Working in Norway
In order to work in Norway, most citizens need a residence permit that entails the right to work. In case you are already staying in Norway, the application has to be submitted to the local police authority. Otherwise, the application has be submitted to the Norwegian diplomatic mission in your home country.
Citizens from other Nordic countries can reside and work in Norway for an indefinite period of time without a permit. More information is available on the internet portal about Nordic tax matters: http://www.nordisketax.net
As a citizen of Belgium, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Cypres, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany or Austria, you can live and work in Norway until 3 months without permission. As a jobseeker you can even reside until 6 months in Norway without a permit. If you want to live and work in Norway beyond these time periods, you need to have a residence permit.
As a citizen of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, the Czech Republic or Hungary you need a residence permit including a work permit before you can start working for a Norwegian employer.
Bulgaria og Romania became EU members on 1 January 2007. Nevertheless, for the time being, citizens of these countries have to apply for a residence and work permit according to the rules that apply to citizens from countries outside the EU/EEA.
Citizens from Countries outside the EEA/EFTA
Citizens from countries outside the EEA/EFTA need a concrete jobb offer in order to be able to get a work permit in Norway. There are seven main categories of work permits you can apply for. More information is available at the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI), www.udi.no.
Norwegian Social Security System (Folketrygden)
If you hold a work permit, work in Norway for more than three months and pay taxes in Norway, you become a member of Folketrygden. Membership in Folketrygden provides you a set of benefits in Norway, as for example, the right to free hospital care. Your spouse and children also become members in Folketrygden if they reside in Norway. They are considered as residents if they have a residence permit of more than one year duration.
Branches of the Economy
Economic boom, oil revenues and a series of real estate and infrastructure projects provide great opportunities for foreign employees in Norway. The unemployment rate is record low with only 1.8 % (January 2008). Norway strongly needs to import both, unskilled and skilled work force. Examples for branches and occupational categories with a particularly high demand for work force are construction, transport, health care, the service sector, IT, engineers, preschool teachers and more.
In Norway, there are no statutory regulations of minimum wages. If the employment contract is part of a tariff agreement -in force in particular branches- its regulations apply to matters of salary as well as to work- and recruitment conditions.
When your employer pays out your salary, you shall receive a receipt (pay slip), that indicates your gross wages and the amount of the deducted taxes. Hold on to the pay slip, since it is the documentation of how much taxes you paid.
All employees in Norway must have a tax card. The tax card indictes how much taxes are to be deducted from your salary. If you have a Norwegian employer, you need to visit the local tax office to obtain a tax card.
To be able to calculate the correct tax deduction, the tax office has to know how much you expect to earn and for how long you are going to stay in Norway. You have to deliver the tax card to your employer. If you don’t submit a tax card, your employer has to deduce 50% taxes from your salary.
It might be significant for your tax obligations whether your have a Norwegian or foreign employer. The location of your employers’ residence and of the registration of the company determines if your employer is considered Norwegian or foreign. Foreign employees of foreign companies carrying out contract work in Norway, shall have a tax card from the Central Office – Foreign Tax Affairs (COFTA)
Everyone who is working in Norway has to issue a tax declaration after the end of the incomst year. It has to be submitted before 30 April to the tax office stated in the tax declaration.
Be aware that you might be entitled to tax reductions, for example, standard reductions for costs resulting from living apart from your home in your homecountry (communter tax reduction). You have to claim these tax reductions yourself by listing them in your tax declaration.
After the tax office has treated your tax declaration, you receive a tax assessment notice. It contains information about the amount that has been taken as bases for the tax calculation (salary), how much taxes your employer has deducted and if you have paid too much or too little taxes. The tax assessment is due in June or October.
In case you paid too little taxes, you will receive a payment request card. If you effect the payment too late, an omission fee will be charged. Norwegian authorities also resort to the assistence of foreign authorities to collect tax payments that have not been effected.
The fact sheet serves as a primary overview about working life in Norway, not as a complete reflection on the legal status in Norway. It may contain information that is created by a variety of sources both internal and external to Monster. For this reason, ;Monster does not control or guarantee the information contained in the fact sheet or information contained in links to other external web sites. In no event shall Monster be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of this fact sheet.