You will need at least €5,000 to move to Norway. This sum includes all the costs related to relocation plus living in the country for about one month before your first paycheck. Depending on your agreement, relocation expenses may be compensated by your employer.
If your employer offers a relocation package, it will most likely pay all or part of expenses related to your move: plane tickets, transportation of personal belongings, translation of documents, visa fees, short-term rentals, etc.
The process of job relocation to Norway consists of several steps.
1. Get a work permit
After you get a job offer, you must obtain permission to officially work in Norway for more than 3 months. If you have completed a higher education program, you can apply for a residence permit as a skilled worker. Your family can apply to come and live with you in Norway.
You may also need a visa to enter Norway. You can check the list of visa-free countries on the udi.no website. If you need a visa, you can apply to a Norwegian embassy/consulate or a visa center in your home country.
To obtain a Norwegian work permit, you will need the following:
- Passport, ideally valid at least 3 years until its expiration date, plus copies of all pages with information.
- Two recent passport-size photos with white background.
- Signed cover letter from the application portal (the attachment you received via email when you registered your application online).
- Job offer from a Norwegian employer.
- Copy of your employment agreement indicating your salary. Your salary offer must not be lower than the normal pay in Norway: if the position requires a Master’s degree, your pay must be at least NOK 428,200 per year, and if the position requires a Bachelor’s degree, your pay must be at least NOK 397,100 per year (before tax).
- Job-related educational credentials (a diploma, certificate or degree). You need to have completed education or a degree from a university or university college, for example, a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree.
- Proof of work experience: your CV and other supporting documents with detailed information from your previous employers regarding how long you worked there, what training you were given, your work tasks, and your qualifications.
- Marriage certificate and your spouse’s birth certificate, if you’re relocating with your spouse.
- Confirmation of your address in Norway (it might be a temporary address).
- Translation of documents into English or Norwegian with an apostille, made by a professional translator.
If your job requires a degree from a university, you can normally get a residence permit for up to 3 years at a time. After 3 years, you can apply for a permanent residence permit in Norway.
You can fill out all the forms and submit the documents yourself, but it will be much faster and easier if the company fills out and submits the documents on your behalf in Norway.
First, you need to apply online on the udi.no website. You need to submit a separate application for each of your family members who are relocating with you. At the time of application, you must pay fees: NOK 6,300 for the main applicant and NOK 10,500 for an adult family member. The fees may be compensated by your employer.
After submitting the application, you will receive an email confirmation stating all documents have been submitted and your application has been assigned an identification number.
After that, you can submit documents directly through the embassy or visa center. The processing of documents in visa centers can be faster. Normal processing times are 4 to 8 weeks.
2. Book appointments with the police and the tax office
You must make an appointment with the Norwegian police to obtain a residence permit. It is advisable to do this even before moving to Norway since the waiting time is about 3 weeks.
You can book an appointment either through the udi.no website or by phone. If you submitted documents through a visa center, application through udi.no may not be available. You can ask your Norwegian colleagues to make an appointment by phone.
You can find contact information of police stations on Politet.no website.
You can also book the date of the visit to the tax office in advance. You can do this online yourself or ask your employer to do it.
3. Transport personal belongings
Before moving to Norway, you might want to transport some of your belongings to the country. You can use services of one of the international companies providing door-to-door transportation services or of one of the private carriers ready to transport for about a third of the price.
The cost of transportation can range from €850 to €2,500 or even more depending on your location. Your employer might compensate for these expenses.
4. Find a temporary apartment
After you obtain a visa, if you need any, you can come to Norway. The first thing you should do after arriving is finding a place to live. As it may be hard to find a permanent apartment at once due to the high rental demand and the need to gather all the necessary documents, allow at least 3–4 weeks to hunt for a permanent home.
Temporary accommodation can be offered by your employer. If not, you can find it on Airbnb or similar websites before you arrive in Norway. You may need a temporary or permanent address in the country to open a bank account.
Your employer might pay for a temporary apartment for the first month. If you can’t find permanent housing in a month, the compensated rental period can be extended. Keep in mind that you will have to pay about 40% of the rental price at the end of the tax year. In fact, that’s not bad as short-term rent is on average 50–60% more expensive than long-term lettings.
5. Register with the police and the tax authority
You must register in the country within 9 days after your arrival and obtain a residence permit.
Visit the Service Center for Foreign Workers (SUA) where the police (politiet), the Norwegian Tax Administration (Skatteetaten) and the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) are located. Their address in Oslo is 17 Schweigaards gate. You can find their contact information on the SUA website.
There you will be photographed and fingerprinted. You will also fill out two forms that can be provided in English, Norwegian and several other languages.
About 1–3 weeks later, you will receive the following documents by post:
- Temporary residence permit valid for 3 years. This is a plastic card with your photo and biometric data, where your position is indicated on the back. This card confirms that you legally live and work in Norway. Your spouse may get a 1-year residence permit with an option to extend.
- Norwegian identity number (fødselsnummer). You won’t be able to sign various documents without this 11-digit number, as well as open a bank account, sign a rental agreement, activate a SIM card. If you don’t have a long-term rental agreement, your spouse may not get an identity number. After you rent a long-term apartment, your spouse can book an appointment, visit the tax office with the rental agreement, fill out an application form, and get an identity number within a week by post.
- Tax card (skattekort) with your personal income tax rate. Without this card, your employer will be obliged to withhold income tax from your pay at the highest tax rate.
6. Get a Norwegian SIM card
To live and work in Norway, you may also need a local SIM card. You can buy it at convenience stores or from one of the retail stores of mobile phone service providers. You will need your passport or ID to purchase a SIM card. The card itself is free.
Two main mobile providers in Norway are Telenor and Telia. Both are known to have substantial coverage and speeds across the country. Telenor is believed to have the best network speeds, while Telia is reputed to offer the widest coverage. You can also choose to go with Lycamobile, which uses the Telia network.
Unlimited calls and texts are common on many plans. Telia and Telenor packages cost between NOK 249 and 529 per month.
Without a Norwegian identity number, a SIM card can be activated only in the stores of large providers. Smaller providers can only sell a card, but they won’t activate it.
7. Open a bank account in Norway
To get your salary in Norway and pay for your rental home, you need to have a bank account in the country. Many other payments may also require a local bank account, such as utility bills, mobile top-up operations, online payments, etc.
All banks in Norway have roughly the same terms and conditions and are quite conservative. There is no cashback or interest on the balance, and the service fee for using a debit card is about NOK 275–300 per year. ATM fees also apply. If you withdraw money from a rival bank, you can be charged anything between NOK 7 and 10.
Here are popular banks in Norway:
- Bank Norwegian (banknorwegian.no)
- BN Bank (bnbank.no)
- Danske Bank (danskebank.no)
- DNB Bank (dnb.no)
- Handelsbanken (handelsbanken.no)
- Luster Sparebank (luster-sparebank.no)
- Nordea Norge (nordea.no)
- Santander Consumer Bank (santanderconsumer.no)
- Sbanken (sbanken.no)
- Sparebank 1 (sparebank1.no)
- Sparebanken Møre (sbm.no)
- Storebrand Bank (storebrand.no)
- yA Bank (ya.no)
To open a bank account in Norway, you need to take several steps:
- Choose a bank and fill out an application form on its website.
- You’ll receive an email stating that your application will be processed within 2–4 weeks.
- You may be asked to come with the documents to the bank branch, make copies there, after which they may ask you to send copies of the same documents by post to the central branch.
You will need the following documents to open a bank account in Norway:
- Norwegian identity number
- Address in Norway (it can be your temporary address)
You can’t immediately use a freshly opened account, but you can give your employer your account number so that you can receive your salary. You will have to wait 1 to 3 weeks until your bank card, BankID and instructions for the initial activation arrive at your home address by regular mail.
After verification of your identity, the bank issues a BankID, which is essentially your digital signature for payments on the Internet that simplifies all routine operations. Your Norwegian identity number is used as a login for the services. You can also use your BankID as a mobile application. With a BankID, you’ll be able to open bank accounts online.
8. Find a permanent place to live
It may be hard to find a permanent apartment quickly. Good properties are rented out within a couple of days, and there may be several applicants per apartment or house. It is likely that the landlord will invite 10 people for viewing at the same time.
Long-term rentals in Norway can be found on the following property websites:
When renting an apartment or house for the long term in Norway, you may be required to have the following:
- Employment contract with your Norwegian employer or a letter from your employer confirming your salary
- Norwegian identity number
- Residence permit
- Norwegian bank account
Apartments in Norway usually have a kitchen, refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher, but rarely have a washing machine. Most often, there are only kitchen cabinets, so you will have to buy a bed, tables, and other things. There is rarely a bath in the bathroom, only a shower.
If you like the apartment, you fill out the form indicating your contact details. The landlord then collects all the forms submitted by prospective tenants and chooses the one he likes the best. After that, he calls the chosen candidate and arranges an additional meeting to sign a rental agreement.
Upon signing the contract, you pay rent for the first month and a rental deposit that usually equals 3 months of rent and can vary between 2 and 4 months of rent. This deposit is refundable at the end of the term unless you damage the landlord’s property. If you have a credit history in Norway, you may choose to take non-refundable insurance instead, if the deposit is not immediately available. In addition, if you don’t have funds for a rental deposit or to pay rent for the first month, your employer may give a loan in installments for a year.
To make a deposit, you need to open a separate bank account — an escrow account. Both parties have access to the account, but neither you nor your landlord has the right to withdraw funds from the account during the term of the contract. Make sure you have a bank account opened by the time you sign a rental agreement.
You need to look at what is included in the rental price: sometimes hot water and heating are included in the price, sometimes not. If there is no central heating, you will pay NOK 500 – 1,000 per month for electricity in winter. On average, electricity costs NOK 300–400 and can be paid on the first day of each month via the Internet.
Basic Internet (about 10 MB/s) is most often included in the rental price, but you might want to buy an extended package. A 250 MB/s package costs around NOK 400 per month (sometimes it may be compensated by your employer).
A rental agreement can be signed for 1 or 2 years. It is necessary to send your landlord at least a 3-month notice when you decide to move out.