Guidance

Living in Norway

Information for British citizens moving to or living in Norway, including guidance on residency, passports and driving.

This guide sets out essential information for British citizens moving to or living in Norway. Read about how our embassy in Oslo can help.

This information is provided as a guide only. You should get definitive information from the Norwegian authorities. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is not liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Read general guidance on moving or retiring abroad.

To stay up to date:

You can also:

If you were living in Norway before 1 January 2021

Some parts of this guide only apply if you have been living in Norway since before 1 January 2021. You should read these in addition to the rest of the guidance in each section.

You should also read our Living in Europe page for information about citizens’ rights under the UK – European Economic Area European Free Trade Association (EEA EFTA) Separation Agreement.

Coronavirus

Follow the advice of the Norwegian government and your local authority. You should also read the Norway travel advice.

Visas and residency

You must tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

Check the entry requirements for Norway.

You must register your intention to live in Norway with the Norwegian Immigration Directorate (UDI) and apply for a residence permit (oppholdstillatelse).

Read the Norwegian Tax Administration’s guidance on how to register.

Norwegian ID number

Everyone on the Norwegian National Population Registry (Folkeregisteret) is assigned a national identity number. This is an 11-digit personal identifier. The last 5 digits are called a ‘personal number’.

Many public and private sector organisations require you to have a Norwegian identity number so you can access their services. You need it to open a bank account, register with a GP (fastlege), and pay taxes.

Use the National Population Registry checker to see if you need to notify them when you move to Norway.

Visas and residency if you were living in Norway before 1 January 2021

If you applied for your new residence card (oppholdskort) by 31 December 2021, your rights are protected by the UK – EEA EFTA Separation Agreement pending a decision on your application. You should continue and complete the process to get your new residence card as soon as possible.

Dual UK-Norwegian nationals do not need to apply for a residence card.

You must renew your residence card (oppholdskort) when it expires.

If you have not had a response to your residence card (oppholdskort) application, contact UDI and provide your application reference number if you have one.

Appeal process

If your application is refused, you will be notified about the appeal process. Read the Norwegian government advice on how to appeal a residency decision. You do not qualify for legal aid in Norway if you are appealing a decision relating to the UK-EEA EFTA Separation Agreement.

If your appeal is unsuccessful, you must either apply for another residence permit or leave Norway by the deadline that the UDI gives you.

If you are not eligible to apply for residence under the UK-EEA EFTA Separation Agreement, you may be able to apply for residence as a third country national on other grounds. You should contact UDI for more information about alternative residence permits.

Late applications

The deadline for applying for a new residence status was 31 December 2021. You can still apply if you have reasonable grounds for missing it. Applications will be considered on an individual basis. You should apply as soon as possible. Contact UDI to find out how to apply.

Family members

Your close family members continue to be able to join you and settle in Norway at any time in the future. Find more information on who this applies to in the Living in Europe guidance. Read the Norwegian government guidance on how to apply as a family member.

Nationals of certain non-EU countries may need a visa before travel. The Norwegian authorities should issue family reunion visas free of charge.

Passports and travel

Coronavirus travel restrictions may affect travel to and from Norway.

You can apply for or renew your British passport from Norway.

Check the Norwegian travel advice for passport validity requirements.

Always carry your passport and residence permit when travelling within the Schengen area. If you have citizenship of an EU or EFTA country, in addition to your British citizenship, you should enter and leave Norway using your EU or EFTA passport.

If you stay in Norway with a Norwegian residence permit or long stay visa, this time does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit for the Schengen area.

If you visit other Schengen area countries outside Norway, make sure you do not exceed the visa-free 90 days in any 180-day period. This applies even if you have a Norwegian residence permit. You are responsible for counting how long you stay under the Schengen visa waiver, and you must comply with its conditions.

Different rules apply to EU countries that are not part of the Schengen area. Check each country’s travel advice page for information on entry requirements.

If you were living in Norway before 1 January 2021

When you travel, carry your residence card (oppholdskort) or frontier worker permit issued under the UK-EEA EFTA Separation Agreement, in addition to your valid passport.

You must proactively show your residence card, or other evidence of residence status, if you are asked to show your passport at border control. Until you receive your new residence card, you should show one of the approved documents to prove that you are a resident in Norway. This can be the application receipt or:

  • receipt for registration under the registration scheme for EEA nationals, dated before 1 January 2021
  • certificate of application under sections 19-33 to 19-35 of the Immigration Regulations
  • registration certificate or proof of permanent residence issued under the registration scheme for EEA nationals
  • residence certificate from the National Population Register (bostedsattest)

You can order residence certificates from the Norwegian Tax Administration.

If you cannot prove that you are resident in Norway, you may be asked additional questions at the border to enter the Schengen area.

Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. This will not affect your rights in the country or countries where you live or work. If a passport is stamped, the stamp is considered null and void when you can show evidence of lawful residence. Read EU guidance for UK nationals on entering and leaving the Schengen area.

If you have rights under the UK-EEA EFTA Separation Agreement, you can enter and exit Norway with a valid passport. You do not need any additional validity on the passport beyond the dates on which you are travelling.

Healthcare

Read our guidance on healthcare in Norway and make sure you are correctly registered for your circumstances.

Travel insurance is not intended to cover healthcare costs if you live overseas.

People employed and self-employed in Norway make contributions to the Norway National Insurance Scheme (folketrygden) which entitles them to access healthcare in Norway on the same basis as a Norwegian citizen. In Norway everyone must pay fees when accessing healthcare.

Read the Norwegian government guidance on health rights for foreigners in Norway.

You should also read guidance on:

Working in Norway

If you are planning to move to Norway and work, you may need a visa. Norway has a quota for work permits.

Read the Norwegian government’s guidance on working in Norway as a foreign national and how to get a visa.

To apply for a job you may need to provide a UK police certificate.

Read working or providing services in Norway.

If you work in Norway, even if you work for a UK-based company, this may affect where you pay National Insurance-type contributions. Read the National insurance and social security contributions section for more information.

If you were living in Norway before 1 January 2021

You have the right to work under the UK-EEA EFTA Separation Agreement if you have an ‘oppholdskort’ residence document, or have applied for one.

If you live in Norway and were regularly commuting to work in another EU or EFTA country before 1 January 2021, read our guidance for frontier workers.

If you are working in Norway as a posted or detached worker, you need a work permit to continue working in Norway. Read UDI’s guidance on permits for posted workers.

Professional qualifications

You may need to get your professional qualification recognised if you want to work in a profession that is regulated in Norway.

Read guidance on:

If you were living in Norway before 1 January 2021

If the relevant regulator in Norway officially recognised your professional qualification before 1 January 2021, or you started the recognition process by this date, make sure you understand the terms of your decision. You should get advice from the relevant regulator.

Studying in Norway

If you plan to study in Norway, you must meet all visa requirements before you travel.

Contact the relevant higher education provider in Norway to check what fees you may have to pay.

Read guidance on healthcare for students in Norway

Tax

The UK has a double taxation agreement with Norway so that you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. Ask the relevant tax authority your questions about double taxation relief.

You should get professional advice on paying tax in Norway. Find an English-speaking lawyer in Norway.

Read guidance on:

National Insurance and social security contributions

National Insurance-type contributions (NIC) are called ‘social security contributions’ (SSC) in Norway. Find out if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in Norway.

If you plan to move to Norway and work, even if you continue working for a UK-based company, you and your employer may need to pay social security contributions in Norway. These social security contributions would entitle you to certain benefits, such as healthcare, in Norway.

Read guidance on National Insurance for workers from the UK working in the EEA or Switzerland.

You can also check your UK National Insurance record.

Read guidance on:

Benefits

UK benefits

Read guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Norway.

Check which UK benefits you can claim while abroad and how to claim them.

Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit cannot be paid if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

Norway benefits

You may be eligible to claim some Norwegian social security benefits after you’ve worked 6 months continually. Read about Norwegian social security benefits.

Pensions

Read guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Norway.

Read State Pension guidance if you have lived in Australia, Canada or New Zealand and you are claiming or waiting to claim your UK State Pension.

If you retire in Norway, you can claim:

Read the Money and Pension Service’s MoneyHelper guidance on pension and retirement for more information on cross-border pensions.

Life certificates for UK State Pensions

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you must respond as soon as possible. Your payments may be suspended if you do not.

Money and banking

Whether UK banks can provide services to customers living in the EEA depends on local laws and regulation. Read the Money and Pension Service’s MoneyHelper guidance on banking, insurance and financial services for more information on cross-border banking.

Accommodation and buying property

Read guidance on how to buy or let property in Norway.

Driving in Norway

You cannot renew or replace your UK, Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man licence if you live in Norway. Read the guidance on what you must do to drive legally in Norway:

Exchanging your UK, Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man licence

If you live in Norway, you must exchange your UK licence for a Norwegian one. You do not need to take a driving test. You cannot use an International Driving Permit (IDP) instead of exchanging your licence.

Disabled drivers

If you have a UK Blue Badge and live in Norway, you must return it to the original UK issuing authority. Norway has adopted the European Model Parking Card.

Read the EU guidance on the EU parking card for people with disabilities.

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to Norway

Read our guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK.

Read the Norwegian guidance on car registration rules and taxes.

Driving outside Norway with a Norwegian licence

You can use your Norwegian licence when visiting the UK. Keep up-to-date with the UK Highway Code.

If you go to live in the UK, you can exchange your Norwegian licence for a UK one without taking a test.

To drive in another country, in addition to your Norwegian licence you may need to apply for an IDP.

Voting

If you’re resident in Norway, you can vote in municipal council elections and vote in county council elections if you meet the voter requirements.

You may be able to vote in some UK elections. You can:

Births, deaths, marriage and civil partnerships

If your child is born in Norway, you can register the birth with the UK authorities in addition to registering locally. If your child has British nationality, you do not need to register the birth with the UK authorities to apply for a British passport.

If someone dies in Norway read our guidance on:

Find out how you can get married or get a civil partnership abroad.

You may also need:

Pets

If you’re moving to Norway with your pet, read the guidance and ensure you comply with the regulations:

To visit other countries with your pet, check the rules for the country you’re travelling to. Contact your vet to get the travel documents your pet needs.

Read guidance on:

Emergencies

Dial the European emergency number 112 in Norway, or dial:

  • 110 for fire brigade
  • 112 for police
  • 113 for ambulance
  • 120 for emergency at sea

If you need guidance on child abduction, read the guidance on international parental child abduction; contact the child welfare services of the Norwegian directorate for children, youth and family affairs and read the Norwegian directorate for children, youth and family’s information about the laws they apply.

If you’re the victim of a crime, have been arrested, or are affected by a crisis, contact the British Embassy Oslo.

Returning to the UK

Check the COVID-19 travel guidance for entering the UK.

Tell the Norwegian and UK authorities if you are returning to the UK permanently.

If you get healthcare in Norway through the S1 form, you must contact the Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 (0)191 218 1999 to make sure your S1 is cancelled at the right time.

To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre.

Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on, amongst other things, bringing family members, tax and access to services.

Useful information

Support for British nationals abroad: a guide sets out how to stay safe abroad, and explains how the FCDO can support you if you get into difficulty.

Published 26 June 2013
Last updated 11 March 2022 + show all updates
  1. Important information in the Working in Norway, and National insurance sections if you work in Norway, even it if it is for an employer based in the UK.

  2. Visas and residency guidance updated, following the 31 December 2021 residency deadline for people with rights under the UK-EEA EFTA Separation Agreement.

  3. Visas and residency section updated: from September 2021, the Norwegian Immigration Directorate (UDI) will send a letter to all UK nationals registered as living in Norway.

  4. Guidance reviewed for Money, tax and banking, Benefits, Births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships and Useful information sections.

  5. Guidance reviewed for Passports and travel, Healthcare, Working in Norway, Studying in Norway, Emergencies, and Returning to the UK sections.

  6. Professional qualifications section updated for British citizens who are moving or moved to Norway after 1 January 2021 and those living there since before 1 January 2021.

  7. Working in Norway section updated: new guidance for frontier workers

  8. Visas and residency section updated with steps to take if you moved to Norway on temporary job seeker’s permit.

  9. Healthcare section updated on the S1 form and applying for EHIC and GHIC cards; working in Norway section updated with link to guidance on working or providing services, education section updated with link to guidance on recognition of professional qualifications.

  10. Coronavirus section updated with a link to guidance on vaccines

  11. Visa and residency section updated with additional guidance on how to get the new residence card and healthcare section updated on how to get a Norwegian EHIC.

  12. Updated as the transition period ends with new information on residency, re-entering Norway, pet travel and moving to Norway.

  13. Entry requirements updated on re-entering Norway and how to apply for a residence certificate.

  14. Working section updated with information on frontier workers. Healthcare section updated on how to apply for a new UK EHIC as a student or S1 holder.

  15. Passports and travel section updated to include information on passport validity and entry requirements when travelling to other European countries from January 2021

  16. Visas and residency section updated to include information about the new residency permit

  17. Visas and residency section updated to include information about how to access the UK National Support Fund for those who may find it harder to complete their residency applications.

  18. Brexit update: includes further details on passport validity and how to get your professional qualifications recognised if the UK leaves the EU with a deal

  19. Brexit update: check you have correct documentation for travelling - see the passports and travel section for further information

  20. EU Exit update: added information to Passports and travel after the UK leaves the EU and Returning to the UK sections

  21. EU Exit: updated information for UK nationals in healthcare, driving, residency and visas, pensions and passports

  22. Living in Norway guide update

  23. We have updated the contact details you need to apply for an S1 form.

  24. Updated information on passports: you must use the checker tool to see if your passport is still valid for your trip

  25. EU Exit update: Added announcement about the UK and EEA/EFTA states striking an agreement to protect citizens’ rights in a no deal scenario

  26. EU Exit update: updated information on access to healthcare

  27. EU Exit update: updated information on pensions and driving

  28. EU Exit update: link added to EEA EFTA Separation Agreement

  29. EU exit update: New information in residency and visa section on draft withdrawal agreement in principle between the UK and EU. Plus information on travelling with pets in Europe in pet section.

  30. Complete revision of guidance to ensure it's up to date and accurate.

  31. First published.