If you want to work, study, or join a family member in Norway for a period longer than three months, you will need a Norway Residence Permit.
This type of Permit allows you to live and work in Norway, travel in and out of the country and even visit other Schengen States for the time that it is valid. It can also lead to permanent residency in Norway, and eventually citizenship.
Who Needs a Norway Residence Permit?
You need a Norway Residence Permit if:
- You are from a country outside the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA).
- You want to live in Norway for more than 90 days.
If you are from the EU/EEA, you do not need a residence permit to live or work in Norway. However, you must still register with the police if you intend to stay for more than 90 days.
Types of Norway Residence Permits
There are two main types of Norwegian Residence Permits:
- Temporary Residence Permit. This is the type of Permit you receive when you first move to Norway. It is valid for 1-3 years and is renewable. The most common are:
- Residence Permit for Work (aka Norway Work Visa).
- Residence Permit for Studying (aka Norway Student Visa)
- Residence Permit for Family Reunification (aka Norway Family Visa)
- Permanent Residence Permit. This is the Permit you receive after you have lived in Norway continuously for the last three years. You can then live and work there indefinitely, and just renew the Residence Card every two years.
Norway Temporary Residence Permit Requirements
To be eligible for a Temporary Residence Permit for Norway, you have to fulfil the conditions related to why you want to move to Norway. For example:
- If you are moving for work: You need to have a job with a Norwegian employer and have a qualifying salary. See Norway Work Visa.
- If you are moving for your studies: You must get accepted into a Norwegian educational institution and have enough funds to sustain yourself while you live there. See Norway Study Visa.
- If you want to join a family member: You must be a close family member (spouse/partner or child) of someone living in Norway legally, and they must be able to financially maintain you. See Norway Family Visa.
Documents Required for a Norway Residence Permit Application
To apply for a Residence Permit, you must submit the following documents:
- Your passport. Along with your original passport, attach copies of the personal information page and all used pages (ones with entry stamps or visas on them).
- The Cover Letter. After you complete the online application, you will receive this on your email, and you simply print it your and attach it to your application.
- Passport-size pictures. The pictures should be recent and have a white background.
- Proof of accommodation. Submit a rental agreement or another proof that you have somewhere to live after you move to Norway.
- If you are moving for work:
- The Offer of Employment Form.
- Proof that your salary meets the income requirements.
- Proof of your academic qualifications.
- Proof of previous employment experience.
- Your CV.
- If you are moving for your studies:
- The Letter of Admission.
- Proof you have enough financial means to sustain your stay in Norway and pay your tuition.
- If you are moving to join a family member:
- Proof of family relationship.
- Proof your family member has or earns enough money to sustain you financially.
- Proof your family member has not received social benefits in the last 12 months.
- You have to submit both the originals and copies of each document.
- The documents you submit should be in English or Norwegian. If they are not, have them translated and submit the translation along with the original document.
- Some documents, such as diplomas or birth/marriage certificates have to be legalized via an Apostille Stamp.
- For any document that you are unable to submit, enclose a written explanation for why. Ideally, try to bring all the required documents.
How to Get a Residence Permit for Norway?
To get a Residence Permit to live in Norway you either have to find a job, get accepted into a Norwegian university, or have a family member already living there. Once you meet the requirements, the application process is as follows:
- Gather the required documents. Depending on the reason you will travel, there are different sets of documents you need to submit.
- Apply online. You have to register on the UDI website (Norwegian Directorate of Immigration) and complete the online application. Once you complete it, you will receive an email along with a Cover Letter, which you have to submit to the Embassy.
- Pay the application fee. On the UDI website, you also have to pay the Residence Permit fee via a debit or credit card. See Norway Residence Permit Fees below.
- Submit the documents. After you have gathered all the documents and completed the online application, make an appointment at the nearest Norwegian Embassy/Consulate or a Visa Application Center. Submit the documents and enter an interview, if required. The Embassy/VAC will forward the application to the UDI.
- The UDI processes the application and notifies you of the outcome.
- If you need an entry visa: The UDI will issue an entry visa for you, which you can pick up at the Embassy or Visa Application Center and use it to travel to Norway.
After you arrive in Norway
Once the Norwegian Embassy or the VAC notifies you that you have received the residence permit, you have to make an appointment with the Norwegian police so you can pick up your Residence Card when you arrive. You make the appointment via the UDI website.
Ideally, schedule it within the first week of your intended arrival. Then, after you get to Norway, you have to go to the local police station and pick up your Residence Card.
How Long Is a Norway Temporary Residence Permit Valid?
The validity of your Norwegian Residence Permit is from one to three years, depending on things like your work contract, the duration of your course of study, and the decision of the Directorate of Immigration.
Can I Renew a Temporary Residence Permit in Norway?
Yes, most Norwegian Residence Permits can be renewed. You have to apply for renewal at the local police station at least one month before the visa expires, so you must start the application process about three months before.
- Using the UDI’s Application Portal, make an appointment with the police. Do this three months before expiry, because there is usually a waiting time.
- On the date of your appointment, submit the required documents for Residence Permit renewal at the local police station.
- Pay the renewal fee.
Remember: If you have a Work Visa or Family Visa, and you have lived in Norway for more than three years, then you may be eligible to apply for a Permanent Residence Permit.
Norway Permanent Residence Permit Requirements
To get a Permanent Residence Permit in Norway, you must meet the following conditions:
- You must have lived in Norway continuously for at least three years. This means:
- You can’t have been without a residence permit longer than three months total during the past three years.
- You can’t have been outside Norway longer than seven months total during the past three years.
- You must have held a Temporary Residence Permit which forms “the basis for a permanent residence permit”*. As such, you can apply for permanent residence only if you had one of the following residence permits:
- Residence permit for work (skilled workers and self-employed)
- Residence permit for family reunification
- Residence permit on the grounds of asylum or protection or for “strong humanitarian considerations”.
- At the time of application, you must have a valid temporary residence permit.
- You must be able to sustain yourself financially.
- You must not have received financial assistance from the NAV (økonomisk sosialhjelp) in the past year.
- You must have a clear criminal record.
- You must not have an order for enforced psychiatric treatment.
- You must pass a test on Norwegian language and social studies if you are between 16 and 64 years of age.
*If you had a Residence Permit as a student, au pair, or to get married in Norway, you cannot count that time towards the required three years for permanent residency.
How to Get a Permanent Residence Permit in Norway?
To apply for your Permanent Residence Permit in Norway, you must:
- Collect the required documents.
- Complete the online application on the UDI Application Portal.
- Pay the application fee.
- Hand in the documents at the local police service for residence permits and protection or the service centre for foreign workers, depending on the area in which you live.
Required Documents for Permanent Residence Application in Norway
The documents you have to submit when applying for a Permanent Residence Permit are:
- Proof of your income. Depending on your situation, your income can be:
- From employment
- From self-employment
- From pensions or other regular income sources, like rent or life insurance
- From student loans or grants
- From social security benefits
- Proof you have not received financial assistance from NAV (økonomisk sosialhjelp)
- Proof you have completed the tuition hours and passed the Norwegian language and social studies test.
- If you held a Residence Permit for Family Reunification for spouses/partners:
- UDI’s Declaration of relationship form
- Copy of your partner’s passport (all the used pages)
- Proof of the time your partner has spent abroad in the last three years
- Any other additional documents that the UDI required. Depending on your specific situation.
Norway Residence Permit Processing Time
It usually takes about eight weeks to process your Residence Permit from the time the UDI receives your completed application. Depending on specific circumstances, such as your nationality, the type of Permit you need, whether all your documents are in order, and even the time of year it is, it can take longer or shorter.
Norway Residence Permit Fees
The fees for a Norway Residence Permit are as follows:
- Residence Permit for Work – NOK 6,300 (appx. USD 695)
- Residence Permit for Studying – NOK 4,900 (appx. USD 540)
- Residence Permit for Family Reunification (adults) – NOK 10,500 (appx. USD 1157)
- Residence Permit for Family Reunification (minors) – Free of charge
- Permanent Residence Permit (adults) – NOK 4,700 (appx. USD 518)
- Permanent Residence Permit (minors) – Free of charge
Norway Residence Permit to Norwegian Citizenship
You can apply for Norwegian citizenship once you have lived in Norway for at least seven years out of the last ten years. At the time of application, you must have a valid Permanent Residence Permit, and each of the Residence Permits you have held while you were living in Norway in the previous ten years must have had a validity of one year or longer.
You must also pass a language test and a social studies test, to prove your knowledge of Norwegian language and culture, and have a clear criminal record.