Constantly listed among the best places to live in the world, Norway provides ample opportunities for companies and people looking to move to this Scandinavian nation. Companies that consider expanding into this market have to look into the steps required to set up a presence in-country, beginning with Norway visa requirements.
Many companies find visa requirements to be one of the more complex legal systems to deal with when they send local employees to work in foreign countries, and Norway is no exception. Here’s what you need to know for Norway visa requirements.
Norway Visa Requirements: Schengen Agreement
The Schengen agreement allows for the free flow of labor in most countries in the European Union. While Norway is not a member of the European Union, it is a member of the Schengen Agreement as well as the European Single Market.
That means that a citizen of Germany can travel to Norway to get a job, buy a house and live permanently without applying for a visa. One of the purposes of the Schengen Agreement was to facilitate economic unity for the European Union. This allows companies to transfer an employee from one Schengen country to another.
European Union Exceptions
There are some countries that are a part of the European Union, but not members of the Schengen Agreement, and vice versa. Countries and territories who are not members of the European Union, but participate in the Schengen Agreement include:
Countries that are in the European Union, but not a part of the Schengen Agreement include:
- The United Kingdom*
Do note, the United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the European Union on Friday, 29 March 2019.
Norway Visa Requirements: Travel Visa
The process for obtaining a residence permit, which allows Schengen Agreement citizens to work in Norway, starts with a travel visa. Citizens of over 50 countries only need to bring their passports to get a travel visa. Citizens who reside outside of the countries mentioned above must provide the following documents to apply:
- A completed application
- Two passport format photographs
- A valid passport with at least two empty pages
- A copy of a return ticket reservation
- Travel Insurance of at least €30,000 for the whole Schengen area
- A cover letter with the purpose and itinerary of the visit
- Flight reservations
- Proof of accommodation and means of subsistence
- Proof of civil status (marriage, children’s birth certificates, etc.)
Once the visa application has been approved, people are free to enter the country. The next step is getting the right permit to work there.
Norway Visa Requirements: Skilled Workers
Norway allows for skilled workers to apply for a residence permit as long as they prove the following:
- Proof of a university degree, vocational training, or special qualification
- A job offer that is at least 80% full-time
- A job that requires a skilled worker
- Pay and work conditions that are equal to local standards
Workers whose occupation falls under a regulated profession will need to provide required licenses or special certifications.
Norway Visa Requirements: Three Month Rules
Many workers who intend to work less than three months don’t need a residency permit. For them, a travel visa is enough to begin working in Norway.
For skilled workers that work for more than three months, there is an application process to receive a Norway visa. Fortunately, the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration website walks an applicant through the process step-by-step. To start:
- Print out a checklist of the documents needed
- Either the employer or employee must complete an application form by going to the application portal
- Once the application has been submitted, the employee takes the checklist and required documents to the nearest visa application center
An applicant can apply while in Norway, as long as the applicant has a travel visa.
For a skilled worker who hands in the application at a visa center outside of Norway, expect five weeks before a decision is made. A residency permit lasts for one to three years after which, a worker can apply for permanent residency.
Svalbard and Spitsbergen Exemptions
Spitsbergen is an Island north of Norway that is the only permanently inhabited island in the Svalbard archipelago. This archipelago became a part of Norway in the Spitsbergen Treaty of 1920, which gave exemptions for Spitsbergen from the Schengen Agreement.
If you want to work or travel to Spitsbergen, you need to apply for a visa. It’s even suggested that the best method is applying for two visas, one to Spitsbergen and one to Norway. This is to ensure that no problems arise when crossing the borders.
Navigating the Norwegian visa requirements and application process can be tricky. Partner up with experts in global expansion at Velocity Global. Let us make your move into Norway efficient and compliant so you can focus on the success of your employees.