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A Comprehensive Guide on Moving to Norway

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  • David Hicks

    Thanks to my network on InterNations, I already had some contact persons to ask for support on coming to Oslo.

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.

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All You Need to Know About Relocating Your Household Goods and Pets

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.

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.

Read our complete guide on relocating to Norway

The Guide to Visa Types and Work Permit Requirements

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.

Read our complete guide on visas & work permits in Norway

Everything You Need to Know About Finding a New Home

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.

Read our complete guide on housing in Norway

Health Insurance and the Healthcare System of Norway Explained

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.

Read our complete guide on insurance & healthcare in Norway

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  • David Hicks

    Thanks to my network on InterNations, I already had some contact persons to ask for support on coming to Oslo.

  • Amelie Barreau

    Enjoying the great spirit of our InterNations’ Oslo Community for the last few months, I am absolutely convinced of the vision to bring people from different nations together.

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