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How to get your qualifications recognised when you move to Norway

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected] • 6 Feb, 2023 Updated Mon 6 Feb 2023 15:36 CEST
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In this article, we will go through the different types of recognition currently available in Norway and guide you through the application process. Photo by Malte Helmhold on Unsplash

If you're moving to Norway, it's always a good idea to check whether your profession requires accreditation of qualifications or education. If that's the case, you will need to apply through the official recognition process.


Migration to any foreign land tends to be a demanding and complex process. From familiarising yourself with the culture and language to getting to know the job market and workplace rules, it can be a lot to take in.

However, there are some things that you should ideally start reading up on even before you move to a country in pursuit of a job.

The requirements for regulated professions – which specify which demands and qualifications one needs to meet to work in such a profession – are one of those things.

The Local has an in-depth guide about regulated professions in Norway, available here.

Another key aspect of getting your education recognised when you move to Norway is the recognition application process.

In this article, we will go through the different types of recognition currently available in Norway and guide you through the application process.


Who needs to have their education recognized to work in Norway?

In total, Norway has 161 regulated professions (you can find the full list here). If you want to work in any of them, you'll need to have your education and qualifications recognized beforehand.

Furthermore, there are 15 agencies responsible for verifying whether qualifications obtained outside of Norway meet the required work standards in regulated professions in the country.

In the past, NOKUT (the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education), an independent body under the Ministry of Education and Research, played an important role when it came to the recognition of foreign education.

However, as of January 1st, 2023, all of NOKUT's recognition services for foreign education moved to the Directorate of Higher Education and Skills.

Note that all requirements and guidelines decided by NOKUT will therefore be continued in the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills.

At the moment, the NOKUT website and the information about foreign education on it are still valid and relevant but expect a new website to be set up soon.

A lot of professions are regulated by the EU Professional Qualifications Directive, which aims to streamline the process of getting education and qualifications authorised if they were obtained in a country within the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA).

However, note that the recognition process can be more complex if you received your education outside of the EEA. In such cases, you will often need to contact the competent state bodies directly to see which rules apply to your case.

The different types of recognition in Norway

As the NOKUT website (which remains the relevant point of information until further notice) points out, the exact type of recognition you need to apply for is determined by your educational background and your individual needs, i.e., what you intend to use the recognition for once you get it.

There are cases in which you will not need to get your education recognized, so – if you're not sure – always make sure to check with a potential employer first.

In Norway, there are several types of recognition, including the recognition of foreign higher education (Bachelor, Master, PhD), the recognition of foreign tertiary vocational education, and the recognition of foreign vocational education and training. Each type has a separate recognition scheme.


1. Recognition of foreign higher education

If you believe Norwegian employers might have issues recognizing your foreign education, then applying for recognition of foreign higher education could be a good idea.

However, note that recognition is not required in order for you to use your diploma in Norway.

You can submit an application for this type of recognition here.

The NOKUT site also offers additional information about the recognition procedure and the documentation requirements for all three recognition processes listed in this section.

2. Recognition of foreign tertiary vocational education

The relevant recognition authority (previously NOKUT, now the Directorate of Higher Education and Skills) is tasked with assessing the level and scope of your foreign tertiary vocational education.

At the time of writing, this recognition scheme is voluntary, and you can apply for work in Norway without this recognition.

You can find more information on how to apply to have your foreign tertiary vocational education recognised here.


3. Recognition of foreign vocational education and training

The relevant recognition authority also assesses the scope and level of your vocational education and training compared to Norwegian vocational education and training.

Note that your qualification's vocational content determines which Norwegian craft or journeyman's certificate your qualification will be compared to, as NOKUT points out on its website.

You can apply for this type of recognition here.

As stated beforehand, if your education requires special authorization – that is, if you want to work in a regulated profession – you will need to undergo a different form of the recognition process.

Remember that many Norwegian industries have additional requirements outside of education recognition.


In some cases, you might be eligible for the automatic recognition of certain degrees from selected countries. Automatic recognition is a standardized statement that shows how certain degrees from selected countries are usually assessed by the competent authority.

The statement may be downloaded and used immediately without having to submit an application for recognition. You can find more information about the process here.

Furthermore, you can find NOKUT's list of sectors with regulated jobs and information on where to apply to get your qualifications recognised here.

Note: For most professions and trades in Norway, no specific recognition is required before you can start working. If you don't see your profession on the list of regulated professions, you might not need recognition.



Robin-Ivan Capar 2023/02/06 15:36

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