Employers: Employing someone who is not an EU/EEA national

Here you can find information about what you need to think about as an employer when employing a worker who is a citizen of a country outside the EU/EEA.

These countries are in the EU/EEA.

Hiring someone who wishes to move to Norway

  • Foreign nationals who are going to work in Norway normally need a residence permit. You can read more about different types of residence permits for work and about who does not need a residence permit.
  • In order for a worker to be able to apply for a residence permit for work purposes, you must make him or her a concrete offer of employment. You can normally do this by filling in UDI's employment offer form (pdf, 1,6 MB).
  • Regarding applications for residence permits for skilled workers and seasonal workers, an employer may apply on the worker's behalf. In such case, you must have written authorisation from the worker. More information is available on the pages covering the various residence permits.
  • You will find an overview of case processing times here. For applications for a residence permit as a skilled worker, the following applies: Due to a large number of applications received, as well as challenges with the control of educational documents in applications that concern work at a vocational level, it may take longer to process such applications. This includes, for example, applications related to work as a cook, car mechanic, carpenter, painter, bricklayer and hairdresser.
  • Regarding applications for residence permits for skilled workers, an employer may also apply on behalf of the employee’s spouse/cohabitant and children. In such case, you must have written authorisation from the family members. If you hand in the applications for the employee and the family members at the same time, they will also receive the answer to their applications at the same time. 

  • Employees cannot start working until a residence permit has been granted. In some cases, however, employees may start working before the application has been considered, provided that they have received confirmation from the police (the early employment scheme).
  • If the worker is granted a residence permit, it will have an expiry date. Most residence permits are renewable. Workers must apply for renewal no later than one month before the permit expires in order to retain all their rights. We recommend applying two to three months before the permit expires.  

Employing someone who already lives in Norway

  • Foreign nationals who are going to work in Norway normally need a residence permit. Foreign nationals can be granted a residence permit in Norway on grounds of, for example, labour immigration, protection (asylum) and family immigration.
  • It is your responsibility as employer to confirm that foreign employees have a valid residence permit.
  • You can check whether the worker has a residence permit by asking him or her to show you his or her residence card. The residence card states what type of residence permit the worker has.
  • Family members of EU/EEA citizens may use the registration scheme for EU/EEA citizens. Some persons who are not EU/EEA citizens may therefore have a right of residence according to the EU/EEA regulations which gives them the right to live and work in Norway. You can check this by asking the person to show their residence card to see if it says “right of residence” or “oppholdsrett” on the card. You must also check that the residence card is valid — look below the "valid until" date on the card.
  • Some types of residence permits entitle their holder to work in any type of job, for example residence permits for family immigration, or permanent residence permits.
  • People who came to Norway as work immigrants and have a residence permit as a skilled worker with an employer in Norway may change employers without applying for a new residence permit. However, they must work in the same type of position as before. The pay and working conditions must not be inferior to what is normal in Norway, and the employee must still meet the other residence permit requirements for a skilled worker with an employer in Norway
  • Other people who came to Norway as work immigrants often have a residence permit that specifies that they must work in one particular job for one particular employer. This will be specified on their residence card (for example as a "seasonal worker at Stordriften farm"). If the person you wish to employ holds this kind of residence permit, he or she must obtain a new residence permit before they can start working for you. 
  • Some asylum seekers who are waiting for their applications to be decided are permitted to work. In such case, they will have a letter stating this.
  • You can also contact UDI's Information Service to check whether the person has the right type of permit.
  • Employers who employ foreign workers who do not have the right type of residence permit can be punished by fines or imprisonment.

Contact information and questions

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