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How long does it currently take to get a work permit in Norway?

The Local Norway
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How long does it currently take to get a work permit in Norway?
Pictured is the downtown district of Oslo. Photo by Kamil Klyta on Unsplash

The median waiting time to get a residency permit to come to Norway as a skilled worker has fallen from 94 days in the first half of this year to just 55 days. Here are the latest figures from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration.


Foreigners wanting to come to Norway to work have, in recent years, faced an unusually long wait to have their applications processed, something the directorate has blamed on the introduction of dual citizenship in 2020 and the backlog in applications left over from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In February, the directorate said it hoped to clear the backlog of work permits by the end of 2023 and then begin reducing waiting times for applications for residence permits as skilled workers to around 30 days, as it was before 2020, with only the most complex cases taking longer to process. 

A new automated system introduced in 2022 also led to substantial delays for applicants. The introduction of the automated system meant pending applications from before 2022 were pushed to the back of the queue. This caused a backlog and extended the waiting time for many applicants. In some cases, applicants were left waiting in excess of 18 months to have their case processed.


How much has the Immigration Directorate managed to reduce waiting times? 

Between July and September 2023, the median case processing time from the application date to the decision date was reduced to 55 days. 


This compares to 94 days in the first six months of 2023, to 58 days in the first half of 2022, and 68 days in the second half of 2022.

How much success has the directorate had reducing the backlog of applications? 

The number of skilled worker applications waiting to be processed has been reduced from 2.458 at the end of 2022 to 1,344 at the end of September 2023.

On average, these applications have been waiting for a decision for 59 days, down from 68 days previously.  


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