Required Documents and
Please note that all information and dates provided on this page refer to the 2014 JET Program and do not apply to the next application cycle. Updated information for the 2015 JET Program will be available in fall 2014.
Please Read Carefully:
- Before applying, all applicants should read the 2014 Application Guidelines. All applicants are responsible for reading and understanding the provided guidelines.
- #1, #2 and #3 need to be filled out online when the 2014 JET Program application goes live. The online portion of the application was available from October 25 to December 3 on our our Application Information page.
- To apply for the 2014 JET Program, you must submit items #1, #2, #3, #7, #8, #10, #13, #14 and #15 the JET Program Office at the Embassy of Japan in Washington DC in hard copy by the application deadline.
- *Please note that items #4, #5, #6, #9, #11 and #12, may not apply to all candidates. Only include these items if the application instructions indicate that you should do so.
- Review this page thoroughly and read the Checklist & Mailing Instructions when preparing your application for submission.
- Please note that for most items, one original and two copies are required, whereas for certain irreplaceable items (such as passports, diplomas, birth certificates, etc.) three photocopies will suffice.
- The JET Program Office will NOT return any materials submitted with the application.
- Applicants should gather all materials and submit a single application packet to the JET Program Office. The JET Program Office will not be responsible for missing or lost items which were mailed separately.
- Do not circle or highlight items on the application or in your documents. Instead, attach a sticky note.
- Failure to submit all the required documents and follow the instructions may disqualify your application from consideration.
All documents must be received in the JET Program Office by 5:30PM EST on December 3, 2013. (Application Deadline has been extended)
A PDF version of the Required Documents information page is available here.
1) Main Application Form Required (1 original and 2 copies):
Complete all questions on the online application form, hit the "Submit" button, select the PDF version and print out all pages, and sign and date all three copies in the designated location in black or blue pen.
Be sure to “Submit” the application online. If submitted properly, you will receive an automated email at the address you listed when you created your account. The top page of the application website will also show that you have submitted the application. Applications which are not submitted online will be disqualified.
Please note that printed applications will bear the phrase “Applicant Copy” as a light-gray watermark on the page. This is the copy that applicants should submit with the application packet. This page previously gave the incorrect information that the watermark would only appear if the application was not properly submitted.
The 2014 JET Program Application is now closed.
2) Authorization and Release Form Required (1 original and 2 copies):
After completing and printing the online application, this document will be generated when you print them out in PDF version. Fill in all information by printing neatly and be sure to sign and date all three copies in the designated location.
3) Self-Assessment Medical Form Required (1 original and 2 copies):
Complete all questions on the online application form, hit hte "Submit" button, print out in PDF version and sign. Please be sure to provide complete answers to all questions, including NA for any situations not applicable to you. Any missing or incomplete answers may result in the disqualification of your application.
If you have ever had any physical or mental condition/illness, you must provide a detailed explanation on the Self-Assessment Medical Form and also include a Physician’s Form (listed below) with your application packet. On this form, your physician must explain any and all conditions listed on your Self-Assessment Medical Form and clearly state whether or not you are fit to participate in the JET Program, and as such, to live and work overseas.
4) *Physician’s Form*
ONLY if applicable (1 original and 2 copies):
The 2014 Physician's form is available here. The Physician's Form must be included if you indicate a physical or mental condition in the Self Assessment Medical Form, if you currently hold a prescription for a medication (including emergency inhalers, epi-pens, etc.), or if you have had a medical condition in the past which requires further explanation. Please note that contraceptive pills, patches, shots, etc. as well as prescription contacts/eyeglasses do not require completion of a Physician's Form. See the instructions on the Self-Assessment Medical Form for details.
The Physician's Form must be completed by a physician or specialist with knowledge of your medical history and must provide a detailed explanation of any condition or prescription listed in the Self-Assessment Medical Form.
It should NOT be completed by a Physician’s Assistant, unless co-signed by the attending physician. The physician must not be a family member of the applicant.
We recommend that applicants who need to complete the Physician's Form make an appointment between late-October and early November if possible. Please bring the Self-Assessment Medical Form to the appointment so that for any condition you list in the Self-Assessment Medical Form, the doctor can give an explanation in the Physician's Form. A missing or incomplete Physician’s Form, if one is required, may result in the disqualification of your application.
5) *FBI Criminal History Summary*
ONLY if applicable (1 original and 2 copies):
You must submit a Criminal History Background Check if:
- you have ever been arrested, charged and/or convicted of any crime other than a minor traffic offense (i.e. anything other than speeding or parking ticket), including a juvenile offense. Failure to disclose information related to your criminal history that is found later in the process may result in disqualification. Please note that all successful candidates will be requested to submit an FBI background check after the results are announced. If your record has been cleared, you must still submit the FBI Criminal History Summary to prove this.
- you indicate on the application (Question 2c. Early Departure) that they would like to be considered for placement in Japan in April 2014, or between April and July 2014.
**NOTE: If the above conditions do not apply to you, DO NOT request an FBI Criminal History Summary at the time of application. All individuals who are selected as JET Program participants will eventually be required to submit an FBI Criminal History Summary, however certain guidelines apply to the date of completion of the Criminal History Summary and method of submitting. The JET Program coordinator will provide detailed instructions to candidates who pass the interview stage of the selection process.
How to request an FBI Criminal History Summary:
- Visit the FBI Criminal History Summary website and follow the instructions to submit a Criminal History Summary to the FBI (http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/criminal-history-summary-checks/submitting-a-criminal-history-summary-request-to-the-fbi)
- Please note that this is Option 1 on the FBI Criminal History Summary Homepage. Option 2 (FBI-Approved Channelers) will NOT be accepted for the purposes of the 2014 JET Program application.
- You should direct the results of the Criminal History Summary to be delivered to your own address so that you can open the results, make photocopies, and submit them to the JET Program Office.
- Be sure to select "Live, work, or travel in a foreign country" as the Reason for Request.
- DO NOT submit your FBI Criminal History Summary application and payment information to the JET Program Office. We will not submit these to the FBI on your behalf. Only submit the final results of the Criminal History Summary to the JET Program Office.
- It is important that you submit the request to the FBI as soon as possible, as it can sometimes take up to 12 weeks to receive the results.
- If you obtain your FBI background check before the application deadline, send it with your application packet.
- If you cannot obtain your FBI background check in time, please submit a photocopy of the 1-783 Applicant Information Form (available on the FBI Criminal History Summary website listed above) with your application packet as proof of application. To see an example of the 1-783 form, click here.
- For those individuals with a criminal history: the result of your FBI Criminal History Summary must be received by the JET Program Office at the Embassy of Japan by January 15, 2014 or your application will be disqualified. This is your responsibility - there will be no reminders.
- For those individuals who are applying for Early Departure: if the results of the FBI Criminal History Summary are not received by January 15, 2014, you may be dropped from consideration for Early Departure, but your application will not be disqualified.
- Please note that if your FBI Criminal History Summary was completed before August 2013, it will be considered out of date for the purpose of the JET application and a new one should be requested.
***Due to the current U.S. government shut-down, FBI Criminal History Summaries are not being generated at this time. The FBI has indicated that when the shut-down ends, applications will be processed in the order received. Please be aware of this and plan accordingly.***
6) *Certificate of Health Form*
ONLY if applicable (1 original and 2 copies):
This form is ONLY to be completed by applicants seeking Early Departure consideration. It must be completed and signed by a licensed physician with knowledge of your medical history. It must not be completed by a Physician’s Assistant or a physician who is a family member of the applicant.
Please note that any question left unanswered may hinder your application, so we highly recommend that applicants check the form for completeness before leaving the doctor's office. The Certificate of Health must be completed no earlier than August 2013 to be considered current.
The 2014 Certificate of Health form is available here.
**NOTE: If you are not seeking Early Departure consideration, DO NOT submit a Certificate of Health at the time of application. All individuals who are selected as JET Program participants will eventually be required to submit a Certificate of Health, however certain guidelines apply to the date it is completed by the physician and method of submitting. The JET Program coordinator will provide detailed instructions to candidates who pass the interview stage of the selection process.
7) Statement of Purpose Required (1 original and 2 copies):
This is an essay, in English, of no more than two pages on letter-size (or A4) paper, typewritten in black 12-point font and double-spaced with one-inch margins. Anything beyond the required two pages will be discarded unread. Please type your name and page number (1 of 2, 2 of 2) on each page.
You should incorporate all of the following points in your essay:
- Relevant Experience: Describe applicable experiences, professional skills, relevant interests and personal qualities, and how you feel these will be useful to you as an ALT or CIR.
- Motivation for Participation: State why you wish to go to Japan and participate in the JET Program and why you are interested in the position for which you are applying. Also address what you hope to gain, both personally and professionally, and what effect you hope to have on the Japanese community and internationally as a result of your participation in the JET Program.
8) Transcripts of all University/College Courses
Required (1 original and 2 copies):
Applicants are required to provide transcripts from ALL college or university courses you have taken or are currently taking, including community college, junior college, study abroad, and associate’s degree transcripts. You must provide OFFICIAL, hard-copy transcripts with the registrar’s seal and/or signature.
Transcripts downloaded from the Internet or sent by email will not be accepted for any school. Transcripts must show the names of all courses completed, the dates of this course work, and the grades received for each course. If your school uses narratives instead of letter grades, you must include all narratives with your official transcript.
If you are unable to obtain an official transcript, you may submit an unofficial transcript, provided that it is clearly marked with the registrar’s seal and/or signature and shows no signs of tampering. Tampering refers to the changing of grades, course names or dates without the approval of the university. Tampering does not refer to opening the envelope containing the transcripts. Although the envelope containing your transcripts may warn “Not Official If Opened,” for the purposes of this application, you should open the envelope and remove the transcripts to make the required copies. The JET Program Office at the Embassy of Japan will make the final determination on whether an unofficial transcript is acceptable.
An official letter detailing the name of the institution, the name(s) of all courses completed, the dates of this course work, and the grade received for each course, will also be accepted. Please note that ONLY a letter from the registrar's office or dean's office will be accepted. Letters from professors or academic advisors will NOT be accepted.
If you were transferred from other institutions to the current institute and your main transcript shows:
- the name of the institution(s) you were transferred from
- the name(s) of all courses completed
- the dates of this course work
- the grade received for each course
you do not need to submit a separate transcript from the institutions you were transferred from. Please check your official transcripts carefully to ensure that all required information is present. If any of this information is missing from the main transcript, and you do not provide original transcripts from the previous institution(s), the application may be deemed incomplete and disqualified.
If you took classes at a college or university as a high school student, please make a note of this on the transcript by attaching a sticky note. DO NOT write on the transcript itself.
9) *Proof of Study Abroad*
ONLY if applicable (1 original and 2 photocopies):
You must include transcripts from all study abroad programs you attended showing the names of the courses taken, dates attended (a semester/year, for example "Spring 2012," is also acceptable), and grades earned. The transcript should also clearly state where the study abroad occurred (city and/or country). If all of the required information is stated on your home university's transcript, this will fulfill the requirement. A second copy of the same transcript is not required. You may place a sticky note on the transcript to pinpoint the study abroad if you like, but this is not required. Please do not write on the transcript itself.
If you cannot get an official transcript from your study abroad program or are currently studying abroad, you may submit an official letter from your university or the study abroad program with the dates of the program, names of the courses taken, grades received and the name of the city and country where the program took place. If your university transcript only mentions the name of the school where you completed your study abroad, you must also provide a letter with the information listed above.
10) Proof of Graduation or Expected Graduation Date Required
If you have already earned a Bachelor’s degreeyou must submit either:
Your undergraduate (Bachelor’s) diploma (3 photocopies – DO NOT send your original diploma – it will not be returned)
Your official transcript (1 original and 2 photocopies) which includes degree name and the date it was conferred. If one of your original official transcripts you submit for #8 includes the degree conferral information, you do not need to submit an additional transcript to serve as Proof of Graduation. If you wish to highlight the location on the transcript where the degree conferral information is located, please attach a sticky note. DO NOT write on the transcript itself.
If you expect to earn your Bachelor’s degree between now and July 1, 2014: You must submit a Proof of Graduation Date AND Current Enrollment Status (1 original and 2 photocopies).
This is an official document from the registrar or dean of your college or university stating that you are currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program AND the date that your degree will be conferred. It is your responsibility to check that your expected graduation date on the letter is accurate and is before July 1, 2014. Month/Year is sufficient as long as it's clearly understood that the date is before July 1 2014. (i.e. May 2014, Spring 2014, etc.) Please note that vague or general dates which are around July 1, 2014 (i.e. July 2014, Summer 2014, etc.) may result in your application being disqualified.
If you are accepted as a JET Program participant, you will be required to submit additional documentation prior to departure proving that you did graduate by July 1, 2014, as expected.
**Individuals who wish to be considered for Early Departure: You must either have already completed the Bachelor’s degree or expect to complete your degree no later than April 1, 2014. You must submit either a Proof of Graduation OR Proof of Expected Graduation AND Current Enrollment Status, as detailed above.
Note: If you have yet to graduate, the document verifying your enrollment and graduation must be a separate document from your official transcript.
11) *Proof of Teacher’s Certification and/or TEFL/TESL Certificate*
ONLY if applicable (3 photocopies):
If you indicate on the main application (Questions 24a and 24b) that you currently haveTeaching Certification or a TESL/TEFL Qualification, you must provide documentation from the institution granting the certification. This must include the date of completion. For TESL/TEFL Qualification, this should also include the number of hours of certification completed.
12) *Proof of Japanese Proficiency*
Only if applicable (3 photocopies)
If you indicate on the main application (Question 30) that you passed a Japanese language proficiency exam such as the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) or Kanji Kentei, you must provide documentation from the institution granting the certification. This must include the date of completion and level. Please note that proof of Japanese language proficiency is not required, but may be helpful to your application
13) Proof of U.S. Citizenship Required (3 photocopies):
Please include ONE of the following documents:
- VALID United States passport: pages which include photo, name, and signature.
- Birth Certificate
- Naturalization papers: if you are a naturalized citizen, please contact the INS for information on receiving copies of your naturalization papers.
The following do NOT constitute proofs of citizenship: driver's license, social security card, school ID card, etc.
Please note that for this item, three photocopies are sufficient. Please do not provide originals as items submitted with the JET Program application are not returned.
14) Two (2) Reference Letters Required (1 original and 2 copies of each):
Using the 2014 reference form available here, you must obtain a letter of reference from two different people. They may be academic or professional.
Please avoid using family members or friends. Do not submit more than two letters of recommendation. If more than two letters of recommendation are submitted, additional letters will be chosen at random and discarded before the application is reviewed.
If you have not already graduated, one of your references must come from someone related to the university and should contain a reference to your expected date of graduation.
Please give your reference writers the following instructions:
- The reference writer should use the provided form as the first page, followed by a personal assessment on his or her organization’s letterhead. All letters of reference must be prepared specifically for this application.
- The reference form and the reference letter should both be signed and dated by the reference writer.
- After completing the reference form and reference letter, the reference writer should make two additional copies of both documents. There should now be one set of original documents and two sets of photocopies.
- Each reference writer needs to include the three sets of reference forms and letters in one envelope. After sealing the envelope, the reference writer should then sign their name across the sealed envelope flap.
- All reference forms and letters should be returned directly to the applicant and not sent separately to the JET Program Office. Due to the volume of materials being received, the JET Program Office will not be responsible for lost or misplaced items.
- Please note that the JET Program Office will NOT accept letters of recommendation by email, except in cases of extenuating circumstances. Applicants or reference writers should contact the JET Program Office prior to submission of the letter, in order to explain these circumstances.
If your reference writer would prefer a Japanese language version of the reference form, it is available here.
15) Self-Addressed and Stamped Envelope
Please note that this is NOT the envelope in which you send your application to the JET Program Office. This is a separate, standard-size business envelope which you should include in your application package.
Please write your own address in the "to" area of the envelope and attach a stamp with sufficient postage*. A standard "forever" stamp is sufficient. This will be used to send the applicant a single half-sheet sized confirmation card to indicate that the application was received by the JET Program Office.
The Embassy will not be responsible for incorrectly addressed envelopes.
*Overseas applicants who are unable to obtain U.S. postage will not be penalized. Please address the envelope to a domestic U.S. address.
- Your application will be disqualified if you do not sign ALL 3 of the following:
- Application Form
- Authorization and Release Form
- Self-Assessment Medical Form
The JET Program requires at least one set of original signatures on these forms. (The two copies of your application form may be copies of the original, but you must send the original.
- Every year, a number of applications are disqualified due to failure to provide all required documents. Please be sure to include all necessary materials with your application.
- Carefully read the Checklist and Mailing Instructions for proper submission of your materials.