Work permits in Norway

In order to work in Norway, most foreign citizens need a work permit. The permit must be granted before entry, as the general rules does not allow you to travel here and wait for a decision.
This section contains detailed information regarding the applicable rules and guidelines for the various types of work permits, and how you go about applying. NB: Separate rules apply for applicants from EU/EEA/EFTA countries.
In most cases, if you will be staying in the country for longer than three months, you must apply for a residence permit. In certain cases, it may also be necessary to apply for a visa in order to enter Norway.

1. Who needs a work permit?
2. How to apply for a work permit?
3. New service centre for foreign workers
4. Frequently asked questions

Information in this section is gathered from The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration's website. For complete and detailed information go to

1. Who needs a work permit?
As a general rule, everyone who wishes to work in Norway must have a work permit. Work includes all types of job or commercial activity, paid or unpaid.
Below is an overview of the groups which are exempted from the requirement to obtain a work permit.
NB! Separate rules apply for applicants from EU/EEA/EFTA countries.  
The following groups are fully exempt from the requirement to obtain a work permit:
- Nordic citizens
- Foreign seamen on foreign-registered vessels transporting goods or passengers between Norwegian ports



2. How to apply for a work permit?
There are many types of work permit. Below is an alphabetical presentation of some of the permits, so that you can find the right permit for your work. 

Click on the different titles to read more of each work permit. NB: The links will lead you to The Norwegian Directorate of Immigrations own webpage to guarantee you updated and right information.

This form of work permit may be granted to persons who will be working as a musician, artist or necessary accompanying assistant.
The au pair system allows young people to increase their language ability and gain greater knowledge of Norway and Norwegian culture by living with a Norwegian family. In return, they carry out tasks such as housework and childminding for their host family.
This form of work permit may be granted to persons who will be working for a charity or humanitarian organisation.
A group permit grants permission to employ a set number of foreign workers for a temporary job, project, etc. Consequently, a group work permit is not in fact a type of work permit, but a permit to recruit a group of workers. Once they have entered Norway, foreign nationals covered by such a permit will be given an individual permit to work in the group. The employee cannot start work until he or she has received this individual permit from the police.
A work permit for a guest worker may be granted to foreign nationals who wish to acquire knowledge of Norwegian agriculture and Norwegian culture. It is required that you take part in general farm work or work in a market garden, and act as part of the family on the farm. You are not permitted to carry out major maintenance work, construction of new buildings or similar work. In cases where the farm runs “combination farming”, e.g. a farm combined with a campsite, you will not be allowed to carry out work relating to the non-farming part of the business.
This form of work permit may be granted to persons who are journalists or other staff of foreign newspapers, radio stations or TV stations.
This permit is granted to researchers, scholarship holders and lecturers at research institutes or educational establishments.
This type of work permit may be granted for work of a seasonal nature or as an ordinary holiday replacement.
A person may be granted a work permit for up to three months as a short term specialist if they can document that they have specialist training or have special qualifications, and that their skills are considered necessary for the post which they have been offered.
Skilled workers/specialists are persons who have specialist training in a particular field or have special qualifications needed in Norway. Specialist training means vocational training equivalent to at least three years of further education, or a university degree. Special qualifications are skills acquired through practical work experience, possibly in combination with a certain amount of training.
As a student in Norway, you may be granted a work permit to work part-time alongside your studies and during the holidays.
A trainee is a person who wishes to come to Norway to train in a particular profession. The work permit may be granted if the work is considered essential for the person’s qualifications and a natural part of his or her vocational training.
This form of work permit may be granted to persons who have completed their studies in Norway.
This form of work permit may be granted to persons from Australia or New Zealand who wish to take a long holiday in Norway and supplement their spending money with odd jobs/temporary work.
Any questions?
If you are still unsure about what type of permit you should apply for, visit this webpage


3. New service centre for foreign workers

The new Service Centre for foreign workers opened at Tøyen in Oslo, Monday October 15 2007. Together the police, the Labour Inspection Authority, the Tax Directorate and the Directorate of Immigration run the centre offering improved and faster service to foreign workers and their employers.
Foreign workers have so far had to visit several public offices in order to get the necessary information, permits and documents needed to work in Norway. In order to make the process easier, the four public institutions have opened a common service centre located in Hagegata 28 at Tøyensenteret in Oslo.
An important goal for the center is to help the foreign workers start working as soon as possible, as the workers are needed in the private sector.
The centre will serve nationals of the EEA, nationals of other countries who apply for work permit as skilled workers, and family members of both of these categories.
Those who visit the centre should be able to get:
• first-time work and residence permit
• renewal of work and residence permits
• tax deduction cards
• D-number : A registration number for foreign nationals in Norway not registered as immigrants with the Population Register
• notification of immigration or change of address to the Population Register. Including assignment of a personal identity number
• information and guidance
It is important that you bring along all the documentation required for the processing of your application 
If you are applying for a tax deduction card or work permit and residence permit for the first time:
• Your passport or a valid travel document
• Your employment contract/ proof of employment from your Norwegian employer
• Documentation of marriage and family relationships
• Documentation that you are a qualified skilled worker (only for nationals of countries outside the EEA area who are applying for work or residence permit)
If you are applying for a renewal, you must also bring along:
• Documentation of your income in Norway
• The D number, personal identity number or DUF number you have been assigned
• Documentation of a still valid offer of employment
Applications for renewal can be sent by post to the police where you live or are staying if the application is complete.
If the application is correctly filled in and all the required documentation is enclosed, you will receive a reply within 5 working days.

The Service Centre
Hagegata 28, Tøyensenteret
0630 Oslo
To get there, you can either take the underground or bus number 20, 60 or 67 to Tøyen.
The Service Centre is open from Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 15.00


4. Frequently Asked Questions
Can I appeal against a decision?
Yes. If you lodge an appeal, your application will be sent to the Immigration Appeals Board (UNE) for further processing.
Can a person who needs a visa start working before the case is completely processed?
No, it is illegal to start working before a work permit is granted, unless that person have been granted a temorary work permit.
Can an employer or host family apply on behalf of me?
An employer, or host family, may apply on behalf of you if you submit a power of attorney.
Can family or friends apply on behalf of me?
Is it possible to apply for a work permit directly after receiving a rejection in an asylum case?
What are the consequences of working illegally?
Working without a permit is illegal, while it also has many disadvatages for you: 
you commit a criminal act and may be punished
you earn no unemployment benefits, and no payments at times of sick-and maternity leave
you get no documentation of your work experience
you get no insurance benfits through your work
you get no rights or protection in regards to the law on labour - 'Arbeidsmiljøloven'
you get no opportunities to join a labour union
you get no pension earings
you make it harder for you to be included into intruduction programs
Further questions
If you have further questions in regards to a work permit, you may contact the nearest Norwegian foreign service mission, or in Norway, theInformation Service (OTS). (Click here)