Norway’s Working Holiday Visa for Australians

Norway’s Working Holiday Visa for Australians
Oslo, Norway. Photo by Matt Graham.

If you’re an Australian aged between 18 and 30 years old, you can apply for a Norwegian working holiday visa. This allows you to live and work in Norway, as well as to leave and re-enter the country as often as you like during your holiday.

With a working holiday visa, you should be primarily travelling to Norway for an extended holiday. But you may work for up to six months for any single employer in Norway and/or study for up to three months during your stay.

Norway initially grants working holiday visas for one year. But it is possible for Australians to later extend this for a second year. It’s even possible to renew if you’ve already turned 31 years old since applying for your first year’s visa.

Like all Scandinavian countries, the standard of living in Norway is very high and there’s plenty of natural beauty. You could choose between living in a major city like Oslo, or somewhere further north like Tromsø which is famous because the Northern Lights are often visible there – although it does get very cold during winter. English is widely spoken, at least in Norway’s major cities and tourist areas.

aurora borealis in norway
The Northern Lights are famously visible in the north of Norway. Photo by Stein Egil Liland on

The cost of living in Norway is quite high, although wages are similarly high if you’re working for a Norwegian employer.

This page contains information about Norway’s Working Holiday Visa for Australian citizens. It was last updated on 7 October 2022.

Key facts about Norway

  • Population: Approx. 5.5 million
  • Official language: Norwegian
  • Capital city: Oslo
  • Largest cities: Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger, Drammen
  • Name of the country in Norwegian: Norge
  • Currency: Norwegian krone (NOK)

Norway Working Holiday Visa requirements for Australians

In addition to Australians, Norway offers working holiday visas to citizens of Argentina, Canada, Japan & New Zealand.

The information on this page applies to Australian citizens. Please check the UDI website for information applicable to citizens of other countries.

To apply for a Norwegian working holiday visa as an Australian citizen, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Aged between 18-30 years old (inclusive) at the time of application
  • Have at least NOK33,687 (approx. AUD5,000) to sustain yourself for the first 3 months of your stay in Norway or a concrete job offer where you will earn at least this amount during the first 3 months
  • Be in good health (i.e. not likely to require hospitalisation while in Norway)

You cannot apply for this visa if you:

  • Will be accompanied by family members (although your partner could apply for their own visa)
  • Have already held this type of visa in Norway previously

More information is available on the UDI website.

Documents needed to apply for this visa

When applying for a working holiday visa for Norway as an Australian citizen, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • Passport and a copy of all used pages in the passport
  • Signed cover letter from the Application portal (this letter is received as an email attachment after you complete your online application)
  • Two passport-sized photographs
  • Proof of sufficient funds (at least NOK33,687 or foreign currency equivalent – this can be either in the form of bank statement/s and/or a concrete employment offer for the first part of your stay)
  • A health certificate stating you are in good health
  • Documentation which shows you have somewhere to stay/live when you arrive in Norway (e.g. a hotel booking, confirmation from someone in Norway you’ll be staying with, etc.)
  • Signed & completed checklist from the UDI website

Please see the UDI website for the full list & details.

There is a residence permit application fee of NOK6,300 (approx. AUD930). VFS Global may also charge its own processing fees on top of this if you apply in Australia.

How to apply for a Norwegian Working Holiday Visa

You will need to apply before arriving in Norway, unless you are already legally staying in Norway as a skilled worker, or have already had a residence permit in Norway during the past 9 months (e.g. if you wish to renew for a second year).

The following procedure applies if you are currently in Australia. However, it is also possible to apply at an overseas Norwegian embassy in another country. Visit the UDI website for full instructions and to check where you can apply.

The first step is to complete an online application form with the UDI (the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration) and pay the application fee by credit card. Select the Embassy of Norway in Canberra, Australia as your processing location. You will still need to visit a VFS Global office to submit the required documents.

After this is completed, you’ll receive a cover letter by email.

You’ll then need to make an appointment to visit a VFS Global office to submit the cover letter along with all required documents. VFS Global has visa centres in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide & Canberra.

It generally takes around 4 weeks for your application to be processed, once the Norwegian embassy in Canberra has received all necessary documents from VFS Global.

You’ll be notified when your application has been processed. You can either collect your passport and decision letter from the same VFS Global office where you submitted your application, or if you provided a self-addressed envelope with your application, the Norwegian embassy can post it to you directly.

If you have been granted a residence permit, a visa sticker will be placed in your passport so that you are able to travel to Norway. You’ll also receive a cover letter which states when you can travel to Norway. You’ll need to show these at the Schengen Area border when you enter Norway.

See the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Canberra website for more information.

Arriving in Norway

Once you know when you’ll be arriving in Norway, you should make an appointment to collect your residence permit from the police. You must do this within 7 days of arriving in the country, or whenever the earliest appointment is available.

You are not allowed to travel to Norway until you receive a decision regarding your application, and you cannot start working until you have collected your residence permit.

While best efforts are made to keep this information updated, we do not guarantee its accuracy. If you spot an error, would like to suggest new information to be added or simply have a question, please let us know in the comments and we’ll endeavour to respond or update the article as quickly as possible!

Matt Graham

Matt is the founder of Working Holidays for Aussies. Passionate about travel and always looking for great deals, he believes that gap years & working holidays are the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture and gain invaluable life experience. Originally from Australia, Matt has travelled to over 80 countries and has lived in New Zealand, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.

20 thoughts on “Norway’s Working Holiday Visa for Australians

  1. Hi. I would be keen to live and work in Norway, however I want to study for longer than 3 months. Any advice?

  2. Hi there.

    I have has my passport returned to me without the visa sticker with a letter stating return of my original documents and that I will be notified of a decision via email. I was expecting to not receive my passport back until my visa was decided on as I thought they had to put a sticker in the passport. Has this process changed?

    1. I’m not exactly sure, sorry, but details about when you can arrive in Norway are provided on your cover letter when the residence permit is issued. My guess would be a few months.

      Sorry that this answer is not helpful. You may wish to contact the Norwegian embassy to clarify.

  3. When applying for second year whv when is the best time to do it. Does applying early and being granted start the second year straight away or does it come into action the day after year one expires always?

    1. This is probably a question worth asking the UDI, but my understanding is that you can apply up to 3 months before the first year visa is due to expire and the second year starts after the first year ends (not the date you apply to renew).

  4. Hi Matt,

    I want to acquire a Visa before I turn 31 in 4 months but wanting to start my move next year. Does the visa start once you enter Norway, or by the date your visa is issued?


    1. I’m not sure of the exact answer to your question, but the UDI website says “You must be over the age of 18 and not have turned 31 when you apply”.

      I don’t think you’d be able to apply more than a few months before you actually plan to move to Norway. So, you might want to bring forward your plans a bit. But you may wish to contact the UDI, Norwegian embassy or VFS Global for clarification.

  5. Hi, what is the usual wait time for a decision on the visa? I’m planning to move in December/January so I’ll need a decision before then. When should I be applying? And i’m a bit confused – coming from Australia, I don’t need a visa to enter Norway for up to 90 days. Can I enter Norway while my visa application is pending?

    1. Unless you’re renewing or already have a different type of visa that lets you live in Norway, you’d need to apply for and receive your working holiday visa before travelling to Norway.

      It typically takes around 4 weeks to process an application. I’d suggest applying around two months before you intend to travel from Australia to Norway.

  6. hey mate thankyou for all the information, it’s easy to read and informative.

    I have a question about health checks. I can’t find any information on what is required for me as an australian citizen to get a working holiday visa in norway. except you should be in good health.

    if you could show me the list or where I book one in that would be amazing.

    thankyou in advance.

    1. That’s a good question, Peter. This is the exact wording from the UDI website: “a Health certificate that states that you have good health, which means that there are no indications of illness that would make hospitalisation in Norway likely”

      You might be able to get more details from the Norwegian embassy in Canberra or VFS Global, but I’d suggest that a letter from your GP would probably suffice.

    2. Heya, I have just been through the same process and asked so many people about it and barely got any information about how to ACTUALLY get the proper document until I finally got 1 real answer! I was told to ask my GP or a doctor that is under a certified Australian hospital/health company for a letter regarding that you are in good health and the important part is to get it stamped by the certified Australian health company (most hospitals and/or health care facilities have a company stamp that they sign documents with). So in short you have to specifically ask your GP about writing a letter for a visa and need to get it stamped with the Australian company stamp and they will most likely be happy to help.

      Let me know how it goes! Good luck

    3. Hey Peter, I had the same question, and was curious if you have gone through the application process and what kind of medical clearance you used. I’m hoping its as simple as Matt suggested with a letter from a GP, thanks for letting me know if you see this

  7. thankyou mate for your reply.
    That’s my conclusion now. I’ve rung and called every agency and embassy and no one has an answer hahah

    Thankyou anyways my brother. All the best with your travels

  8. Hello Matt, really appreciate this website btw and it’s been so helpful in understanding this visa! I had a question regarding the processing time as recently VFS has started sending their applications to Bangkok and I am wondering if the processing time is the same? I leave on May 16 2024 to the USA (onwards to europe) and don’t want to not have my passport as it’s still processing. I checked the UDI website and apparently for seasonal or work visas it takes 4 months, obviously, the work holiday visa is different but I guess it raised some concerns.

    Thanks so much!

    1. That’s a good question. I don’t have any more information than you have, but as these are now processed by the embassy in Bangkok (rather than Canberra) I would assume it could take a week or so longer given the extra transit time. I’d be applying a bit early just to be on the safe side.

      If you want to be sure, you could try asking the Norwegian embassy in Canberra directly about this.

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