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Moving to Norway

A Comprehensive Guide on Relocating to Norway

If you want to move to Norway, there are a fair number of steps to prepare If you are not a EU/EEA national, one of the main requirements for moving will be to obtain a visa and work permit Your chances of getting a visa are higher if you are considered a skilled worker. If so, you will need to show proof of a completed university degree and a concrete job offer from a Norwegian employer. Along with this, you will need to prepare to find accommodation, schooling for your kids, and more.

Need to move abroad? Organizing an international relocation is not something you should do on your own. As expats, we understand what you need, and offer the the essential services to help you move and live abroad easily. Contact us today to jump start your move, and begin the preparations with our free relocation checklist.

Are you wondering how to organize an international move to Norway? It is not as hard as one might think. In fact, it is quite easy to move to Norway, if you have a valid reason for settling in the country, such as a job or school to attend to.

You will quickly discover why moving here is popular among expats. Some of the benefits of establishing yourself in Norway are the beautiful scenery, good job prospects, a tolerant and accepting state, amazing maternity and paternity benefits, and free healthcare and education—even at the university level for international students! What else do you need to convince you that moving to Norway is a great idea?

Although there are many pros to living in Norway, there are a few things expats need to know before movingthere. For instance, be prepared to put down a security deposit equivalent to up to six months’ rent. The cost of living in Norway is high. Rents can range between 20,000 and 40,000 NOK (2,200 to 4,400 USD) per month.

Read on to find out how to move your belongings, find a home, and settle down in Norway.

relocating

Relocating

Whether you are moving abroad for the first time or relocated multiple times before, the process raises many questions. Our complete guide to relocation will ease your doubts along the way, from the initial preparations to how to negotiate a relocation package, we help you GO! prepared with the key answers.

The process of moving to Norway begins with figuring out how to move and store household goods. You can choose between air, road, or sea. Air is the most expensive option, and sea takes the longest. If you need help finding a reliable moving and shipping company, contact InterNations GO! We work with the trustworthy professionals in the industry, who will safely move your belongings from door-to-door.

When going to Norway, you will want to make sure you familiarize yourself with the local customs allowances. For example, beverages with over 60% alcohol content are prohibited in this country. You are typically allowed to import personal household items, as long as you can prove that they have been in your possession and you have lived abroad for at least a year.

If you are moving to Norway with pets, you will want to make sure it’s microchipped. The microchip will need to be ISO standard compliant. If you are arriving with your pet from outside of the EU/EEA, you need to give the Norwegian District Office at least 48 hours notice. If you are moving with a dog or a cat from within the EU/EEA, they will need an EU pet passport.

While there are no vaccinations required for Norway, there are certainly a few that are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. These include vaccinations for hepatitis A, B, and others.

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visas-work-permits

Visas & Work Permits

If you are wondering how to get a Norwegian visa and work permit, you will need to apply for what is called a “residence permit for work.” This applies to highly skilled workers and self-employed people looking to work and live in the Nordic country. With this permit, workers are allowed to bring their families with them to Norway (spouses, children, and cohabitants).

The Norwegian visa application process is streamlined and begins at the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration website. Here you will find specific information on the requirements that might apply to your individual situation. One of the visa requirements for workers is an income level similar to the norm in Norway. This means you must be paid the so-called “collective wage”, the minimum amount a Norwegian worker would be paid in the same position with the same experience. The collective wages agreement ensures everyone is paid fairly.

If you have a job where no minimum collective wage applies, the pay cannot be lower than what is normal for someone in your position at the place where you are working. For example, if the position requires a master’s degree, you must earn at least 428,200 NOK (48,450 USD) per year. If your job requires a bachelor’s degree then you must earn minimum yearly wage of 397,100 NOK (44,950 USD).

Norway’s visa cost for skilled workers and self-employed people is 5,400 NOK (589 USD). Other Norwegian visa types include a family reunification visa, student visas, and more.

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housing

Housing

If you are wondering how to rent a house, be aware that accommodation in Norway requires a large security deposit. Many expats are shocked to learn that landlords will require at least three months’ rent. A security deposit cannot exceed six months rent.

The average rent in Norway is 8,740 NOK (1000 USD), with the most expensive city being Oslo. You can find cheaper rent on the outskirts of the city. Utilities may or may not be included as part of your rent, so it is best you clarify this with the landlord before signing a lease.

If you are wondering how to buy a house in Norway as a foreigner, you will be glad to know that there are no restrictions for non-residents. You can purchase any type of house— apartments, standalone homes, half-detached homes—and even take out a mortgage just like a Norwegian national. You will be required to show your payslips and income tax returns as proof of your income level. You will also need a D-number— a temporary identification number assigned to foreigners—to purchase a home in Norway. The average house price for a detached home in Norway is 24,915 NOK (2,820 USD) per square meter.

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healthcare

Healthcare

An expat will find both a public healthcare system and health insurance in Norway. Norway’s healthcare system is of such high standards and quality that private health insurance in Norway is pretty much obsolete—only 9% of the population purchase private medical insurance.

If you are wondering how to find a doctor in the Nordic country, you will not have to look far. Once you are a part of the National Registry, you have the right to choose your own primary doctor from an approved government-provided list. You can switch doctors, but only twice per year. The general practitioner scheme is completely optional and you can opt-out of it if you wish.

Growing a family and giving birth in Norway is easy because the healthcare expenses and all other pregnancy and birth-related costs are covered.

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banks-taxes

Banks & Taxes

To open a bank account in Norway you need to be in the country. Otherwise, a significantly large deposit may be required. Non-resident bank accounts in Norway can only be savings accounts. Some of the institutions you might consider opening an account with are DNB ASA or Nordea Norway. These are regarded as the best banks in Norway.

What are the tax rates in Norway? What you will pay in taxes depends entirely on your income. Usually, the more you earn, the higher the tax rate you will pay. Most expats, however, will fall under the new PAYE (Pay As You Earn) scheme for the first year and will pay a rate of 25%. If you are not a part of the social security scheme, the rate is lower, at 16.8%.

If you are self-employed in the country, you will also be required to file a tax return each year (due May 31). However, you can claim certain deductibles such as the use of a vehicle, office expenses, start-up expenses, and others, which are detailed in our helpful Banks & Taxes guide.

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education

Education

International schools in Norway include British, German, and French schools. If you wish to enroll your child in an international school, you will need to pay tuition fees. This is different than the public education system as schooling is free in Norway.

The school system in Norway is divided into three levels: primary, lower secondary, and upper secondary.

When it comes to higher education, some of the best schools are the University of Oslo, University of Bergen, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The most popular programs among international students in Norway are architecture, engineering, law, and medicine.

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working

Working

Want to work in Norway? You will want to make sure you meet all the requirements and qualifications to legally work in the country as an employee, or to work via self-employment. This includes applying for the right visa and meeting specific income and education requirements.

If you are wondering how to get a job in Norway, you can begin by researching online on LinkedIn or arbeidsplassen.no to get a feel for what kind of positions are available for you. Brushing up on your Norwegian language skills will also help. Once you land a job there, you can expect an average salary of 640,000 NOK (72,000 USD) (the gross national annual salary). Of course, your salary will depend on the type of job you get and the industry you are working in. You will also be expected to contribute to Norway’s social security scheme, known officially as the National Insurance Scheme. Contribution rates are set by the government and depend on your income.

Business culture in Norway values equality, cooperation, trust, and informal but direct communication. The workplace and workforce in a company are seen as productive, competent, and motivated. You can expect your Norwegian colleagues to be great managers and detail-oriented.

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living

Living

Is living in Norway expensive? The cost of living in Norway is high but higher wages offset the often-expensive country.

A high cost of living is not all there is to Norway. There are many pros to outweigh the cons. The country has amazing nature and many hours of sunlight during the summer months. To top it off, people are very welcoming. You will easily integrate into Norwegian society.

Do you intend to drive in Norway? You can drive with your foreign driver’s license for a limited period after you have become a resident. After that, you will need to exchange it for a Norwegian one. You can also rent a car in this country if you are 21 or older. Be aware that you will require an International Driving Permit if your license does not have a picture on it or if it is in a language that does not use the Latin alphabet.

If you have no intention of driving in this country, public transportation in Norway is another option. You can expect reliable service and choices from long-distance and local buses, trains, and also ferry lines.

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Updated on: August 19, 2020
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