All applicants must:
- Be interested in Japan and be willing to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of Japan after their arrival; be motivated to participate in and initiate international exchange activities in the local community; make effort to study or continue studying the Japanese language prior to and after arriving in Japan.
- Be both mentally and physically healthy.
- Be a citizen of the United States by the application deadline. If you are a permanent resident of the U.S. (living in the U.S. but not a U.S. citizen) you are not eligible to apply for the JET Program in the United States. Please contact the Embassy of Japan in your home country for information. Those who possess dual citizenship with Japan and the U.S. must renounce their Japanese citizenship before accepting a position on the JET Program and submitting the Reply Form. Applicants who have dual citizenship in two countries (other than Japan) may only apply in one of those countries.
- Hold at least a Bachelor’s degree or obtain such qualifications by the designated date prior to departure.
- Have the ability to adapt to living and working conditions in Japan, which could be significantly different from those experienced in the applicant’s home country, and be able to responsibly complete the term of appointment.
- Have excellent standard pronunciation, rhythm, intonation in the English language and possess excellent language ability that can be applied accurately and appropriately; have voice projection skills and public speaking skills; have other standard language skills, including strong writing skills and correct grammar usage.
- Have not participated in the JET Program for three years prior to the application year (a JET who returned in 2018 is eligible to apply again for the 2021 JET Program, but a JET who departed in 2018 is not eligible) or have participated on the program for more than five (5) years in total.
- Have not declined a position with the JET Program in the last program year after receiving notification of placement.
- Not have lived in Japan for a total of six (6) or more years in the past ten (10) years prior to the year of departure.
- Have an interest maintaining some type of relations with Japan, even after completion of the Program.
- Agree to reside in Japan under the status of residence stipulated in Article 2-2 of the Immigration Control and Refugee Act when entering Japan for the purpose of JET Program participation (this applies primarily to military personnel or their dependents in Japan).
- Obey all Japanese laws.
- Have finished any periods of legal probation and/or paid any fines by the application deadline if a jail term was suspended.
In addition to 1 through 13 above, ALT applicants must:
- Be interested in working with students Pre-K through 12th grade;
- Be strongly motivated to learn about the teaching of English as a foreign language. To that end, possessing teaching qualifications will be a benefit on your application, although it is not required.
- Be interested in the Japanese education system and particularly English as a foreign language instruction in Japan;
In addition to 1 through 13 above, CIR applicants must:
- Have a strong, functional command of the Japanese language (ability equivalent to the Japanese Language Proficiency Test Level N1 or N2 is desirable). It is strongly recommended that prospective CIR applicants take a moment to review the Japanese Language Proficiency Test guidelines and sample questions as means of determining ability level. CIR applicants are not required to have passed the actual JLPT N1 or N2 level exam, but should have language ability sufficient to do so.
The following criteria apply to applicants as well as to individuals who are selected to participate on the JET Program. Individuals may be disqualified without warning for any of the following reasons:
- When an individual has committed an inappropriate act or there is substantial reason to believe that an individual is likely to commit an inappropriate act.
- When the individual’s application documents contain false statements.
- When it is determined that an individual’s criminal history renders him/her unsuitable for participation on the JET Program. In principle, this includes conviction for such crimes as DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs), as well as actions related to DUI that may occur after submission of the application. Additionally, other actions related to drug or sex crimes, crimes against children, including those for which the applicant has not been found guilty, may be grounds for disqualification (inclusive of crimes committed after application submission).
- When required forms are not submitted by the set deadlines.
- When those who possess multiple nationality with Japan do not submit their applications to renounce their Japanese nationality before the Reply Form submission deadline in April (in principle, this excludes alternates, however, when alternates become successful candidates, they will need to submit their applications to renounce their Japanese nationality as soon as possible).
- If it becomes clear at a later date that the candidate or participant does not meet the eligibility criteria due to some reason attributable to the candidate him or herself.