Visas and work permits
What to do when you first arrive in Norway
New arrivals in Norway need to go to the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI), which is co-located with the Trondheim Police Station to register as soon as possible after arrival. Students from Nordic countries are exempt from having to apply for residence and work permits. Students who are not going to be staying in Norway more than 3 months are also exempt.
Apply for a visa from your home country if you can
All international students, visiting researchers and newly hired employees who are going to stay in Norway for more than 3 months must have a valid residence/work permit. Applying for a work permit can be done via the Norwegian embassy in your home country, or if you have a visa or are allowed to be in Norway for 3 months without a visa, you can apply once you arrive in Trondheim. You may also be able to apply on line via the UDI's new Application Portal Norway.
If you bring your family with you to Norway, you all need to go together to get your permits -- the Immigrations officials will want to physically see your children.
If you are a citizen of an EU / EEA / EFTA country, you no longer need to apply for a residence permit, but you must register with Norwegian officials so they know that you are here. You have a right to live without a permit for three months in Norway and the right to work. The same applies to members of your family who are also EEA nationals. Family members who are not EEA nationals must have a valid passport and be able to document that they are a member of your household or that they are supported by you.
If you are an employee from Bulgaria or Romania and have not had a residence permit in Norway in the last 12 months, special transitional rules apply. You need to apply for a residence permit then.
Renewing your residence/work permit
It is possible to renew most permits. Renewals should be submitted at least one month before the current permit expires and must be submitted to the Trondheim Police Department. Once again, if you need to renew permits for your family, you either all have to physically appear at the Police Station, or you need a letter from the Principal of your child's school certifying that your child actually attends that school and is in school that day.
Processing times can be long
Once submitted, processing times for work permits vary anywhere from 1-4 months. A letter confirming you have been granted a work/residence permit will be sent in the mail. If you have applied on line, you will also be able to see the decision on line at the Norway Application portal. Once you have confirmation of the decision, you must go back to the UDI office with your passport and picture to get a permit stamp.
Application forms and what you need to apply
The application forms for Non EU/ EEA countries are different than those for applicants from EU/EEA countries. Because the requirements are quite varied, the best is if you visit the UDI website directly to see which requirements apply to your specific circumstances.
Fees vary depending on which country you come from. EU/EEA countries are typically exempt from fees. Check the website for more details. It is not always possible to use foreign credit cards for payment at the UDI so be prepared to use cash.
Where to go, opening hours
The Trondheim Police Station is located at Gryta 4, 7010 Trondheim (just east of the railway station). The UDI section is open Mondays to Thursdays from 08:45 to 14:00. There can be quite substantial lines at the Police Station as early as 08:00 simply for people to get a queue number. Bring patience, good humour, and something to read, and be prepared to wait.
The last word...
for more detailed information, and for the latest updates, go to the UDI's home page.