Have applied Can I work when I have applied for protection (asylum) ?
You can only work while you are an asylum seeker if you have been granted a work permit.
Questions and answers
Can you be granted a temporary work permit?
You can be granted a temporary work permit while you are an asylum seeker if
- you have had your asylum interview (or you are from Syria, Ukraine or Uyghur from China), and
- you have a valid passport, and
- you have not received an answer to your application for protection.
You cannot be granted a temporary work permit while you are an asylum seeker if
- you have not had your asylum interview (and are not from Syria, Ukraine or Uyghur from China), or
- you do not have a valid passport, or
- you are to be sent to another European country (you are a 'Dubliner'), or
- you have received a rejection of your application for asylum.
How to apply
- You apply by filling in Form for asylum seekers who would like a work permit (pdf, 620 kB).
- You send this form by mail to the police in the place where you live. You must not send the application to UDI.
- If you have not already handed in your passport to the police, you must attach a copy of your passport to the application.
- You do not have to pay a fee for applying.
- The police will contact you to make an appointment for a meeting with the police. If you have not already handed in your passport to the police, you must bring the original passport to this appointment.
What does it mean to be granted a work permit?
- In order for you to be allowed to work, UDI must first have given you a temporary work permit.
- If you work without being allowed to by UDI, you are violating Norwegian law. If you work without a temporary work permit, this may have consequences for your application for protection.
- If you get a temporary work permit, this means you can work. You have to find work yourself.
Can you participate in voluntary work?
You do not need a work permit to participate in voluntary work. There are strict rules for what is considered voluntary work.
For work to qualify as voluntary
- It must be work that you yourself have chosen to do.
- It must be work that you are not paid for.
- It must be work that is organised by a humanitarian, non-profit or religious organisation, or by a volunteer centre (frivillighetssentral), a sports club or similar organisations.
- The tasks you carry out must be tasks that no one is normally paid to do.
- You cannot do voluntary work for more than 30 hours per week.
Can you work at your reception centre?
In principle, you need a work permit in order to work in Norway. This also applies to tasks and work at your reception centre.
You can carry out some tasks and small jobs at your reception centre without holding a work permit. You cannot receive pay or other forms of compensation for these jobs. You are not allowed to do other jobs.
Examples of tasks you can do
- Show new residents around the reception centre and the local community
- Help other residents to use the internet
- Help to make and distribute the reception centre newspaper
- Keep the notice board up to date
- Help to organise the activity rooms
- Help others with language issues during informal gatherings
- Assist in fire safety work at the reception centre, for example by informing other residents about fire safety
- Help to sort and hand out clothes and other items that the reception centre has received from the local community
- Take part in voluntary work at the reception centre, such as spring cleaning
- Take practical training as part of schemes that promote return
Examples of tasks you cannot do
- Interpreting or translation
- Work in the canteen
- Work in the reception or on the switchboard
- Building or technical equipment maintenance
- Driving or transport services