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WORKING IN NORWAY

What foreign workers in Norway should know about regulated professions

Some jobs or professions in Norway require accreditation of qualifications or education obtained in another country before you can work in your desired field.

Pictured is somebody hard at work on their laptop.
There are a few things you should know about regulated professions in Norway, which require you to get your qualifications recognised. Pictured is somebody hard at work. Photo by Matheus Marsiglio on Unsplash

What are regulated professions? 

Norway has 161 regulated professions in which some requirements must be met to work in that role. If you were educated or trained outside of Norway, you would need to have your education, training or qualifications recognised by Norwegian authorities to get certain jobs.

Regulated professions cover an extensive range of industries. NOKUT (the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education), an independent body under the Ministry of Education and Research, has a list of sectors with regulated jobs and information on where to apply to get your qualifications recognised.

How do you get foreign qualifications recognised? 

There are 15 agencies responsible for checking and verifying whether qualifications and training obtained outside of Norway is of the required standard to work in a regulated job.

Additionally, many industries have requirements outside of having your training and qualifications verified.

For example, healthcare workers must have their written and verbal Norwegian language proficiency assessed and may be sent on additional courses to learn about the country’s health system. Applicants must cover the cost of additional language training. 

Most, but not all, professions are regulated by the EU Professional Qualifications Directive, which seeks to streamline the process of getting education and qualifications authorised if they were obtained in a country within the EU or EEA (EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway).  

The process can be a lot trickier if you received your education outside of the EEA, and may involve extra steps. In almost all cases, agencies responsible for professions that require a certain skill set or qualifications ask non-EEA applicants to contact them directly. Some agencies may also charge a fee to verify your qualifications or translate them into either English or Norwegian.

In some cases, foreigners can use a European Professional Card (EPC), an electronic procedure in which the country in which you gained your professional qualification can confirm its legitimacy. For example, you can apply for an EPC if you are a real estate agent, mountain guidepharmacist or physiotherapist.  

How long can the process take? 

Despite the EU Professional Qualifications Directive streamlining part of the process, it can take months or sometimes years. This is partly due to the need for language skills or extra training in some professions before applicants are given the green light to look for jobs in industries that may be regulated.

If you are you a foreign resident in Norway who works in a regulated profession, we would love to hear your experiences of getting your training or qualification recognised to work in the country.

Getting education verified for a non-regulated profession

Some employers in non-regulated professions may also want to confirm the validity of your prior education.

This ensures that the level of education you received is of equivalent quality or standard to a comparable Norwegian qualification.

In most cases, you won’t need to have your education formally recognised to use your diploma. But, it may help with job applications as having your prior education recognised by Norwegian authorities can act as a seal of approval and help your application stand out.

NOKUT evaluates the status of the educational institution and qualification in the country where it was acquired, along with the duration and level of the programme.

Degrees from several countries, such as the UK, Nordics, and Australia, can be automatically recognised. This comes in the form of a statement that can be downloaded and confirms that NOKUT recognises your certifications.  

The process for having vocational training approved is a bit more thorough and comes with more conditions. The training and qualifications must be equivalent to skills, competence or knowledge to a Norwegian crafts or journeymen’s certificate. Additionally, the qualification must have been at least three years in duration, with at least one year of documented practical training.

If NOKUT doesn’t recognise the qualification, you will need to either apply to take vocational education in Norway, apply to take the Norwegian crafts certificate, the praksiskandidat or apply to train for the Norwegian crafts certificate while you are working.

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For members

WORK PERMITS

Why your Norwegian work permit application might be rejected and how to avoid it

Norway is an attractive proposition for workers from all over the globe. However, some job hunters will need a residence permit for employees to move to the country. The UDI has revealed to The Local the most common reasons applications are rejected. 

Why your Norwegian work permit application might be rejected and how to avoid it

Whether it’s the high salaries, work-life balance, or generous benefits, people from all over the world are lured to Norway for work. 

Last year, more than 21,000 people moved to Norway for work, according to statistics from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI). 

Of these, 7,348 were granted residence permits for work, while the rest were EEA nationals, which meant they didn’t need a work permit. 

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 must meet several other requirements to be given a residence permit, such as a minimum salary or a set number of contracted hours. 

Unfortunately, not everyone who applies for a work permit is successful. And as an application fee is involved, it would be handy to know the most common reasons for applications being turned down so you can take steps to avoid them. 

Luckily, the UDI has provided The Local with the most common reasons for applications being denied. 

READ ALSO: How many people move to Norway for work, and where do they come from?

Skilled workers

The skilled worker permit was the type of residence card that was most commonly granted in 2021. Over half of the permits issued to those wanting to live and work in Norway were for skilled employees. 

According to the UDI, one of the most common reasons why applications for skilled workers are rejected is because they do not have the relevant qualifications. 

Typically, the qualifications required for a skilled worker visa are a degree or vocational training of at least three years at the upper secondary level for example, if you have trained or undergone an apprenticeship as a carpenter. For those with vocational qualifications, there must be a corresponding course in Norway. 

Your application may be rebuffed if you have a vocational qualification that isn’t offered at upper secondary school level in Norway. Additionally, if you are applying for a skilled worker permit, the job must be relevant to your skills.

Workers can also prove they are skilled through work experience and have obtained special qualifications gained through employment. However, the criteria for this are much stricter, and the UDI warns that many of these applications are rejected.

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 approved to be eligible to work in them.

For example, electricians must get approval from the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection to work in the country. If you have a degree you can also have it verified too.  

Therefore it is imperative to ensure that you meet the qualification requirements. One way of doing this is to liaise with the employer that has offered you a job. You can also contact the UDI before applying to clear up the requirements and see if you meet them, or work with an immigration lawyer. 

You can read about the other requirements for applying for a skilled worker visa here

Seasonal workers 

There is also a permit available for seasonal workers, which is awarded to those performing a job that can only be done at certain times of the year. 

Applications for these permits are most commonly turned down because the UDI feels that the requirements for the job contract are not met. 

To be granted a seasonal worker permit, the job must be for seasonal work or as a holiday stand-in, and the pay and working conditions must not be poorer than what is considered normal in Norway. 

Furthermore, the offer must be for full-time work. A full-time job in Norway is one which has 37.5 hours in a standard working week. 

You can read more specifically about seasonal worker residence cards here

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