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Reader Question: Can I live in another EEA country with a Norwegian residency permit?

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Reader Question: Can I live in another EEA country with a Norwegian residency permit?
These are the rules on moving to another country while on a Norwegian residence permit. Pictured is a view of Trondheim. Photo by Vu Nguyen on Unsplash

To live in Norway as a non-EEA resident, you will likely need to obtain a residence permit. Does this permit then give you the right to live elsewhere in the European Economic Area?

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Question: I have a residency permit in Norway. Does this make it easier to move to other countries in the EEA? 

Norway is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA), meaning that nationals of the EU and EEA have the right to live and study in Norway. 

This works the opposite round, whereby Norwegian nationals can live in EU and EEA countries. The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) has an overview of how moving to Norway as an EU/EEA national works on its website

Those from outside the EEA are typically required to hold residence permits, such as for education, work and family reunification, to live in Norway. Essentially, this boils the question down to whether residence in Norway as a non-EEA national grants you similar rights to EEA nationals. 

In short, the answer is no. As a non-EEA national, you do not obtain the rights of somebody from within the Schengen area when granted a permit. This means holding Norwegian residence does not mean you can move to other EEA countries without a permit, nor does it make it any easier. Visits to EEA countries other than Norway are restricted to a total of 90 days out of 180.

Should you wish to live in another EU/EEA country or pay extended visits there, you will need to apply for a visa or residency permit in that country, like someone moving directly from outside the EEA. For example, should you wish to move from Norway to Germany, holding a Norwegian residence will mean nothing regarding your application to live in Germany. 

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For those who have nationality with countries that do not benefit from the 90-day rule and are usually required to gain a short-stay visa before entering the Schengen Zone - like India, for example - the benefit of your Norwegian residency permit, according to the Europa Immigration website, is that you "you can travel throughout the Schengen area for as long as your visa is valid and for a maximum of 90 days during a 180 day period.

"You will not need a separate visa for each Schengen area country, and you will not need to show your passport at each internal border".

Citizenship? 

However, if you live in Norway long enough to obtain citizenship, you can move to other EU/EEA countries as other nationals from these areas can. This is because upon becoming a Norwegian national, you will be granted the rights of an EEA national. 

Obtaining Norwegian citizenship itself is a long and arduous process. Typically, applicants are required to meet language requirements, obtain a good conduct certificate from the police, meet the conditions of or hold a permanent residence and must have generally lived in Norway for between six to eight of the previous eleven years. 

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