Since 1954, Nordic nationals have been able to settle freely in Norway. Pursuant to our commitments under the EEA Agreement, it became simpler for non-Nordic EU nationals to reside in Norway from 1 October 2009. The previous arrangement involving residence permits was replaced by a registration requirement for this group. The new rules mean that most EU nationals can freely come to Norway to study, work or live with their family. Nationals of Bulgaria and Romania are still covered by transitional provisions that mean they have to apply for a residence permit the first time they wish to stay in Norway for more than three months.
The registration requirement applies to non-Nordic EU nationals who come to Norway for the first time with the intention of staying more than three months. They must report to the local police, who check their identity documents. They also have to state why they wish to reside in Norway, whether it is to study, work or live with their family. The Population Register normally requires a registration certificate in order to assign someone a personal identity number. EU nationals do not have to re-register when returning to Norway after having spent time in their home country or another country, but everyone must notify the population register of a change of address in the normal manner.
The figure above shows the number of registrations and first-time permits granted to EU nationals during the last three years. We see that the overall trend for 2010 largely follows the same seasonal variations as the two preceding years. This can indicate that the registration system gives a relatively good picture of the number of EEA nationals who came to Norway for the first time in 2010.