Immigration Lawyer Norway - Full Guide

Immigration Law in Norway

Updated on Wednesday 22nd May 2024

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The entry of foreign nationals into the Kingdom of Norway is regulated by the Immigration Act issued in May 2008. The parliament of the country adopted as well in 2016 a series of reforms in immigration and integration. Detailed provisions concerning the obtaining of residence permits or citizenship can be found in the body of the immigration law.

Our Norwegian lawyers can emphasize to you the main aspects of this act which may directly affect your stay and activity in Norway. 
Our immigration lawyer in Norway is at your service if you want to relocate here and need guidance in applying for a residence permit.
 Quick Facts  
  Types of immigration visas

Temporary, permanent residence permits

Temporary residence options

Studentship, employment, investment, family reunification

Immigration requirements for
EU citizens

 EU citizens do not need visas if they intend to stay for less than 90 days
Guidance on obtaining work permits (YES/NO)


Validity of temporary residence permit  1 to 3 years, depending on the
reason of immigration
Investor visa availability  (YES/NO)

YES, minimum investment EUR 100,000

Permanent residence requirements

 Living in Norway for 3 years

Family members allowed to move
to Norway
spouse, life partner, children, parents, brothers/sisters
Requirements for citizenship
by naturalization
7 years of living in Norway
Requirements for citizenship
by marriage
3 years of living in Norway
Direct citizenship by investment (YES/NO)  NO
Support in applying for residency (YES/NO) YES, temporary and permanent residence permit application support
Assistance in temporary residency renewal (YES/NO) YES
Guidance in obtaining Norwegian citizenship YES
Other services (YES/NO) YES, assistance in registering for taxation, social security, bank account opening, real estate acquisition

Main provisions of the Immigration Law in Norway

Through the Immigration Law, the Norwegian Kingdom regulates and controls the circulation of foreign people in the country and facilitates the lawful movement of people across its borders. Our attorneys in Norway draw attention on the third section of the law, which describes the common points between the Norwegian Act and the international regulations concerning immigration.
Norway implemented as well an immigration policy, managing to offer as many incentives to immigrants in order to let foreign people participate in the workforce and into the life of the community. Foreign investors in Norway who intend to apply for permanent residence permits have to comply with reasonable demands such as the passing of a language and civic exam, in addition to the other legal requirements and papers which need to be provided. 
Our law firm in Norway is ready to respond to our clients’ questions concerning the effects of the immigration law on foreign investments in this country.
If you want to relocate to Norway and are from a nation outside the EU/EEA, you must submit an application for a residence permit. The fundamental rule is that you must apply for this before moving to Norway, and the permit must be granted before you do. You can contact our local law firm for more information on the conditions for immigration to Norway.

The implementation of the immigration law in Norway 

If you intend to move to Norway in order to open a business or to work in this country as a foreign national, you should notify the authorities by providing identity information as well as declaring the address of your residence in this country. People from the EU/EEA area do not require a visa in order to enter the Norwegian state, neither citizens of those countries that have special agreements with Norway. 
The immigration provisions are implemented in Norway through the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI), which processes applications received from foreign nationals, who intend to live or visit Norway for a certain amount of time.
A residence permit in Norway is required if you intend to stay in this country for more than 3 months in order to work, study, or be with family. For as long as it is in effect, this kind of permit entitles you to stay and work in Norway, travel within and outside of it, and even visit other Schengen nations. 

Immigration rules in Norway

According to the Norwegian Nationality Law, not all foreign citizens need to apply for visas or residence permits if they want to relocate here for short or long terms. Citizens of European Union and European Economic Area countries can enter Norway based on their valid passports and register with the local authorities if they want to live here for more than 90 days.
For non-EU and non-EEA citizens, various types of visas and residence permits can be obtained through simple procedures. The flexibility of the national immigration authority enables them to apply for such permits online.
Here are the main types of residence permits available for persons who want to live in this country for more than 90 days, according to the Immigration Law in Norway:
  • the temporary residence permit which can be obtained for various immigration purposes;
  • the permanent residence permit which can be obtained after living here for several years.
Temporary residence permits are available for those who:
  1. relocate to Norway for studies and can be obtained through an acceptance letter from the local education facility;
  2. obtain jobs with Norwegian companies, where the employment contract is the main document they can use for relocation;
  3. family reunification which is available for those who have family members living here and come to Norway to join them;
  4. investment which is available for foreign investors coming to open companies in Norway.
For each type of residence permit specific documents must be prepared apart from the ones mentioned above, and our immigration lawyers in Norway can advise on them.

How to obtain a temporary residence permit in Norway

Foreign citizens who want to immigrate to Norway must prepare and file various documents if they want to live here. Temporary residence is the first step to complete by those who seek to obtain permanent or even Norwegian citizenship.
Temporary residence permits have a validity of 1 to 3 years depending on the reason of relocation and can be renewed. However, after the first 3 years, a person can apply for permanent residence in Norway. The alternative is to keep renewing the temporary residence card every 2 years.
Each type of temporary residence permit has its own requirements, as mentioned earlier, however, the common aspects that need to be considered by every applicant is that they need to have valid passports and living arrangements in place at the time of relocation.
Our immigration lawyers in Norway is at the service of every foreign citizen interested in moving here. We provide personalized services, so these can increase their chances to a quick relocation.

How to obtain permanent residency in Norway

The Immigration Law in Norway is quite friendly, as the main requirement associated with becoming a permanent resident of this country is to have lived here for 3 continuous years. To this condition, the following three apply:
  • in the last three years, the applicant must have not lived here more than 3 months without a temporary residence permit;
  • in the same time span, the person must have not lived in another country for more than 7 months;
  • the applicant must have not benefitted from state aid during this period.
Considering that Norway also allows foreign citizens to come and work here on a temporary basis, the au pair and seasonal worker passes representing the main ways of doing that, holders of such visas are not eligible for permanent residency. However, they can apply for temporary resident cards and wait for the 3 years to become eligible for permanent residency.
Our immigration lawyer in Norway can provide detailed information on how to become permanent residents of this country.

Immigration to Norway with the family


Foreign citizens who want to move to Norway can apply for the afore mentioned types of residence permits. When they have relocated alone, they can apply for reunification with their families provided that certain requirements are.
According to the Norway immigration requirements, family reunion visas are available for those who want to bring the following categories of relatives:
  • spouses, common-law partners and fiancés;
  • children;
  • parents;
  • other close relatives, such as siblings.
For each, different requirements are available, however, the procedure is not complicated.
For bringing the spouse to Norway, among the requirements to be met are for the marriage to be valid (the marriage certificate must be submitted with the Norwegian authorities), the spouses must have plans for living together, and both spouses must be more than 24 years old.
According to the requirements for immigration to Norway, it is also possible to bring civil partners under the family reunification visa. The main condition in this case is for the partners to have been together for at least 2 years or to have at least one child together.
When seeking to bring children to Norway based on family reunification, the regulations here are quite relaxed, as they allow for an immigrant to reunite with kids under and above the age of 18. If in the second case, the are no specific requirements, as the birth certificate can be used to demonstrate the relation, in the case of adult children the following conditions must be met:
  • they must be unmarried;
  • they must be at least 18 and 21 at most at the time of the application;
  • they must have lived in Norway in the past;
  • they must be employed.
Parents can obtain visas for visits of no more than 9 months per year.
If you have moved to Norway and need support in filing for family reunification our immigration lawyers are at your service with tailored advice. We can also help you compile the necessary documents for brining your relatives to live with you.

Norway immigration requirements under the investor visa

Another option for immigration to Norway for foreign citizens, or better said, for businesspersons is the investor visa. Norway’s program is different from other European countries golden visa schemes, as it provides for specific fields in which investments can be made.
In order to be admitted to the country under the investor visa, one must have a clean criminal record and must dispose of at least 100,000 euros or the equivalent in a foreign currency to inject in a project that meets the relocation requirements. Apart from these, the applicant must also prove he or she has sufficient funds to sustain a good quality of life here.
The main requirement associated with immigration by investment in Norway implies for the plan of the applicant to create jobs for the local community. It must also bring a significant contribution to the country’s economy. The main sector approved by the government is oil and gas, however, other options can also be exploited. Among them, the maritime, seafood, green energy, and IT are some of the most important.
Before making a decision, it is advisable to check if there are any restrictions.
The investment can be made in an existing company or by starting a new business. In the last situation, a solid business plan is required.
If you need more information on immigration to Norway based on investment, our law firm is at your service. We can assist with both the relocation procedure, as well as with company incorporation support. This way, you can have a great start in this wonderful country.
One of the main advantages of this scheme is that it also enables family immigration. Moreover, the holder of such a visa is eligible for permanent residency after living here for 3 years.

Norway immigration requirements for obtaining citizenship

One of the main reasons for immigration to Norway is obtaining citizenship in one of the most developed countries in Europe. Foreign citizens who have lived here and obtained permanent residency can apply for Norwegian passports by naturalization, which is one of the safest ways of obtaining full rights here.
The main requirement in this case is to have lived in Norway for at least 7 years.
Another pathway for immigration to Norway with the purpose of obtaining citizenship is marriage. Foreigners married to citizens of this country can obtain citizenship after 3 years. The main requirement is for the spouses to have lived together here.
For detailed information on the Norway immigration requirements for obtaining citizenship, you can address our local lawyers. Here is also a video on this topic:


Immigration statistics in Norway

Norway is a very appealing country for foreign citizens, and according to statistics:
  • in 2017, 58,192 foreign citizens relocate to Norway;
  • in 2018, their number decreased to 52,485 applicants;
  • the same trend was maintained in 2019, when the number of immigrants was 52,153;
  • in 2020, due to the coronavirus health crisis, only 38,075 people migrated to Norway.
Our immigration lawyer in Norway can assist with all detailed related to moving here.

Tailored services provided by our immigration lawyer in Norway

If you are interested in moving to Norway, our specialists are at your service with various relocation services. Furthermore, we have a dedicated immigration lawyer in Norway ready to assist you in drafting and filing the documents for obtaining any type of residence permit. After moving here, we will guide you on the steps to complete in registering for social services.
Don’t hesitate to contact our law firm in Norway for complete information concerning your rights and obligations under the Immigration Act in this country.