To live and work in Norway, you will have to apply for a Norway Work Visa.
The most common type of Norwegian Work Visa is the Skilled Worker Visa, which is issued to someone who has found a job for a Norwegian employer and has a university degree or vocational training.
Although it is called a Work “Visa”, what you are actually applying for is a Norwegian Residence Permit for Work, which allows you to live and work in Norway legally.
Who Can Apply for a Norway Work Visa?
You can apply for a Norwegian Work Visa if you fulfil the following requirements:
- You have one of these qualifications:
- You have completed higher education
- You have completed a vocational education
- You have “special qualifications” which make you eligible for the job, even if you lack proper education.
- You have found a job with an employer in Norway.
- The job is full time.
- The job does not pay less than it would pay a Norwegian citizen.
- You are over the age of 18.
- You do not have a criminal background.
Norway Work Visa Requirements
The documents you need to hand in when you apply for a Norway Work Visa are:
- Your passport. Also, send in copies of all the used pages on your passport.
- The Norway Work Visa Application Form. You will receive this in PDF format after you complete the online application on the UDI website. Print it out and attach it to the rest of the documents.
- Two passport size photographs. They must be recently taken and with a white background.
- Proof you have accommodation in Norway. For example, a written rental contract. If you have not made accommodation arrangements yet, write a letter explaining where you plan to live and how you will find housing.
- The Offer of Employment Form. Your employer must fill this out. The form is available on the UDI website.
- Proof that your salary meets the income requirements. g. your employment contract, stating the salary you will receive.
- Proof of your academic qualifications. For example, your university or vocational training diploma.
- Proof of previous employment experience. Documents from your previous employers, which detail the type of work you did, how long you were employed, and your qualifications.
- Your resume/CV.
- If you live somewhere other than your home country: Proof you are there legally and have held a residence permit for the past six months.
- If you submit your application in Norway: Proof you live in Norway legally.
- If your employer will apply on your behalf: The Power of Attorney Form, downloadable from the UDI website.
- Any additional documents, as required by your specific situation, such as explanation regarding:
- If you will work for more than one employer
- If you do not have a continuous employment contract
- The checklist of documents you need, downloadable from the UDI.
- The documents you submit have to be in original form as well as copies.
- If your employer applies on your behalf, the documents may be simply copies.
- If the documents are not in English or Norwegian, you must translate them by a qualified translator.
- The Embassy may ask for additional documents, depending on your specific situation.
How to Apply for a Norway Work Visa?
Once you have a job offer in Norway, you will have to start the application for a Work Visa online at the website of the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI). Then, you can either:
- Hand in the completed application along with the documents yourself at the Embassy or a Visa Application Center.
- Hand in the documents in Norway, if you are already there.
- Send the documents to your employer who applies on your behalf from Norway.
If you apply for a Norway Work Visa yourself (from your home country)
If you are still in your home country when you apply for a Norway visa, you have to:
- Gather the necessary documents for a work visa application.
- Complete the online application on the UDI website
- Hand in the completed application to the nearest Norwegian Embassy or Visa Application Center.
- The Embassy/VAC will forward your application to the UDI in Norway
If you typically need a visa to enter Norway, then the UDI will send the entry visa to the Embassy or VAC where you submitted your application. You can use this visa to enter Norway and work. You do not need to apply for an entry visa as well.
If you are typically exempt from a Norway Visa, then you can just enter the country within the deadline. No other actions are required.
If you apply for a Norway Work Visa yourself (in Norway)
If you are already in Norway when you submit your Work Visa application, then you must:
- Gather the necessary documents for a Work Visa application.
- Complete the online application on the UDI website
- Hand in the completed application to the Residence Permit and Protection Services of the Norwegian police or to a Service Centre for Foreign Workers (SUA), depending on which Norwegian district you are in.
- The police or SUA will forward the application to the UDI.
You may also apply for a Norwegian entry visa, which is short-term and does not allow you to work – it only allows you to go to Norway to hand in your application. After the UDI processes the Work Visa, then you may start to work.
If your employer applies for the Norway Work Visa on your behalf
If your employer applies for your Norwegian Work Visa, the process is:
- You gather the required documents for a Norway Work Visa.
- Complete the online application on the UDI website.
- You send copies of the required documents to your employer along with a written authorisation for them to apply on your behalf.
- Your employer hands in the completed application to the Residence Permit and Protection Services of the Norwegian police or to a Service Centre for Foreign Workers (SUA), depending on which Norwegian district they are in.
- The police or SUA will forward the application to the UDI.
- Once you decide to apply for a Norwegian Work Visa, your first step should be to visit the UDI website, where you have to complete the online application. The process is streamlined and adapted to your specific situation, taking into account your academic background, your nationality and which way you would like to apply: yourself or through your employer.
- After you arrive in Norway, you have to go to the local police services and get your Residence Card. You must make the appointment before you leave, using the UDI Application Portal, and it should ideally be for within the first week of your arrival.
Processing Time for a Norway Work Visa
Once you hand in your Work Visa application, it can take up to 8 weeks for the application to be processed. If you are already in Norway during this time, you are not allowed to start work until the visa has been approved.
Norway Work Visa Fee
The fee for a Norway Work Visa is NOK 6,300 (USD 690). This is also the fee you pay for renewing the Work Visa. You must pay the fee via a debit/credit card, when you complete the online application on the UDI website.
Remember: If you apply through a Visa Application Center rather than an Embassy, there is an extra service fee.
Duration of Norway Work Visa
A Norway Work Visa (i.e. Residence Permit for Work) is valid for two years. You can apply to renew it before it expires, for another two years. Then, after three years of continuous residence in Norway, you can apply for a Permanent Residence Permit, which has an indefinite duration.
How to Renew a Norway Work Visa?
To renew your Norwegian Work Visa, you have to make an Online Application with the Directorate of Immigration (UDI). Then, you book an appointment with the Norwegian police and submit the documents. You must also pay an application fee.
Remember, you have to submit the documents at least one month before your visa expires, and there is usually a waiting time for the appointment. So, make sure you start the application about three months before.
Required Documents for Norway Work Visa Renewal
The documents you will need to submit when you apply for renewal of your Residence Permit for Work in Norway include:
- Your passport, along with copies of all the used pages of the passport.
- The Cover Letter, which you receive on your email after completing the online application on the UDI website.
- The Offer of Employment form, downloadable from the UDI website.
- Proof of your last three wages
- Any additional documents that the UDI requires you to submit.
Health Insurance for International Workers in Norway
Once you get a Residence Permit for Work, move to Norway, and register as a resident, you will also become entitled to the Norwegian national healthcare system. This means that you will be assigned a general practitioner (known as a fastlege in Norwegian), who you should consult with for any medical concerns.
Norway’s healthcare system is paid by the government and funded by taxpayer money. However, anyone over the age of 16 has to pay for doctor’s visits and treatment up to about $260/per year. For any sort of treatment exceeding this amount, you receive an exemption card and will receive free treatment for the rest of the year. This ensures that if you are severely ill, then you will not have major medical bills to pay.
If you want to have additional coverage, such as treatment in private hospitals, coverage in case you need to be evacuated, or coverage if you travel back home for any reason, then you can also subscribe to an international health insurance plan.
Can I Have Dependents With a Norway Work Visa?
Yes, if you get a Norway Work Visa, you can apply to bring your dependent family members with you. This is called a Norway Family Visa. These family members can apply for a visa to join you in Norway:
- Your spouse or registered partner
- Your cohabitant. You must both be over the age of 24, and either be expecting a child together, or you have lived together for at least two years.
- Your children under the age of 18.
- Your children over the age of 18 if they meet one of the following requirements:
- They are between 18 and 21, they are unmarried and have had a previous residence permit in Norway.
- If you support your child financially and they live with you. They must not be working or studying (i.e. have an “independent life”).
- The child is dependent as a result of health problems.
To bring your dependent family members to Norway with you, you must earn at least NOK 264 264 annually pre-tax (appx. USD 29,000).
Other Types of Norway Work Visas
There are other types of work visas for Norway, depending on the nature of work you intend to engage in:
- Norway Seasonal Work Visa. If you will work, short-time, in a job which can only be done in a specific time of the year, or if you will work as a substitute for a permanent employee. You must receive an employment offer and get confirmation from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) before applying.
- Norway Job-Seeker Visa. This visa is for skilled workers who have completed their studies in Norway, which will allow them to stay in Norway without a job offer and look for work.
- Vocational Training and Research Visa. This visa is issued to students who will undertake training during their higher education studies or self-funded researchers, who are not employed with a Norwegian employer.
- Norway Working Holiday Visa. This type of visa is issued to young adults (under 31 years) from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Japan, and New Zealand, which allows them to work and live in Norway for up to a year.
- Work Visa for Artists. This is a short-term visa for artists, performers, or musicians, who will have concerts or performances in Norway. Maximum allowed stay of 14 days.