Make moving to Norway possible with this handy guide.
Every traveler has had that moment where they have visited a beautiful country and have fallen in love with it. For many, the country is so fabulous, that the thought of moving there will inevitably creep into their frame of thinking. One such country that tends to have this effect on people is Norway. With its beautiful landscape, rugged terrier, and well known high quality of life, it is no wonder why so many people have considered moving to Norway at one point or another.
If you have serious considerations about moving to Norway, then there are some things that you will need to keep in mind. Today, we have put together a handy guide that might help ease some of your thoughts about moving to Norway. In our guide, we will go over some of the top tips that will help you plan out whether or not moving to Norway is something for you. From the lifestyle to the basics of the immigration process, we are here to help. Let’s get started.
What Moving to Norway Means in Terms of the Law
Perhaps one of the trickiest parts of moving to Norway is actually figuring out the immigration laws. Unsurprisingly, it is not as simple as picking up your stuff and moving to this beautiful country. You have to have the proper paper work and legal documentation in order if you want to make your vision of moving to Norway a reality.
The way you figure out whether or not you will be able to legally live in this country depends on a couple of factors. For starters, your location can play a big role in how difficult your immigration to Norway will be. For example, if you will be immigrating from Europe, there is a bit more flexibility afforded to you. Let’s take a look at how your location can effect your relocation to Norway.
Moving to Norway from Europe
The European Union does not recognize Norway as one of its members. However, Norway is a member of the European Free Trade Association or the EFTA. Because of this membership in the EFTA, they are also members of the European Economic Area or the EEA. Under EEA guidelines, members are provided the free movement of goods, person, services, and capital in the European Single Market. If you are thinking of moving to Norway from a country in the EEA, you are in luck. This free movement of such commodities also enables individuals to choose a residence in any country within this EEA. If you are coming from any of these countries, then finding a path to living in Norway will not be as difficult as finding a path from countries not included in this area.
Moving to Norway from the United States
If you will be immigrating to Norway from the United States of America then things tend to get a little trickier. The rules in place when you are trying to immigrate from the United States can make things a little more difficult for United States citizens who want to call Norway home.
Currently, there are two main ways that can help you secure immigration if you are coming for the United States. Your first best bet to moving to Norway is through a work permit. By applying for a work permit after having secured a job or in the hopes of finding a job in Norway, you will have a better chance of being able to make your way to this Scandinavian haven.
The second most popular way that United States citizens can investigate when they are pursuing their move to Norway is through there familial ties. However, this method does need to be taken with a grain of salt. Although many United States citizens claim to have ancestry of Norwegian background, this connection to Norway is not always enough to warrant a path for immigration.
Although Norway does offer a family section on their immigration rules, they are some strict guidelines. Moving to Norway based on familial ties is primarily intended for someone who has the right to live in Norway already. This right to live in Norway is generally due to immediate family members who live there. But it is most popularly in place for someone who has a work permit already and is looking to bring their family to live with them. (This generally constitutes a spouse and children.) To get a more in depth understanding of the necessary documentations for United Stated citizens looking to move to Norway, click here.
For many American citizens, the best bet to moving to Norway is finding a job with an American company that is based in Norway. Not only will this help your odds of finding a job. But there are some companies that can offer assistance navigating the immigration ropes when trying to make the move to Norway. To check out a list of American companies that currently call Norway home, click here.
For some immigrants who come to Norway, it doesn’t take long for them to fall in love. With that love, the wonder of whether or not they can stay permanently can follow soon after. When it comes to the immigration laws, there are some restrictions in permanent residency. This does not mean however that it is impossible.
One of the most popular ways to gain permanent residency in Norway is through your work permit. If you have obtained legal residence through a work permit (or other means), then you usually have to hold that standing for a certain amount of time. As of yet, the typical amount of time is usually anywhere from four to seven years. Of course, it all does depend on your individual situation. Once that amount of time has passed, then you typically do get the opportunity to apply for a permanent residency in Norway. For many, you will even get the opportunity to apply for Norwegian citizenship as well.
If Norwegian citizenship is something that you are interested in, then there is a bit of a downside. Currently, Norway does not recognize or entertain dual citizenship. Although there are current talks in the government about changing their status on dual citizenship, it does not seem promising that it will happen anytime soon. If you do apply for Norwegian citizenship or a Norwegian passport, you will need to give up your current passport. For some, this might be a sacrifice that is too big to take on. Not that dual citizen restrictions may not apply to certain individuals who have one parent who is of Norwegian decent and one who is not.
Finding a Job in Norway
Your next hurdle when it comes to moving to Norway is figuring out what you are going to do for work. Unless you are lucky enough to be a digital nomad, you will need to figure out a way to sustain yourself in order to live here. Currently, Norway offers the advantage of allowing you to claim a work permit under a self-employed individual. This option gives you a bit more leeway in terms of applying for the work permit. However, there are other things that you need to take into consideration.
One of your best bets when looking for work in Norway is considering a position with one of the many industries that are currently shorthanded. As of yet, the most commonly understaffed Industries include the healthcare profession. Other professions include construction, and ICT. When considering moving to Norway it is best to start looking into these industries first. Contrary to popular belief, you do not want to look at the biggest industry for employment that the country offers. Just because that industry of employment is large, does not mean that there are spaces that need to be filled.
Do I Need to Speak the Norwegian Language in Order to Work in Norway?
While the majority of the population can speak, write, and generally interact in English, Norwegian language is still the primary language. If you plan on moving to Norway, then you will need to learn the language. While the residence here can speak English typically at an intermediate level, Norway’s home language still plays a fundamental role in the daily day activities in the workplace. Having the Norwegian language under your belt does not necessarily give you an advantage. Rather, it is considered a necessity if you want to live and work here. If you are considering moving to Norway, then it is best that you start brushing up on your Norwegian a couple of years in advance. That way you really understand the language.
Where Should I live in Norway?
You have figured out your path to immigration, and you have got a job secured, great! Your next hurdle when it comes to moving to Norway is figuring out where you are going to call home. Finding a home in Norway is similar to most parts of the world.
You will primarily want to sort out your living situation after you have secured a job position. Knowing where you will work, will help you narrow down your house hunt. If you do not have a job position security yet, then you will want to have at least narrowed down where it is that you will be working. Once you have figured that out, you can start mapping out certain cities and even neighborhoods that you want to live in.
For many who are just starting out, finding temporary housing is the popular thing to do. You can use several online sites that will help you locate temporary housing. One such popular site is Finn.no. Finn.o offers a range of housing options that range from temporary to permanent. This marketplace can even help you locate other necessities such as a vehicle and home furnishings. Think of it as a sort of online marketplace specifically for Norwegians.
If you have already secured employment, then oftentimes your new employer can help you figure out lodging accommodations. For many newcomers, temporary housing should last no more than six months. After this point, you should really start looking for a temporarily permanent fixture to call home.
Once you do find the place you want to call home, you should be aware of this next cultural barrier. In many parts of the western world, especially the states, it is typically expected that a one month deposit be put forward. In Norway, you can expect to put upwards of a three months deposit down. While this might seem a little extreme, this is not usual and not out of the norm here. If you have not started saving up yet, then you will want to make sure that you begin putting funds away now. Not only will this lessen the burden, but it will allow you to make a smooth transition when moving to Norway.
What Is the Cost of Living Here?
If you are not already aware, then you should know right off the bat that the cost of living in Norway is rather high compared to most other locations. This high cost of living is in part due to the fact that wages are rather high in Norway too. In fact, many Norwegians do bring in a rather modest salary each year that affords them not only a living and but a comfortable one. If you are considering moving to Norway, then you will need to think about whether or not you will be able to afford it.
For starters, before you even get here, you will want to sort out your finances. This way you will know whether or not you actually will have enough money to move here. Not only that, but you will want to build up a safety fund as well. A general rule of thumb is to have anywhere from a 6 month to even a year’s worth of funds available as an emergency backup.
Your lifestyle habits can also impact whether or not moving to Norway will be a pricey expenditure. For example, if you will be moving with a significant other or even children, this can put a financial strain on your move. If you are single but have a tendency to going out and party every night, the party lifestyle may quickly catch up to you. This will make it difficult for you to afford living here.
When it comes to financing your move here (and then staying financially stable), you will want to play it very frugally at first. Once you have your footing down, then you will be able to get a better understanding of your standing. Having a footing will allow you to understand what you should be spending on a day to day basis.
In the meantime, it is not a bad idea to start entertaining a minimalist lifestyle. This can be especially helpful for the first couple of months that you do live here. Moving to Norway is an experience all in itself. Enjoy that experience by staying away from buying unnecessary things that will distract you from the actual experience of moving to a new country.
Life in Norway
It is no surprise that life in Norway is very different than many parts of the world. This is especially true if you are moving to Norway from a foreign country. For starters, society in Norway is generally centered around family and community. Along with that, a primary focus goes into building relationships rather than working long hours the way many parts of the western world is known for. Here are some interesting facets of the Norwegian society that you should take into consideration if you are thinking about moving to Norway. If you know that you will be moving to Norway, then it would be in your best interest to begin planning for how to embrace and live within these societal norms. For a more in depth understanding of Noway’s beautiful culture, click here.
Janteloven is a common philosophy that you will come in contact with time and time again in Norway. This concept really resonates around not just Norway but all of the Scandinavian countries. In its entirety, Janteloven generally means putting society ahead of the individual. Unlike many western countries, individual accomplishments and accolades are not as important as those of the society or community as a whole.
You will want to start entertaining this frame of thinking and understanding what it means to put your community and society first in your everyday life. It does not have to be a significant shift in your life either. In fact, there are little things that you can begin doing to try to encapsulate this concept. For example, instead of relying on disposable cups every day for your cup of coffee, you can invest in a renewable one instead. This small act is a subtle example of what it means to think about your actions. Understanding you actions is the first step in thinking about how they affect the community and the environment around you.
2. Giving up Your Time
Giving up your personal time to make your society, your city, and your community a better place it is almost expected. This is not surprising at it ties into the common conception of Janteloven. There is a wide range of voluntary organizations throughout Norway that are usually hustling and bustling with volunteers. This is unsurprising either as giving up your time in Norway is something that is regarded as one of the main tenets of being a Norwegian. If you plan on moving to Norway, then you will want to make some room in your plans to go out and volunteers in and around where you live. After all, if you are going to live in Norway, you will want to do as the Norwegians do!
3. Stay Connected
You will quickly notice that Norwegians are really on the Forefront when it comes to staying connected. This is especially true when it comes to financial transactions. Many of the citizens in Norway rely on their technology and cards when it comes to making payments. In fact, cash is not something that is really used on a daily basis by the average Norwegian. If you have not already figured out the magic of your Apple wallet and Venmo already, then it’s best you start practicing as soon as you can.
4. Become a Frequent Flyer Member
This next tip might sound a little strange, but it is actually quite practical. When it comes to moving around the country of Norway, locals do not think twice about getting onto a plane to get to their destination. The rough terrain of Norway and the long distances make it so that taking a plane is typically the best option. And with great deals from airlines typically available, you don’t have to think twice about flying.
If you have not done so already, signing up with a frequent flyers program can be a great way to rack up points when it comes to airplane mileage. Even if you don’t plan on flying around the country. There will definitely be a time where you will find yourself needing to book a ticket or two to get around.
The country of Norway is such a beautiful and enticing one. It is truly no wonder why so many people entertain the dream of maybe moving to Norway one day. While the dream of moving to Norway may be one thing, the practicality of it is a whole other ball game. If you are planning on moving to Norway, be sure to keep some of these handy tips in mind.
Related Article: 5 Incredible Things to Do in Norway
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