Safe, progressive, and beautiful, Norway is one of the best countries in the world to live and work in. You can expect good living standards, a fair working environment, and an interesting culture.
If you’re applying to get a work visa in Norway, here are the things you need to know:
Do I need a work visa in Norway?
Whether or not you need a visa to work in Norway depends on your nationality. Foreign nationals from the EU/EEA can live and work in Norway right away. You only need to register with the police within three months of arrival. For Finnish, Swedish, Danish, and Icelandic citizens, you need to report a move with the National Registry.
Foreign nationals from outside the EU/EEA must apply for a visa to come to Norway, and subsequently, a residence permit to live and work. In most cases, you must already have found employment first.
What are the requirements to apply for a work visa in Norway?
To get a work visa in Norway, you need to apply for a residence permit. The requirements would depend on the type of work you will be doing – such as skilled work, seasonal work, self-employed work, and other special occupations. However, there are also general documents applicable to all types:
The general requirements are as follows:
- Valid passport or travel document
- Norway work visa application form
- Two passport size photographs
- Job offer from a specific employer in Norway, with allowable salary and working conditions
- If needed, authorization or recognition for some occupations (e.g. health personnel)
- If working for a staffing agency, list of your planned assignments or tasks
- Proof of payment of the application fee
- Proof of available accommodation for your duration of stay
- Proof of no criminal record (e.g., police records)
- Registrar documents (e.g., birth certificate, marriage certificate)
- Travel medical insurance
After you complete these general documents, you have to prepare for the additional requirements per type of occupation:
- At least one of the following qualifications:
- a completed vocational training program corresponding to Norwegian standards
- degree from university/university college
- special qualifications coming from work experience
Intra-company transfer workers (for Norweigian branch of an international company)
- Proof of employment or offer of assignment to carry out work in Norway/Norweigian branch
Athletes or coaches
- Job offer or agreement for top-level sport
- Confirmation from the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports
- Master’s degree in your religion or pedagogics from university
- If with a company in Norway:
- Long-term business activities plan
- Proof of sole proprietorship of the business concerned
- Necessary permits from Norwegian authorities
- If with a company abroad:
- contract to carry out an assignment for a business in Norway
- Concrete offer of full-time employment for seasonal or holiday stand-in work, with acceptable salary and work conditions
In some cases, you are allowed to apply for a job seeker residence visa if you graduated in Norway or work as a researcher.
- Proof of residence permit as a student in a university, vocational school, or upper secondary school; or
- Proof of residence permit as a self-funded researcher
- Proof of residence permit as a skilled worker employed as a researcher at a university or similar institute
- Education or work qualifications similar to skilled workers
Securing a residence permit to work facilitates your work visa application to enter Norway. However, note that it is issued per employment type or position. If you’re going to change employers but work in the same position, you don’t need a new residence permit. But if you’re starting a new position, a new residence permit is necessary.
Each permit’s validity depends on the position offered to you. It can be valid for one year up to three years at a time. After three continuous years of working in Norway, you may apply for a permanent residence permit.
Lastly, if you wish to bring your family with you to Norway, you can review the family reunification guidelines. If you all apply at the same time, you will usually receive a response at the same time as well.
Steps on Applying for a Work Visa in Norway
Applying for a work visa in Norway follows a general procedure. As mentioned above, you must already have a job offer unless you qualify as a job seeker.
The visa application starts with petitioning for a residence permit on our behalf. It is followed by your formal application to the Norwegian embassy.
You can follow this detailed guide:
1. Find out the residence permit you need
You must apply for the correct residence permit that corresponds to your education, skills, and work experience. You can review the different types of residence permits at the website of the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI).
2. Gather required documentation
Depending on who’s going to facilitate the application, some documents must be provided by your employer or the way around.
In most cases, especially with skilled and seasonal work, your employer in Norway is responsible for initiating your application. The company will need a copy of your requirements, as well as a written authorization from you to commence the application. Your employer can also apply for your spouse, children, or dependents at this time. The UDI also has an option for independent applications.
Either way, you must prepare all the requirements required for your case. Documents must either be in English or Norwegian, so prepare accompanying translations if otherwise.
3. Register your application online
Once your documents are complete, you (or your employer) must register in the Application Portal of UDI. If this is the first time to apply, you will be asked to create a user account.
You will be directed to the application form which you must fill in as accurately as possible – starting from personal information up to your employment details. All fields marked with yellow stars are mandatory to fill in. The UDI has a guide to filling forms here.
At the beginning of the form, you will be asked to select an appointment date and a Norwegian diplomatic office for your visa application appointment. You can verify with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for accredited diplomatic missions around the world.
4. Pay visa fees
Your Norweigan work visa application will have an administrative fee of 6300 NOK or around 690 USD and are paid in foreign currency. Additional fees may apply for some visa application centers that need o forward your application to official Norwegian Embassies in neighboring countries. For more information about visa fees, you can visit this page.
After you pay and submit your application, you shall receive a confirmation by email. Print this letter to bring to your appointment.
5. Attend your appointment
On the day of your appointment, bring with you the confirmation letter and all required documents for your case. Consular officers have the right to conduct an interview and request additional documents if deemed necessary. Prepare to submit your biometric data, including a photograph and scans of fingerprints.
6. Collect your permit
The processing time for your work visa for Norway may take approximately 15 days but may vary on a case-to-case basis. You can check this guide to waiting time for your application.
Once your residence permit is granted, an authorized representative will contact you to collect your visa. In some cases, it is delivered to your address. Your passport will have an entry visa to allow you to enter Norwegian borders.
I hope this article on how to get a work visa in Norway was informative and insightful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!