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Business Facts Norway – Living and working in Norway

Entering the country

Generally speaking, as a resident of the EU, you can enter the country without a visa and need only a valid national ID or passport. However, if you want to stay in the country for longer than three months, you should apply for a residence permit with the Norwegian police within two weeks of your arrival. If you need more information, the embassy of the Kingdom of Norway or the Central Foreign Nationals Office UDI in Norway will furnish particulars. Even though Norway isn’t a member of the EU, you as an EU citizen can work there without a special work permit. With your residence permit, you receive the right to work in Norway.

Important: To apply for a residence permit, in addition to a valid form of identification, you will also need proof of a job and sufficient capital to be able to show that you can afford to live in Norway. By the way, a national ID is not accepted by every authority. Keep your passport handy for trips to the authorities.

Take note of the obligation to register

Once you’ve gotten a residence permit, you have to attend to your duty to register. That means that you have to register with the registration office and apply for a personal number (D-Nummer). You’ll need this number to apply for a tax card, to obtain insurance and to open a bank account. You’ll get the D-Nummer from the tax office, the employment agency, the Norwegian chamber of retail commerce or a bank where you want to open an account.  

The labour market

The economic situation in Norway is good, and specialists are in demand. Therefore, you have good prospects of finding a job. And although most Norwegians speak English, you should however have a good command of the Norwegian language in speech and writing. By the way, the chambers of commerce offer language courses directly in Norway. Our tip: Start learning the language before your move to Norway anyway.

Specialists are in demand in these sectors:

  • Nursing and medicine
  • Service and tourism
  • Technology and energy production
  • Shipping and fishing
  • Construction

The per capita income in Norway is very high. It is 3,400 EUR a month on average. But you should be prepared for high taxes as nearly 42% of your income is relinquished to taxes.

Living in Norway

Besides high taxes, you have to be prepared for a high cost of living. Food costs significantly more than the EU average. If you can afford it, you should plan to purchase real estate in Norway in the long term. Real estate available for rent in Norway is more for the short term, and especially in rural areas, there are hardly any apartments for rent. Look in local newspapers or check online portals for suitable real estate offers.  

What you should be prepared for in Norway: It can get lonely. Beyond the metropolitan areas like Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim, the cities and villages are rather small and isolated. It’s very dark in the winter, and depending on the part of the country and the weather, you won’t see the sun for several months. You should try it out beforehand to see if you can handle this kind of darkness.

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