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WORKING IN NORWAY

How much have monthly wages risen in Norway?

The average monthly salary in Norway grew by around 2,000 kroner per month in 2021, figures from Statistics Norway have revealed.

Barcode, Oslo
Monthly wages in Norway rose by 2,000 kroner in 2021. Pictured is Barcode, Oslo. Photo by Gunnar Ridderström on Unsplash

Between 2020 and 2021, the average monthly salary in Norway rose by 4.2 percent, almost double the amount wages grew by a year prior, a report from Statistics Norway has revealed.

The stats firm said that the monthly average salary in Norway was 50,790 kroner as of November 2021.

“Wage growth in 2021 was 2.0 percentage points higher than the lower wage increases seen in 2020. It was also higher than the wage growth in 2019, which was the highest in many years,” Håkon Grini, senior adviser at Statistics Norway, said in a report on wage growth.

Grini said there were two major contributors to wage growth over the past year. Firstly, was a record number of job vacancies in 2021, meaning employers will have offered higher pay packets to lure employees.

Secondly were, wage settlements being delayed in 2020. Wage settlements, which determine minimum salaries for many industries in Norway, are negotiated by unions in the first half of the year.

READ MORE: What foreign residents in Norway should know about workers’ unions

In 2020, these were delayed due to the pandemic.

“Due to the lockdown in 2020, many wage settlements were postponed. This means that some of the wage growth that would have been expected to happen in 2020 didn’t happen until the following year,” Grini explained.

When taking the delayed wage settlements into account, salary growth in 2021 wasn’t too different to wage rises seen in other recent years.

Bonuses in private-sector jobs grew by 17.1 percent per month last year. The reason for this sharp increase was that many bonuses were withheld in 2020.

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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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