How to prove you are a resident of Norway without a residence card

You may need to document your legal right to reside in Norway while waiting for your residence card to arrive. Here's how. 

Here's how you can prove your right of residence in Norway without a card. Pictured is the Atlantic Road in Møre og Romsdal.
Here's how you can prove your right of residence in Norway without a card. Pictured is the Atlantic Road in Møre og Romsdal. Photo by Secret Travel Guide on Unsplash

After being granted residence in Norway, you will receive a card that documents and confirms to the authorities that you have the legal right to live and work in Norway. 

However, it may take some time before your residence card reaches you in the mail. Some applicants may also be required to meet with the police to order a residence card. Some police districts in Norway may have long waiting times, which means it may be a while before you secure your card. 

Once the police appointment is sorted, it can take 20 days to have the card produced and sent to you. 

In the meantime, you’ll need a way to prove that you are a legal resident of Norway. The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) advises that while a residence card itself is the best way for those with the right to live in Norway to document their rights, you can use the decision letter they received from immigration authorities or the police to prove their residence. 

The decision letter will either be emailed to you or you can find a copy in your digital mailbox if you have one set up. The letter will outline your rights. Those who apply from Norway can also prove for how long they’ve been a legal resident in Norway. 

Those whose employers want to know whether they have the right to work in Norway can contact the UDI. Those who have applied for a permit outside Norway will have the right to work after receiving a decision and booking an appointment with the police. 

No way of documenting residence when travelling 

Unfortunately for those from outside the EU/EEA who do not have the right to freedom of movement across the bloc, there isn’t a way of documenting legal residence in Norway without a residence card. 

“If you travel abroad without a valid residence card, you do so at your own risk. You may then experience problems at the border control into Schengen/Norway or at an ID check in another Schengen country. In other words, you may have difficulties travelling back to Norway after your stay abroad, “the UDI advises on its website

This means that you won’t be able to use a job or rental contract or your decision letter to prove your right to live in Norway while travelling. 

It added that the UDI wouldn’t be able to give any confirmation of legal residence that can be used when travelling abroad without a card. 

For those wanting to travel to Norway after being granted a resident’s permit, the embassy in the country they applied to will typically grant them an entry visa to head to Norway.

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What are the key benefits of Norway’s family immigration permit? 

When moving to Norway, you may need a residence permit to live and work there legally. Norway’s family immigration permit has several advantages that may make it a more attractive proposition than other types of residence. 

What are the key benefits of Norway’s family immigration permit? 

The majority of those from outside the European Economic Area will need a residence permit to live in Norway legally. However, if you are an EEA national, it’s relatively straightforward due to being able to live and work in Norway freely. The only paperwork that will be required is registering with the police

Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for more than one permit. For example, when moving to be with a partner or family member, you may qualify for both a work permit and a family immigration residence card. 

In many cases, the family immigration permit may be best as it comes with several benefits that other types of residence may not. 

What is the family immigration permit? 

Spouses, cohabitants, fiancées, children, parents and other family members of residents in Norway may be eligible to apply for family immigration or family reunification permits from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI). 

In other articles, we’ve covered the rules for family and partners in more depth. You can check those out below. 


Career freedom

When moving to Norway, many may find themselves in a position where they qualify for both a work permit and a family immigration permit, but they aren’t sure which one is best. 

When granted a family immigration permit, you have the right to live and work in Norway. And unlike a work permit, you may have more career freedom. This is because you will not need a job relevant to your qualifications. 

Additionally, 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. Those with a family immigration permit aren’t required to reapply when switching jobs. 

This makes changing your job or career in Norway a lot more hassle-free than with a work permit.

Free language lessons

You may be entitled to free Norwegian language lessons when granted a family immigration permit in Norway. 

Those who are the family members of those with permanent residence, or the family member of a Norwegian or a citizen of another Nordic country (except those that have a residence permit as a family member on the grounds of the EEA freedom of movement regulations) can get up to 600 hours of language and social studies tuition based on their residence. 

Quicker road to citizenship 

Yes. As briefly outlined above, several factors can affect how long you must spend in Norway before becoming a citizen. 

For those that are a registered partner, cohabitant, or spouse of a Norwegian citizen, then the residence length is five out of the last ten years. 

One caveat is that your combined residence and marriage period will need to have been at least seven years. This means you will have to have already been married for at least a couple of years to be eligible for Norwegian citizenship after five years of residence. 

Those who aren’t married can include the time they have lived with their partner to the combined marriage and residence requirement. Furthermore, time spent living together or abroad can count towards the residence requirement.

READ ALSO: How long does it take to get Norwegian citizenship?