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Should I move to Norway?

My inbox is currently flooded with questions about moving to Norway that I simply haven’t had time to respond to and so I decided it was easiest to address them in one big blog post.

I’m not any sort of expert in how to relocate to Norway But I realize that it’s sometimes more enjoyable to hear from people actually living in Norway than simply Googling information about the life in Norway particularly when your searches lead you to a really scary forum (unless Google led you here Oh, hey! ).

I’ve been in Norway for over seven years, which means I’ve experienced a variety of different phases of the move from Norway process. I remember what it was the first time I moved to Norway as a teenager, how thrilling as well as overwhelming how the excitement eventually died down, and living in such a costly country was a bit scary. And why I am now in love with it so much!

Truthfully, this blog is actually meant to be an answer to all the questions about moving to Norway that I’ve received from people since I moved into Norway myself, as I’ve been in your shoes too! If you’d like to understand what it’s like moving from the US to Norway (especially from the US) this is the way it goes:

Moving into Norway from the US What are the steps to take to be able to live legally and legally in Norway in the capacity of an American citizen?

Ugh, I’m so sorry I can’t be of more help however, I’m an Norwegian citizen, and so moving to Norway was a breeze for me.

My mother is a Norwegian citizen and that I was born within the U.S., I was born with dual citizenship.

There are very few instances in which Norwegians can enjoy dual citizenship. Most of the time, in the event that you become one of the Norwegian citizen or are a citizen of another country, in addition to Norway you must surrender one, but being born a dual-national is one of the loopholes.

If I were not the Norwegian (or EU) citizen, then the process of moving to Norway would be considerably more difficult.

But, I do know some people who have decided to move into Norway from the US and everything has worked out well for them. The first one came as a student. He later got a job here as a teacher, and two more came as tourists, and then quickly got jobs in their field. It’s possible!

Oh and I also have a friend who is one American woman who obtained a visa by marrying a Norwegian and a Norwegian, so there’s that.

What everyone who decided to move to Norway shares is their determination. There’s plenty of paperwork, confusion, questions, and even confusion to overcome in the process however, if want to immigrate to Norway you should not be discouraged. The process of moving to a new place isn’t always easy, while in some ways Norway is a more convenient place to relocate to due to the language isn’t too difficult to master (at the very least for English speakers) and there are plenty of jobs here, but on the other hand Norway has a very small population, so it’s quite odd to be a stranger from the inside.

Norwegians are generally really similar, so it’s hard being on the outside looking in.

It’s really difficult at first to make friends and feel like a one of the communities however once you have done it, you will truly feel a part of something. That is so wonderful. I’ve never felt as much of any community in any of the countries I’ve lived like I do in Norway. It’s a wonderful feeling.

The exact conditions for how to move from Norway from a non EU/EEA country will be determined by the country in which you reside (find more information here), but essentially you’ll need to apply for a residence permit which falls into one of the following categories: family immigration, work immigration, study, au pair, and permanent residence.

Family immigration basically allows someone working in Norway to bring their spouse or children here with their family members. If you have an extended family member who lives in Norway, you probably won’t be able to obtain an Norway Residence permit via them. And if you’re an adult though you have a parent in Norway, you can only be granted an residence permit if you can show that you make at least a certain amount of base income.

If you’re planning to come here as a worker immigration applicant to Norway it is necessary to have found work prior to coming to Norway (though many people come to Norway with tourist visas, but then find a job prior to the time their visa expires). The kind of residence permit you’ll need to apply for will depend on the country you’re from, as well as the specific skills you have and the type of work that you’ll undertake in Norway.

In order to get a permit for study to Norway you’ll have to have been accepted to a full-time study program (longer than 3 months) and also show that you have enough money to support yourself (I think it’s around 100,000 NOK per year). A study permit holder will also be permitted to work for up 20 hours per week during your studies (and fully-time between the semesters).

There are different methods to get permanent residence in Norway however, in the end, you’ll need a residence permit here for at least three years, and show some degree of Norwegian knowledge and language. And no, three years of having a permit to study won’t be considered a permanent residence requirement however, unfortunately.

Many of the people I knew in Trondheim had au pair residence permits. You can only get an au pair’s permit when you’re between 18 to 30, you aren’t allowed to have children of your own, and you’ll need to prove that you’ll likely return to your country of origin after being an au pair.

And of course, there are specific rules for asylum applicants in Norway.

Because Norway isn’t a member of the EU Does it require an additional visa to travel to Norway for the purpose of becoming an EU citizen?

All you need to do is to find work within six months of living in Norway (and the law is extremely lax). In addition, since Norway can be considered part of EEA that means as an EU citizen, you are eligible for any sort of job, regardless of your profession.

I relocated to Norway with my ex-boyfriend whom also happens to be an EU citizen or was prior to Brexit. While certain things like opening an account with a bank were impossible for him to do before he was able to get a job in Norway, mostly moving here was not a problem for him. If you have additional specific questions about the process of moving from Norway because you are an EU citizen, I’d love to help you answer them!

I have many friends who are EU citizens, and the hardest part for them was learning the language. When you’ve got a basic understanding of Norwegian it is likely that you will have the ability to secure work at a grocery store, as Norwegians generally don’t need these types of jobs. When I worked at one of the supermarkets in Norway everyone else were foreigners, except for the managers. It was funny and made for a nice sense of community.

If you are looking to get to be a top-level employee, you really will need to be fluent in Norwegian. The good news is that Norwegian is designed to be one of the most simple languages for English people to master. The grammar is extremely basic and straightforward and the vocabulary very simple.

The most difficult thing is that Norway has tons of different local dialects, and they can vary widely. Just like my friends in Telemark claim, sometimes the people of Oslo do not understand what they speak about – even being Norwegians!

Where can I find an employment opportunity in Norway?

When I moved to Norway people have told me two things about finding jobs in Norway: it’s mostly about networking and it’s simpler to find jobs in villages or small towns. It’s true that Dan along with me found jobs via someone who had has read my blog. And we ended up living for several years in a tiny town in the middle of the wilderness.

It’s quite apparent that meeting people and asking about (or even hanging out in places you’d potentially like to work in, such as restaurants or bars) is the best way to land a job Norway. That of course implies that you have a minimum of Norwegian and luckily, basic Norwegian skills aren’t hard to achieve. After five months of living in Norway Dan had enough Norwegian to work at the grocery store, as well. Norwegian is the first foreign language he’s learned.

If you are willing to perform any type of work and are willing to apply for every job there is, finding a job in Norway will not be that difficult for you.

In reality, I’d recommend that if one speaks some Norwegian and are totally flexible about where you’d like to live and the type of work you’d like perform, it shouldn’t be hard for you to find a job in Norway at all. It seems that supermarkets all over Norway are always hiring! It’s a good thing you’re not in a major city or in a college area, as those students always have the best supermarket jobs.

Where can you move to in Norway – the best place to reside in Norway

Of course, this is totally up to your personal preferences, but as I said, it’ll be a lot more straightforward to find jobs in a small town or village as opposed to say Oslo. Plus the cost of living in smaller towns is way lower than the city.

As I’ve heard Oslo is the hardest place to get a job as an immigrant, though it also has the biggest number of immigrants. Unlike in smaller towns, there could be only a handful of foreigners. Personally, I consider that as a good thing nonetheless, since at least for me it’s been much easier to be a part of smaller towns as opposed to Trondheim and Trondheim, in which I was tempted to just hang out with other foreigners and only speak English. Actually, I speak less Norwegian in the time I’m within Tromso in comparison to while living in the small town of Trondheim.

Are Norway really a wonderful place to live? Should I consider moving to Norway?

So many people ask me this, and it’s a hard question to answer!

For me, the answer can be null, and I am happy the life I have in Norway.

There’s a lot to love about living in Norway. It’s beautiful, and the government isn’t terrible, but it’s not a total disaster, if you’re happy to begin with low skilled work , then the salaries are astronomical, and Norwegian people are generally really lovely to each other.

It’s true that I didn’t think I’d love working in a supermarket and yet having the most laid-back managers, coworkers whom I consider family and the most welcoming customers made me appreciate life in Norway’s mountains. Norway. Furthermore, Norway just feels like a really safe home to reside in.

Education is free in Norway which means I can quickly return to school to earn a master’s degree without racking up any debt, and I’ve enjoyed a great experience in the health care system here. As a person from the US, I think my living standard in Norway is way higher than my experience in the US.

However, I also can imagine that Norway might not be suitable for everyone.

Norwegian people are a peculiar bunch, and I think the way of life in Norway may be cold or frustrating to some people. The weather may not appeal to you if dislike snow, and getting stuff accomplished here requires a quantity of patience and persistence. As a matter of fact, it’s very difficult to receive a straight answer on concerns regarding important issues such as visas, taxes, and so on.

It may take a while to feel part of the community here, as Norwegians tend to be shy and reserved. They’re not likely to help you with things or talk to you however, just be aware that if need help with someone, Norwegians will do almost anything for you when you ask. It’s quite apparent that Norwegians love being able to offer help, they’re just reluctant to provide assistance until you make an inquiry. So just make an inquiry!

If you’re living in a tiny town, it’s easy to feel like everyone has been friends for a long time, and probably have. It can be difficult to be an outsider since everyone has their set group of people they know. However, if you decide to join activities or clubs you’ll be able start to get to know other people.

When I first moved in Mosjoen situated in Northern Norway it took a good year for me to really become friends. People were just very slow to engage and I really needed to put in the effort to make plans with friends and then begin to feel a part of their lives. I also participated in a dance and yoga class in an effort to make friends. This was also an arduous process, however Norwegians appreciate being part of a group seriously and eventually , I began to feel like I was a part of the community here.

I personally believe it’s well worth the effort, but some people may not. In fact I’ve had a lot of posts on my blog written by long-term expats who truly loathe Norway (I guess they’re still living in the country because of their families? ) Therefore, I believe we can safely say that Norway is definitely not ideal for everyone.

If you’re a fan of nature and the quiet, don’t mind the cold, and have a love for boiled potatoes and tinned fish and are able to be patient and patient, then by all means you should consider moving to Norway is a good option!

I feel incredibly lucky that I have the chance to live here, and being a resident of Norway has provided me with an incredible sense of security. Norway is not only an extremely safe place generally, but once you’re a resident here, it’s like you’re taken well. Health care and education is available for free. Even unqualified work is well-paid, so as long as you’re willing to do the hard work to learn the language you should be able to live an enjoyable life in the country.