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Emigration to Norway: an overview

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Polar lights, rough fjords and good wages and salaries - there are many reasons to emigrate to Norway. The bureaucratic effort for this is low. There is a guide here, including helpful contact points for finding a job in the north.

Norway is one of the largest countries in Europe, but with a population of just 5.3 million, it is very sparsely populated. Most of the population lives in the larger cities, especially in and around the capital Oslo. However, if you want to emigrate to Norway as a German, you have to plan it well: Looking for an apartment and moving in particular are often a major effort. Due to the Schengen Agreement, however, the bureaucratic hurdles are lower than when emigrating to some other countries.

Norway: facts and figures

  • Norway is located on the Scandinavian Peninsula and is around 324,000 square kilometers. It borders Sweden to the east, Finland and Russia to the northeast.
  • It is not a member of the European Union (EU), but is of the European Economic Area (EEA) and is also linked to the EU through the Schengen Agreement. Therefore, emigrating to Norway is comparatively easy.
  • The form of government corresponds to a constitutional monarchy, with strong parliamentary features.
  • The country's 5.3 million inhabitants are mainly concentrated in the south of the country, in particular in the Oslo conurbation, but also in large cities such as Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger.
  • The official currency of Norway is the Norwegian krone (NOK).
  • The Norwegian climate is rather mild. The mountain range of the Skanden divides Norway into a narrow, humid coastal strip in the west and a more continental climate in the east. The temperatures are between around -5 and +15 degrees Celsius.
  • The two language forms Bokmål (book language) and Nynorsk (New Norwegian) are officially recognized as languages ​​by the state. The majority of the population writes Bokmål (book language), the official standard variety. A smaller part of the population writes Nynorsk (New Norwegian), which is mainly based on rural Norwegian dialects. There are also the two languages ​​Riksmål (imperial language) and Høgnorsk (High Norwegian), which, however, do not enjoy any official status.

Emigrating to Norway: the most important points

Anyone who wants to emigrate to Norway as a German usually needs a job there or has to travel to Norway with the intention of looking for one. "As a citizen of the EEA, you are entitled to a residence and work permit in Norway," says lawyer Dr. Roland Mörsdorf. He himself emigrated from Germany to Norway in 2008 and runs the German Desk of the law firm Grette in Oslo for advice on commercial law in Norway.

Anyone who emigrates to Norway as a German can start work in their destination country straight away. However, if you stay in Norway for more than three months, you have to register with the police within this period and take a few further steps.

The following describes the procedure for an employee who has already found a job; more detailed information and the procedure for registering in other cases can be found on the website of the Norwegian Central Office for Foreigners Ultendingsdirektoratet - in short: UDI.

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Residence permit: registration certificate obtained

According to the Foreign Office, emigrants who want to stay in Norway for more than three months must report to the Norwegian police no later than two weeks after entering the country. The documents required for this are usually:

  • A valid passport or identity card - but the passport is better, because in some places the identity card is not recognized according to the Federal Foreign Office.
  • Proof of sufficient assets to finance your stay. Depending on the case, this can be, for example, a certificate from the employer about a job with sufficient earnings or proof of a sufficient pension.

The emigrant then receives a Registration certificate, which confirms that the police registered him. This document is valid for five years.

Apply for a personal number

Anyone who immigrates or will be living in Norway for more than six months must contact the local office after moving to Norway Folk register (Registration Office and Tax Office) and a National Identification Number, too Personal number or P number called, apply. Documents are also required for this:

  • Passport or national identification card with photo
  • Registration certificate
  • Valid real estate purchase agreement or rental agreement for a period of at least six months.
  • Employment contract for a period of six months or more.
  • For work assignments for personnel service providers: A confirmation of employment for at least six months.
  • If you have your own company: proof of this.
  • You can bring additional documents showing that you will be staying in Norway for six months or more

After the appointment, the authority will decide whether the immigrant meets all the conditions. If so, the immigrant will receive an after about two weeks processing time Personal number. "Norwegian citizens have had the identification number since birth, foreigners have to apply for it first," explains Mörsdorf.

There is also a temporary personal number, the D numberr: “This is for commuters between Norway and other countries,” says Mörsdorf, “or, for example, for managing directors of Norwegian companies who do not live in Norway themselves.” In any case, you need a good reason to get a D number to get.

Personal number: practically nothing works without it

The P number plays an important role in Norway because it is required to take out insurance of any kind, to register a car or to open a bank account. It consists of eleven digits, the first six of which indicate the person's date of birth.

Employees can use the Folk register also apply for your income tax card. For this purpose, a passport and an employment contract or a written job offer are usually sufficient in a personal appointment. Or, a tip for employees: the Norwegian employer can also apply for the tax card online for them.

De-register your place of residence in Germany?

Who within Germany no flat more inhabited and moving abroad, must be with the competent registration authority in Germany sign out. He has no later than 14 days after moving out to do this. For this you would have to have a Deregistration certificate can be requested from the relevant municipality. This is because this is required, among other things, to present it to the German diplomatic mission abroad - which is the only way to work for the emigrant and, for example, can change the place of residence in the passport or issue a new one.

If you are not yet sure whether you really want to immigrate to Norway for good, it is advisable to stay registered in Germany first and get one in Norway Second home to register.

Permanent residence permit for EU / EEA citizens

According to the UDI, anyone who has lived in Norway as an EU citizen for at least five years can apply for permanent residence. So he can stay and work in Norway for an unlimited period of time, together with his family members. For this he must not have spent more than six months of a year abroad; exceptions are possible from time to time.

"Naturalization would also be possible, but the length of stay is a little longer," says Mörsdorf. However, in this case, according to the current legal situation, Germans lose their German citizenship. "Only children who were born with both citizenships are allowed to keep both under certain conditions."

Organize relocation to Norway

As with any other move, there is a lot to prepare - and because you are going abroad, a little more than usual.

Do in Germany:

  • Who his Residence in Germany, you should ask for a confirmation of de-registration. This way he can later apply for a new passport at the German embassy in Norway without any problems.
  • The passport should be current.
  • The Driver's license also. The German driving license is also valid in Norway, but it can also be exchanged for a Norwegian driving license at the Norwegian traffic authority (Statens Vegvesen).
  • D number apply if possible. With this number, emigrants can open a bank account or apply for a tax card. “If you as a German want to buy property in Norway, that can be a good reason to get a D number,” says Mörsdorf.
  • Check contracts for deadlines and on time cancel, for example rental contract, mobile phone contract or insurance.
  • If necessary, a temporary one Health insurance abroad to secure the transition.
  • Vaccination protection check. The Federal Foreign Office recommends checking the standard vaccinations according to the current vaccination calendar of the Robert Koch Institute when traveling. These include measles, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough and a few more.
  • Apartment Search tackle it as early as possible. Because in many areas of Scandinavia it is not so easy to find a rental apartment - many Norwegians live in their own property.
  • Job search: According to Mörsdorf, this should already be done in Germany, as it makes a lot of things easier. "So you can move to Norway right at the start of your employment relationship and you are directly insured in the Norwegian social security system through your job."

Special provisions and customs regulations when moving to Norway

Norway is not a member of the EU, so separate provisions apply to the import of removal goods and some forms have to be filled out. Customs regulations are also stricter. Special customs regulations apply to the import of food, alcohol and tobacco products, plants, animals, vehicles and weapons. A detailed list can be found on the Norwegian Customs website (in German).

Important for everyone who drives the moving van themselves: Vehicles with caravans or trailers must not exceed a speed of 80 kilometers per hour, regardless of the speed limit. If the trailer or caravan has no brakes, it is a maximum of 60 kilometers per hour. Different speed limits apply than in Germany.

Moving with your pet: special features

For pets such as dogs, cats or ferrets, special regulations apply when entering Norway. Anyone who travels to Norway with an animal should therefore make an appointment with the veterinarian in advance to ensure that the animal meets all requirements. These include, for example:

  • The animal must have an identification / microchip or a clearly legible tattoo. However, tattoos will only be accepted if the animal was provided with them before July 3, 2011. The animal must have identification before it is vaccinated against rabies.
  • It must be vaccinated against rabies according to the recommendations of the vaccine manufacturer and may only be introduced on the 22nd day after vaccination.
  • Dogs must be treated against tapeworm infestation. This must be done 120 to 24 hours before entry.

Some dog breeds are also banned in Norway. This is explained in detail on the website of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Germany.

In Norway regulate:

  • In the Report to the police and Registration certificate apply for.
  • At the Folk register Application for National identification number (P or D number) and Tax card put.
  • If not done yet: Set up a bank account. An identification number and a passport are usually required for this.
  • Health insurance: Anyone who lives and works in Norway is automatically covered by the state health insurance (Folketryden). This applies as soon as the immigrant works, even if his identification number and residence permit are still missing.

Labor market and salary in Norway

Overall, the labor market in Norway offers a number of advantages. In many companies, the average working time tends to be lower than in Germany. That also applies No-conference-after-three policy: That means, there are no more meetings after three in the afternoon, so that nobody misses an important meeting when they go to the home office. It is also common that children can be taken to work. Also Wages and salaries should play an important role in the decision to work in Norway - because they are sometimes significantly higher than in Germany. “Those who earn badly there earn better in Norway. But those who earn very well or well in Germany tend to be a little worse, ”says Mörsdorf. For example, according to the Norwegian statistics agency SSB, the average income after tax is around 52,600 euros per household.

According to Mörsdorf, some occupational groups have particularly good prospects on the Norwegian labor market:

  • Doctors, nurses and staff
  • Craftsman
  • Engineers and mechanical engineers

For some trades, however, Germans need recognition or approval in order to be able to practice their profession in Norway.

Job search in Norway

Daily newspapers such as Aftenposten, Dagsavisen or Stavanger Aftenblad are a source of possible international jobs in Norway. Possible contact points online are:

  • EURES is the European job mobility portal. You can also search for languages ​​there.
  • The websites of the companies. The addresses can be found on the Norwegian Yellow Pages.
  • The FINN job portal

The Central Foreign and Specialized Placement Service (ZAV) of the Federal Employment Agency can also help. However, many vacancies are not advertised publicly, so sending a speculative application to a company can make sense.

Application for a job abroad

In Norway it is customary to send your application by email. It usually only consists of a cover letter (“Jobbsøknaden”) and a résumé (Curriculum Vitae or “Levnetsbeskrivelse”). Ideally, it is written in Norwegian, unless the job description specifically requires an application in English.

A portrait photo is not attached. The curriculum vitae also includes training, work experience and other qualifications, as well as at least two references with contact details. In Norway, however, job references are rather irrelevant, unless the training was a long time ago, important additional qualifications are documented in the current job reference, or the applicant has recently completed his training that exactly matches the position offered. Alternatively, the job references can also be brought to the interview. In that case, however, they should be available in Norwegian, or at least an English translation.

FAQ - Emigration and Jobs Abroad in Norway

Can you work as a German in Norway?

If you are a German who would like to work or study in Norway, you do not need a work permit or a visa to enter Norway. However, anyone who wants to stay in Norway for more than three months must be able to show a residence permit. This is how the residence permit is applied for.

How long can I stay in Norway?

German citizens who want to stay in Norway for more than three months should apply for a residence permit from the Norwegian police no later than two weeks after entering the country. This is how the residence permit is applied for.

What do you earn on average in Norway?

Norway is one of the countries with one of the highest per capita incomes, but the cost of living is also a lot higher depending on the region. According to the Norwegian statistics agency SSB, the average monthly income for full-time employees is around 4,200 euros gross (47,300 NOK).

What does a worker in Norway earn?

The monthly gross wages and salaries of some occupations in Norway compared:

  • Cleaning staff: around 3,000 euros
  • Electrician: around 2,900 euros
  • Hotel clerk: around 2,300 euros

What is the Norwegian minimum pension?

The minimum pension is around EUR 20,000 per year or EUR 1,660 per month.


According to Mörsdorf, the tax burden in Norway is in proportion comparable to that in Germany. However, groceries cost around twice as much, as does the hairdresser or a visit to a restaurant - "the cost of living is therefore comparatively very high."

social insurance

Emigrating to Norway is very easy: Anyone who works and pays taxes in Norway is automatically covered by the state-organized social security system Folketrygden secured. The system is financed through taxes, as well as the state social and pension insurance.

The system is an expression of the good standard of living in the north and includes insurance against illness, pregnancy and childbirth, unemployment, retirement, incapacity for work, old-age, survivors' and disability pensions. So there is no health insurance like in Germany. Another special feature: "Many employers pay private supplementary insurance for their employees so that they can get an appointment with the doctor more quickly - a kind of treatment insurance," says Mörsdorf.

There is a social security agreement between Germany and Norway. That means, for example, the pension entitlements acquired in Germany are also recognized and taken into account in Norway.

Health insurance

The state health insurance includes all important medical services. However, for some treatments and medications, relatively high co-payments have to be paid, which are limited to an annual maximum amount. Many Norwegians also have private health insurance for such cases.

Medical supplies

Norway is known throughout Europe for its good medical care. However, emigrants should inform themselves extensively about the local conditions: The country is quite sparsely populated, so there can be bottlenecks depending on the region. Outside of regular working hours from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., 4 p.m., the local emergency centers help (legevakt).

The central emergency number in Norway it is 112 for the police and 113 for ambulance services and emergency doctors.


Anyone who becomes unemployed as an immigrant from Germany in Norway must register with the Norwegian employment office. There he usually receives applications for unemployment benefits and help with finding a job.

  • Anyone who has worked in Norway for at least a year, can continue to live in Norway and look for a new job for as long as he wants. But he must not have given notice himself and must be registered as jobseeker with the Norwegian Labor and Welfare Organization NAV.
  • Anyone who has worked in Norway for less than a year, can also stay in Norway and has six months to find a new job. In this case, however, he must not have resigned himself and must be registered with NAV as a job seeker.
  • For example, those who cannot work due to illness or an accident, can also stay in Norway.

Unemployment benefits are paid to anyone who has worked taxable in Norway and has already earned a certain minimum rate. The unemployed person must have had an income of at least 1.5 times the basic amount (G) in the course of the completed calendar year or at least 3 G in the course of the last three years. The basic amount is around 9,700 euros (96,882 NOK) and is adjusted annually on May 1st.

Anyone who has not been in Norway long enough for this can still be entitled to unemployment benefit as a German or a citizen of an EEA country if he has spent at least 16 weeks full-time in another EEA country in the last completed calendar year or at least 32 weeks within the has worked for the last three complete calendar years.


Anyone who works in Norway pays into the Norwegian pension insurance and thereby builds up claims against the state. In addition, according to Mörsdorf, employers are obliged to take out private pension insurance for the employee, which is then paid out to the employee later. "So this is purely a matter between employer and employee, but required by law."

Kindergarten, school and education

From the first to the fifth year of life, children in Norway can go to kindergarten go, but this is voluntary. If you want to look for a kindergarten place in a German-speaking kindergarten, you should do so early because there are only a limited number there.

From six to fifteen years of age in the Norwegian school system, the Compulsory schooling.In the Norwegian school system, school attendance is compulsory for children between the ages of six and 16. Similar to Germany, the system is divided into three parts:

  • Primary school (Barneskole): Grades 1-8, age: six to 13 years.
  • Lower secondary level (Ungdomsskole): Grades 8-10, age: 13 to 16 years.
  • Upper secondary school (Videregående skole): up to 13th grade, age: 16 to 19 years.

Grades are only given from lower secondary level. These then decide whether a student is allowed to attend upper school. Unlike in Germany, a one is the worst and a six is ​​the best grade. In an international comparison, the Norwegian school system is one of the top places, in the PISA ranking it scored above average in the subjects of mathematics, science and reading comprehension.

In addition to this, there is the system of Community College (Folkehøyskole). There, people of all ages can acquire additional skills in a variety of different subjects.

In Norway there are several Universities and state scientific universities to be studied. In addition, some other state universities and private institutes offer subject-specific courses. Tuition fees are generally not charged in state institutions, not even for foreign students. Many courses are also offered in English.

Cost of living

The prices in Norway are higher than in Germany, in some cases twice as much, according to Mörsdorf. When it comes to food, there are sometimes major and sometimes minor differences; a liter of milk costs the equivalent of around 1.80 euros, 500 grams of white bread around 2.70 euros. Tobacco and alcohol in particular make the bill expensive: For example, a pack of cigarettes for around 12 euros and a 0.5 liter bottle of local beer for around 3.20 euros. Housing costs can also be high and are subject to strong fluctuations depending on the region.

Living in Norway and real estate market

Most Norwegians live in their own home, so rental properties are extremely rare. “There is practically no rental market, only rental apartments for students can be found more often,” says Mörsdorf. Real estate prices are also high, especially in metropolitan areas, "the differences between town and country are immense." A 3-room apartment in Oslo, for example, can cost around 2,000 euros excluding rent - and a comparable apartment in the country costs in the middle to the upper three-digit range.

Since you often only notice in everyday life how the changes in salary and cost of living affect you, it is advisable, as an emigrant, to secure yourself in advance with sufficient start-up capital and, if necessary, take out a loan.

Tenancy law in Norway

“The Norwegian tenancy law is similar to that in Germany Tenant Protection Law ", sagt Mörsdorf. As in Germany, the landlords usually ask for one Deposit of one to three months' rent. The Rental agreements are typically called in Norway, according to the legal expert Time leases completed for one year up to a maximum of three years.

The landlord is only allowed for two reasons cancel: Due to personal needs or for another important objective reason. “What counts is very individual. For example, the planned sale of the property may also count as a reason. ”In Norway, as in Germany, the tenant can give notice without a reason. The Notice periods amount for both sides three months.

In terms of Renovation obligations Norwegian tenancy law is a bit more tenant-friendly: "The tenant cannot be obliged to do cosmetic repairs such as painting walls," says the legal expert. When he moved out, he only had to hand over his apartment in the same condition as it was when he moved in. "He also does not have to repair general signs of wear and tear that have arisen through contractual use."

Real estate law and buying property in Norway

In Norway, all property sales are usually handled through a broker. According to Mörsdorf, there is no notary here, the realtor also takes on this job. He is usually commissioned and paid by the seller.

The real estate sale usually takes place via a kind of bidding process. “The broker leads Viewing appointments which are usually advertised online on two dates. ”After the second date, there is a relatively short period in which the prospective buyers can then Submit offers. "The broker then contacts the highest bidders and sees who is bidding how much," says Mörsdorf. Then he calls them through and asks if anyone would like to offer more. Ultimately, the highest bid wins. This is then usually promised by telephone or in writing and the Confirmation is binding. “In practice, it usually happens by texting, because of the provability, ”says the legal expert.

The Purchase contractwhich is concluded is usually already part of the broker's prospectus, according to Mörsdorf. Those who bid can make reservations about the agreements - for example, that a paragraph should be changed. "However, he is then usually thrown out of the bidding process," says Mörsdorf.

After the conclusion of the purchase contract, the broker controls the Payment processingthat the price will be transferred to the notary's trust account and that Transfer ownership in the land register becomes. "The purchase price will only be paid to the seller once the buyer has secured the land register."

In Norway, an entry in the land register is not mandatory in order to become an official owner. However, it is recommended that you do this to be on the safe side. In contrast to Germany, there is only one central land registry for the whole kingdom in Norway.

The respective municipality in Norway must approve the purchase of real estate. Due to numerous special cases, approval is ultimately only required if a property is acquired outdoors or in a municipality in which residential property is compulsory.

An overview of the most important ancillary purchase costs in Norway:

  • Broker commission: This is usually borne by the seller. The brokerage fee is freely negotiable, for example 2.5 percent of the purchase price plus value added tax (VAT) is common.
  • Land registry fee for registering the new owner and a mortgage: the equivalent of around 200 euros.
  • Costs for the Registration of the mortgage and the Issuing a mortgage letter: Around 200 euros
  • Documentavgift, a kind of real estate transfer tax: 2.5 percent of the property purchase price, according to Mörsdorf.
  • Estimation costs: around 200 euros, plus VAT.
  • If applicable, legal fees: Around 200 euros, plus 25 percent VAT. "Norwegians, however, usually regulate property sales among themselves, without a lawyer," says Mörsedorf.

Apartment Search

Emigrants can search for apartments in Norway through various online real estate portals. Most of the time, however, they have to hold their own: depending on the region, the offer is often sparse, and once a rental apartment is offered, it is often quickly taken. If you cannot find accommodation, Mörsdorf advises: “Some hotels offer apartments, but they are relatively expensive. Rather, you could temporarily still see whether you can find private accommodation. "

Emigrating to Norway: helpful contact points

If you want to emigrate to Norway, you will find some helpful contact points in Norway as in Germany:

  • The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Berlin
  • The Foreign Office, also with information on consular assistance and legal assistance for emigrants
  • The Norwegian Central Office for Foreigners Ultendingsdirektoratet (UDI)
  • The Norwegian tax authority skate deals
  • The Norwegian Customs Service Tolldirektoratet

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