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Moving to Norway? A Guide to Norwegen Living, What Expats Need to Know

Why Move to Norway?

Known as “The land of the midnight sun,” Norway is currently a bustling star in the world of oil production and job creation. Known around the world for its rugged coastline, Norway has historically been a fishing country that claimed wealth thanks to its ample natural resources.
Today, though, Norway is creating an economy that’s based on much more than just fishing. The country is currently one of the strongest producers of petroleum and hydroelectric power and, because of those things, the economy in this beautiful country is strong. In fact, Norway currently boasts one of the largest budget surpluses of any country in the world.
If the jobs and economic stability weren’t enough to convince you, there’s always the egalitarian government and stable social structure to love about Norway. Norway does so well at these things that it’s been ranked #1 on the Human Development Index by the United Nations.
Lastly, Norway is one of the wealthiest countries in the world and, despite its 5 million people, offers plenty of beautiful, untouched land where expats can spread out and start a new life for themselves.

Getting a Visa

The process of getting a visa to visit Norway is quite simple. While there are several visa requirements, they’re easy to meet. The requirements are as follows:

While the requirements for residence permits vary slightly depending upon which country you currently call home, the NDI website will have all of the information you need to work your way through your residence application. Keep in mind that people moving to Norway to work who do not already have a residence permit will be required to apply for one before they can start work.
Once you’ve applied for and been granted a residence permit in Norway, you can apply for citizenship in the country after a certain number of years. If you are hailing from a non-English-speaking country while working through your application for extended stay or citizenship in Norway, keep in mind that all certificates and documents should be translated into English and verified by a notary.

Finding Housing in Norway

Finding housing in Norway is a simple experience. While finding apartments and flats to rent in other areas of the world is often tough, Norway offers high-quality, easy-to-find accommodations throughout the country.
Despite the fact that accommodations are ample here, they tend to be expensive, and it’s not at all uncommon for a new Norwegian citizen to spend roughly 50% of his or her salary on housing alone. Because of this, it’s also not uncommon for Norwegian employers to provide a housing stipend as a function of the employment contract. When it comes time to find housing in Norway, most expats choose to rent rather than buy. Because there are so many rentals available in Norway, it’s generally easy to find one that fits the bill in terms of size and amenities. The only place in Norway that the selection is somewhat limited is Oslo, which has a high demand for housing and features housing prices similar to those in other major cities, like London and New York.
Expats who want to rent property in Norway will benefit from the help of a qualified real estate agent, who can provide valid intel on where to look for properties and how to lock down a rental contract. Bear in mind that, while Norway’s rental process is generally very simple, it’s also wise to enlist the help of a professional to ensure it all goes as smoothly as possible.

Moving to Norway from the UK

The 5 Best Cities in Norway

1. Oslo
The capital of Norway, Oslo is a historic city with plenty to love. Many of the sub-streets and cobbled buildings in the city are pushing a thousand years old! Despite all of its history, though, Oslo manages also to be a very modern city that acts as the heart of Norwegian commerce and mobility.
While rental prices here are expensive enough to be cost-prohibitive for many, it’s an excellent place for young professionals or experienced executives to live while searching for the next big opportunity. Thanks to its large population and ample industries, Oslo is also an exciting city that offers more than enough dining opportunities, galleries, live music, and art to keep any expat busy for years.  

2. Bergen
Located on Norway’s West coast, Bergen is a scenic town that offers mild weather, beautiful views of the crystal-clear water, and a laid-back pace of life. Located within a stone’s throw of Oslo, Bergen is as beautiful as it is enjoyable – packed with many of the same attractions as Oslo but without quite so much hustle and bustle.
The city still offers many water-bound professions, like fishing, and provides additional attractions like pubs, live music, shops, and galleries for those who prefer not to spend their days on the water. Plus, since Bergen is located in such a scenic location, it’s not hard to get outside and explore by using this picturesque little town as your launching point.

3. Trondheim
Before Oslo took over as capital, the crown was Trondheim’s. Smaller than both Oslo and Bergen, Trondheim is a historical city that acts as the seat for much of Norway’s tourist activity. A verdant, green city with picturesque streets, beautiful weather, and plenty of appealing attractions, Trondheim offers jobs in the tourism industry.
People who live here love to enjoy the fresh seafood the city pulls from nearby waterways and to walk through the historic attractions, such as the Nidaros Cathedral, which reigns as the biggest church in all of Northern Europe.

4. Lillehammer
While it’s known as a winter paradise that offers enough frosty, scenic attractions to make any resident or visitor smile, Lillehammer isn’t the ski town so many people assume it is. While you won’t be able to zip down the slopes here, you will be able to enjoy a frosty evening sleigh ride, ice fishing, and plenty of other outdoor winter sports, like Nordic skiing. Because there is so much winter in Norway, it’s critical to find a place that offers ample outdoor attractions to help you get through it. Lillehammer does this in spades. Don’t let its winter success fool you, though, it’s also a summer paradise – with plenty of outdoor attractions, hiking, fishing, and even outdoor concerts!

5. Geiranger
Geiranger is known as a cozy, scenic town that draws cruise ships from around the world. And rightfully so – the area boasts breathtaking waterfalls, vertical cliff faces, plenty of verdant, green space, and crystal clear waters. To put this another way: Geiranger is all of the things Norway is famous for – rolled into one place! While it’s a quiet town, jobs here generally revolve around serving the active tourist industry and keeping all of the outdoor attractions in good working order.

Moving Home to Norway

The Weather in Norway

Located at the same latitude as chilly places like Siberia, Greenland, and Alaska, Norway is quite warm, comparatively. Don’t let this fool you, though: while Norway may be warmer than some places at the same latitude, it’s still a wintery place with plenty of snow and ice throughout the winter season. People who want to avoid the coldest weather the country has to offer will do well to stay away from the Northern reaches of the area, since those parts often get the most frigid temperatures.
During the spring and summer, Norway is an outdoor paradise, with swimming, fishing, hiking, and outdoor concerts everywhere. The temperatures in the country can be scorching in the summer, and many Norwegians take comfort by extending their summer days in to the evenings, which cool down slightly and offer a break from the ongoing heat.
The fall is also a unique season in Norway. Crab and mutton come into season and restaurants around the country explode with dishes offering these culinary treats. The days are still long and Norwegian people make the most of it by getting outside as much as possible before winter sets in.

The Pros and Cons of Living in Norway



Norway: A Beautiful Place for a New Life

Between the startling natural beauty, ample job opportunities, available housing, and friendly people, it’s hard to understand why anyone wouldn’t want to move to Norway. Ranked as one of the best places in the world to live, Norway offers a stable economy and plenty of attractions for people of all persuasions and interests.
If you’ve been considering moving to Norway, the time is now to take the leap. Applying for an extended stay permit is easy and most expats don’t ever regret picking up and moving to this truly astounding place. Whether you’re going there for a better job, a healthier lifestyle, or just to enjoy the natural beauty that Norway offers at virtually every turn, there’s something to be had in this beautiful country for everyone. So don’t wait – start the process of packing up and moving to Norway today. You won’t be sorry

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