How To Move To Norway

How to move to Norway: An easy guide on moving to Norway

Are you wondering how to move to Norway? Maybe you dream of waking up each morning in Oslo, or seeing the stunning sights of the fjords every time you’re on your weekend hike. Or, perhaps you’re simply looking for a better quality of life… ?

Norway is among the most beautiful countries in the world. It’s also brimming with all kinds of unique charm and history. Here, you can live in a world once inhabited by Vikings, discover all the joys of Norwegian traditions, and enjoy some of the most wonderful nature in the world. 

All you need to do, is figure out the moving process.

For all those dreaming of living in Norway, we have some handy tips and insights to offer. 

Here’s your guide to moving to Norway…

How To Move To Norway

Moving to Norway: How do I move to Norway?

Moving to Norway is an amazing experience. In fact, around 15% of the population of Norway comes from another country. It’s quite a diverse place to be. 

There are a few ways to manage your move to Norway, depending on your circumstances. If you’re living in the EU, in one of the EEA states, you can visit Norway and stay for up to six months while you look for a job. 

Once you find a long-term career, you can register to live in the country full-time. It’s actually a pretty simple process. Notably, this won’t necessarily apply for residents of the US and UK. 

If you’re moving from outside of the EU, things get a little tougher. The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration will need to process an application tailored to your specific country of citizenship. 

To qualify to become a citizen, you’ll need to get a permit. 

Here are some of the options you’ll have: 

Find a job

One option for many people is to simply find work before coming to the country. Of course, this is a little easier said than done. Norway already has a lot of highly qualified talent to choose from. 

It’s going to be tough to convince your future boss you’re a better investment than a local. Plus, the process of hiring an immigrant can be a real headache for your manager. 

Since citizens of the EU don’t need a permit to work in Norway, there are about 400 million people for each Norwegian employer to choose from who don’t require any extra paperwork. 

There is hope of course. If you have a unique skill or something special to offer, you can apply for work, and get a work permit. There’s also the option of finding out whether your current employer will give you a transfer to Norway. 

There are a lot of US companies in Norway these days, so let your employer know you’re keen to move. If a space pops up, this way you’ll be at the head of the queue. 

Start a business

Can’t find a job? Create one of your own. 

There’s a huge number of self-employed people around the world today, and you could consider taking the same route yourself. 

Things are a little trickier for self-employed people moving to Norway from America than they are for EU citizens. Americans still need to apply for a work permit when they’re self-employed. 

Immigrating to Norway from the US with your own business requires you to have:

Your work permit will need to be renewed on an annual basis. This means if your income drops below the threshold, you may end up being unable to stay in your new home. 

Get an education

Studying in Norway can be an amazing experience. 

To get a permit to study, you need acceptance to a full-time program (lasting more than 3 months). You’ll also need to show you’re equipped with enough cash to live in the country. You will be able to work for up to 20 hours a week during your studies. 

However, you still need some savings. 

Do keep in mind, competition for places at Norwegian universities can be harsh. If your grades aren’t great, you may struggle. 

It’s also definitely worth choosing your study area with caution. There are tons of options for people specializing in engineering, energy-related sciences, and other earth-improving topics in Norway. 

Take a look at what the University of Oslo is offering to start planning. 

Take the family route

Family immigration permits someone working in Norway to bring a spouse and children into the country. If you have a distant family member holed up in Oslo, you probably won’t be able to get a residence permit through them alone. You could, however, marry a Norwegian. 

We’re not recommending you find and marry the first Norwegian you come across. However, there are family immigration permits available for people who marry in Norway — if you happen to fall in love with someone there. 

You’ll need to be getting married within 6 months of moving to Norway if you’re not already. 

The Norwegian spouse also needs to be earning a certain amount of income and can’t be gaining any financial assistance from the Norwegian Welfare Administration. 

Asylum options in Norway

If the reason you’re immigrating to Norway from US states, or anywhere else in the world is you’re scared of inhumane treatment at home, you can apply for asylum. Generally, asylum isn’t a common choice for residents of America. 

It’s also worth noting the applications for asylum have been falling gradually in this country since restrictions were tightened in 2015.

How To Move To Norway

Emigrating to Norway: How to find a job

If you started this article wondering, “is it difficult to move to Norway?” you’ve probably seen there are some challenges to overcome. 

For instance, while you can make it as an American living in Norway, you will need to find a career, somewhere to live, and make sure you’re earning the right amount. 

The best thing you can do when thinking of living in Norway as an American, is get to know people when you’re visiting the country. Networking can help you to discover potential job opportunities. 

However, you might need to know some basic Norwegian skills to get started. There are also various job application boards and websites to help you too. 

If you’re happy to do any kind of work, and you’re not picky about how you use your skills, then you should be able to find a job pretty easily. If you can speak some Norwegian, and you’re happy to live anywhere, your chances of tracking down a career are even higher.

How To Move To Norway

Finding a home in Norway

Finding a job in Norway is just the first step. After this, you’ll need somewhere to live. Finding accommodation in many of the major cities can be quite difficult. However, you might be able to track down more living options in the mountains and fjords

Most newcomers in Norway will usually arrange temporary accommodation at first. They find somewhere to rent and stay for a few months before they find something more tailored to their needs. 

Fortunately, the process for renting a room, house, or apartment is often very similar. You should be able to find various accommodations online and apply quite quickly. 

Do keep in mind you will need to pay a security deposit when choosing somewhere to live in Norway. It’s common to offer up to three months rent when you’re getting started. 

Choosing the best place to live in Norway is a matter of personal preference. It’s much easier to find work in a small village or town than it is to work and live in Oslo, for instance. You may prefer to be closer to the capital, however. 

Capital cities and larger locations are also more expensive for many immigrants. 

When choosing a place to live, you’ll find more immigrants like you in places like Oslo, which also means more people who speak English. Although this can be ideal at first, you might still want to learn some of the local language. 

You don’t have to know Norwegian to live there temporary, but a permanent resident or citizenship does require some proof of language ability. 

You’ll also find it’s much harder to find a job if you don’t know any Norwegian. Having a basic grasp of the language will make you more appealing to employers. 

It’s also an important component in building friendships and relationships with the locals. Most Norwegians will default to their own language for socialization. 

Our advice is to learn the language as much as you can before you consider moving. Once you’re in Norway, you can continue to work on your skills by immersing yourself in the culture. 

How To Move To Norway

Benefits of moving to Norway

Why move to Norway?

Moving to any new location can be a complicated process. If you don’t already have a job lined up, or options available thanks to your family, then you might struggle to make it into the country of your dreams. 

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should give up on moving to somewhere like Norway.

Despite the challenges, Norway stands out as one of the most exciting and beautiful places in the world. You can ski for up to 6 months out of the year, explore stunning fjords, and potentially enjoy a better quality of life. 

Some of the major reasons you might move to Norway include:

People speak English 

If you want to live somewhere with plenty of people who speak the same language as you, Norway is a great choice. There are plenty of people here who know English, and you can access various crucial documents in English too. 

Of course, you will merge better into the community if you can learn a little Norwegian too.

It’s a beautiful place 

For people who love the idea of living in the heart of nature, there are few places quite like Norway. Stunning scenery is available all around the country, from green hillsides to glaciers, mountains, and the fjords. Thanks to easy travel options, you can spend all your free time exploring. 

Families are welcome

Norway is a friendly place to live if you’re looking to build roots for your family. Fathers can take up to 12 weeks of paid leave during the first 3 years after a new baby is born. 

There are tons of extra bonuses for your quality of life too, such as longer paid holidays, shorter working weeks, and state pensions.

Healthcare is easy to access

Healthcare is one of the most expensive parts of living in America. In Norway, you don’t have this problem. Everyone can apply for the free public health service after they’re legally classified as a resident. 

Norway’s healthcare is in the top fifteen healthcare options around the world too. You will pay a small fee for a doctor’s visit, but there’s an annual cap on how much you pay.

The economy is growing

Norway is a rich country thanks to gas access and offshore oilfields. The government places much of the money created by exporting into public welfare and quality of life. The national pension fund is worth hundreds of billions of dollars. 

Norway continues to grow at an exceptional rate economically, despite being one of the most undercrowded locations in the world. There are only about 14 people per square KM here.

New industry opportunities

Norway is an interesting place with a single-track economy. There are countless engineers employed in the oil and gas industry. However, this country is also taking strides in new environments too, like fishing, mining and forestry. 

Many pulp and paper factors are changing to bio-refining, and the government is promoting Norway innovation options constantly. 

Norwegians are happier

Scandinavians frequently rank among the happiest people in the world. In Norway, you can expect to live a higher quality of life, with reduced stress levels, better working hours, and even better health. 

Life expectancy is higher than the average, at an average age of around 81. Plus, when residents rated their life satisfaction with a score between 0 and 10, most Norwegians chose around 7.5.

Great education

Education is important if you’re moving to Norway to raise children. Fortunately, the learning opportunities are excellent. Norway spends around 6.6% of its GDP on education, which is one of the highest percentages in in the world. 

This is reflected in a higher quality of live, and a creative environment for everyone. There’s also lower crime statistics in Norway too. 

How To Move To Norway

I want to move to Norway

What to expect

Living in Norway can be a wonderful experience. All you need to do is find the right strategy. There are various ways for Americans to immigrate to Norway, as we’ve shown above. 

Keep in mind you will have to adapt to some different ways of life in Norway too. 

For instance:

  • Working life: Norwegians are more about working to live than living to work. There are a lot of long weekends to look forward to, and holidays are generous. In the summer, there are plenty of people getting outside and enjoying the warmth as much as possible.
  • Volunteering: It’s very common to do something for your community or city in your spare time in Norway. You’ll be encouraged to get involved in clean-up groups for communal areas, and other neighbourhood activities too.
  • Janteloven: This is a concept which helps to encapsulate the societal norms in Norway. The law of Jante suggests people in Norway should always put the “society” or community ahead of themselves. You’re not expected to boast, be jealous of others, or petty. 
  • Koselig: If you like the idea of hygge in Denmark, then you’ll also feel comfortable with the concept of Koselig. Once again, the idea here is you should be taking comfort and finding joy in comfortable little experiences from time to time. 
  • Digital working: Contrary to its appearance as a highly nature-driven society, Norway is one of the more digitally advanced countries in the world. It’s common not to carry cash in the country as most people simply use credit and debit cards.
  • Frequent flyers: Norwegians aren’t too worried about the idea of hopping on a plane to zip around the country or visit other regions in Scandinavia. There are handy frequent flyer programs to make getting around a little cheaper.
How To Move To Norway

Moving to Norway

Time to get started

Norway is a highly multicultural society, with tons of immigrants from all over the world. Of course, you may face a few challenges along the way to becoming a resident. 

Only people living in Norway with residence and work permits for the correct period of time will have the right to apply for Norwegian citizenship or permanent residence. Having permanent residence means you don’t have to renew work permits. 

You’ll also get more benefits if you happen to lose your job. 

Having permanent residence status in Norway also means you don’t have to constantly renew your work permit, which can be a real headache. 

Remember, you’ll need to give up your original passport to get citizenship, although dual citizenship options are likely to become more possible in the future.

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