For members


How Brits can get a residence permit in Norway post-Brexit 

Brexit has made it more challenging than before for Brits to relocate to Norway. Here's what you need to know about getting a residence permit.

Here are some of the ways you can get a residence permit in Norway following Brexit. Pictured is a Norwegian flag.
Here are some of the ways you can get a residence permit in Norway following Brexit. Pictured is a Norwegian flag.Photo by Max van den Oetelaar on Unsplash

The United Kingdom leaving the EU has ended free movement for Brits across the European Economic Area or EEA (EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway). 

This has made it significantly harder for Brits to relocate and move to Norway, and they’ll need some form of residence permit to live in Norway. 

Brits who were legal residents of the country before Brexit will also need to apply for a residence permit to continue living, working and studying in Norway as they did before the UK left the bloc. You can read more on that here

To move to Norway, you will need a residence permit. For newcomers, this will be a temporary residence permit. There are several ways to obtain a temporary residence permit in Norway which will be valid for between one to three years. After five years in Norway, you can apply for permanent residence. 

Work immigration 

To be granted a residence permit for work, you’ll most likely need to have been offered a job first, and the type of permit you apply for will depend on your line of work. 

You can qualify as a skilled worker if you have completed higher education or vocational training. A skilled worker must also have shown they have work experience in their specific field before applying for the skilled worker permit. 

If you have received a skilled worker permit but have yet to receive a residence permit, you can apply for an entry visa to come and live in Norway until your residence permit has been completed. 

READ MORE: How to get a work permit in Norway

Note that your job offer/contract must be for a full-time position for this type of permit. If it is for 80 percent of full-time hours, then it will be accepted. But anything less, and your application will be denied. If you are lucky, your employer will help with the application process. 

You can also apply for a job seeker visa. You will need to be looking for employment as a skilled worker and must have at least 22,167 kroner per month, or a total of 132,999 kroner for six months available in funding. This must be one’s own funding and be in a Norwegian bank account. 

On the subject of money, an application fee will be involved. This is 6,300 kroner in most cases. 

You can also travel to Norway as a seasonal worker. However, this is less straightforward and harder to secure than a skilled worker visa. You can read more about that here

More detail on the types of skilled workers allowed to come to Norway can meanwhile be found here.

Family Immigration

Spouses, cohabitants, fiancées, children, parents and other family members of Norway residents may be eligible to apply for family immigration. In most cases, you will need to pay a first-time application fee of 10,500 kroner. You can read more on the fees here.

The reference person (the person living in Norway you plan on moving for) will need to have a certain level of income. This is 273,648 kroner per year. You can read more on the income requirements here

Everyone who applies for family immigration must also document their identity. 

Spouses will need to have plans to live in Norway, the marriage be valid, and the marriage must not be forced or a union of convenience. In addition, applicants must be at least 24 years old.

For cohabitants, you will need to be 18, lived together for at least two years, and not married to anyone else or be expecting or having a child together. You can read about the specifics here

Those applying to be with their partner or spouse are also required to provide evidence of the relationship’s legitimacy.

Parents who have responsibility or continued shared custody of a child in Norway can also apply for family immigration. 

In many cases, those applying under the “other family” bracket will only have their applications approved when strong humanitarian reasons are considered. However, the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) doesn’t take any particular requirements or guidelines into account. 

You can check out the most common reasons for family immigration permits being rejected here on the Immigration Appeals Board’s (UNE) website.

You can read in more detail about family immigration and check to see what applies to your specific situation here.

Residence card for family members of EU/EEA nationals 

Those from outside the EU/EEA, including Britons following Brexit, can apply for a residence card if the family member they want to stay with is an EU/EEA national. 

This comes with several pros and cons compared to the family immigration route, not least not having to pay an application fee. Neither are there income requirements for the reference person. The case processing time is also reported to be shorter. 

On the flip side, it will take longer to be able to apply for permanent residence compared with family immigration (five years instead of three). 

You can compare the differences in more detail here

Study permit

If you want to study in Norway, you can also be granted residence. You’ll need to have been accepted into a Norwegian educational institution and have enough funds to sustain yourself. The money can consist of student loans grants and your own funds. The UDI will also include any income from a part-time job. 

In addition, you must have somewhere to live. You can read more on study permits here.

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For members


EXPLAINED: How Americans can move to Norway 

Whether you've always dreamed of a life in the mountains or are attracted to the high salaries and work-life balance, many dream of a life in Norway. Here's what you need to know about moving to Norway as an American.

EXPLAINED: How Americans can move to Norway 

There are plenty of factors that make Norway an attractive proposition for those looking to move countries. Whether it’s the nature, the wages, the work-life balance, the active lifestyle, or something completely different, plenty of positives bring people from all corners of the globe to the country.  

Americans undoubtedly feel this attraction as last year, citizens from the USA made up the fourth largest group to be granted work permits, while also being the fifth biggest set of nationals to be given family residence cards. 

So, what are the rules for moving to Norway? 

The basics 

First up, as Americans are classed as citizens from outside the EU/EEA and do not have the freedom of movement, they will generally need to apply for and be granted a residence permit to come to Norway. 

However, Americans with dual nationality from an EU or EEA country can move to Norway without applying for a permit. However, they will have to register with the police as having moved to Norway and log their reason for moving, such as work or family. If you qualify as an EU national, then you can check the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration’s (UDI) rules here.

Additionally, partners, spouses, and fiancés can move to Norway if their significant other is an EU/EEA national. You can read more about the specifics here

However, if you don’t meet these requirements, you will need to apply for a residence permit. The UDI treats Americans like the citizens of any other country outside of the EU/EEA, meaning there aren’t any specific rules for Americans. 

And one final point worth mentioning is Norway does not allow those with “Norwegian heritage” or a distant Norwegian relative to move to the country. 

What are the options for getting a residence permit? 

There are a few different ways to obtain a work permit to move to Norway. The most common options are either to move for work by getting a skilled worker permit, or to move to be with a Norwegian partner, spouse or family member. The rules for moving to be with family are pretty rigid, so you won’t be able to move to be with an aunt or uncle, for example. 

Becoming an au pair or moving to Norway to study are also options. You can find an overview of the different application types available to citizens from the USA here.

As obtaining a work permit or moving to be with family or a partner are the two most common routes, we’ll cover those in more detail. 

Getting a work permit

To qualify for the skilled worker permit, you’ll need to have completed higher education or obtained vocational training that took at least three years at upper secondary school level or higher—for example, electricians or carpenters. In addition, you will need to have received a full-time job offer that meets Norwegian pay and working condition requirements. 

The job you are offered must also require your qualifications as a skilled worker. These work permits run for between one and three years. Those with degrees are normally given three-year-long permits, while those with vocational education are typically given year-long permits. You may also need to reapply if you move into a job that’s a different position to the one you applied for, even if it’s with the same employer.

In Norway, there are many professions which are regulated. This means special qualifications and training are required to work in these fields. In some cases, you will need to have your qualifications gained outside of Norway approved to be eligible to work in them.

A seasonal worker permit option is also available, but this is a more short-term option and isn’t viable if you want to stay in Norway for longer than six months. 

To find out what rules specifically apply to you when applying for a work permit, click here.


Family immigration visa

Family immigration permits can be particularly complicated to understand as they can cover everything from partners moving to be with each other to relocating to be with children. Family immigration permits refer to two people in the application process. These are the applicant (the person who wants to move to Norway) and the reference person (the person the applicant is moving to Norway to be with). 

While the details below provide a basic overview, it is worth checking with the UDI what options are available to you and the rules here

For those with a husband or wife in Norway, there will be an application fee of 10,500 kroner to cover. Both of you will also need to be over 24 too. In addition, you’re marriage or partnership must have been legally entered into

You will also need to plan on living together in Norway, and the marriage must not have been a visa wedding or forced. 

The applicant must also verify their identity, and you must not be prohibited from entering the Schengen area. 

The reference person (i.e. the partner) must also have an income of at least 287,278 kroner per year before tax. This figure changes every May though. But the salary requirement will not be raised or lowered if it changes after you apply. 

The applicant’s significant other will also not have received financial assistance from NAV (økonomisk sosialhjelp) in the previous 12 months. 

The rules for those with partners is broadly the same. But you must also meet one of two requirements to be eligible. First, you will need either have lived together for two years. Or you must be expecting or have a child together. 

A parent who has sole parental responsibility for a child who is a Norwegian citizen can apply for a permit for family immigration to live with their child in Norway

If you are married or live with the child’s other parent, you cannot apply for this type of permit. Instead, you must apply under the rules for spouses and cohabitants. 

If your child or grandchild is an EEA citizen registered in Norway, you can move to be with them if you can document your identity, aren’t prohibited from entering the Schengen, and you will need to be supported financially by the reference person. 

Moving to be with adult children or parents when you are over 18 is incredibly tricky, and a specific set of requirements needs to be met. 

In many cases, those applying under the “other family” bracket will only have their applications approved when strong humanitarian reasons are considered. However, the UDI doesn’t list any particular requirements or guidelines. 

Those with family immigration permits are allowed to work and may be entitled to healthcare through the National Insurance Scheme.

Additionally, some people granted residence for family immigration can receive free Norwegian language lessons.