What are the key advantages of becoming a permanent resident in Norway?
While it comes with a few requirements, permanent residence in Norway also comes with several perks.
In Norway, residency comes in two forms, permanent and temporary. When people first move to Norway, they will be granted a temporary resident’s permit or register their move with the authorities, depending on where they come from. Eventually, they will be eligible to apply for permanent residence.
Permanent residence comes with a few requirements, such as language proficiency, not spending too long out of Norway in previous years, and meeting income requirements. You can find out what requirements apply to you when applying for permanent residence here.
Despite the rigorous requirements, permanent residence is a fantastic option for most and has several advantages.
You can stay indefinitely
The clue may be in the name, but permanent residence allows you to stay in Norway indefinitely. The obvious perk to this is it means no more applying for and renewing visas. This also means, apart from a potential citizenship application and the cost of obtaining permanent residence, no more application fees.
Permanent residence also grants you extra protection against expulsion from Norway, and those with family from the EEA who have gained permanent residence retain the right to stay in Norway indefinitely in the event the residence holder dies or the parties break up or divorce.
Less hassle if you want to switch jobs
A resident who previously held work permits will have much more career flexibility with permanent residence. If they choose to change occupations or take a break to study, they can do so freely without applying for a different type of residency permit.
Meanwhile, those with temporary work permits need to reapply when moving into a job that’s a different position to the one you were granted a permit for, even if it’s with the same employer.
This can make a career change on a skilled worker permit difficult as the permit is awarded for a job that requires your specific qualifications or education as a skilled worker. For example, you wouldn’t be able to move from accounting to graphic design on a skilled worker permit, whereas you could with permanent residence.
However, this is less of a perk for EEA citizens as they can stay in Norway without re-registering with the police as their reason for living in the country.
You can spend longer out of the country without losing your residence rights
When granted a temporary residence permit, you are typically told how long you can spend outside the country without losing your residence rights.
Typically, this would be a continuous absence of around six months, however, it may be longer or shorter depending on your own situation.
If you are granted permanent residence, you can spend a continuous period of two or two out of four years outside of Norway without losing your status as a permanent resident.
You can apply to become exempt from losing your permanent residence if you spend longer than this outside of Norway.
It can help you along your way to obtaining citizenship
Norwegian citizenship has become a popular choice for many long-term residents after the country relaxed its rules to allow dual citizenship in 2020.
To qualify for citizenship, you will need to either hold permanent residence or qualify for a permanent residence permit by the time the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) decides on your case.
Already holding permanent residence will mean you’ll pass this requirement. If you apply in time, you'll also meet some or all of the language requirements for citizenship.
However, this won’t be the case for long, as from autumn 2022, at the earliest, the language requirement for citizenship will be raised from A2 to B1. A2 refers to an elementary level of Norwegian, and B1 is considered semi-fluent.
Additionally, the process of gathering all the paperwork required to apply for permanent residence will also prepare you for the citizenship application.