an interview,
there is a strong chance that he or she may not be
chosen. This is partially determined by number
limitations and partially determined through
rankings. We encourage qualified unsuccessful
applicants to reapply in future years.
coordinators are not authorized to discuss
applications or interviews with candidates.
are the JET jobs offered?
are three JET positions: 1) ALT -
Assistant Language Teacher, 2)
CIR - Coordinator for International Relations, 3)
SEA - Sports Exchange Advisors. SEA
positions are very rare and applicants must be
recommended by either their home countries'
National Olympic Committees or another government
organization. The SEA application season takes
place in the spring, and openings, if available,
will be posted on the JET
Program USA website in January. For more on
these positions, please refer to the overview
page, the JET
Program USA website, or the JET
Programme International website.
much does the JET Program pay?
is approximately ¥3,600,000 per anum before
Japanese income tax and resident's taxes are
deducted. ALTs from the United States are eligible
for exemption from Japanese taxes if they apply
for and submit an IRS 6166 form (applied for with
an IRS 8122 form) before departure. This exemption
is only applicable for 2 years.
U.S. JETs are also able to file for a
Foreign Earned Income tax exemption with the IRS,
which is applicable for up to 2 years and up to
$80,000. Please speak to a tax official for more
note that actual earned income can vary, as
payments for the national health insurance
program, contributions to the pension fund
program, and payments to employment insurance are
mandatory and will be deducted from monthly
paychecks. Schools or boards of education may also
automatically deduct rent or other fees from
salaries, and therefore it is in a JET's
best interests to ask what he or she is being
charged in supplemental expenses. Upon returning
to their home countries, JETs are eligible to
apply for a Lump-sum Withdrawal Payment pension
refund if applied for within 2 years of leaving
JET Program USA, JET Programme International, and
CLAIR do not specialize in tax matters. Neither
the JET Program nor the Consulate General of Japan
in Miami take responsibility for the accuracy of
the information contained here or in any
JET-related materials concerning U.S. or Japanese
taxes. It is in each participant's interests to
independently verify the steps necessary to apply
for and be granted tax exemption.
be advised that, as tax policies are liable to
change, the information contained here or in any
JET-related materials are not necessarily
accurate. Please contact the proper tax
authorities for guidance and instruction.
long is the JET contract for?
contracts are for 1 year in length and, in some
cases, can be renewed up to 4 times for a maximum
total of 5 years. Contracts commence on the day
after the date of arrival in Japan and end exactly
one year later. JET Alumni who are participating
with JET for a second time are also limited to 5
years total, including the time from their
is JET housing like?
organizations are required to provide housing for
JETs, but the quality and cost can vary from JET
to JET. Some JETs are provided with spacious,
subsidized housing, while others are asked to pay
full rent for a small apartment. Applicants and
candidates cannot request "types" of
housing; that is something that must be negotiated
with contracting organizations. Most JETs inherit
housing from predecessors, and many predecessors
choose to leave or sell furnishings to their
successors. In some cases, JETs may be asked to
pay a non-refundable deposit known as "key
money" upon arriving at their towns in order
to secure their housing. Therefore, we recommend
JETs bring at least $2,000 with them to cover
potential initial expenses. Once placement
decisions have been made, new JETs should be
contacted by their predecessors and/or contracting
organizations, who should be able to inform and
advise new JETs on living situations and any
upfront expenses to expect.
if I want to stay in Japan after I finish my
JETs are issued 3-year work visas upon being hired
by JET regardless of how long they intend to stay.
Those JETs who recontract for a fourth year and
beyond must apply for new visas. If you choose to
stay in Japan after completing your JET contract
and your visa is about to expire, you will need to
apply for a Temporary Visitor Visa. This will
cover you for up to 90 days; if you attempt to
leave Japan after your visa (either the JET visa
or the temporary visitor visa) expires, then you
may be detained as an illegal alien and deported.
apply for visitor visas in the days immediately
before your JET visa is due to expire, as
otherwise it will replace your work visa and you
will be working illegally. If your JET visa has
not expired, then you are allowed to stay in Japan
for up to 90 days after finishing your JET
contract. Please note that a visa is only valid if
you are working under the conditions specified by
that particular visa. If you choose to stay in
Japan and work for a new employer, you will need
to change to a new work visa before your JET visa
is set to expire. A JET visa is only for those
working on the JET Program.
contracting organization is only obligated to pay
return fare to a JET if the JET has fully
completed his or her contract and if he or she
leaves Japan within 1 month of finishing the
I bring my family to Japan with me?
and children may accompany JETs on a general
dependent visa, which is good for 3 years and 1
entry. Spouses and children must travel to Japan
within 3 months of the dependent visa's issuance.
JETs are recommended to bring 2 or more notarized
copies of marriage licenses and children's birth
certificates. Please note that those on a
dependent visa are not eligible to work unless
they apply to a local immigration office for a
permits dependents to work a maximum of 20 hours
per week. Alternatively, a JET spouse can arrange
a job prior to departing for Japan and present a
Certificate of Eligibility to a Japanese embassy
or consulate to receive a work visa. Please note
that the JET Program does not assist non-JET
spouses in finding employment or in getting work
visas. The JET Program also cannot help with
finding schools or childcare.
ask that JETs not bring spouses or children to the
Tokyo orientation, as this can be a very stressful
and busy time. It is better to wait a few days to
a few weeks before having a family join you at
your contracting organization. The JET Program
does not pay for JET dependent
my boyfriend/girlfriend/common-law partner
come with me?
only people eligible for dependent visas are
spouses and children under the age of 18.
Dependent visas cannot be issued to boyfriends,
girlfriends, or common-law partners. American
citizens are eligible to enter Japan for up to 3
months without requiring a visa. If you or your
partner is not an American citizen, please contact
a Japanese consulate or embassy to ask about
immigration and visiting requirements for your or
your partner's nationality.
I bring a pet to Japan with me?
Japan has very strict quarantine laws and your
first few days in Japan will be too hectic and
scheduled to provide you with the time necessary
to take care of legal issues involved with
importing an animal into Japan. Some JETs choose
to purchase or adopt pets
after moving to Japan and bring them back to their
home countries after completing their contracts.
However, these JETs do so at their own risk.
Before adopting a pet, JETs should check with
their building managers or supervisors to see if
pets are allowed.
I request where I want to go?
JET applicants can request up to 3 locations on
the application as well as provide an explanation
for why they should be placed in
one of those areas. JET requests are taken
into consideration when making placement
assignments, but please be aware that JET
positions in cities are relatively rare and many
JETs may be assigned to areas far from where they
requested. Even though JETs have the option to
request specific placements, they are not
guaranteed to be placed in one of those areas, and
applicants need to be prepared to go wherever it
is they may be assigned.
JET placement assignments are final; if you decide
not to go to the place in which you have been
assigned, please inform your JET Program
coordinator immediately that you wish to withdraw
from the program. If you turn down your JET offer
after learning of your assigned placement, you
will not be eligible to reapply for JET for 1
I work at another job while employed by the
the JET Program has a very strict policy that JET
Participants are only allowed to work for their
contracting organizations. If it is discovered
that you have been working another job while on
JET, this will be grounds for immediate dismissal.
heard that the JET Program might be canceled
soon. Is that true?
that is just a rumor. While some contracting
organizations are choosing to eliminate JET
positions and/or independently contract for their
ALTs or CIRs, there are other contracting
organizations asking for new JET positions every
year as well. JET numbers fluctuate from year to
year, but given current
JET participation statistics, the JET Program
is still very strong and there are no indications
that it will be canceled anytime soon.