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Thinking of Moving to Norway?

My inbox is currently flooded with inquiries regarding my move to Norway that I’ve simply not had time to respond to So I decided it was best to do it in one big blog post.

I’m certainly not an expert in how to relocate to Norway However, I recognize that there are times when it’s nicer to hear from people who actually live in Norway instead of simply searching for information on life in Norway particularly when your searches lead you to a spooky forum (unless Google led you here Oh, hey! ).

I’ve been living in Norway for over seven years now. I’ve been through a number of different stages of the transition into Norway process. I remember what it was the first time I moved to Norway it was so exciting and overwhelming it was, how the excitement eventually died down and living in such a high-cost country was scary. But why I am now in love with it to pieces!

This post is really meant as an answer to all the questions on emigrating to Norway I’ve been asked by people since I moved into Norway myself, as I’ve been in your shoes too! If you’d like to know more about making the move into Norway (especially for those coming from US), here it goes:

If you are moving into Norway out of the US How do you allowed to legally reside there? Norway with the status of American citizen?

Oh, I’m so sorry that I’m not able to be of more help, but I’m actually also a Norwegian citizen, and so the move to Norway was easy for me.

My mother is a Norwegian citizen and I was born in the U.S., I was granted dual citizenship when I was born.

There are only a handful of circumstances where Norwegians are allowed to be dual citizens – typically if you become one of the Norwegian citizen or are a citizen of another country, in addition to Norway you must sacrifice one of them – however being born a dual-national can be a loophole.

If I wasn’t an Norwegian (or EU) citizen The process of moving to Norway would be considerably more difficult.

In all honesty, I know several people who decided to come to Norway from the US and things have turned out well for them. One first came as a student. He later found a job in Norway, while two others came as tourists and soon were able to find work in their fields. So it is possible!

Also, I know an American woman who gained an immigration visa through marriage to an Norwegian as well, so there’s the possibility of that.

The one thing that everyone who has made the move to Norway shares is their persistence. There’s a lot of paperwork, confusion as well as questions and confusion that must be overcome during the move however, if desire to relocate to Norway don’t quit. Moving to a different country isn’t easy, although in certain ways Norway is a better place to relocate to due to the language isn’t that difficult to learn (at the very least for English natives) and there’s a wide variety of jobs here, but it’s also a place where Norway is a tiny population so it’s strange to be a stranger in this country.

Norwegians tend to all be quite similar, and it’s difficult being outside while looking in.

It’s really difficult initially to meet people and feel a part of the community However, once you’ve done that, you’ll truly feel part of something. This is wonderful. Actually, I’ve never felt as part as a part of any country I’ve lived in like I did in Norway. It’s an amazing feeling.

The exact circumstances for how to move to Norway from a non-EU/EEA country will depend on the citizenship country of your country (find more information here) But in general, you’ll need to apply for a residence permit which will fall under one of the following types: family visa work immigration, study au pair and permanent residency.

Family immigration allows a person working with Norway in Norway to carry their spouse or children here with their family members. In other words, if you’ve got an extended family member who lives in Norway and you are a distant relative, you will probably not be eligible for an Norway residency permit from them. In the event that you’re an older adult if you have a parent in the United States, you’ll only be granted an residence permit if you have proof that you earned at least a certain amount of base income.

If you’re planning to come here as a worker immigration applicant to Norway then you’ll need have found work before arriving in Norway (though most people travel to Norway on tourist visas but then find an employment before their visa runs out). The specific type of residence permit you’ll apply for will be contingent on the country you’re from and your specific skills and the type of work you’ll do in Norway.

To get a study permit to Norway you’ll need to have been accepted into an academic program that is full-time (longer than three months) and also prove that you have sufficient money to support yourself (I believe it’s somewhere around 100,000 NOK/year). If you’re granted a study permit, you’ll also be allowed to work as much as 20 hours a week throughout your studies (and all-time during between academic semesters).

There are different ways to be able to acquire permanent residence in Norway, but essentially you’ll need a residence permit here for at least three years, and show an acceptable degree of Norwegian language and social understanding. The three-year period of being a student won’t be considered a permanent residence requirement, unfortunately.

A number of people I knew in Trondheim were au pairs with special residence permits. The only way to obtain an au pair permit if you are between 18 and 30, and you’re not allowed to already have kids of your own, and you need to prove that you’ll likely be returning back to your home country following having completed your time as an au pair.

There are specific rules for asylum applicants in Norway.

Since Norway isn’t in the EU is it necessary to get a special visa to move from Norway to become an EU citizen?

All you need to do is find work within the first six months of moving to Norway (and it seems that even that law is extremely lax). And as Norway belongs to the EEA which is an EU citizen, you’re eligible to be employed in any kind of job regardless of your profession.

I moved to Norway with my ex boyfriend and he was an EU citizen or was before Brexit, and while some things like getting a bank account were basically impossible to accomplish prior to his first job in Norway but generally, moving to Norway was a breeze for him. If you have any specific questions regarding moving in Norway in the capacity of an EU citizen I’d be happy to help you answer them!

I have many acquaintances who are EU citizens and basically the hardest part for them was learning Norwegian. Once you’ve learned the basics of Norwegian you should be able to get work at a grocery store in Norway, since Norwegians don’t generally need these types of jobs. When I worked at the supermarket in Norway the majority of the workers were foreigners, with only the managers. It was kind of funny and made for an enjoyable sense of community.

If you want an upper-level job then you will have to become fluent in Norwegian. The good thing is that Norwegian is intended to be among the most simple languages for English users to learn. The grammar is extremely basic and simple and the vocabulary very easy to master.

The most difficult thing is that Norway has many different local dialects, and they can differ greatly. As my Norwegian friends from Telemark say that sometimes the people of Oslo can’t comprehend what they say even being Norwegians!

Where can I find an employment opportunity in Norway?

In the process of moving to Norway I was told two things about finding work in Norway The first is that it’s all about networking , and it’s simpler to find jobs in tiny towns or villages. In fact, Dan and I both got jobs thanks to someone who had read my blog, and we ended up spending many years in a small town in the middle of nothing.

It’s quite apparent that making friends and asking questions (or even hanging out in locations where you could want to work, such as bars or restaurants) is the best method to land a job Norway. That of course means knowing at least basic Norwegian – luckily basic Norwegian skills aren’t hard to attain. After five months of living in Norway Dan was proficient enough in Norwegian to be able to work in the grocery store and Norwegian is the only foreign language he’s picked up.

If you’re prepared to do any sort of work and apply for everything that is available, finding work in Norway isn’t all that difficult for you.

Actually, I’d say if you can speak some Norwegian and you’re completely flexible in regards to where you’d prefer to live and what sort of work you want to do, it really will not be difficult for you to find a job in Norway in any way. It’s like the supermarkets across Norway are always looking for new employees! For as long as you’re not in a big city or a student area because those students always appear to have all the supermarket jobs.

Where to move to in Norway The best place to reside in Norway

Of course, this is totally up to your preferences, but as I mentioned earlier, it’ll be a lot more easy to find jobs in smaller towns or villages than say Oslo. Also, the cost of living in smaller cities is far less than those in cities.

As I’ve heard Oslo is among the most difficult places to get a job for an immigrant. Despite that, it also has the largest number of immigrants living there, whereas in a small town you might be one of only a handful of foreigners. Personally, I view that as a benefit but, at the very least, for me , it’s been more easy to get settled into smaller towns as opposed to Trondheim in Trondheim, in which I was tempted to socialize with other foreigners, and only speak English. In fact I speak way less Norwegian since I’m now within Tromso as I used to while living in tiny towns.

Are Norway really a wonderful place to live? Should I consider moving to Norway?

There are many people who ask me this and it’s a difficult question to answer!

My answer is yes, I love the life I have in Norway.

There’s a lot to love about life in Norway. It’s gorgeous, the government isn’t horrible, and the people are great If you’re content starting out with less skilled work , then the salaries are insanely high, and Norwegian people are generally really nice to one another.

It’s true that I didn’t think I’d love working in a store and yet having the most friendly managers, employees whom I consider family, and the most delightful customers helped me to appreciate being in the mountainous regions of Norway. Additionally, Norway just feels like an extremely safe location to live in.

It is free to study in Norway This means that I could be able to go back to university to earn a master’s degree without racking up any debt, and I’ve enjoyed a great experience regarding the healthcare system in Norway. As a person from the US I believe that my quality of life in Norway is much higher than I experienced in the US.

But I can also see that Norway wouldn’t be for everyone.

Norwegian people are a unique lot, and I’m sure the culture in Norway might be uncomfortable or even frustrating for some individuals. The weather will not seem appealing if you do not like snow. Also, getting things completed here takes a amount of perseverance and patience. It can be really hard to get an answer to issues related to important things such as taxes, visas and so on.

It could take a while to feel part of the community here, as Norwegians are typically shy and reserved. They won’t often offer assistance with your needs or approach you to talk about anything, but know that if you’re in need of assistance from someone else, Norwegians will do almost anything for you as soon as you ask. It’s true that Norwegians like to provide assistance, but they’re too shy to offer until you make an inquiry. Just make an inquiry!

If you’re living in a town that is small, it may feel like everyone has been friends for a long time, and probably have. It can be difficult to make a mark as someone who isn’t part of the group because everyone has their own group of buddies. If you are able to join clubs or other activities, you’ll be able begin to make friends with people.

When I first moved to Mosjoen located in the northern part of Norway it took about a year for me to really make friends. People were very slow to be open and I required effort to keep making plans with friends and then begin to feel like a part in their life. I also took part in a dance class and yoga class in an attempt to make friends. This was also a slow process, but Norwegians do take being part of a group seriously and eventually I did start to feel as if I was a part of the community in Norway.

Personally, I believe it’s worth it, but a lot of people might not. In fact , I’ve received lots of comments on this blog from long-term expats who seem to truly loathe Norway (I guess they’re still here because of their families? ) Also, I think it’s safe to say Norway isn’t an option for anyone.

If you’re in love with nature and the quiet, don’t mind the cold, have an appreciation for boiled potatoes and tinned fish, and know how to be patient in all things it is possible to move to Norway is a good option!

I am extremely fortunate having the chance to live here, and having the privilege of being in Norway has provided me with an amazing sense of security. Norway is not only very secure generally and once you’re resident of Norway, you feel like you’re truly taken by the hand of. Education and health care is available for free. Even unqualified work pays well and if you’re willing to put in the effort to learn the language, you’ll be able to enjoy an excellent life here.