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How to apply for a permit to work in Norway

Posted on August 27, 2020
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If you are thinking of working overseas, then Norway can be a good choice. The country has a stable economy and had an unemployment rate of 3.8% early this year.

The major industries in Norway include:

  • Agriculture
  • Fishing
  • Food processing
  • Mining
  • Petroleum and gas
  • Shipping

International workers find job opportunities in the following sectors:

  • Construction
  • Healthcare
  • IT and communications
  • Oil and gas
  • Tourism

Work permit for Norway

If you wish to work in Norway, you must get a work permit or a residence permit.  For this you will first need to get a job in Norway. It is crucial that you should get your residence permit before you start working in Norway. The country is not part of the EU Blue Card scheme.

If you from outside the EU or EEA, you will need to get a residence permit. It is easier if you are a skilled worker.  Resident permits granted to skilled workers will lead to permanent residence in Norway. To achieve the skilled worker tag requires meeting the following requirements:

You must have any one of the following educational qualifications:

  • You must have completed a study program in a university which can be either a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program.
  • You must have completed a vocational training program which has a duration of at least three years at the upper secondary school level. Examples are vocational training for nurses, plumbers etc.
  • You must have some years of professional work experience.
  • You must have the qualifications required for a skilled worker.
  • Your job must have the required pay and working conditions.

Application process

Before you make your application, you must have an official letter of employment from your Norwegian employer.

Employers can also apply on your behalf provided they have written consent.

You must fill the work visa application form that is available online.

Documents required:
  • A valid passport
  • A completed visa application form
  • Two recent passport photos
  • Details of your qualifications
  • Proof of having a job offer and salary
  • Proof of accommodation in Norway
  • If your job belongs to a regulated profession, you must have the required professional license and will require authorization or recognition
  • You must pay the stipulated visa costs.
  • Your documents can be either in English or Norwegian.

It will take about one month to process your residence permit.

Once you have fixed the date of arrival in Norway, you must also fix an appointment with the local police authorities to obtain your residence card. You can pre-book this appointment before your departure.

You can bring your family members with you on a skilled worker residence permit provided you can prove that you will be able to support your family.

The residence permit is renewable and it is better to renew it one to three months before it expires.


If you are planning to work in Norway for less than three months you can stay in the country without a specific work permit. The official Norwegian website lists the occupations as exemptions to the rule. These include researchers, lecturers, technical experts, doctors, religious preachers etc.

Getting a residence permit is the first crucial step to work in Norway.

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