Ready to take the plunge and move to Canada from Sweden? The Canada Working Holiday Visa – or Working Holiday visum Kanada – is by far the best way for citizens of Sweden to work in Canada. On a working holiday in Canada, you can make money to pay for your living and travel expenses! From Swedish students looking for a summer job abroad to recent graduates and young professionals that want to do a gap year in Canada, if you are from Sweden you will find all the answers here.
Sweden has an agreement through the International Experience Canada program that gives Swedish citizens between the ages of 18 and 30 the opportunity to work in Canada. This agreement allows you to move to Canada from Sweden for up to 12 months and obtain employment.
There are three available categories in the International Experience Canada program to participate in. These are the Working Holiday (that’s the Working Holiday visum Kanada!), Young Professional, and International Co-Op permits. Y
ou may participate in the program two times, meaning you can spend up to 24 months total in Canada. However, if you participate twice, it must be through two different categories. You cannot do two working holidays in Canada, for example.
Are you almost 30? The working holiday visa is available to citizens of Sweden from 18 to 30 years old inclusively. This means you can still apply when you are 30. As long as you apply for your working holiday visa before your 31st birthday, you are still eligible. You may enter Canada with a working holiday visa after you turn 31, but you must apply while you are still 30 years old to be eligible.
In order to apply for the working holiday visa for Canada, you must meet the following requirements:
There are three fees for the Canada Working Holiday Visa totalling CAD $336, or about 2,400 kr. There is a fee to apply, one for the actual work permit, and another to have your biometrics collected:
Your biometrics are valid for 10 years so you do not have to retake them if you apply again for another work or study permit for Canada.
Normally it takes up to eight weeks for International Experience Canada to process your visa application. Keep in mind, this processing time begins after you have completed your biometrics (the final step of the application process).
You can move to Canada from Sweden for up to 12 months on the working holiday permit. Remember that this work permit cannot be extended beyond one year. If you want to stay in Canada longer, you can apply for a different work permit. You cannot extend your working holiday permit in Canada, as even though many people say they do this, this is not legally an option.
You can participate in IEC up to two times, each time for 12 months. Normally participants from Sweden start their experience in Canada with the easiest work permit, the Working Holiday Visa, and afterward apply for the Young Professional work permit. The Young Professional permit is for post-secondary graduates who wish to advance their careers by gaining professional work experience in their career field in Canada.
Stepwest’s Working Holiday Programs make it easier to navigate the complex process of moving to Canada and landing a job. We have two working holiday programs to help you secure your job in Canada. The right one for you depends on the type of experience you are looking for:
This program allows you to experience living and working at a summer or winter resort in Canada. If you love the outdoors and enjoy hiking and skiing, then this program will help you discover your passions while working and earning money!
This program offers benefits such as cheaper accommodation, competitive salaries, staff discounts, free lift passes, and invitations to lots of different mingling events and parties.
Our Working Holiday Resort Job Programs guarantee:
If you are more of a city person, like our participant Moa from Sweden, you can come to the amazing city of Vancouver to work and play. Now that the job offer requirement is over for IEC participants, we have opened our Working Holiday Vancouver Program for 2022!
We provide you with job opportunities on arrival so you can build a network of friends and professional connections faster than if you moved to Canada on your own. Don’t waste valuable time in Canada searching for a job. Get settled faster and start having fun exploring your new home faster!
To move to Canada, Swedish citizens will need to prove at least $2,500 CAD or approximately 17.000 kr. We highly recommend you have at least $3,500 CAD so you can cover your first month’s expenses (rent and rental deposit, food, transportation, leisure activities, etc.) This is because you will need to wait at least two weeks after you start working to receive your first paycheck.
The minimum wage is different in every Canadian province. As of May 2022, the minimum wage in Alberta is $15 CAD/hour and in British Columbia, it is $15.20 CAD/hour.
In Canada, you will get paid bi-weekly (every two weeks). If you are working with our Working Holiday Resort Programs, the rent for your staff housing will be taken directly from your paycheque.
Working Holiday visa holders pay the same income tax rates as Canadian citizens. Here is a link to our favourite website that explains taxes in Canada. This tool will help you compare how much tax you pay in Sweden with how much tax you will pay in Canada.
Keep in mind that if you do your taxes properly, working holiday visa holders are eligible for an average refund of $1,000 CAD. Learn more about this in our blog post on how to file taxes as a working holidaymaker.
In Canada, it’s common that during your first year of work, you normally will not earn vacation time from your employer. However, this fully depends on your specific job and employer. Many of our working holiday participants arrive in Canada with a resort job set up for the winter or summer season, then spend the shoulder season travelling before starting work again the following season.
We recommend you get started on your working holiday in Canada by committing with your employer for at least one full season. That way you will have time to work and earn money, and you will get an employer reference. Having a reference in Canada is very important if you want to continue working in the country. Be ready with professional references, as you will be always requested for these during the hiring process.
Unlike other European countries, Sweden has a residency requirement to participate. You must pay attention to this as a mistake here will get you a denial from the Immigration Officer:
“It has been determined that you do not currently reside in Sweden.”
If you are temporarily outside of Sweden you may still apply. As long as your permanent address is in Sweden, you can apply for any of the three IEC work permits.
If you have a Swedish passport but you have never lived in Sweden, you will NOT be eligible for any IEC work visa.
Yes, biometrics can be done anywhere in the world. You do not have to complete them in Sweden if you are currently travelling. Where you complete your biometrics will not impact your residency requirements, as long as your permanent residency is in Sweden. Have more questions about biometrics? Check out our post on Canada’s biometrics requirement for working holiday visa applications.
Yes! Even if you already have your working holiday visa, we can assist you in securing your job and getting settled in Canada. Fill in the form below to get in touch with our team for a FREE meeting to discuss work opportunities for you here in Canada.
Interested in making the big move to Canada from Sweden on one of our Working Holiday Programs? Perhaps Fill in the form below with your details and our team will be in touch to answer all your questions.
“My adventure with Stepwest was just perfect! If you want a good experience in Canada you should go with them. They were very helpful in getting me to Whistler. I am very happy and I really thank them!”
“Potentially the nicest people on the planet! I was never left to worry during any step of my progress... You feel like they really genuinely care about you going on your adventures :)”
“If it wasn't for Stepwest I wouldn't be in Canada right now, they helped me with everything from getting my visa application started to getting a job here in Canada...”
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