Who can be granted a residence permit as a skilled worker?
You must be a skilled worker
The term skilled worker covers the following categories:
- Specialist training corresponding to upper secondary education level. You must have completed vocational training for a specific occupation. The education must as a minimum correspond to upper secondary education level, i.e. at least three years. If your were educated abroad, you must have achieved the same level of expertise as you would have achieved had you been educated in Norway. Examples include vocational education for joiners, plumbers or auxiliary nurses.
- Craft certificate. A craft certificate taken abroad must have resulted in the same level of expertise as a Norwegian craft certificate.
- University college or university education. The requirement is a completed degree or study programme. Examples include nurses, engineers, Bachelor or Master’s degrees.
- Special qualifications. You must have gained expertise through professional experience of a certain duration, alternatively in combination with other training (courses and similar). If there is a formal education in the field achieved through of such education. Please note that, in principle, a skilled worker permit is only granted on the basis of special qualifications in exceptional circumstances and that thorough documentation is required.
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.
More stringent competence requirement
The competence requirement for religious leaders/teachers and ethnic cooks have become more stringent. Religious leaders/teachers must, as a main rule, have a master degree or education on master level.
Your expertise must be deemed to be relevant to the position. This means that the position you have been offered must be of a nature that requires a qualified skilled worker. You must also possess the expertise in question.
Approval/authorisation requirement for regulated professions
If you are to work in a profession subject to qualification requirements (a regulated profession), you must have been approved or authorised by the relevant specialist authority for your profession. Health personnel, for example, must enclose an authorisation or licence from the Norwegian Registration Authority for Health Personnel (SAK).
More information about professions regulated in Norway
Additional conditions - work through a recruitment agency
If you are to carry out skilled work through a recruitment agency, you must submit a list of the assignments that the client has already planned for you. The agency must also make clear that you are entitled to a salary relevant to you skills, also in periods when your employer might not have assignments for you. The recruitment agency must be registered in the Labour Inspection Authority’s register.
What requirements apply to the employment relationship?
- You must have received a concrete offer of employment from an employer in Norway. The employment offer must state the position you will fill, your hourly wage and the number of working hours per week. The duration of the offer of employment must also be specified.
- As a rule, you must have received an offer of full-time employment for one employer.
- The pay and working conditions must not be poorer than those stipulated in the current collective agreement or pay scale for the industry. If no such collective agreement or pay scale exists, the pay and working conditions must not be poorer than is normal for the occupation and place concerned.
- If the position requires an academic education and is not covered by a collective agreement or pay scale, you must be paid in accordance with the collective agreement for Norwegian state employees, unless it is documented that other conditions are normal for the occupation and place concerned. This means that if you have completed higher academic education, for example hold a Master’s degree, your pay must be at least salary grade 47 in the pay scale for Norwegian state employees, currently NOK 396.900 per year. For lower-level academic education, for example a Bachelor’s degree, salary grade 42 in the pay scale for Norwegian state employees, currently NOK 368.000 per year, is the minimum pay.
- In exceptional cases you can be granted a residence permit even though the employment offered is not continuous. In the assessment, it may be taken into account whether the employment offered is not continous due to the fact that you also work in another country, or are covered by a rotation arrangement in an international company. It may also be taken into account whether you are going to stay in Norway at least half the period your application concerns.
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:
- a photocopy of all pages in your passport
- a passport photo/ photo that meets specific requirements
- an offer of employment form (you must use this form) signed by yourself and your employer. If you apply for a renewal, the employment offer form must be completed again and be signed by yourself and your employer.
- a print-out about your employer from the website of the Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities,
- if the employment offered is not continuous, information on the background from your employer. You must present such information when you submit first time application and when you submit an application for renewed permit.
- documentation of your education containing information about the duration of the education, its content and the level of the educational institution. Documentation of craft certificates must contain the same information.
- documentation of work experience containing detailed information from former employers about the duration, tasks and the nature of the activities
- for athlete or trainer, a statement from your club (your employer) regarding your competence and the level you are to participate on
- for regulated professions, approval or authorisation from the relevant specialist authority
- if your employer is a recruitment agency, the documentation mentioned under Additional conditions - work through a recruitment agency
- information about where you are going to stay
- if your employer applies on your behalf, an authorisation form must also be enclosed. No authorisation is required if the employer is covered by the early employment scheme. 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.
- If you apply for a renewal you must submit your last three pay slips.
- documentation that you have paid the application fee.
As a rule, it is sufficient that you enclose a copy of the documents with your application, but you must be able to present the original documents. You must also enclose a translation of the documents into Norwegian or English with the application.
The documentation requirements vary from country to country and may change over time. You should therefore check what requirements apply with the Norwegian foreign service mission (embassy or consulate) in the country from which you are applying.
Your employer can apply on your behalf
Your employer can also apply for a residence permit on your behalf if you authorise him ot 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.
Change of work or employer
A residence permit as a skilled worker is linked to a specific type of work. This means that you can change employer without submitting a new application for as long as your permit is valid, provided that you carry out the type of work specified in the permit.
If you wish to carry out a new type of work, you must submit a new application for residence permit. You can not start with a new type of work until a new residence permit has been given.
Employee in an international company and citizen of a WTO country
The residence permit as a skilled worker is linked to a specific work and a specific employer if you are employed in an international company and citizen of a country that is member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). If you wish to change position or employer, you must submit a new application for residence permit. You can not change position or employer until a new residence permit has been given.
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. Please note that the employer can not apply on behalf of 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/caseprocessingtime.
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 residence permit as a skilled worker applies to a specific type of work. You may therefore not start working in another type of position than is stipulated in your permit.
- If you are employed in an international company and a national of a WTO member state, a residence permit as a skilled worker is valid for a specific type of work and for a particular employer. You can therefore not start working in a different position or for a different employer than the one specified in your 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 your employment ends, you can stay in Norway for the purpose of seeking employment for a period of six months after the termination of the employment. It is required that your skilled worker permit does not expire.
You must report to the police where you live within seven days after the end of the employment.
If you get a new employment, you must report to the police within seven days. You can not work in another type of position than 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