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.


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.

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