Swedish Working Holday Visa

Are you looking to travel and work in Sweden?


A Swedish working holiday visa is your best shot. I applied for one when I moved over to Sweden in 2010 to live with my girlfriend. It was a relatively painless procedure that allowed me to live and work in Sweden for up to 12 months.

Visas can become quite complicated and in most cases you need to jump between different websites and other sources to gain the correct information. I have provided a summary of everything you need to know in order to gain a Swedish Working Holiday Visa.

I did mine in 2010 and it seemed to get approved in a few weeks, however there may be a variation on processing time depending on the governments workload.

What are the requirements for a Swedish Working Holiday Visa?


  • You must be a citizen of either Australia, New Zealand, Canada or South Korea.
  • You must be between 18-30 years of age.
  • Have at least 15,000 Swedish Kroner ($2,500 AUS) in your bank account.
  • Have a return ticket or enough to buy one.
  • A valid health insurance policy (Australian citizens are exempt from this).
  • Cannot bring any children with you.

What do you need to provide for a Swedish Working Holiday Visa?



To apply for a Swedish working holiday visa you will need to complete:
  • You will have to pay a fee when you submit your application of 1,000 Kroner ($160 AUS).

Documents you will need to provide:


  • Copies of your passport, including the validity of the documents. You will also have to provide a copy of documents if you have permission to live in any other country other than your country of origin. 
  • A bank statement showing that you can support yourself initially once your in Sweden.
  • A copy of your return ticket or a document showing that you have enough money to buy a ticket home. Your copy of your current bank statement should be sufficient. 
  • A valid health insurance document showing that it covers you while you are in Sweden (Australian citizens are exempt from this).
  • Make sure that your passport is valid for the entire duration of your stay in Sweden.

After you submit your Swedish Working Holiday Visa


  • After you submit your application and paperwork and your visa has been granted you will obtain a residency permit. 
  • One notified that your visa has been approved you will need to book an appointment with your Swedish embassy or consulate to submit your finger prints and be photographed.

Tips for finding work in Sweden



I am not going to lie, finding work in Sweden even for a native Swede can be difficult, let alone trying find a job and not speaking the native language. I read a heap of blogs and different forums in which there is constant negativity towards trying to find work in Sweden. Most are very discouraging and not very helpful.

Yes it can be hard to land work in Sweden, but that all depends on your resourcefulness and also a little bit of luck.

Networking



I would recommend networking first of all, get out there and meet a few people. It is much easier to land a job though someone that has recommended you. Go hang out in a bar, cafe, or join a local gym. Anything that is going to get you meeting people and socialising.

Do a little research before you head over, I found out about a bunch of Australians that ran a cafe in Goteborg, so when I first arrived I popped in and had a chat to the owners. The didn't have any work at the time however they did recommend a medical company that hired native English speakers to call UK doctors and perform medical surveys. One of the owners mates did some work for  them during the summer time. I found the company, walked in the door, had a chat to the HR lady and started working the following week.

Use English to your advantage!



As much as people go on about Swedes knowing great English (which is true), there is nothing they love more than hearing a native English speaker in action! I have to admit that I put on my Aussie slang so much more while I was living in Sweden. There are plenty of American and English themed pubs in Sweden, again do a little research before you leave and get an idea of some places that you could approach for work. I found out about an Australian pub located in Goteborg which was actually owned and managed by an Aussie guy. I walked in the door on a weekday, had some beers with him and another staff member (who took me out on the piss all night), the next day the owner called me up to fill a few shifts during the weekend and weekdays. You will be surprised how accepting Swedes are to the fact that you can't speak Swedish. I could not speak a word while I was working at the bar, but people didn't care because it added to the mood of the place. The same goes for any English themed bar in Sweden. Just go in, sit down, have a beer and actually talk to a few people you will be suprised how far that gets you.

Finding a rental in Sweden



Again I cant stress that networking will be your key to get in the door for finding a rental apartment in Sweden. I would first secure some type of job in which you are earning an income so that you are not cutting into your savings too heavily. Book yourself into a backpackers for a reasonable price, most backpackers will allow you to pay for an extended stay, I would say around a month.

Subletting is going to be your best shot, apart from working, getting drunk and trying to scam onto hot Swedish women I would be living on Blocket.se. Here you will find a bunch of people that are looking to sublet rooms in apartments. Stay positive and keep persistent with this one, if all else fails, go buy a tent and pitch it up in the local park.


Scandinavian Airlines Review


We all know that the Swedes are not renowned for their customer service. A lack of customer service I can tolerate if things are still run in an orderly and efficient manner. However when both of these aspect miserably crumble around you it's a recipe for disaster!

When booking online with Scandinavian Airlines everything looks quite reasonable and promising,  not only can you get a decent priced ticket, they will even throw in 25 kilos worth of check in baggage for free! But don't be fooled, these added bonuses are a subtle compensation for the airlines right to take you on dodgy flight.

It would have been handy I might add to read a couple of Scandinavian Airlines reviews prior to taking the flight, I could have at least prepped myself for the rocky adventure ahead. If people manage to stumble across this post I hope you take the time to consider your broader options when choosing airlines in Scandinavia.

Scandinavian Airlines (lack of) Customer Service

 

Departing Landvetter Airport in Gothenburg my girlfriend and I were on our way to England. We were leaving Gothenburg for a quick transfer in Copenhagen with our final destination being Birmingham. We made our way to the check in area and were greeted by a disinterested Scandinavian Airways check in chick who looked so bored that she could barley hold her head up. She gave me a stern look before asking me for my flight information and passport. 

I handed over my information and she strapped the luggage tag onto my check in baggage and literally threw it down the carousel. I asked her if our baggage would go straight through to Birmingham, she looked at me as if I was totally stupid and replied with "yes?!"

Everything seemed to be working out well, we were called to board out flight and in a couple of hours we would be touching down in England. We made our way onto the aircraft, took our seats and strapped ourselves in for take off.  More and more people were entering the plane and shuffling their baggage to fit into the overhead compartments. One thing I did notice was the amount of carry on baggage people seemed to have. I remember thinking it was odd, why didn't they just take advantage of the 25 kilos of free check in baggage? Why come onto the plane with these awkward large bags, just check them in and allow yourself some freedom and space for the flight.

As time went by people found their seats in anticipation for take off. The pre-recorded safety message started to play and the cabin crew performed their safety demonstration. Five minutes after the safety demonstration there was still no movement on the plane, everyone was patiently waiting for take off however we were not taking off. 10 minutes passed and still no movement on the runway, then 15, then 20, then finally after 30 minutes there was an announcement to let us know that the flight was going to be delayed!

After a total of 40 minutes we were ready for take off, the crew assured us that we would make it to Copenhagen on time for our connecting flight. This was a little ambitious considering that we only had an hour between our flight transfer from Copenhagen. Placing my trust in the staff I tried to relax and enjoy the remainder of the flight.

Where's my baggage Scandinavian Airlines?


I am always baffled by the fact that airlines serve food and refreshments on short flights, by the time you have taken off and the staff wheel their trolleys out to serve, you are pretty much ready to land. Not to mention the incessant rubbish collection that continues after the food has been served. However in this instance I did take advantage of the in-flight menu. There was a range of sandwiches, coffee and juice, I was almost tempted to take a swig of scotch to push the thought of missing our connecting flight to the back of my mind. So finally I try to order a few sandwiches, however it seems that they didn't have egg and salad, or chicken and salad, or cheese and salad. In fact they had no sandwiches? All they could offer from the menu was coffee, cheese and biscuits! Fair enough, I'll just have water!

Just as I receive my water, there was another announcement from the pilot letting us know that we had taken a quicker route to Copenhagen and that we should be arriving on time! The only change was the fact that we were arriving at a different arrival gate. This was the news I was counting on, Scandinavian Airlines was now a fantastic airline, so efficient and professional I thought.

We finally touch down in Copenhagen, go through the standard routine of waiting for the seat-belt sign to go off, which no one pays attention too. With all the tension of the delayed flight I think most people were a little stressed and were looking to get off the plane as fast as possible. People were throwing down their large carry on baggage, kids and the elderly were getting bumped out of the way to make way for pressured businessmen who were probably already late for an important meeting. Letting them pass my girlfriend and I grabbed our few small carry on bags and headed for the terminal.

With 25 mins to spare before our flight to Birmingham we thought that we were making great time. The flight staff had notified us that our flight would be departing from gate 80. How nice of them, such a personal touch I thought to myself. We step into the terminal at Copenhagen and look around to see where we are located, we walked a few meters and noticed that we have been dropped off at gate number 3! We are at the very start of the terminal! I was under the impression that Copenhagen airport was quite small, this was not the case.

Looking at my clock we now only have 15 minutes to spare! So we started picking up the pace, you know that dry feeling you get in your mouth when you are stressed and that red flushed tinge that sets over your face and neck, well let me tell you we had all of this going on. Pushing past the crowds we were counting down the terminals, we passed gate 10, then 15, 25, 35, 45, 65, it was relentless! I was thinking to myself how f&*king long is this airport! By now the sweat was starting to pour all over my face, I was like a madman possessed, can't miss this flight I thought, can't miss this flight! My poor girlfriend is staggering behind me trying to keep the pace, all I could hear was a faint call, "Tim!.. Tim!.." but I could not stop I was a man on a mission. I will not let you beat me Scandinavian Airlines!

I finally see our gate in sight! Thank god, we have made it. As we enter the departure lounge I receive strange looks from the people around me and rightfully so. I am flushed, dripping with sweat and my hair is completely plastered over my face. I am surprised that they actually let me onto the flight. I pull myself together, hand over my crumpled boarding pass and board the place with a satisfied smirk on my face.

I hate to admit it but the rest of the journey was actually quite nice. We touched down in Birmingham and in no time at all and we were through customs. We made our way to the baggage claim carousel and it slowly dawned on me that that if we struggled to make it onto the connecting flight, what about the check in baggage? Denial is a powerful emotion and it was certainly serving me well in this situation, but as time started to pass no amount of denial could pull me out of the reality that our baggage had been left in Copenhagen.

Realisation


Now i understand why Scandinavian Airlines will give you 25 kilos of cabin baggage for free, as there is no guarantee that it will arrive at your intended destination! It now made sense why people were cramming as much as they could into their carry on baggage, it is obvious that this is a frequent occurrence and these people had been burnt before. It is a mistake you will only make once, take extra precautions and keep your luggage with you.

I still find it funny that you can undertake a 30 hour flight from Australia to Sweden and all your baggage will arrive at your final destination, however a 2 hour flight from Sweden to England is a different story. Next time I fly Scandinavian Airlines I will know the drill, take all your personal belongings with you, and refused the free check in luggage.