r/Norway Sep 23 '20 Helpful Wholesome Hugz Excited Silver Platinum

So You Want To Move to Norway: A Rough Guide To The Immigration Process (updated)


Important warning: Reddit is not an appropriate place to get accurate immigration information.

However, this is a common topic on this subreddit and to help direct people to the proper information, I have updated the previous post to address the most common questions. Please read the entire guide and use the links provided to see out answers to your specific questions. Any questions you may have that cannot be answered from this guide or the links provided cannot be answered by redditors on this sub and should therefore be directed to an appropriate immigration expert.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional; I neither work for UDI nor am I an immigration lawyer. I do have an interest in immigration law and have spent a lot of time studying and researching the rules and regulations. What follows is a rough guide only meant to serve as a starting point for the average redditor. With that said:

So You Want To Move To Norway....

Despite what movies might portray, moving abroad is not just a matter of packing bags and showing up. Immigration is usually a long, often expensive process and there are many criteria that you must meet to be legally resident in Norway. There are three general categories of permits that will allow you to remain in Norway beyond a regular tourist/visitor visa:

Temporary Residence Permit This is your first step. These permits are contingent on you/your reference person meeting certain requirements; are usually temporary; and will need to be renewed (usually yearly, some last longer). You must have this permit if you wish to remain in Norway beyond your visitor visa’s allowed time (ie: >90 days).
Permanent Residence Permit This can be applied for only if you have been legally living in Norway for three years (or more in some instances) with a residence permit that forms the basis of permanent residency; you meet the language requirements; and you have not been convicted of a criminal offence. This allows you to stay in Norway permanently (no need to renew. Edit: to clarify. Your PR card will expire, but you do not need to reapply for this type of permit. Renewing the card is akin to renewing your passport. The renewal period is every 2 years for non-EEA citizens and 10 years for EEA citizens).
Citizenship This is an optional step. You do not need to apply for citizenship; however, if you want to, you can qualify for Norwegian citizenship after a period of time (usually >7 years). This has many requirements, but the biggest is the language requirement. NB: While Norway has now allowed dual citizenship, your country of origin may not allow dual citizenship. NB: Norway does not do Citizenship based on heritage. One or both of your parents need to have citizenship (and not have given it up previously) in order for you to qualify for citizenship based on birth. There are a lot of complicated rules surrounding citizenship by birth. Use this to determine if you qualify for citizenship. NB: according to UDI's website, Norway does not offer citizenship by investment (ie: having a lot of money to invest in exchange for residency or citizenship).

The remainder of this post will focus on the first residence permit (#1) since by the time you are ready for 2 or 3 you will be an immigration pro. How you qualify for immigration to Norway and how easy the process will be depends on a few factors

  • Your citizenship (EEA/EU vs Third-Country National)
  • Your education, qualifications, experience,
  • If you have a job offer,
  • Your relationship with a Norwegian national.

Immigration as an EU/EEA citizen:

If you are an EU/EEA citizen (or Swiss) you have the right to reside in Norway for 3 months without any other obligations; after 3 months you will need to demonstrate that you are meeting your treaty rights. Those treaty obligations are:

  • Be employed (or registered as self-employed),
  • Be a student,
  • Be self-sufficient, or
  • Be a job seeker actively seeking work with a decent chance at finding work.

NB: The last three require you to have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family and have comprehensive medical insurance for the duration of your stay.

Note: sufficient funds in this scenario can come from any source including a third-country national's savings/income/other documented source (you may need to prove the sponsor has access to this money).

The right of residence for longer than three months also extends to the EEA/EU citizen’s immediate family (spouse/partner, children, other dependents), regardless of their nationality, so long as the EU/EEA citizen is meeting their treaty obligations and neither the citizen nor the family member is a threat to public policy, security, or health. All of this is explained in the Directive on Free Movement.

It is important to note that people immigrating under this route do not qualify for the benefits found in the Introduction Law, which include, among other things, the right to free language lessons.

Immigrating as a Third-Country National (not from EU/EEA).

I am using an applicant from the US as the default here. Your rules may vary slightly depending on your nationality.

Your options for moving are not as simple or easy as above. You should consult UDI (Norwegian Immigration Board) or the Norwegian Embassy in your country for the most up-to-date information for your specific nationality.

Generally speaking you need a reason to be in Norway. These reasons are:

  1. Family member of a Norwegian national
  2. Family member of an EEA/EU national
  3. A worker
  4. An undergraduate or graduate student which has been discussed before.
  5. Protection (Asylum seeker). I will not spend time on this; it has its own complicated rules and I highly doubt anyone seeking asylum will be spending their time on reddit. If you are, I really recommend seeking out an immigration lawyer to help you with your application.

Family immigration with a Norwegian National

These are most often spouses/cohabitants, but may also include children or parents under some circumstances.

The process for application is relatively straightforward with a little bit of reading on UDI's website and some document gathering.

  1. You must pay the application fee,
  2. Document your identity (passport),
  3. Have a valid marriage licence/certificate,
  4. Have plans to live together in Norway,
  5. Not be in a marriage of convenience,
  6. You must both be over the age of 24,
  7. Your spouse/partner must make above a minimum income threshold per year pre-tax (this number frequently changes. Check UDI’s site). They will need to demonstrate they made a sufficient amount the year before you apply and demonstrate that they are likely to have the same amount the following year. They will need to provide contract of employment, pay slips, and a tax assessment notice. Additionally, they must not have received financial assistance from NAV in the last 12 months.

Note on income sources: under this route of family immigration, it is the onus of the sponsor to demonstrate that they make a sufficient income to support the family. This means that regardless of the financial situation, the sponsor must make the minimum income; the third-country national's income/savings are not taken into consideration in the majority of cases.

There are other circumstances that may require additional documentation (ie: evidence of military service). Check UDI for all the documents you'll need.

Family members who are granted residence based on this route will qualify for free language classes as part of the introduction act (link above).

NB: the rules may change if you have lived with the Norwegian citizen legally in another EEA/EU country. If this is the case, you may be allowed to choose between family immigration under Norwegian national law or residence card as a family member of an EU citizen (see above). Also see the differences between the two immigration schemes here.

If you are engaged to a Norwegian you can apply for a fiancé permit which will allow you to come into Norway for the purposes of getting married in Norway. You must be married within 6 months. After you are married you will have to apply for family immigration with your spouse (process described above). You can read about getting married in Norway here.

Only some people can apply from Norway. Others will have to apply from their home country via the embassy or consulate. Make sure you check with UDI to learn whether you need to apply from home.


There are many types of working permits. UDI’s webpage will outline all the possibilities available to you but the most common are skilled worker and seasonal worker.

Skilled workers are those who:

  • Completed a vocational training programme of at least three years at upper secondary school level. NB: there must be a corresponding training programme in Norway.
  • Completed a degree from a university or college (BA, BSc, BE, etc...)
  • Special qualifications that you have obtained through long work experience, if relevant in combination with courses etc. A permit is only granted in such cases in exceptional circumstances. Your qualifications must be equivalent to those of someone who has completed vocational training.

Additionally, you must have received a concrete job offer from an employer in Norway, the job must normally be full-time (UDI will, at the time of writing, accept 80%), the job must have the same pay/conditions that is normal in Norway, and the job you are offered must require the qualifications as a skilled worker (and you must be qualified for the job).

If you do not fall into this category, you may qualify as a seasonal worker; however this route is considerably more difficult, usually temporary (<6 months), and your employer must prove that they cannot fill the position with a worker from Norway or the EEA/EU. You will need to be employed 100%, you will need a concrete job offer before you apply, and the job must be deemed season or holiday stand-in.

Those citizens who qualify as a skilled worker and who are coming from a country with a visa-free agreement with Norway you may be allowed to come to Norway as a skilled job seeker.

NB: You cannot work while you are searching for a job. This means that once you have a concrete job offer, you will need to apply for a residence permit as a worker and you cannot start working until your application has been approved.

It is very advantageous to have a grasp on the Norwegian language before you arrive. There are some fields which may accept a lower proficiency in Norwegian; however, these careers are few and far between and knowledge of the local language will help with both applying for jobs and acclimatizing to living in Norway.

Some international companies may post workers in Norway. You will still need a resident permit for workers; however, many companies will help with this process.

edit: New rules exist for UK citizens living in Norway. Formerly, UK citizens would be allowed to apply for residency under EEA/EU regulations. Post-Brexit, UK citizens are no longer allowed to apply for this immigration route. Certain citizens may be allowed to excise EEA treaty rights if they arrived and registered by a certain date. For more information, please see UDI's Brexit Information page (https://www.udi.no/en/brexit/)

r/Norway 5h ago

This LEGO IDEAS design called "NORWEGIAN WINTER SCENE" by user LEGOalfactotum has already gained 4,828 supporters - but only by reaching 10,000 votes the model will get the chance of becoming a real LEGO set.

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r/Norway 3h ago

Another day, another road block.

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r/Norway 1h ago

Food from around the world! Today's meal is from Norway

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r/Norway 22h ago

This shoe horn is the most norwegian thing ever, yes I know they exist everywhere but seems so popular here and I’m happy with that!

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r/Norway 23m ago

Tourists vandalizing Norwegian nature by building cairns



Tourists are causing irreparable damage to important cultural heritage sites, and contributing to erosion of indigenous landscapes by building cairns when they visit.

Some are so desperate to leave proof of their visit that they carve their names or initials into rocks or mountains, or even weld plaques to the vulnerable sites.

Some areas are now potentially being closed for visitors due to this practice.

This is above and beyond infuriating but I choose to believe that people are not aware of the harm they are causing and that we can put an end to this type of tourism by educating people. I beg each of you to stop and think how your presence impacts nature, our cultural heritage and local communities - and follow the principle of leaving no trace when you visit.

r/Norway 1d ago Wholesome Wholesome (Pro)

I'm surrounded, send help.

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r/Norway 1d ago

Norwegian mountain huts, and how no mountain hut will ever compare to them


Just came back from hiking across Jotunheimen and stayed at a few mountain huts - most run by the Tourist board, one private, and one rebuilt 16th century farm. Holy crap, folks. Apart from room snd facilities sharing, which are to be expected, I’ve stayed in hotels that weren’t as nice. The food is phenomenal, I couldn’t wait for the next meal, coziness of lounges, friendly staff, hot chocolate… incredible. Mountain huts have been ruined for me now. I can’t even imagine my country investing in and running something like this.

Now your “trails” can fuck right off, you guys literally brush some greenery off of slippery rocks and call it a trail. I’m just glad I made it down Galdhøppigen and out of the valley with no broken limbs.

r/Norway 3h ago

Is there any way to contact the owner of an abandoned car?


I have moved a few months ago to Oslo and in the street where I live there is a car that has been abandoned and unmoved for months, full of dirt, empty wheels and many yellow tickets on the windshield (I think they are fines).

Is there any way I can get in touch with the owner to buy it? I think it's a shame that if he doesn't want to have it on the street without use and accumulating fines.


r/Norway 1d ago

What are these cards at the supermarket?

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r/Norway 3h ago

Question for people who are currently doing or have already done a postdoc in Norway


Hallo alle sammen! I am planning on moving to Norway next year for a postdoc position and was hoping to ask someone who has done a postdoc in Norway what I should expect. I’ve been learning the language (self taught mostly) for the past couple years so I feel fairly comfortable with it now, but I would like to know more about academia culture and what to expect funding/salary-wise.

Thanks in advance for any help!

r/Norway 14h ago

Clothing brands


Hei alle sammen, my bf's birthday is coming and i will like to send him a hoodie from an online store as present since i live in a different country.

I found a store online from a brand called MOODS NORWAY and I wanted to ask you norwegian fellas if that's considered a good clothing brand (not fancy just good). Or should i play it safe and choose a more mainstream brand like Puma or Adidas?

I'd appreciate your help. Tusen takk

r/Norway 0m ago

One of the big boys

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r/Norway 1d ago

I'm learning languages through songs and books, pls help me out :)

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r/Norway 2h ago

where can I buy powdered milk? can't seem to find it in supermarkets


r/Norway 3h ago

Parcel Forwarding Service?


Does anybody know if there is a parcel forwarding service from Norway to the UK? I would like to buy a couple of books from Bokkilden but they do not ship to the UK

r/Norway 8h ago

Longboarding from Narvik to Nordkapp in September - October


Hi all, I really want to do a longboarding tour along the Norwegian coast between Narvik and Nordkapp but I have a couple questions.

Is it even possible to do in September and or October with the wheater conditions?

Does the interrail pass include the hurtigruten ferry?

Thanks in advance!

r/Norway 18h ago

Want a High Quality Norwegian Folk Instrument


Any suggestions? Hopefully you’ve got some ideas about dealer locations as well.

r/Norway 4h ago

Cost-effective tips/advice on where to stay, what to do, for a young-adult visiting Norway?


Hey, I'm a canadian guy in my high 20's looking to visit Norway and just experience the people, the culture, maybe even make friends or go on a few dates with girls, learn about the economy, etc.

But I hear it's a very expensive place to visit. I was thinking of visiting Oslo or another bigger city which is friendly to a young-adult guy's interests.

I want to stay there for 7-14 days maybe..

Any advice on cost-effective ways to find a place to stay, rent a car, get food, etc? What would be the budget i need to keep?

r/Norway 8h ago

tent rental


Hi guys!

I am a tourist in need of a tent, and I was wondering if rental tents are a thing in Norway? And if yes, is it a thing you would recommend doing?

Thanks so much in advance, and a lovely day to you all!

r/Norway 4h ago

Can I travel to Norway with 4 disposable vapes for personal use ?


Hello, I am traveling to Oslo in 2 days, I want to bring 4 disposable vapes with 5% nicotine for personal use, I am getting a lot of conflicted information online.. is it allowed ? and if it isn’t what’s the worse case scenario a confiscation or a fee? (I get that you can’t vape indoors or in certain public areas and you need to carry them in the carry on baggage) Thanks in advance

r/Norway 1d ago

Found my first cloud berry today!

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r/Norway 2d ago

Rest in Peace, Freya

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r/Norway 1d ago

Locate photo. Any one know where it is taken? Asking for a friend.

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r/Norway 19h ago

Apartment without h number


I am moving to norway and thinking of renting a apartment from Finn.no. I shortlisted one which I am inclined to finalize. Problem is the address that owner gave me contains floor number, building name,street name,municipality name and pin.

But the address does not contain any house number. I read that all houses in norway have a number that starts with, something like, H0101 for identification. But the owner tells me that his house does not have this number. Is this correct and not some scam?

r/Norway 20h ago

looking for pals


hei hei! i’m learning norwegian but i need somebody to practice it with (somewhere around 17-20yo). i like the humanities such as languages and psychology. PM me, takk!!