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Moving to Norway from the UK

If you are currently looking for the best place to relocate where you can find the perfect work-life balance, then Norway should be at the top of your list. Unfortunately, the immigration process involved can somehow make an exciting time a daunting and stressful experience if you are not quite familiar with the legal side of things.

Our lawyers are here to help. For more information, get in touch today on 0333 305 9375 for immediate assistance or advice.

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Immigrating to Norway from the UK

Ranked as the best country to live in globally by the United Nations Development Program, you have every reason to move to Norway from the UK.

It’s quite easy to see why so many UK ex-pats move to Norway. Norway is not only a staggeringly beautiful country that boasts mysterious fjords, amazing mountain peaks, some of the best winter sports globally and offers a high quality of life.

If you want to move to Norway, you may have to apply for a visa. Whether or not you need a visa for Norway largely hinges on your nationality as well as the purpose of your travel. And while most people do not require a visa if they are travelling as tourists, you will need a visa in case you are moving to Norway to work or study.

Furthermore, if you plan to obtain permanent residence in Norway, you need a route that permits lawful residence and living in Norway under that permission for at least three years.

Regardless of what your intentions are, you can reach out to us for expert advice or assistance with moving to Norway from the United Kingdom.

Do I need a Visa for Norway?

It is imperative to note that if you are coming from the UK or another country that has a visa exemption agreement with the Norwegian government, you don’t require a visa to enter Norway for short trips lasting less than 90 days.

That is because Norway is a Schengen country and UK citizens do not need visas to enter a Schengen country as long as they do not exceed the maximum permitted time at any period.

This implies that you only need to make an application for a visa to travel to Norway if:

  • You hail from one of the countries that require a Schengen visa. It is worth noting that Norway is part of the Schengen area, therefore, Schengen visa regulations apply.
  • You want to stay in Norway for more than 90 days, whether it is for studying, work, or family reunification.

As with many countries, some of the ways to immigrate to Norway are based on study visas, work visas, business development visas as well as refugee or humanitarian protection immigration routes.

Please note that if you have lived in Norway long before January 1st 2021, there are exceptions and you may not need a visa to continue to stay in the country. This exception applies to those who already applied and received a new residence card (oppholdskort) by 31 December 2021. If you were able to do this, your rights to live, work, and study in Norway are protected by the UK-EEA EFTA Separation Agreement. You must always renew your residence card (oppholdskort) when it expires to retain those rights.

In addition, those who have dual UK-Norwegian citizenship can live in Norway or the UK and move around freely as they wish without needing to obtain a residence card as long as they have their proof of citizenship.

Types of Norwegian Visas

The main types of Norwegian visas for UK citizens include:

  • Norway Work Visa: This is a long-term visa that’s ideal for British citizens who have found employment with a Norwegian company.
  • Norwegian Student Visa: This is a long-term visa as well, issued to international students who are looking to pursue their studies in a Norwegian educational institution.
  • Norway Family Visa: This is also a long-term visa usually issued to the family members of Norwegian citizens or residents.
  • Norway Visa for Business Purposes: this allows foreign nationals to Norway to establish and manage businesses in the country.

There are also other visas, including those for medical treatment and transit.

Each visa has specific requirements to meet and documents to provide during the application process to ensure that you have a high chance of success. We can help you complete and submit a high standard application and advise on the documents that will boost your chances. For more information on how we can help you move to Norway from the UK, please call us on 0333 305 9375 or chat with us online via live chat.

Norway Temporary and Permanent residence permit

As already explained, if you want to either study, work, or join a family member in Norway for a period longer than three months (90 days), you will need a valid Norway Residence permit.

This is a vital document that allows you to reside and work in Norway, move in and out of the country and even visit other Schengen member states for the time that is valid. And most importantly, it can result in permanent residency in Norway and eventual Norwegian citizenship.

Generally, you need a Norway residence permit if you are from the UK (there are exceptions), and other countries outside the European Union, EU, or European Economic Area, EEA, or you intend to stay in Norway for more than 90 days.

If you are from the EU/EEA, you don’t require a residence permit to either reside or work in Norway. However, you must still register with the Norwegian police if you want to extend your stay beyond 90 days.

Types of Norway residence permits

Generally, there are two main types of Norwegian residence permits, including:

  • Temporary Residence permit: This is simply the type of permit you get when you first move to Norway from the UK. It is valid for 1-3 years and can be renewed. The most common types of temporary residence permits are the residence permit for work (Norway work visa), residence permit for studying (Norway student visa), and residence permit for family immigration.
  • Permanent residence permit: This is the document you receive after you have lived in Norway continuously for the last three years. You can then reside and work there indefinitely, and just renew your residence card every two years.

Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to receive assistance with moving to Norway.

Requirements for Norway temporary residence permit

If you are moving to Norway from the UK, you have to fulfil certain conditions to be eligible for the Norway residence permit.

In this regard, if you are moving for work, you need to have a job with a Norwegian employer and have a qualifying salary as well. And if you are moving for studies, you must first get accepted into a Norwegian educational institution and have sufficient funds to sustain yourself while living there.

On the other hand, if you are joining a family member in Norway, you must be a close family member (partner, spouse, child) of someone already residing in Norway legally, and they must be able to sustain you financially. Your close family members can join you and settle in Norway at any time in the future.

Documents needed for a Norway permit application

Before making an application for a residence permit, you must submit the following vital documents.

  • Your passport: Besides your original passport, attach copies of the personal information page as well as all used pages (The ones with visas or entry points on them).
  • The cover letter: Once you are through with the online application, you’ll receive this document in your email, and you only need to print it and subsequently attach it to your application.
  • Passport-size photos: These photos should be recent and feature a white background.
  • Proof of accommodation: This should be a rental agreement or another proof showing you have a place to live after moving to Norway from the UK.
  • If you are moving to Norway from the UK for work, you’ll need to submit your offer of employment form, proof that your wages meet the income requirements, proof of your academic qualifications, Your CV as well as proof of previous employment experience.
  • Other documents as it pertains to your purpose in Norway. For example:
    • If you are moving to Norway from the UK to study and are looking for a study permit, you’ll have to submit your letter of admission, and proof you have sufficient financial means to sustain your stay in Norway.
    • If you are moving to join family members, you’ll have to show proof of family relationship, proof your family member earns or has enough funds to sustain you financially, and proof the family member hasn’t received social benefits in the last 12 months.

How to obtain a residence permit for Norway

Once you meet the above-described requirements, you’ll have to undergo the following application process:

  • Gather the required documents, depending on the purpose of your travel.
  • Apply online: You’ll need to register on the official UDI website (Norwegian Directorate of Immigration) and finish your online application. And once you are done, you will get an email along with a cover letter, which you’ll submit to the Embassy.
  • Pay the application fee. On the official UDI website, you also have to pay the residence permit fee through a credit or debit card.
  • Submit your documents: After gathering all the necessary documents and completing your online application, schedule an appointment at your nearest Norwegian embassy, Visa/Consulate application centre. Submit your documents and the Embassy will forward your application to the UDI.

The UDI will process your application and inform you about the outcome. In case you need an entry visa, the UDI will issue you with a visitor’s visa, which you can collect at either the embassy or Visa Application Center.

Norway Permanent Residence Permit requirements

To make an application for your permanent residence permit in Norway you must gather the required documents, complete the online application on the UDI application portal, pay the required fee, and hand in your documents to the local police service for residence permits and protection, or the service centre for foreign employees.

The required documents for a permanent residence permit application include:

  • Proof of your income. Depending on your situation, your income could be from formal employment, self-employment, pensions, or other regular income sources like life insurance or rent, student loans, or even social security benefits
  • Proof you haven’t received financial help from NAV.
  • Proof of your status and necessary fulfilment under that status, such as:
    • Proof you have completed the tuition hours and passed the Norwegian language as well as social studies test.
    • If you hold a residence permit for family reunification for a spouse, you’ll need to show UDI’s declaration of relationship form, a copy of your spouse, proof of the time your spouse has spent abroad, and any other document that the UDI may require to help you become a Norwegian citizen.

If you have any questions about moving to Norway from the UK, our team is happy to assist.

Passports and travel rules

It is worth noting that if you are moving to Norway from the UK, you must meet the Schengen area travel regulations. In this regard, your passport should meet two requirements, including:

  • It should be less than 10 years old on the day you enter.
  • It should be valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave.

Always carry your valid passport when travelling within the Schengen area. If you have citizenship of an EFTA or EU nation, in addition to your British citizenship, you can enter and exit Norway using your EU or EFTA passport.

If you travel to other Schengen area member states outside of Norway, you should ensure you don’t exceed the visa-free 90 days in any 180-day period. It is imperative to note that you are responsible for keeping track of how long you stay under the Schengen visa waiver, and you should adhere to these regulations.

If you were living in Norway before 1 January 2021, you must willingly show your residence card, or any other proof of residence status, whenever you are required to show your passport at the border control. Until you are issued a residence card, you should show one of the approved documents to verify you are a Norwegian resident. This could be the application receipt or:

  • Receipt for registration under the registration scheme for EEA nationals.
  • Certificate of an application under sections 19 to 33 and 19 to 35 of the Norwegian immigration laws.
  • Registration certificate or proof of permanent residence offered under the registration scheme for EEA nationals.
  • Residence certificate from the National Population Register

How can IAS help you move to Norway from the UK

Moving to, and living in, Norway can prove a challenging and complicated process for UK nationals. Navigating the Norwegian immigration system isn’t so easy especially if this is your first experience with obtaining a visa for Norway. Also, with Brexit and the UK’s exit from the EEA agreement, it may be tough to understand what rights you have in Norway as a non-citizen but rather as a UK citizen.

At Immigration Advice Service, we pride ourselves on our total commitment to helping UK citizens and residents with immigration and visa support for several countries including Norway. Our immigration lawyers have years of expertise in navigating the UK and Norwegian immigration rules and systems and can help you obtain the right permit and even get moving and concierge services to smoothen your move to Norway from the UK.

If you are considering moving to Norway, don’t hesitate to book an advice session with our excellent immigration lawyers. We have offices located across the UK, including in London, Manchester, and Birmingham. You can also use the office finder to find the closest branch to you. Call us now on 0333 305 9375 or chat with us online via live chat.

What to expect when living in Norway

Norwegian ID number:

It is important to note that everyone on the Norwegian National Population Registry is issued a unique national identity number. In case you didn’t know, this is an eleven-digit personal identifier. Most public, as well as private sector organizations, demand that you have a Norwegian ID number so you can access their services. You need it to register with a GP, open a bank account, and pay taxes.

Healthcare system

Norwegian’s healthcare system is arguably among the very best in the world. Fortunately, you can easily access it as a non-citizen.

Once you move to Norway and are issued a residency permit, which you will after staying there for more than three months, you can access Norwegian healthcare on the same basis as a citizen. But you’ll need to be making some contributions to Norway’s National Insurance Scheme, through employment or self-employment.

The Healthcare system in Norway is not free. However, it is subsidized by the government. You can also decide to take out private health insurance coverage if you wish to. If you have a European Health Insurance card issued in an EU country, that may suffice as well.

Property and accommodation

Norwegian citizens usually take great pride in their properties, so whether you are looking to purchase or rent one, you’ll find fantastic houses, homes, studio apartments that are equipped with everything you would want from a good home.

But this unmatched quality along with high living costs comes at a price! Renting or buying property in Norway isn’t that cheap, this is why you must seek professional advice regarding your options.

Schools and Education

When it comes to the educational system and general access to knowledge, Norway provides high-quality education that is compulsory to everyone from ages 6-to 16. All public education is free and controlled by the local municipalities. Lessons are taught solely in Norwegian unless it’s a foreign language class. However, there are several international and private schools in the major cities, which are popular with British citizens and offer International Baccalaureates, which equates to a British GCSE!

Working in Norway

To reside and work in Norway, you must have a Norway work or business visa. Norway has a quota for work permits. However, UK expats moving to Norway may find it quite hard to secure a job there for a few different reasons.

To begin with, even though most Norwegians are English speakers, fluency in Norwegian can make a huge difference to your job prospects. Also, you are likely to find competition fierce, and limited to major cities.

However, you may have more luck if you are a skilled worker, are willing to take on a seasonal job, or boast the necessary professional qualifications to work in an industry where there is a shortage.

Generally, though, the Norwegian job market is buoyant and progressing. On average, the wage rates are relatively higher than in most European countries. The country has a below-average unemployment rate of 4.6%, making it highly attractive for foreigners.

As a nation blessed with natural resources such as North Sea oil and gas, it’s not surprising that the country is one of the world’s largest exporters of these two resources. Most British citizens living in Norway often look to the oil and gas industry in bigger cities such as Stavanger and Oslo. Popular sectors for foreigners to look for job opportunities include tourism, services, fisheries as well as oil and gas industries.

Studying in Norway

As earlier mentioned, you must meet all the visa requirements before you travel to study in Norway. You may need to contact the relevant higher education provider in Norway to check what fees you may need to pay.

Taxation in Norway

It is worth noting that Norway has a double taxation agreement with Norway so that you don’t pay tax on the same income in both nations. Inquire from the relevant authorities about double taxation relief. You can as well seek professional advice regarding taxation in Norway from English-speaking tax experts if you don’t speak Norwegian!

We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If your application is rejected for whatever reason, you will be informed about the appeal process. And you must lodge a complaint within the deadline stated in your decision letter. If your appeal is not successful, you must either make an application for another Norwegian residence permit or vacate the country by the deadline the UDI gives you.

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