Here is general information about recontracting procedures. Please confirm the procedure with your contracting organization (CO) as it may vary. This page is current for the 2015-2016 year.

JETs

Timeline

By October 4, 2017, COs pass out general information on re-contracting procedures to all JETs.
By December 22, 2017 (November 17th for French and Vietnamese JETs), JETs receive one of two forms depending on whether their CO has asked them to re-contract or not.
If your CO has asked you to recontract (form A-1), decide whether you would like to recontract or not and sign the form and turn it in to your supervisor.
If your CO has not asked you to recontract (form A-2), read the reasons listed and sign the form by the deadline.
The deadline is Wednesday, November 29, 2017 for countries with a small number of participants (France, St. Lucia, Vietnam) and Friday, January 12, 2018 for other countries (US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Jamaica, etc.)
JETs interested in transferring placements have to submit a request (form A-3) to their CO by October 13, 2015.

Sometimes supervisors/JTEs/COs may ask you which way you are leaning or try to pressure you to decide early. This is because there is a lot of paperwork and budgeting that is involved in getting a new JET. COs may set the deadline for you to turn in your decision earlier than the deadline set by CLAIR above. However, this is an important decision, so don’t feel pressured to decide a certain way. If you need more time to think about it, talk to your CO about the deadline they have set.
Return to top

Transfers and job-type changes

Transfers

A transfer is a change between placements while keeping the same job-type (ex. an ALT moving from one town/prefecture to another).
To request a transfer, JETs must submit a request (form A-3) to their CO by the October deadline. On this form, JETs must state their reasons for requesting a transfer. Reasons for requesting a transfer that are considered valid are things like wanting to live closer to/with a spouse, needing to be closer to a hospital due to illness, or CO is downsizing JETs or limits the number of recontractable years. Reasons like “my school doesn’t use me” and “I want to live near Tokyo” will probably be ignored. Even with a valid reason, there is no guarantee that the request will be met because another contracting organization has to agree to accept the transferring JET, and there may not be a placement that is open and meets the requirements.

Transfers within a host prefecture or designated city are handled by that organization. Transfers across prefectures are handled by CLAIR and therefore have a more stringent process.

Job-type changes

A job-type change is a change between ALT and CIR (in practice this usually also involves a transfer of placement). Job-type changes must occur within the same host prefecture or designated city; for example, ALTs in Chiba cannot become CIRs outside of Chiba, and the Chiba City CIR (designated city) cannot change to a job within Chiba Prefecture (different host prefecture) or vice versa.

The way that Chiba Prefecture handles job-type changes is as follows:
When a position opens up that is interested in hiring a JET from among current participants, the CO will contact Chiba Prefecture and the prefecture will put out a call for applications sent out to each CO. A candidate is chosen via the application process, and at the end of the JET year, the successful candidate moves to the new job.

There is no form or application for JETs to submit if no position is available. The most common pattern is a job-type change from ALT to CIR, and while in principle all CIR positions (except Chiba City) can accept current JETs, not all do in practice. In addition, there are only 6 CIR positions in Chiba Prefecture (excluding Chiba City) and the position has to be vacant in order to hire a current JET. So the chance of changing from ALT to CIR is strongly based on timing, and is not very common. JETs are encouraged not to assume that a job-type change will be possible, and are reminded that job-type changes are lateral, not vertical.
Return to top

Should I recontract?

The decision to recontract or not is not an easy one. You have to make it so far in advance that it can be difficult to imagine how you will feel one year from now. Procrastinating your future path, saving money, and thoughts like “next year things will be different” are not realistic reasons to recontract. Better reasons are feeling content with your work, feeling like you are making a positive contribution to your work and community, and continuing to grow, learn, and challenge yourself in new ways. If you are struggling with your decision, it is good to talk about it with other JETs/WI-ALTs (even outside of Chiba), friends, and family. You can also talk about it with PAs or PSG.
Return to top

FAQ

Why is the recontracting deadline so early?
The cycle of applications is a year-long process: advertising, collecting applications, determining the number of openings, conducting interviews, selecting applicants, determining who gets placed where, processing visa and immigration paperwork, scheduling flights, and finally, welcoming new arrivals and getting them from the airport to orientation in Tokyo. Many aspects of this process cannot be rushed, and things like background checks and getting visas may take weeks to go between countries and different branches of government. This process cannot move forward without knowing how many new openings need to be filled, and where those new openings are. The recontracting deadline is so early because if it were any later, new arrivals would not be able to arrive on time.

Can I become a WI-ALT?
JETs can apply for the Wisconsin ALT Program if they meet the criteria (living in or attending school in Wisconsin). JETs would go through the same application process and be treated the same as any other applicant. Read about the program on the WI-ALT Portal Page or contact the current Wisconsin PC for more information.

Can I change to become a CIR/ALT?
This is called a "job type change" and you can read more about it under Transfers and job-type changes above.

Can I become a PC/PA?
There are technically 3 PAs in Chiba Prefecture: the Chiba City CIR (a designated city, so has its own PA), the Chiba Prefectural Government CIR (prefectural JET PA), and the PC of the Wisconsin ALT Program. The prefectural CIR position and Wisconsin PC position both hire from within Chiba, but the Chiba City CIR position is separate. The prefectural CIR position is open to any JET, and the Wisconsin PC is open to any JET or Wisconsin ALT.

Can I change CO/schools?
Changing schools within your CO is handled within your CO or municipal board of education. Changing COs is called a "transfer" and you can read more about it under Transfers and job-type changes above.

Can I stay on JET for 5 years?
JETs come to Japan for a 1-year contract, and are only guaranteed 1 year of employment on the JET Program. If both they and their CO agree, they may be recontracted for up to 3 years. If the JET is exceptional, the JET may be recontracted for up to 5 years. Job-type changes and transfers all occur within these yearly limits. In practice, many COs would like for JETs to recontract, but it is not a guarantee, and some COs do limit years 4-5 to exceptional JETs and are within their rights to do so. JETs should take each year at a time and carefully consider each time they are asked to recontract.

Why wasn't I reappointed?
Factors that influence whether a CO decides to reappoint a JET may include: budget, CO's goals regarding education and internationalization, evaluation of the JET, rules on limiting reappointment to a set number of years in principle, etc. On the A-2 reappointment form there is a section where your CO indicates the reason for not reappointing you. Please read this section and discuss it with your CO.

What happens if I change my mind after the deadline?
In principle, it is not possible to change a reappointment decision after the deadline. Make sure you carefully think over your decision before deciding whether or not to recontract.

What should I do if my CO said I had to turn in my form before the deadline set by CLAIR?
CLAIR sets a deadline for COs, JETs, and host prefectures/designated cities in sending and receiving reappointment paperwork. Your CO may set an earlier deadline for their own convenience in processing the paperwork. There is also a lot of paperwork and budgeting in preparing for a new JET so your CO may want to get a headstart on the preparations if they become necessary. If you need more time to think about your decision, discuss it with your CO and see if they can push back their deadline.
Return to top


WI-ALTs

Timeline

At the end of November, WI-ALTs receive their recontracting paperwork via their school.
Indicate your decision and sign and send it back via your school by early January (TBA).

Sometimes supervisors/JTEs/COs may ask you which way you are leaning or try to pressure you to decide early. This is because there is a lot of paperwork and budgeting that is involved in getting a new JET. However, this is an important decision and you are allowed to think about it until the deadline, so don’t feel pressured to decide a certain way or rush your decision.
Return to top

Should I recontract?

The decision to recontract or not is not an easy one. You have to make it so far in advance that it can be difficult to imagine how you will feel one year from now. Procrastinating your future path, saving money, and thoughts like “next year things will be different” are not realistic reasons to recontract. Better reasons are feeling content with your work, feeling like you are making a positive contribution to your work and community, and continuing to grow, learn, and challenge yourself in new ways. If you are struggling with your decision, it is good to talk about it with other JETs/WI-ALTs (even outside of Chiba), friends, and family. You can also talk about it with PAs or PSG.
Return to top

FAQ

Why is the recontracting deadline so early?
The cycle of applications is a year-long process: advertising, collecting applications, determining the number of openings, conducting interviews, selecting applicants, determining who gets placed where, processing visa and immigration paperwork, scheduling flights, and finally, welcoming new arrivals and getting them from the airport to orientation in Tokyo. Many aspects of this process cannot be rushed, and things like background checks and getting visas may take weeks to go between countries and different branches of government. This process cannot move forward without knowing how many new openings need to be filled, and where those new openings are. The recontracting deadline is so early because if it were any later, new arrivals would not be able to arrive on time.

Can I become a JET?
Wisconsin ALTs can apply to be JETs if they meet the criteria of the JET Program. Applicants can apply from within Japan; however you must apply through the Embassy or Consulate General of Japan in the country in which you have citizenship, and you will have to return to your country for the interview if one is granted to you (interviews are not held in Japan). (From the FAQ)

Can I become a PC/PA?
There are technically 3 PAs in Chiba Prefecture: the Chiba City CIR (a designated city, so has its own PA), the Chiba Prefectural Government CIR (prefectural JET PA), and the PC of the Wisconsin ALT Program. The prefectural CIR position and Wisconsin PC position both hire from within Chiba, but the Chiba City CIR position is separate. The prefectural CIR position is open to any JET, and the Wisconsin PC is open to any JET or Wisconsin ALT.

Can I change schools?
In principle, WI-ALTs do not change schools except in special extenuating circumstances (prefecture-wide changes, etc.).

What happens if I change my mind after the deadline?
In principle, it is not possible to change a reappointment decision after the deadline. Make sure you carefully think over your decision before deciding whether or not to recontract.
Return to top