Norway is a Scandinavian Viking country full of nature, open spaces, and the Northern Lights. People here are happy and they have the best quality of life in the world. Scandinavia countries, Especially Norway have always been very welcoming to foreigners, who like to travel outside the country to see and experience what’s out there. So, if you’re moving to Norway, get ready for immersion into Norwegian culture, traditions, and customs, as well as all the beauty that Norway has to offer!
For many, the country’s quality of life, beautiful scenery, and proximity to popular European destinations make it a great option for a new home. Norway is considered a prosperous nation by the rest of the world and it has been receiving applications from people all across the globe who want to come and work in this Nordic country. Norway is a fantastic place to live and work. The Norwegian labor market is in a healthy state and the demand for skilled workers is rising.
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How to Get a Job in Norway as an Expat
If you wish to work in Norway, there are certain requirements that you have to meet. You will have to prove that you are qualified for the job you are applying for and that you fit into the criteria and requirements of being eligible as an immigrant.
If you’re an expat thinking about moving to Norway, you will have lots of thoughts about it. Like, will you find a job? What will it pay? What is the quality of life in Norway like? How can you find a home?
These are just a few of the things that many foreigners and internationals have questions about. That’s why I decided to write this blog post to “debunk” some of the myths and rumors floating around out there.
There are a lot of sectors in Norway where immigrants looking for work can easily find employment. You can easily find well-paying jobs in sectors and industries related to like oil and gas, healthcare, construction, mining, agriculture, hydropower, international trade, seafood, tourism, and transportation.
You can also choose to be self-employed. Norway has a handy visa available to businessmen and freelancers. You can easily set up an EU base for your business in Norway at a relatively low cost.
One of the best ways to find work in Norway is by looking for positions through job websites like Monster or Indeed. However, this approach doesn’t guarantee results. Only about 43% of job seekers and applicants would find a position within three months using this method compared with 58% using recruiters or headhunters.
Referrals and recommendations remain one of the best ways to land a job. To do this, you may need to find a recruiting agency in Norway. There are a lot of them but I recommend going for Adecco Norway and Hudson Nordic. They are arguably some of the best-recruiting agencies in the country.
Where to Find A Job in Norway as an Expat?
Norway has historically had very low unemployment compared to other countries. The overall unemployment rate was 3% in 2018, while the youth unemployment rate was 5.5%. Since then, this has decreased by 0.2% in 2019 to 3.8%.
Just like in every other country, finding a job in Norway as an expat is a challenge. There are two main rules for finding work in Norway: – Employment and social security regulations vary greatly between the regions of Norway. – You must have a residence permit to work in Norway. Getting work and residence permits as a foreigner depends on your previous education, professional and language skills, nationality, and the type of work you are looking for. Norway has five language regions which means that there are variations in the type of jobs available and fluctuations regarding how much various types of jobs pay.
If you are planning to move to Norway for a job or any other reason, read these tips to help you get started.
- Visit the European Employment Services Network (EURES) website – This European job mobility website allows job seekers to find millions of vacancies and openings all over the country. This is to facilitate the free movement of workers within the EU and EEA countries, which is not available for non-members.
- Contact Jobline – you can call Jobline, at (+47) 800 33 166 (toll-free) to check if there are any vacancies in the region you stay in. The phone line is open from 8.00 to 18.00 and is available in Norway only.
- Visit the Norwegian National Employment Agency (NAV) website.
- Search online.
Are There Any Job Opportunities In Norway?
The Norwegian job market is as varied and diverse as the country itself. You can find both permanent and temporary employment opportunities within every industry in Norway’s labor market. Norway has an American-style labor market. Both parties are free to enter into a contract and engage in an occupation or profession. There is almost no legislation on the content of the employment contract or the terms of work. Salaries, length of vacation, and pensions are freely negotiable between employers and employees.
The Norwegian Labor market is to the point of being oversupplied with jobs on purpose so there are plenty of opportunities for foreigners. The booming economy has made it hard for employers to find new competent workers to fill the vacancies they have.
Who Can Apply for a Norwegian Work Visa?
First off, to live in Norway, you have to apply for a Norway Work Visa. The Norwegian Work Visa is called the Skilled Workers’ immigration and is granted to foreigners who are highly skilled and therefore have a chance of earning more money than a common worker who is not highly skilled. The Work Visa is a Norwegian Residence Permit for work, you can live and work legally with it.
You can apply for a Norwegian Work Visa if meet any of the following requirements and criteria:
- You must have completed higher education or a degree from a college or university.
- You must have completed a three years vocational training program at upper secondary school.
- You must have “special qualifications” that make you eligible for the job, even if you are not properly educated (long work experience).
- You may have gotten a concrete job with an employer in Norway.
- The job will be full-time.
- The job does not pay lesser than it would pay a Norwegian.
- You are above the age of 18.
- You must have a crime-free background.
What are the Requirements When Applying for the Norwegian Work Visa?
Norway’s labor market is challenging to enter for non-Norwegians. Foreign workers must be able to prove that their skills are needed in Norway. In other words, if there are enough Norwegian workers who can fulfill the job role, the employer has no grounds to hire a foreigner.
To apply for a job in Norway as a foreigner, you need to have a work permit. If you are an EU/EEA citizen, you have the right to live and work in Norway without acquiring extra permission.
The Norwegian Immigration Authorities (UDI) is in charge of all migration to Norway. Applicants can either submit all documents at the Norwegian embassy present in their country (or neighboring countries) or be given written power of attorney. You will be able to apply yourself if your employer gives you the power of attorney.
Moreover, you need to submit the following paperwork when applying for a Norwegian Work Visa;
- Your passport and send in copies of all the used pages on your passport.
- A signed cover letter from the Application portal (or application form).
- Two recent passport-size photos with white background.
- Paperwork that shows that the employee has somewhere to live in Norway.
- A completed UDI’s Offer of employment form (you would have received this in PDF format after completing the online application on the UDI website).
- Your full education qualities contain information about your level and duration of time spent.
- Your work experience detailing information on training you’ve received, tasks and qualifications, and info on your former employers and the time duration you worked with them.
- An honest CV.
- A filled and signed UDI’s checklist.
Additional documents and paperwork are needed for some applications;
- At least, your last three pay slips.
- In any case, if you were temporarily laid off (permitted), a decision letter from NAV which will state that you have been granted such unemployment benefits.
- Special paperwork if you have been asked for such in prior decisions.
- If you are in any situation described under “Additional documents for some applications”, you must submit the same documents as when you applied for the first time.
- A signed and filled UDI’s checklist.
- Passport and copies of all used pages in the passport.
- A signed cover letter from the Application portal.
Processing Time: this may vary depending on the type of application and channel where the applicant submitted their application. It could take up to 90 days for applications to be processed.
And here are some document guidelines;
- The documents you had in have to be in original form as well as copies.
- If your employer applies on your behalf, the documents might be copies.
- If the documents are neither in English nor Norwegian, you must employ a qualified translator to translate them.
- The Embassy may ask for additional documents depending on some specific situation.
How to Apply for a Norwegian work Visa
Once you receive a job offer in Norway, you can start the application for a Work Visa online at the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) website. Later on, you can:
- Submit the completed application along with the documents at the Embassy or a Visa Application Center.
- Submit the documents in Norway, if you are already there. Neighbouring and EU countries can do this through the mail.
If you apply from your home country, you should have gotten all documents in order:
- Application form Visa application form UDI.no
- A valid passport with at least 6 months until expiration date and three empty pages, along with a copy of the data page and any previous visas.
- Travel insurance covers medical expenses for at least EUR 30,000. Be sure to read about how to choose the right travel insurance for a Norwegian Work Visa.
- Flight itinerary or flight tickets to Norway from your home country and back, confirming that you will only be staying in Norway until your visa expires.
- Proof of lodgings in Norway, such as hotel reservations, or an invitation letter from a Norwegian citizen or resident.
- Proof of sufficient means of subsistence, such as bank account statements for the last 3 months.
- Photo, color, white background, not older than six months, size 35 x 45 mm, head height 33–36 mm
- Done most preceding heading.
If you 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 the visa to enter and work in Norway.
While those already in Norway follow the procedure. Except that, they need to submit the completed application to the Residence Permit and Protection Services of the Norwegian police or a Service Centre for Foreign Workers (SUA), depending on the district you are in. the Police or SUA will review and send the application to the UDI. You may also apply for an entry visa which is short-term but does not allow you to work. It only allows you to go to Norway and submit your application. Until the UDI grants you a visa, you are prohibited from working.
For those whose employer applies for a Norwegian Work Visa, you should have:
- Gathered the required documents for the Norwegian work visa.
- Completed the online application on the UDI website.
- Sent copies of the required documents to your employer along with a written authorization for them to apply on your behalf.
Your employer will submit the completed application to the Residence Protection Services of the Norwegian police or a Service Centre for Foreign Workers (SUA), depending on the location they are in. The Police or the SUA will send the application to the UDI.
Applying for a visa is not hard but it can be very tricky. After you arrive in Norway, you have to go to the local police services and get your Residence Card, you would have made an appointment before you leave using the UDI Application Portal. This is ideal within the first week of arrival.
Other Types of Norwegian Work Visa
- Norway Seasonal Work Visa 0 – this is for a short time and seasonal job done at a specific time of the year.
- Norway Job Seeker Visa – this is for skilled workers who have completed their studies in Norway, it allows them to stay in Norway without a job offer and look for work.
- Vocational Training and Research Visa – This visa is for students who will undertake training during their higher education or self-funded studies.
- Norway Working Holiday Visa – for young citizens of Argentina, Australia, Canada, Japan, and New Zealand under 31 years. It allows them to live and work in Norway for a year.
- Norway Work Visa for Artists – for artists, musicians, or songwriters. The maximum allowed stay is 14 days.
Norway has some of the greatest economic and social standards in the world. Its government, combined with its state-funded services, provides a strong sense of security. Social liberalism combines with extreme individualism in Norway. The country allows for more freedoms than other Nordic countries; visiting a bar or restaurant on a Sunday morning is not unheard of.
Some of those who are not from Norway but who would like to study or work in this beautiful country may find that their dream is easier to achieve than they previously thought. Norwegians welcome over 70,000 immigrants every year and with recent years being more globally aware in terms of accepting more worldwide talent, it means that you stand a better chance at carving out your future here than you might have done in the past. You must take all the necessary steps first before making any decisions though, as there is still additional paperwork to complete and rules to follow. Also bear in mind that it can take time for your application to be processed so be patient.