Internationals seeking employment in Norway must go through the offices of the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration. Citizens of any EFTA or EEA country may live and work in Norway without a work permit or visa. All other non-EU nationals must apply for a working holiday visa in order to obtain employment. Norway operates under the Schengen Agreement. Individuals with a Schengen visa may travel freely throughout the 15-country Schengen zone.
Only work permits requisitioned by an employer grants an individual the right to live and work in Norway. Two types of permits exist for Norwegian job seekers: 12-month work permits and seasonal work permits. 12-month permits allow skilled workers to live and hold a job for up to a year. A seasonal work permit allows a worker three months of residency and employment. Nationals from certain countries may live and work in Norway without a visa for up to three months.
The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration acts as the governing body overseeing the issuance of work permits and working holiday visas to Norway. Applicants must comply with eligibility requirements to obtain a working holiday visa to Norway. Specific requirements include: individuals 18 to 30 years of age, a valid passport, a return travel ticket to the country of origin or the means to purchase a return ticket, and good mental, physical, and criminal backgrounds. Working holiday visas to Norway allow for only citizens of New Zealand and Australia to apply. Other stipulations and requirements may also apply. Norway reserves the right to deny work privileges at any time.
Visa applicants seeking work in Norway must typically obtain permanent residence, as well. Individuals with permanent residence privileges may live and work in Norway freely. The country of Norway requires applicants to meet certain criteria in order to apply for permanent residence. Eligibility requirements include continuously living in Norway for extended periods of time and possessing no prior criminal history. Norway immigration provides a list of additional requirements online.
Individuals seeking citizenship may apply for naturalization. Nordic applicants at least 12 years of age and living in the country for at least two years may apply for citizenship. Internationals from other areas of the world must meet additional requirements, including meeting the prerequisites for a settlement permit. Applicants may not claim citizenship to any other country while Norwegian citizens. Upon completing the naturalization process, newly appointed citizens reserve all rights and responsibilities of full Norwegian citizens.
The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration website provides a more in-depth look at eligibility requirements and general information about obtaining a visa or work permit. Follow the link to the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration website for more information.