Ready to pack your bags? Here’s our guide to moving to Norway.
Visas and Permits
If you are a citizen of a Nordic country (Finland, Iceland, Sweden, and Denmark), you can reside work, and study in Norway without needing a visa, work permit, or residence permit. You will have to report your move to the National Registry and do an ID check.
If you are a citizen of the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you will not need a visa or residence permit to work or study in Norway, however, you will need to register with the Norwegian authorities. Registration starts online and then you will have to book an appointment with the immigration office in your municipality in Norway to finalized your registration in person.
Students and researchers not from the Nordic region, EU/EEA, or Switzerland will need a residence permit to study or research in Norway. Researchers should apply for a skilled worker permit as should PhD students with an employer in Norway. PhD students with external financing should apply for a study permit. The application process for both permits starts online and has to be finalized in person in Norway before you can start working. If you need a visa to enter Norway, one will be automatically issued when your residency permit is granted. Upon arrival in Norway, you must book an appointment to complete the process and get your residence permit card.
Bringing Your Family
If you have a permit as a skilled worker or a study permit, your family members can apply for residence and work permits for the same period provided that you will have an annual pre-tax income of at least NOK 256 256. Family members include a spouse/cohabitating partner/registered partner and children under 18. Family members who are EU/EEA nationals do not need a residence permit to accompany you to and work in Norway. However, they will have to register in with the Norwegian authorities.
Registering and National Identity Number
Both EU and non-EU students or researchers who are going to be in Norway for more than six months must be registered in the national registry by the Norwegian Tax Administration (Skatteetaten). You and your family members must register in person and undergo an ID control within eight days of your arrival in the country. The exact documents you must bring depend on your citizenship. When you get your ID checked you will also have your picture and fingerprints taken for your residence permit card. Once you’re registered you will be assigned a Norwegian national identity number. This unique 11 digit number is used to identify yourself to public authorities, access health care, and open a bank account. You will receive your residence permit card and national identity number in the mail in approximately eight weeks.
Once you have gone through the ID control and have your national identity number, you must get a tax deduction card (skattekort). Everyone who works in Norway, regardless of citizenship, needs to have one. If you start working without a tax deduction card, your employer must deduct 50% of your income. To apply for a tax card you will need to bring your identity documents, residence permit showing you have the right to work, and an employment contract or offer of employment.
In Oslo, you can do your ID control, register your move, and apply for a tax card all in one appointment at the Service Centre for Foreign workers (Servicesenter for utenlandske arbeidstakere).
EU/EEA nationals should bring their European Health Insurance Card with them when they enter Norway. Students and staff from outside of the EU/EEA should take out travel insurance to cover them until they get their national identity number. Once you are registered as a resident of Norway, you are automatically enrolled in the National Insurance Scheme (NAV) and can access public health services.
To open a bank account in Norway, you need to go in person to the bank of your choice with your passport and Norwegian identity number. DnB Bank (which offers internet banking in English), Handelsbanken, Bank Norwegian AS, and Storebrand Bank are major banks in Norway. It is a good idea to have a few weeks worth of living expenses available in your home bank account as it will take several weeks to get your Norwegian bank account and salary deposit set up. Check with your home bank before you travel to make sure you will be able to use your bank card abroad.
While English is the working language of many universities and research institutions, learning Norwegian will help improve your experience in the country—especially if you ever want to apply for permanent residency. There are many adult education centres throughout the country that offer Norwegian courses at every level. Most universities also offer Norwegian courses for their international staff and students.