For members


Avoid the paperwork: 16 things you can do online in Norway

Norway's international residents will be pleased to know they can avoid the extra stress and time used standing in queues by carrying out much of their everyday tasks and Norwegian paperwork online. Here's a list of 16 things you can do online to both avoid the queues, give you more options and even save you money.

Avoid the paperwork: 16 things you can do online in Norway
Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash


Vinmonopol- The vinmonopol is a state-owned store that has the exclusive right to retail sales of beverages with an alcohol level over 4,7 percent. The often long queues to get in the store iare so common that Norwegians have created their own expression  to refer to them – pol queue. Luckily in this modern age, you can avoid the pol queue and place your order online

READ MORE: What you need to know about buying alcohol in Norway

Shopping for food and other necessity items- Tired of standing in the checkout queue at the grocery store? Then consider ordering your groceries online instead. There are multiple transport options including pick-up points or door to door delivery. Most of the popular grocery chains in Norway such as Meny, Rema 1000, and Joker all offer their own online food ordering services. Although, the availability of these services is dependent on where you live. So check with your local grocery store to find out what options they provide. 

Too good to go- And it’s not just the grocery stores that have jumped on the food delivery and pick-up bandwagon. Too good to go is a popular app that many locals use to pick up food that would otherwise be thrown away in cafes and restaurants. The stores that are working with the app often make their food pick-up times just before closing or during their slower hours making it almost guaranteed for you to avoid the queues. 

Foodora- No need to stand in line with an empty stomach while you wait for an available table. The company Foodora has partnered with many restaurants in the larger cities around Norway to make restaurant food delivered to your door a possibility. If you have ever seen a bubblegum, pink clad cyclist biking around the city wearing an insulated thermal backpack, then you’ve just spotted Norway’s most popular food take-away service in action.

PrisjaktIf you’re on a tight budget then finding the best price for an item can be necessary. But there is no need to drive around to different stores and stand in a queue waiting  for customer service to compare prices. Prisjakt or “price hunt” is an online site where you can compare prices from everything from electronics to garden furniture all over Norway. You can also use this site to find out which stores have the items you need in stock. In addition, you can set up notification alerts for specific products you’re waiting to buy for when they have gone on sale. 

For when you’re settling in 

UDI, Politi, and  Skatteetaten – Pre-pandemic, waiting in long queues for drop-in appointments with the service centre for foreign workers, the police, and the tax authorities was extremely common. The lengthy queues are currently non-existent as drop-in appointments have been cancelled. Luckily, many services have become available online in order to adapt to the current times. Here is a list of services and information that would be beneficial to know about if you are needing to book an appointment with one or more of these three centres. 

Finding a GP – Finding a fastlege or “general practitioner” for yourself and for your family in Norway is a process that can be done entirely online. This goes for if you want to change your current GP as well as scheduling visits to see them. Scheduling appointments must be done on the individual website your GP’s office has set up. 

NAV – A wealth of information and services are offered through Norway’s welfare website, NAV. Due to the pandemic, physical meet-ups with social welfare services are limited and avoided when possible. Luckily, you can apply for unemployment benefit, file for maternity/paternity leave and check the status of your applications all online. Note – to file and follow up on all of these requests you must first have a Norwegian ID number. 

For driving matters

Getting your driver’s licence- There is no need to stand in line at your local Statens vegvesen, or “traffic services office” to apply for and receive your driving licence. Norway now accepts the digital version that can be downloaded directly to your phone. Be aware that the digital version of your driving licence is only valid in Norway. So you must have a physical licence if you plan on driving outside of the country. 

Exchanging your licence 

To exchange your foreign driving licence to a Norwegian one there is the option to wait in line at your local traffic service office. But you can also send it in by mail. Just remember to include all necessary documents as well as the application form

Buying and selling a vehicle- Both the seller and the buyer of a vehicle must always submit a Notification of Sale. Luckily as of February 20th of this year, this can now be done online as well as paying the required registration fee.

Pay before – For appointments such as driving and theory tests that require an in person meet-up, it is often cheaper to pay any upfront fees when you schedule the appointment online. You get a discounted price, and avoid any unnecessary queues to pay at the traffic service office. 

Other places to avoid the queues 

The post office- the post office is notorious for lengthy queues! Luckily, delivery services have caught on to their customers’ frustrations and have started offering door to door delivery with very little or no extra costs. So remember this option next time you are ordering an item online and have to click on a delivery method. Here you can find more details and information about one of Norway’s most used delivery services Bring.

Banking services- In order to set up a bank account in Norway, you must meet up in person and have the required documents. There is no way around this initial first step. But after that, you may need to never set foot in your bank again. The services offered through your bank’s online banking service often include: paying bills, overview of your account(s), transferring money abroad, transfer between accounts, and applying for a loan. Check your bank’s website to find out what specific services they can offer you online. 

READ MORE: What you should know about opening a Norwegian bank account

Useful vocabulary and facts

The top three most popular online stores in Norway are Komplett, Elkøp, and Zalando. 

Norway has the second largest e-commerce market in Scandinavia. Its continued growth and popularity has a lot to do with the fact that 97 percent of the countries residents have access to the internet, states Data Feed Watch.

på nett online

bestill order

nettside – website

kjøp – buy

levering– delivery 

vent i køen – wait in line 

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For members


Tax returns in Norway: Five things you need to know

Norway’s tax season is upon us. We’ve put together some essential tips and information to help you understand the Norwegian tax system better. 

Tax returns in Norway: Five things you need to know

Keeping track of the key dates

Taxes can be tricky for some, but it can pay to be prepared. Keeping track of this year’s key dates when it comes to tax season can be a huge helping hand. 

Tax returns are already being sent out and will continue to be posted until April 4th. Then, April 30th will see the deadline to submit your tax return. 

If you feel like you need more time to assess the previous year’s finances, the end of April also sees the deadline for applications for a postponed deadline. 

READ MORE: The key Norwegian tax season dates you need to know about

You are able (and meant) to add any student loans from abroad to your tax return

You can add your student loan to your debts and claim the interest as tax-deductible. In fact, you are supposed to declare all overseas assets, received and earned interest, in addition to any debts and loans.  

However, this means the debt is visible to Norwegian lenders, which can impact your lending ability.

You can get a rough idea of whether you can expect a rebate or repay tax

After submitting your tax return, you will receive a tax assessment notice. In addition, you’ll receive a notice with information regarding how much money you’ll receive as a rebate or how much you’ll need to repay if you’ve overpaid. 

When you receive this will give you a fair idea of whether you can expect money back or if you’ll need to dig into your pockets to pay back any money you owe. 

If you receive your tax assessment notice in May, you will likely be due a refund, whereas if you receive it from June onwards, you’ll probably owe the tax man money. 

Tax return versus a tax receipt

Most people working in Norway will receive a tax return, which is an outline of your income, deductions, wealth and debt. However, not all people will receive a tax return, and some will receive a tax receipt. 

If you participate in the PAYE (Pay as You Earn) scheme, you will not receive a tax return. Instead, you will receive a tax receipt, which shows the amount of tax that you’ve paid in Norway. Those in the PAYE scheme play a flat rate of 25 percent. 

One of the key differences is that you cannot claim deductions with a tax receipt. Also, some lenders only accept tax returns rather than receipts when it comes to giving credit. This means those on the PAYE scheme may find it challenging to build a credit history in Norway as their income and earnings are not taken into account. 

You are expected to pay tax on your worldwide income 

Once you are considered a tax resident of Norway, you generally are required to pay tax on your worldwide income. Tax residency is slightly different to legal residence. 

The rules can be a bit complex, and if you are earning an income in two countries, several factors will come into play, such as whether Norway has a tax treaty with those countries and how much you are taxed on that income in other countries. 

If you have any questions or queries regarding your tax, it is best to contact The Norwegian Tax Administration or a qualified accountant.