Employers: Employing someone who is not an EU/EEA national


Here you can find information about what you as an employer need to think about when employing a worker who is a citizen of a country outside the EU/EEA.

These countries are in the EU/EEA.

Hiring someone who wishes to move to Norway

  • Foreign nationals who are going to work in Norway normally need a residence permit. You can read more about different types of residence permits for work and about who does not need a residence permit.
  • For a worker to be able to apply for a residence permit for work purposes you must make him or her a concrete offer of employment. You can normally do this by filling in the UDI's employment offer form (pdf, 1,0 MB).
  • As regards applications for residence permits for skilled workers and seasonal workers, an employer can apply on the worker's behalf. In such case, you must have written authorisation from the worker. You can read more about this on the pages concerning the various residence permits.
  • You will find an overview of case processing times here.
  • As regards applications for residence permits for skilled workers, an employer can also apply on behalf of the employee’s spouse/cohabitant and children. In such case, you must have written authorisation from the family members. If your hand in the applications for the employee and the family members at the same time, they will also receive the answer to their applications at the same time. 

  • A worker cannot start working before he or she has been granted a residence permit. In some cases, however, a worker can start working before the application has been considered, provided that they have received confirmation from the police (the early employment scheme).
  • If the worker is granted a residence permit, it will have an expiry date. Most residence permits are renewable. Workers must apply for renewal no later than one month before the permit expires in order to retain all their rights. We recommend that the worker applies two to three months before the permit expires.  

Employing someone who already lives in Norway

  • Foreign nationals who are going to work in Norway normally need a residence permit. Foreign nationals can be granted a residence permit in Norway on grounds of, for example, labour immigration, protection (asylum) and family immigration.
  • It is your responsibility as employer to check that foreign employees have a valid residence permit.
  • You can check whether the worker has a residence permit by asking him or her to show you his or her residence card. The residence card states what type of residence permit the worker has.
  • Some types of residence permits entitle their holder to work in any type of job, for example residence permits for family immigration, or permanent residence permits.
  • People who came to Norway as work immigrants and have a residence permit as a skilled worker with an employer in Norway can change employers without applying for a new residence permit. However, they must work in the same type of position as before. The pay and working conditions must not be poorer than is normal in Norway, and they  must still meet the other requirements for a residence permit as a skilled worker with an employer in Norway
  • Other people who came to Norway as work immigrants often have a residence permit that specifies that they must work in one particular job for one particular employer. This will be specified on their residence card (for example as a «seasonal worker at Stordriften farm»). If the person you wish to employ holds this kind of residence permit, he or she must get a new residence permit before they can start working for you. 
  • Some asylum seekers who are waiting for their applications to be decided are permitted to work. In such case, they will have a letter stating this.
  • You can also contact the UDI's employer service to check whether the person has the right type of permit.
  • Employers who employ foreign workers who do not have the right type of residence permit can be punished by fines or imprisonment.

Contact information and questions