By living and working in the cities and towns of Japan, JET Program participants become a part of their communities in a deeper, more meaningful way than the average American has a chance to experience while traveling abroad. The following is a summary of the Terms and Conditions of the JET Program contract. All JET Participants are required to read the 2019 JET Program Application Guidelines before applying. Please visit the How to Apply page for additional information.

Contracting Process

After being selected as a “short-list candidate,” CLAIR begins the process of matching new JETs with a contracting organization in Japan. Contracting organizations (COs) are the entities which employ JETs (rather than the JET Program itself). For ALTs, the CO is usually a school or local/prefecture board of education. For CIRs, the CO is usually a local or municipal government office.
Participants must sign terms and conditions with the CO assigned by CLAIR. The terms and conditions of service will be determined by the CO which employs the participant. The following is a general outline of the terms and conditions, though they may vary from one CO to another.

Length of Contract and Re-contracting

The JET contract is for one year and commences on the day after the designated arrival date. To learn this year’s departure/arrival dates, please see the Application Timeline.
The contracting organization may reappoint the JET participant for an additional one-year contract, with a maximum of five years total.

Working Hours

Participants are expected to be at work approximately thirty-five hours a week, excluding lunch breaks. It is likely that participants will be required to work during normal Japanese office and/or general school hours, which are from approximately 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., Monday through Friday. Generally, Saturdays, Sundays and Japanese national holidays are days off. However, there are cases in which extra hours are required before/after usual office and/or school hours, or where participants are required to work on Saturdays, Sundays and Japanese national holidays. The amount of paid leave per year differs among contracting organizations, but all participants are guaranteed to have at least ten days.


The JET participant’s salary is determined by the number of years of participation on the JET Program. As employment through the JET Program as an ALT or CIR is a full-time paid position, JET participants receive a monthly salary from their contracting organizations. Yearly salary before tax is:
• ¥3,360,000 a year for first year JET participants
• ¥3,600,000 a year for second year JET participants
• ¥3,900,000 a year for third year JET participants
• ¥3,960,000 a year for fourth and fifth year JET participants
In Japan, joining the national social (health) insurance, contributing to the pension fund program and paying employment insurance are mandatory. A part of these costs are borne by the participant and deducted from the monthly post-tax remuneration each month on payday.

Transportation To and From Japan

The JET Program participant’s flights to and from Japan are provided for them by their contracting organization.

Outside Work Prohibition

Participants are prohibited from taking on any work other than that of this Program for the duration of their appointment.


Participants with a driver’s license may be required to operate a motor vehicle as a part of their work duties.bryan-mount-fuji-49

JET Program Visa

The JET Program Office will provide the necessary work visa for candidates who are selected to participate on the 2018 JET Program. Detailed instructions will be provided after notification of selection.

Dependents of JET Program participants (spouse or children) are also eligible for dependent visas. Please note that only legal spouses and children under the age of 18 are eligible for a dependent’s visa. A fiancé(e), common-law spouse, etc. is not eligible.

For Participants Who Already Reside in Japan

Individuals with residence status in Japan are still required to return to the United States for the interview process. However, they do not need to return to the U.S. for the Pre-Departure Orientation (which is mandatory for all other participants) and may travel directly to the Post-Arrival Orientation in Tokyo.

Travel Expenses Home

JET participants who (1) complete their JET appointment in good standing with their contracting organization, (2) are not seeking third-party employment in Japan, and (3) depart Japan within one month of the end of their JET contract, will be provided with airfare expenses from an international airport in Japan to the designated airport in the United States from which they originally departed via the most reasonable and standard route.

Repayment of Travel Expenses

JET Participants who violate terms and conditions by, for example, failing to complete the full duration of their appointment without due reason, or become disqualified through committing inappropriate acts after arriving in Japan, will bear the full cost of traveling home. In addition, these participants must repay to their contracting organization the cost of travel to Japan and other expenses incurred by the contracting organization, including those costs for housing in cases in which the contracting organization has already made arrangements.

Application Guidelines

The information provided here should be considered a summary of the terms and conditions of participation on the JET Program. All participants are required to read the Application Guidelines for full details on contract information, terms and conditions, etc.


Since the JET Program was founded in 1987, we have sent more than 61,000 global participants (including nearly 32,000 Americans) to work in schools, boards of education, and government offices throughout Japan.

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