The Working Holiday Visa for Sweden

Updated 2022-10-08 19:50

If you have always dreamed of visiting Sweden, the working holiday visa might just be the right option for you. The Work Holiday Visa (WHV), also known as the Working Holiday Permit (WHP), is a remarkable opportunity to live a unique experience in a foreign country — it allows you to spend holidays and work under certain conditions. In this article, we will give you all the information you need to request a WHV in Sweden and help you to have the best time once you are in Sweden.

There are many reasons why Sweden is a place that one would want to visit at least once in their lifetime. First of all, nature and respect for nature are essential to the Swedes. You only have to look at the landscape to understand it: hundreds of thousands of lakes, forests, and fields as far as the eye can see, the mountains and wilderness of Swedish Lapland (which is also the natural home of elks and reindeer).

Its relaxed and peaceful atmosphere and its friendly, laid-back and welcoming people are other attractive factors. Plus, you'll have no trouble communicating - most Swedes speak English (and some even French)! If you are in the mood for wilderness — mountains, trees, lakes and animals — Sweden is one of the best places for it. There is a total of 29 national parks across the country. Even when you are in the city, you are not far from nature.

It is also important to mention the richness of Swedish history, culture, and heritage — its art, architecture, cuisine, Christmas markets and, most of all, the best Swedish creation which literally changed the face of the earth – IKEA!!!

Conditions to be met to apply for a Working Holiday Visa in Sweden

Subject to certain conditions that vary according to the host country, the WHV is relatively easy to obtain. The following are the conditions to be eligible for the Working Holiday Visa in Sweden:

1. Your nationality

To be eligible for the WHV in Sweden, you must come from one of the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Hong Kong
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • South Korea

Good to know:

Living in one of the countries mentioned does not automatically mean that your WHV request will be granted by the Swedish authorities. You must actually have the nationality and be living there during the time you are making the request.

2. Your age

To be eligible for the WHV in Sweden, you must be at least 18 years old. For all agreements signed between Sweden and the six countries mentioned above, the age limit is 30. This also means that you have until the day before your 31st birthday to apply for the visa, but you are advised to avoid waiting until the last minute to do so!

3. Having a valid passport

You must have a valid passport when you apply for a WHV in Sweden. Your passport must also be valid for a minimum of 12 months after your entry into Sweden and have blank pages. Indeed, blank pages are necessary so that your Swedish WHV visa can be affixed and the stamps placed on it when you enter and leave the country.

Good to know:

It is strongly recommended that participants who have received their visas be extremely careful with their passports. Once lost, the process of reissuing the passport and a new Swedish WHV visa could be really long and difficult, and it could completely change your plans.

4. Having sufficient funds

One of the first things to plan for when traveling overseas is budget/savings! And like any other trip, your WHV in Sweden will require that you have enough money to cover all your needs, at least for the beginning of your trip, before you get any kind of employment on the Swedish territory.

The Swedish authorities specify that you have at least 15 000 Swedish krona, (which amounts to approximately 1 500 US dollars or 1 500 euros) in your bank account.

Good to know:

You will need to provide proof of funds or an official bank statement certified by your bank.

5. Having a health insurance policy

We all know that illnesses and accidents happen without warning. Therefore, you are advised not to neglect the importance of good health and travel insurance before going to any other country. For the WHV in Sweden, it is essential that you take out insurance that will cover the following for the entire duration of your stay:

  • Ambulance fees
  • Hospitalization expenses
  • The cost of any treatment you may need
  • Repatriation costs
  • Disabilities costs
  • Possible maternity costs.

You will need to provide proof of insurance coverage at both stages of the application process. You will be able to choose the start date of your insurance when you apply, but it's also recommended that you choose your departure date.

Good to know:

The duration you choose when negotiating your health insurance will impact your WHV.

6. First-time participation

As for most WHV agreements in the world, one of the requirements for you to receive the green light is that you have never participated in this program in the past. This means that if you have been on a WHV in Sweden before, you will not be able to return a second time.

However, if you have already participated in a WHV program anywhere else in the world, such as in Japan, Argentina, Hungary, Spain, or Brazil, this will not be a problem.

7. The quota per country

When two countries enter into a work holiday agreement, a quota is usually agreed upon. This quota represents the number of visas granted to participants from one country per year, and it allows the country receiving the participants to have control over the number of entries into its territory each year. Concerning Sweden and the six countries it has signed agreements with, here are the number of places available per country:

  • Australia = unlimited number of places per year
  • Hong Kong = 500 places per year
  • Canada = 550 places per year
  • Japan = unlimited number of places per year
  • New Zealand = unlimited number of places per year
  • South Korea = unlimited number of places per year

Good to know:

If you come from a country that has a specific number of places attributed per year and you want to make sure that you will have a spot, it is recommended that you apply at the beginning of the year since the annual quota is updated on January 1st of each year.

8. The airline tickets

You will need to provide a copy of your airline tickets — the one to Sweden as well as your return ticket to your home country. If you decide not to get a return ticket yet, you will have to provide proof that you have the funds to buy your return ticket once you are in Sweden. This proof will, of course, have to be separated from the obligatory budget referred to above.

9. Having a clean criminal record

A clean criminal record is mandatory to go on a work holiday program in Sweden. This means that you must not have committed a crime for your application to be considered by the Swedish government. To access your criminal record, contact the Ministry of Justice or the federal police in your country.

10. Validity period and price of the visa

The work holiday visa is valid for 12 months and will be activated the moment you arrive in Sweden. The amount of time you have to leave for Sweden once you receive your visa is, however, still unclear.

Good to know:

If you apply for a work holiday visa in Sweden, you cannot bring your dependents with you, for instance, your children. If you want to go on a WHV in Sweden with your partner or with friends, you will all have to apply separately, and the applications will be processed separately. Each person will, of course, have to be eligible as per the conditions mentioned in this article.

How to apply for a Working Holiday Visa for Sweden?

Here are the documents you need to present when applying for a WHV in Sweden:

  • A valid passport - You must scan the first few pages of your passport (the part that contains your personal information) and two blank pages (to show that you have room to put the visa and new stamps in). If you have been to Sweden before, you will also need to provide a scan of your Sweden entry and exit stamps!
  • A passport-size (3.5 x 4.5 cm) color photo without filter or retouching
  • A recent proof of address - a bill showing your current address should do the trick.
  • Cover letter - this should be in Swedish or English and should detail the purpose of your trip to Sweden. Explain what attracts you to this country and why you have chosen it.
  • Proof of sufficient funds - a bank statement for the last three months or a credit card statement showing the credit limit should do the trick. This document has to show that you have sufficient funds to cover round-trip airfare and expenses while in Sweden (see above in the "Having Savings" section).
  • Airline tickets
  • Health insurance policy quote, including comprehensive coverage, valid for at least one year from the date of entry
  • A clean criminal record
  • A medical certificate that explains that you are in good health.

Useful addresses:

Embassy of Sweden in Canberra - Australia

5 Turrana Street Yarralumla,

Canberra ACT 2600,


Consular General of Sweden in Wan Chai - Hong Kong

Room 2501, 25,

Bank Of East Asia Harbour View Centre,

56 Gloucester Rd,

Wan Chai,

Hong Kong

Embassy of Sweden in Ottawa - Canada

377 Dalhousie Street,

Suite 305,

Ottawa ON K1N 9N8,


Embassy of Sweden in Tokyo - Japan

1 Chome-10-3-100 Roppongi,

Minato City, Tokyo 106-0032,


Consulate General of Sweden in Wellington - New Zealand

Level 7, Molesworth House, 101 Molesworth Street,

Wellington 6011

New Zealand

Embassy of Sweden in Seoul - South Korea

10, Sowol-ro, Jung-gu,


South Korea

Things to consider before moving to Sweden

The cost of living in Sweden

Before traveling to Sweden, it is recommended that you have an idea of the cost of living in order to prepare your budget.

Here is a table that will give you an idea of the cost of living in Sweden - (Information source from Numbeo; as of August 2022):


Currency: US Dollars (USD)



1-bedroom flat (in the city center)


1-bedroom flat (outside the city center)


3-bedroom flat (city center)

1 438.37

3-bedroom flat (outside the city center)

1 022.57



Water, electricity, air conditioning, heating, waste collection for an 85m² apartment


Internet (60 Mbps or more, ADSL/cable, unlimited data)




1 ticket (one way) for local transport


Monthly pass for local transport




Rice (1 kg)


Milk (1 L)


12 eggs (normal size)


Bread (500 g)


Chicken (1 kg)


Red meat (1 kg)


Oranges (1 kg)


Bananas (1 kg)


Apples (1 kg)


Potatoes (1 kg)


Onions (1 kg)


Water (1.5 L)


Wine (mid-range bottle)


Local beer (0.5 L)


Imported beer (0.33 L)


Cigarettes (pack of 20)




Movie theatre - 1 seat


Sports club - monthly cost for 1 person


Looking for accommodation in Sweden

Finding accommodation in Sweden can be a challenging task, especially in big cities such as Uppsala, Malmö, Gothenburg and, of course, Stockholm.

Swedes themselves have to wait sometimes up to 20 years on waiting lists to get rental contracts in the city center.

It is hence recommended to think of temporary options such as hotels, youth hostels and couch surfing options for the first days. Airbnb also remains a favorite that will allow you to find the kind of accommodation that you are looking for at the budget you are looking for. Finding accommodation in Sweden is not a walk in the park. Be patient, meet as many people as possible, and plan a fairly large hotel budget for the period between your arrival in Sweden and your actual move-in.

Looking for work in Sweden

It is recommended that you start your job search in Sweden on the net with keywords related to your field of expertise and the area where you would like to work. Example: "work", "engineering", "Stockholm".

Websites dedicated to online job searches, such as CareerBuilder, Blocket, Jobbland, Nyteknik, Netjobs, Indeed and Jobisland can be useful platforms for finding job offers and get in touch with companies active in your field.

The first steps to take on arrival in Sweden

Getting your residence permit card

When going to Sweden for more than 3 months, every foreigner needs to get a residence permit card, which gives them permission to be on Swedish territory. Once you get your residence permit card, you will have to book an appointment with the Swedish Migration Agency to have your picture and fingerprints taken.

Useful link:

The Agency for Swedish Migration - Working holiday visa for young people

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.