Who can be granted a residence permit as a skilled worker?
You must have one of the following types of education/qualifications
- completed vocational training at upper secondary school level, at least three years, e.g. as a carpenter or health worker. There must be a corresponding vocational training programme in Norway.
- completed education or degree from a university/ university college, e.g. a bachelor's degree as an engineer or nurse
- special qualifications that you have obtained through long work experience, if relevant in combination with courses etc. A great deal is required in order for a permit to be granted in such cases. Your qualifications must be equivalent to someone who has completed vocational training.
The competence requirement for religious leaders/teachers and ethnic cooks is stricter. Religious leaders/teachers must, as a main rule, have a master degree or education on master level.
If you are an athlete and are to participate in top-level sports, or are to be trainer for top-level sports, there must be a statement from your club (your employer) regarding your competance and the level you are to participate on.
Requirements concerning the employment relationship
- You must have received a concrete offer of employment from one employer in Norway
- The job must normally be full-time
- The job you are offered must require qualifications as a skilled worker. You must have the qualifications the job requires.
- The pay and working conditions must not be poorer than is normal in Norway. This means:
- If you are going to work in an industry with a collective agreement, you must be paid the agreed wage rate.
- If you are going to work in an industry without a collective agreement, your pay cannot be poorer than is normal for someone in your occupation in the place you are going to work. If the position requires a master's degree, your pay must at least correspond to salary grade 47 in the pay scale for state employees, currently NOK 401,400 per year. If the position requires a bachelor's degree, your pay must at least correspond to salary grade 42 in the pay scale for state employees, currently NOK 372,500 per year. We can make exceptions if you document that lower pay is normal for your occupation in the place where you are going to work.
How to apply
Check where to hand in your application
- If you are outside Norway you hand in your application at a Norwegian embassy or consulate in your home country or the country where you have held a residence permit for the last six months. In some countries you will hand in the application at the Swedish or Danish embassy instead. Check here where to hand in the application.
- If you are in Norway, you can apply from here if you have held another type of permit for the past nine months. You can also apply from Norway if you have skilled worker qualifications. Read about entry visa for skilled workers. You must be in Norway legally, and you cannot be an asylum seeker.
Learn more about who can apply from Norway
Find out if you should apply online
You should register your application online if you apply from Norway or through a Norwegian embassy You cannot register your application online if you hand in the application at a Swedish or Danish embassy.
If you hand in the application at a Swedish or Danish embassy you must fill in a form on paper and hand it in at the embassy. You can find the form here. The form is also used for renewing a permit
What must you hand in with the application?
Both applicants who register their applications online and those who hand in a paper version need to hand in their passport and other necessary documentation.
- If you apply online, you will at the same time book an appointment for handing in your documents to the police or an embassy. You will not have to wait in line when you turn up for your appointment.
- If are not applying online you need to contact the embassy to find out when to hand in the documents along with the application form.
When you have visited the embassy or police station and handed in your passport and other necessary documentation we will start to process your application.
In addition to the completed application form (online or paper version), you must enclose:
List of documents you must hand in
Your employer can apply on your behalf
Your employer can also apply for a residence permit on your behalf if you authorise him or her in writing. You must complete the authorisation section of the application form or give your employer some other form of written authorisation. If your employer applies on your behalf, the application must be submitted in the police district where the enterprise is located.
The employer cannot apply on your behalf without written authorisation.
However, if your employer is covered by the early employment scheme, he/she can apply for a residence permit on your behalf without written authorisation. However, an authorisation must be enclosed if the employer are to represent you after the application has been submitted, for instance to get the right of access to the case.
The early employment scheme
The early employment scheme means that employers who meet certain criteria can recruit labour directly and let employees start working before their application has been processed. The scheme applies to skilled workers, defined by expertise. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the employee fulfils the conditions to be granted a permit as a skilled worker. The scheme also covers seconded employees employed by an international company and trainees employed by an international company.
In order to take advantage of this scheme, your employer must be able to submit a tax certificate for value added tax and tax, and a self-declaration of compliance with statutory Norwegian health, safety and the environment (HSE) requirements. The self-declaration on HSE must be in compliance with enclosure 2 to the Public Procurement Regulations.
Your employer can apply for a residence permit on your behalf without authorisation. If the employer submits a complete application, i.e. an application with all the necessary enclosures, and a tax certificate and self-declaration as described above, the police can issue a preliminary confirmation that you may start working before the application has been processed.
A Norwegian embassy or consulate can issue you an entry visa if required, provided that the police have issued a preliminary confirmation to your employer and you are able to document your identity. Embassies of other countries cannot issue such an entry visa. If you live in a country where Swedish or Danish embassies represent Norwegian authorities, you must contact a Norwegian embassy in a country where Swedish or Danish Embassies do not represent Norwegian authorities. Please see list of embassies which accepts applications.
You must meet in person at the police district where the application was submitted within seven days of entering Norway. There, you must document your identity and confirm the application submitted by your employer. The police will then issue you a confirmation that you are entitled to work for the employer in question until your application has been processed. You can start working immediately once you have obtained this confirmation.
If you are not subject to a visa requirement to enter Norway or if you already reside legally in Norway, you can submit the application to the police yourself. If the application is complete and your employer meets the requirements, the police can issue you a confirmation that you are entitled to work for the employer in question until your application has been processed. You can start working immediately once you have obtained this confirmation.
You may not change employers while your application is under processing.
The police can refuse to issue a preliminary confirmation to the employer or a confirmation to you if any of the criteria are not met. You have no right to appeal.
Persons who apply for a residence permit as a religious leader or ethnic cook are not covered by the early employment scheme.
Rules for change of work or employer
- If you are an employee of an international company and a national of a WTO country, you must apply for a new permit if you are planning to change jobs or employers. You may not change jobs or employers until you have received a new permit.
- If you work for an employer in Norway, you can change employers without applying for a new permit. You must perform the same type of work, however.
- If you are to perform work of a different type, you must submit a new application for a residence permit. You may not start performing work of a different type until you have received a new permit.
Can your family move to Norway?
Your family can apply for residence permits in Norway for the period during which you will be working here. Such applications are processed in accordance with the regulations for family immigration.
Your employer can apply on behalf of your spouse/partner and your children under the age of 18, if they give your employer a written authorisation. They can complete the section on authorisation in the application form, or give your employer another written authorisation. If your employer applies on behalf of your spouse/partner or children under the age of 18, the application must be submitted in the police district where the enterprise is located or at a Servicecenter for foreign employees.
Your employer cannot apply on behalf of other family members
How long will it take to process the application?
See the list of the UDI’s expected case processing times at www.udi.no/caseprocessingtimes.
Residence card to document your permit
If your application is granted, you must get yourself a residence card. This is a proof that you have the right to live in Norway. You will receive a letter which informs you that you must visit the police to have your fingerprints and photo taken. About ten days later the card will be sent to you by post.
Read more about residence cards
The content of the permit
- A permit pursuant to the provisions relating to skilled workers can be granted for periods of up to three years, but not for longer than the duration of the employment relationship.
- The permit entitles you to travel in and out of Norway during the period for which it is valid.
- The permit forms the basis for a permanent residence permit in Norway.
You can appeal a rejection
You can appeal a decision. Read more about how to appeal a decision at www.udi.no/appeals.
Is the permit renewable?
The permit is renewable.
In order to be entitled to stay on the same conditions, you must apply for renewal of the residence permit and pay a fee at least one month before your previous residence permit expires.
The application for a renewal must be submitted through the Application Portal Norway. Here you also pay the fee and book an appointment for handing in the necessary documents to the police where you live.
Read more about renewal of residence permits
Unemployment and jobseeker period
If you lose your job, you must notify the police where you live within seven days.
You can then stay in Norway for up to six months to look for a new job. Your permit must still be valid throughout this period.
If you start in a new job, you must notify the police where you live within seven days. You may not start working in another type of job than the type stated in your permit.
For more information, contact the police, your nearest Norwegian embassy or consulate or the UDI’s Information Service.
You can find more information about the regulations that apply for skilled workers at the website UDIregelverk