First things first, if it’s your first time living in Norway you will need to do some paperwork. This process is different for citizens coming from EU/EEA countries and non-EU/EEA countries.
It is really important that you start doing this process even before you start living in Bergen, for some of the steps you will need to get an appointment online and the queue is long, so if you wait until you arrive to get it you will have to wait around one month. Until you get your paperwork done you will not receive your complete salary (only a 50%) and you will not be able to open a bank account, telephone number… so the sooner the better!
This page has three sections:
- General resources
- Citizens from EU/EEA countries
- Citizens NOT from EU/EEA countries
- Skattaetaten guide, the agency that handles taxes.
- Work in Norway: the official guide.
- NAV, organism that helps immigrants, creators of the above guide.
- Check your original country government webpage, they may have a section for international mobility related to Norway.
- Ny i Norway (new in Norway), information about public offices and administrative processes in the country.
- SUA: Service Center for Foreign Workers, they offer a lot of information and will be able to help you with this whole process.
Citizens from EU/EEA countries
The first thing you need to do is to register at the police station which will give you a registreringsbevis (registration certificate). You need this registreringsbevis to register to the tax office later. You have to fill out an online form prior to visiting the police and book an appointment.
You can find the form, where you will hand it and book an appointment following this website.
It may not be the case that the earlier the better on your appointment day. Arrival at 9:00 already makes you late! But if you arrive earlier, say at 8:15 and queue the 10th, you would wait for the 9 persons as well as 45 mins.
The second and most important thing is to visit Skatteetaten, which is a Norwegian tax office.
It has a webpage in English, and all the documents you need to fill out there are (or not) also in English. It’s crucial to go there as soon as possible, since Skatteetaten is responsible for issuing your Skattekort and a tax/personal ID number, and you can hardly do anything without it (which also means you can neither get your salary nor setup a Norwegian bank account). It takes 3–4 weeks since applying until you get this number. Skatteetaten has its office in the very center of Bergen, near the train station — map link. You can easily arrive there if you get down the Bybanen in Nonneseter stop.
You need to ask for Skattekort by filling the Application for the tax deduction card for foreign citizens and others. Without this card, you will only get 50% of your salary. With this card, you should also receive your PIN code to access your account on the website.
For this application you will need also:
- Your passport (the original one, not a copy).
- Your job contract, if the signature date is three months prior the start working date (for example you sign in May but don’t start working until September) you will also need to ask in the HVL (ask Kristin, she will now what to do) for a signed document stating that you contract is indeed valid.
- The certificate you obtain from registering with the police.
- Your accommodation contract.
Once you receive the card you will get a Fødselsnummer which will be your permanent Norwegian ID number (learn it, you will use it everywhere!). If you receive a D-number (which could happen if, for instance, you have an accommodation contract of less than 6 months) you will be getting a temporary number that will allow you to do some things already (bank account, credit card…) but you should get you permanent one as soon as possible, otherwise you will not be able to access, for example, the entire health service, and you will not even be able to get assigned a GPA. Also, if you get a credit card under your D-number, you will need to cancel it and get a new one when you get your permanent number.
Citizens NOT from EU/EEA countries
In most cases, before arrival you need to apply for a residence permit first. Check the UDI (Norwegian Directorate of Immigration) website for details.
The residence permit can be applied in Norway by HRs of HVL by filling in a form from UDI, this requires that your supervisor needs to ask HRs to do it. The benefits to let HVL apply for work permit to newcomers in Norway is 1. Fast; 2. HVL pays the application fee. Before going for this option, please talk with your supervisor. You will need to give the HVL HRs power of attorney, you can do so visiting this website.
Usually you get a D-Type Schengen Visa (Single entry to Norway with a single transfer permission within the Schengen area), and you can get a residence permit after arrival.
One special thing you need to prepare BEFORE applying for a residence permit: the proof of accommodation. In many cases, this means a contract for accommodation. It MAY also work, however, if you have a guarantee from someone who can provide you temporary accommodation, say from your future supervisor in Bergen.
After arrival speaking, what you need to do is similar to the case for EU/EEA citizens, but is a little bit harder. And it may vary in accordance with your nationality.
First of all, read the how-to for Citizens from EU/EEA countries, and then be careful of the following differences:
- The first thing you need to do is very probably to register at the immigration office of the police station in Bergen within 7 days, since you need to hold a residence permit when you apply for a tax ID.
- To do this, you need to take with you:
- your passport and the letter you get from the embassy (in some countries you might only get a VISA directly in your passport)
- contract for working in HVL.
- the decision letter from UDI which has the work permit application number
- (Optionally) certificated English or Norwegian translate of previous education, training, and/or working experiences
- You should ask for a form for the tuberculosis (TB) testing there (more info about this here, is not mandatory for every country). This is IN PRINCIPLE mandatory for most citizens who will live in Norway for more than half a year.
- An episode is that, right after the TB test you will probably be asked for an appointment of X-ray test in the Haukeland Universitetssykehus.
When you get the decision on the granted residence permit, you need to make another appointment in order to get the residence card. The tax office should be visited right after taking the photo for the residence card. It is at the same place. To speed up things, the appointments can be made in advance without the decision on the residence permit (and canceled if the decision does not arrive in time).
So in summary, your whole process should be something like:
- Ask HVL to help with work permit application from UDI
- After get the decision letter from UDI, use the letter to contact with embassy in home country for a VISA
- After getting a VISA, make an appointment with the police to provide fingerprints and informations in order to get the residence card
- After arriving, visit police to get the residence card, and register into the norwegian population register to get the social security ID number (National ID) with tax office
- Now you are ready to use the ID number for applying phone/bank.
Chinese students must register at the Education Office of the Embassy of China in Norway, you can check this link.