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 as a tourist. The following is a summary of the Terms and Conditions of the JET Program contract, but all candidates are required to read the 2023 Application Guidelines for full details on contract information, terms and conditions, etc.
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 2023 JET contract is for roughly 12 months and commences on the day after the designated arrival date. For 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.
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.
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.
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. Salary before tax for each contract year is:
- Year 1 : ¥3,360,000
- Year 2: ¥3,600,000
- Year 3: ¥3,900,000
- Year 4/5: ¥3,960,000
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.
JET PROGRAM VISA
The JET Program Office will provide the necessary work visa for candidates who are selected to participate on the 2023 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 as recognized by Japanese law and children under the age of 18 are eligible for a dependent’s visa. A fiancé(e), common-law spouse, etc. is not eligible.
All JET participants are covered by four types of insurance. Three of these are compulsory insurances set by the Japanese government. The fourth type is a special private policy for JET Programme participants. For more detailed information about these policies, please see here: http://jetprogramme.org/en/insurance/.
(1) NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE
- Enrollment in Japan’s National Health Insurance is a legal requirement, and the policy covers 70% of medical expenses for illness and injuries. Medical care benefits include medical examination, provision of medicines or medical care supplies, emergency treatment, surgery and other medical treatment, in-home medical care, hospitalization and nursing. The beneficiary of this insurance is thus covered in case of illness or injury, death or birth.
(2) PENSION INSURANCE
- Enrollment in this policy is a legal requirement. It will provide for you or your family in the event that you are seriously injured or die during the period you are making payments into the policy. After leaving Japan, you are entitled to apply for a partial refund of the money you paid into the pension insurance.
(3) EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
- JET participants working in Japan must enter the employment insurance scheme, regardless of nationality. This policy provides unemployment benefits to those who have joined and who fulfill the necessary requirements.
(4) JET ACCIDENT INSURANCE
- JET Program Accident Insurance provides coverage to claim back medical costs incurred (minus a ¥5,000 deductible and within the limits of the policy).The JET Accident Insurance also provides coverage for death caused by accident or illness, disability, and treatment for injuries and illnesses that occur during travel abroad or temporary visits to the JET participant’s home country. Additionally, it may cover liability for accidents caused by JETs up to the limits stated in the policy guidebook. For more information, see here:
TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM JAPAN
The JET Program participant’s flights to and from Japan are provided for them by their contracting organization. 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.
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.
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.