Residency permits For Members

How work permit holders can stay in Norway if they lose their job 

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
How work permit holders can stay in Norway if they lose their job 
There are a number of options for staying in Norway if you lose your job. Pictured are crowds of people in Oslo. Photo by Erik Odiin on Unsplash

If you are a work permit holder in Norway and lose your job, there are several ways you can stay in the country. But this will require you to meet several conditions. 


Being unemployed is stressful enough, but fretting about losing your residence permit, as a result, is even worse. 

This is a situation that many may find themselves in as non-EEA nationals living in Norway will typically need a residence permit of some kind to live and work in Norway. 

If you do lose your job and are a work permit holder, there are a number of strict rules in place. The first thing you need to do is notify your local police force within seven days. The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) has a wizard which can be used to figure out who to contact. 

From there, you will typically either have six months or the remaining time left on your permit if you have less than six months. For example, if you have a year remaining, you have six months until you lose your permit due to being unemployed. 

Should you be fired and only have three months on your permit, you will likely be required to leave Norway when your permit expires. 

How can you stay in Norway? 

There are a few ways you can stay in Norway. Firstly, would be getting another job. As explained by the rules above, you will have up to six months to secure a new role. 

However, there are a number of rules in place. The quickest solution is to find a new job in the same type of position that you have previously held. This doesn’t require you to apply for a new permit. Although, you are still required to contact the police within seven days of the job starting. 


Should you be offered a new job in a different position to your previous one, you must apply for a new permit. When applying for a new permit, you will need to meet all of the work permit conditions again. 

This means that you are unlikely to be able to start work until the new permit is granted. Furthermore, your qualifications will need a match to the job you hold. You will also need to ensure that your pay and working conditions are in line with the norm in Norway. 

READ MORE: What happens if your qualifications don't match the job?

Essentially, this means that if you lose your job in Norway, you can’t just take whichever position you wish in order to keep your permit. 


Other permits 

Another route for remaining in Norway would be to change the type of permit you are holding. If you have a spouse or partner in Norway and they meet the requirements, you can perhaps apply for a family immigration permit. 

This would require you to be over a certain age for your partner to meet income requirements and pay an application fee. The UDI has an overview of the rules that apply to family immigration permits on its website.

The conditions of your family immigration person will require your spouse or partner to remain a legal resident of Norway and meet the conditions of their residence rules.  

Another option would be if your partner is from the EEA. Then, you can apply as a family member of an EEA national. This also comes with rules but doesn’t involve an application fee. 


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