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Moving to Norway

A Comprehensive Guide on Relocating to Norway

It takes several steps to move to Norway and you will need to be fully prepared if you plan on heading to the Nordic country. Requirements for going to Norway might mean obtaining a visa and work permit. If you do need a visa, you will most likely be applying for the skilled workers visa. Along with this, you will need to prepare your accommodation, schooling for your kids, and more.

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If you are wondering how to move to Norway, you have the choice between air, road, or sea. How easy it is to transfer to Norway? It can be quite simple, so long as you have a valid reason for resettling in the country—such as for work or school, for example.

Some of the benefits of establishing yourself in Norway are the beautiful scenery, a tolerant and accepting state, and free education—even at the university level for international students! These are just a few of the reasons why migrating to the Nordic country is a good idea.

Some things to know when moving to Norway are:

  • You will need to save to put down a security deposit when renting. It can be equivalent to up to six months here!
  • Healthcare is free for pregnant women and children aged 16 or younger.
  • Non-residents will only be able to open a savings account at a bank.
  • The cost of living in Norway is high. Spendings can range between 20,000 to 40,000 NOK (2,176–4,352 USD) per month.



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, ship, and store household goods. You can choose between air, road, or sea. If you require storage space, a good resource for beginning your search is the Norwegian Self Storage Association.

When going to Norway, you will want to make sure you familiarize yourself with the Nordic country’s customs allowances. For example, beverages with over 60% alcohol content are prohibited in this country. To bring in tobacco you must be 18 years or older. You are permitted to import 200 cigarettes or 250 g of tobacco for personal use only. You are typically allowed to import personal household items so long as they have been in your possession and you have lived abroad for at least a year. However, there are exceptions. For example, if you plan on importing a boat, you cannot have lived in Norway for five continuous years.

If you are moving to Norway with pets, you will want to make sure the animal is microchipped. The microchip will need to be ISO standard 11784 or Annex A to ISO standard 11785 compliant. If you are arriving with your animal 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. You can only bring up to five animals. Otherwise, the import will be considered a commercial import and you will be subject to additional fees.

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

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 straightforward and begins on the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration website. Here you will find specific information on particular requirements for your individual situation. Norway’s visa requirements for workers usually require an income that is not less than what is normal in Norway, meaning you must be paid the collective wage. If you have a job where no 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 (46,568 USD). If your job requires a bachelor’s degree then you must earn 397,100 NOK (43,186 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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If you are wondering how to rent a house in Norway, you might be surprised to learn that accommodation in the country 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 (950 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 for foreigners, you will be glad to know that there are no restrictions for non-residents. You can purchase a home 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 to purchase a home in Norway. A D-number is a temporary identification number assigned to foreigners. The average house price for a detached home in Norway is 24,917 NOK (2,710 USD) per square meter. Types of houses you can buy include shared houses or apartments, standalone homes, and more.

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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.

Giving birth in Norway is easy for women because the healthcare expenses, and all other pregnancy and birth-related costs, are covered. There are also several benefits one receives in Norway after having a baby including the child and pregnancy benefit.

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Banks & Taxes

Opening a bank account in Norway requires you 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.

How much is the tax in Norway? What you will pay in taxes depends entirely on your income. Usually, the more you earn, the higher 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%. It is less at a rate of 16.8% if you are not a part of the social security scheme.

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 more.

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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, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, among others. The most popular programs among international students in Norway are architecture, engineering, law, medicine, and more.

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Want to work in Norway? As a foreigner, you will want to make sure you meet all of the requirements and qualifications to legally work in the country. This includes applying for the right visa and meeting certain income and education requirements.

If you are wondering how to get a job in Norway, you can begin by researching online 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 do get a job here, you can expect an average salary of 636,690 NOK (69,150 USD) (the gross national annual salary). But of course, your salary and even minimum wage will depend on the type of job you get and the industry you are working in. Once you get a job and start getting paid, you will 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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Is it expensive to live in Norway? The cost of living in Norway is high but higher wages offset the often-expensive country.

Driving in Norway is an option and you can drive with your foreign driver’s license for a limited period after you have become a resident. Then 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. You will require an International Driving Permit if your license does not have a picture on it or is in a language that does not utilize 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 even ferry lines.

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Updated on: November 08, 2019
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