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What work permit holders in Norway need to know about changing jobs

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected] • 11 Jan, 2023 Updated Wed 11 Jan 2023 15:15 CEST
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Here's what happens when you want to change jobs in Norway. Pictured are employees in a meeting. Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

A lot of foreign workers in Norway are required to hold a work permit of some kind to live in the country legally. So, how does changing jobs affect your immigration status?

To live and work in Norway, those from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) will need to have a residence permit of some kind. 

The most common of these are family immigration and work permits. Work permits, as the name implies, are given to those who have been offered a job in Norway. 

These work permits are given to skilled workers, self-employed persons, or employees in NGOs – to mention just a few.

When applying as a skilled worker, you will need to be employed at a Norwegian company. The work will need to be relevant to your education, training or experience for it to be considered valid. 

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

With work permits being granted for a specific job, what happens if you change jobs? 

Well, one of the most important things you will need to know is that the new job will need to meet the requirements of your work permit. 

This means that generally, it will need to be a concrete full-time offer, although positions with 80 percent of full-time hours are also accepted. The job will need to relate to your qualifications as a skilled worker. And finally, the pay and working conditions must be better and equal to what is considered normal in Norway

For more information on the requirements for a skilled worker in Norway you will need to head to the website of the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI). 

If you are going to move to a new job with a different company and the same position, you will not need to apply for a different residence permit, and you can continue working on the one you have. 

Instead, you will need to inform your local police district that you have switched jobs within seven days of starting the new role. 

After three years, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residence in Norway. Permanent residency, as well as a family immigration permit, will not require you to have a work permit to have a job in Norway, and you will be free to work whichever job you wish. 

However, if you are going to start a new type of position or job role, then you will need to reapply for a work permit. When reapplying for a work permit, you must meet all the requirements again. 

This rule rules out sudden career changes as your qualifications may not be matched to the direction you wish to take your career in. 

Furthermore, you will need to have your new work permit granted before you can start working in your new position. These rules apply even if you are starting a new job within the same company for which the original permit was awarded. 

Unfortunately, not all job changes are voluntary- meaning you may have to find a new one if you lose your current one. 

If you do, you will need to let the local police district know, and then you will typically have up to six months to find another job. 

After that, the rules for whether you need to reapply for another work permit will depend on whether it is a new position or not. 

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Frazer Norwell 2023/01/11 15:15

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