International employee handbook
This guide provides international employees coming to work at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts with useful information prior to arrival, and for living and working in Oslo.
Visa and work permits
Upon entering Norway, you are under all circumstances personally liable to observe Norwegian Law. Infringement of regulations pertaining to entry into the country and residence and work here may lead to penal sanctions and expulsion from Norway and the entire Schengen Area.
We strongly recommend that you carefully study the information on this page and the links it refers to. Questions should be addressed to HR section at KHiO.
- Foreign nationals who wish to travel to Norway must, as a rule, have an entry visa. However, there are exceptions to this requirement. Check if you need a visa to travel to Norway (www.udi.no). The type of visa you require depends on the purpose of your visit. The conditions for obtaining a visa vary depending on the type of visa. A visitor's visa gives you the right to stay for 90 days in the course of a six month period. If the intention is to stay for more than 90 days, you must apply for a resident permit.
- For stays/work in Norway of up to 3 months, EEA-nationals neither need a residence nor a work permit
- In order to stay/work in Norway for more than 3 months, EEA-nationals must comply with a registration process while non-EEA nationals need a residence permit. Nordic citizens may stay and work in Norway indefinitely without a permit.
- For comprehensive information on visa, work and residence permits please consult the website of the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) (www.udi.no). In addition, we recommend the website EURAXESS Norway (euraxess.no) provided by the Norwegian Reseach Council (NRC).
For the steps you need to undertake upon arrival in Norway, see information on registration with Norwegian authorities.
Applying for visas & permits
Note: The processing of visa and permits may be very time-consuming. The application process must therefore be started well in advance of the planned date of arrival in Norway or, where this is possible, immediately upon arrival in Norway. Be sure to carefully complete the appropriate application form and to submit all required documents. This will enhance a correct and time-efficient processing of your application by the involved authorities.
Applications for visas and permits must include a formal written invitation from your host department at KHiO confirming your status as a visiting scholar/short-term employee and specifying the purpose and period of your stay (max. three months; if your stay exceeds three months, you must apply for a residence permit, cf. above).
Applications for permits from non-EEA nationals who will work for a Norwegian employer must include the form Offer of Employment (udi.no). The HR section at KHiO will complete these forms and send them to you.
If you are bringing family members, it is recommended that all accompanying members, including children, apply for a residence permit at the same time according to the rules on family immigration (www.udi.no).
Regulations pertaining to EEA nationals
EEA nationals may stay and work in Norway for up to 3 months without formal registration. If your stay/work period exceeds 3 months, you must register. It is strongly recommended that you start this procedure well in advance of your arrival.
Regulations pertaining to Non-EEA nationals
Rule Employees from non-EEA countries who intend to stay/work in Norway for up to 3 months, may do so without formal permission (however, visa requirements must be observed).
Employees from non-EEA countries who intend to stay/work in Norway for more than 3 months must submit an application for a residence permit in their country of origin or the country where they have been legally resident for the last six months. The application must be submitted to the nearest Norwegian foreign service mission (embassy, consulate general) (norway.info) which will also informs the applicant about the decision. At a growing number of foreign service missions it is possible to submit the application online through the Application Portal Norway (selfservice.udi.no), others still use the traditional application forms (udi.no). Where available, online application is strongly recommended as it significantly reduces the processing time.
Note: Applicants may not enter the country and may not start working before the permit has been granted.
Applying for renewal of permits
Most permits may be renewed. Applications for renewal of permits must be submitted at least one month prior to the expiration date of the current permit to the local police station (in Oslo to the Oslo Police District - Aliens Section).
For forms and detailed information please consult the following UDI webpages
- Application form for a residence permit (udi.no) (used for first-time application and renewal)
- How to renew my residence permit (udi.no)
Requirements for a permanent residence permit
Foreign employees holding a skilled worker permit (udi.no), may apply for a permanent residence permit (udi.no) after three years. As a rule, this requires the completion of Norwegian language tuition (udi.no).
Service Centre for Foreign Workers
The Service Centre for Foreign Workers allows foreign workers to complete all official registration at a single office in an efficient and timely manner.
Authorities represented at the Centre:
- Police (Politiet)
- Directorate of Immigration (Utlendingsdirektoratet, UDI)
- Tax Administration (Skatteetaten)
- Labour Inspection Authority (Arbeidstilsynet)
The Centre serves:
- EU/EEA nationals whose main purpose of staying in Norway is employment, and their family members
- Non-EU/EEA nationals who apply for/have been granted a residence permit as skilled worker (www.udi.no) and their family members
Note: Those who fall outside the scope of the Service Centre, e.g. students and self-financed guest researchers / PhD candidates, must contact the authorities at the regular contact points, cf. below.
The Centre offers a fast track handling of:
- First-time work and residence permits
- Renewal of work and residence permits
- Tax deduction cards
- D-number (a registration number for foreign nationals in Norway not registered as immigrants with the National Registry)
Notification of immigration or change of address to the National Registry, including assignment of a personal identity number
Case processing time:
- If the applications are correctly filled in and accompanied by all required documentation, the Centre guarantees a reply within five working days.
- If you are notifying on immigration to the Population Register, which implies application for a national identity number, the case processing time is about two weeks.
For detailed information on the Centre's services, location and office hours, and instructions on what documentation to bring with you, please study the Service Centre's website carefully.
Registration with the police
Foreign nationals and accompanying family members who have applied for a residence/work permit through a Norwegian foreign service mission abroad (embassy, general consulate, consulate) (www.norway.info) must register in person at the local police station within seven days of arriving in Norway. Bring with you your passport and the letter of invitation/appointment from your department at KHiO.
Foreigners residing in Oslo register at Oslo Police District - Aliens Section (Oslo politidistrikt - Utlendingsavsnittet) or, if appropriate, at the Service Centre of Foreign Workers (www. sua.no).
Opening a bank account
Opening a bank account should be one of your top priorities upon arrival in Norway, especially if your stay exceeds six months. Access to a Norwegian bank account will enable you to receive salary payments and handle your finances in a safe and efficient way.
To open a bank account in Norway you need a national identity number. Note that the case processing time for national identity numbers is about two weeks, provided you have completed the EU/EEA registration or visa/residence permit process.
Bring the following documents to the branch of the bank you wish to open an account:
- National ID-number
- Employment contract
This overview provides you with a useful starting point in coming to grips with taxes in Norway.
An individual is deemed to be tax-resident in Norway if he or she stays in Norway for more than 183 days in any 12-month period (each day counts), or more than 270 days in any 36-month period. The individual will be regarded as resident from the calendar year when the aggregate stay exceeds 183/270 days. A tax-resident individual is subject to tax in Norway on his or her worldwide income and capital. A non-tax-resident is liable to tax on certain Norwegian-source income only, e.g. from employment exercised in Norway and income from real and personal property situated in Norway.
The fiscal year is the calendar year.
Who must pay income tax in Norway?
As a rule, anyone who receives a salary from a Norwegian institution is taxable on the same basis as Norwegian citizens.
- Guest lectures who's stay in Norway does not exceed two day, are usually not taxed.
- International researchers who are citizens of the Brazil, China, France, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Turkey, or USA may qualify for tax exemption for up to two years (three for China). Details vary and are specified in the tax treaties (regjeringen.no) with these countries (cf. Brazil Art. 20, China Art. 20, France Art. 21, Hungary Art. 20, Israel Art. 20, Italy Art. 20, Turkey Art. 20, USA Art. 15). For the Brazil, Israel, Italy, and USA it is a condition that the stay in Norway does not exceed two years. With China tax exemption is only granted to the extent remuneration is taxed in the other country.
Tax deduction card
Employers in Norway are obliged to deduct taxes from wages before employees are paid.
Prior to or upon starting work at KHiO, international employees must apply for a tax deduction card from the local tax office. The tax deduction details can then be accessed online by the KHiOs Payroll Office. The tax card states what percentage of the income the employer must deduct.
If work is started without a tax card, KHiO is obliged to deduct 50 % which is generally more than would be deducted otherwise. You may claim reimbursement of the balance between 50 % and the correct rate from the tax office in your municipality (skatteetaten.no) once your tax deduction details have been established by the Norwegian Tax Authorities.
Settlement of income and wealth taxes is finalized by means of a tax return (selvangivelse). The tax return is due by 30 April the year following the income year.
ax-liable individuals staying in Norway for a maximum of 183 days, may request an advance tax assessment from the local tax office.
For more information please use http://www.skatteetaten.no/en/International-pages/If-you-work-in-Norway-you-need-to/Norwegian-employer/Norwegian-employer/Brochures/Information-for-foreign-employees-The-tax-return-for-2009/
Contact your local tax office about any questions you have and for advice about how your stay abroad will affect your tax situation in Norway.
The Association for Taxpayers (Skattebetalerforeningen) (skatt.no) (Norwegian) provides independent advice and assistance about tax issues.
Social securityThe websites EURAXESS Norway and New in Norway provide comprehensive information on the topic of social security, see the following links
Bringing your family to Norway
If family is accompanying you to Norway, the need for careful and long-term planning becomes all the more imperative. Adequate housing needs to be found, daycare and schools organized and your partner or spouse might want to pursue degree studies or also get on with a career. On this page you will find information relating specifically to the needs of various family members.
In the last few years, substantial efforts have been made to increase day care facilities in Norway. In the Oslo area the day care facilities by and large cover the demand. The closing date for applications at most nurseries and kindergartens is March 1 and must be made for an entire kindergarten year (August - June/July). Therefore, it is advisable to plan for day care services well ahead of time and to check out private facilities that often operate under more flexible conditions. The municipality can provide an overview and counselling with regard to public and private day care options available in your neighbourhood. In Oslo, the web page Kindergartens in the City of Oslo (www. oslo.kommune.no) ( in Norwegian) provides detailed information.
Children living in Norway for more than 3 months, have the right and obligation to go to school. Children above the age of 6 must be enrolled in school and must attend compulsory education for 10 years. Parents must contact the nearest school or the local municipality to register children at school.
The first 7 years children attend primary school (barneskolen), followed by 3 years of lower secondary school (ungdomskolen). Youth are entitled to, but not obliged to attend an additional 3 years of upper secondary school (videregående skole). Public schools are free of charge, and girls and boys share classes. Tuition is in Norwegian only. Alternatively, one can explore opportunities at private schools. These usually charge school fees.
In state schools, children who speak Norwegian are placed in regular Norwegian school classes. Children who don’t speak the language and belong to the first year or beginning of the second year, are also placed in regular Norwegian school classes. Older children who don’t speak Norwegian are placed in reception classes. Not all schools have reception classes, which means the child in question may have to attend a school relatively far from home the first year. The local school can be contacted for registration.
Private schools with education offered in a foreign language
Career counseling for your partner
NAV, the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration, is engaged in a cooperation within the European Economic Area (EEA) - EURES (EURopean Employment Services). For counseling on job opportunities in Norway, you should ask for an appointment with an adviser at the NAV EURES office in Oslo.
Professional recognition is necessary if you wish to practice a profession that is legally regulated in Norway. This is determined on a case by case basis by a licensing authority.
Short-term accomodation and transportation
There are several alternatives when it comes to public transport in Oslo: Buses, trams, subways (T-bane), local trains and bicycles are all efficient ways of getting around the city. Reasonably priced accommodation with simple standard.
Public transportation in Oslo
- Information on public transportation is available at the Ruter’s Customer Service Centre and Service Points (public transport in Oslo and Akershus) and on its website.
- Single tickets, ticket coupons and transportation passes can be used on all public transport within the city limits, including NSB local trains and boats to the local islands, Bygdøy and Hovedøya, see overview of tickets and fairs (ruter.no).
- Ticket coupons (flexikort) can be bought at ticket machines located at all stations and stops. Ticket coupons and transportation passes can also be bought at 7-eleven shops, Narvesen kiosks and at major subway stations (e.g. Central Station, National Theatre, Majorstua).
- Single tickets can be bought directly from the driver at an extra charge of NOK 20 (possible on buses, trams and trains but not on subways).
- Oslo City Bike: For NOK 299 a year you can use Oslo City Bike (oslobysykkel.no). The bicycles are placed at over 200 locations within Ring 3, i.e. the larger city area. You use an app on your phone or an SMS code to get your bike. This bicycle is yours to use for up to 3 hours at a time.
- Overnatting Oslo - single and double room; some with private bathroom and small kitchen, others with shared facilities.
- Airbnb - private ads. Usually privat bedroom and shared facilities with the owner of the apartment, but also whole apartments for rent. Reviews from previous tenants.
- Use-It Oslo - tourist information for young people and budget travelers
Norwegian language courses
Most jobs in Norway require a good knowledge of the Norwegian language. Here is a list of Norwegian language courses.
Many contacts need to be made when arriving in a foreign country. Here you find an overview of contact information which might be useful upon arrival in Norway.
- Service centre for Foreigne Workers Visiting address: Schweigaards gate 17, 0191 Oslo
You must book an appointment online.
- Oslo Police District - Aliens Section
Postal address: Oslo politidistrikt, Utlendingsavsnittet 242, Postboks 8101 Dep., 0032 Oslo
Phone: +47 22 34 21 00 (09:00-14:30; May 15-September 14: 09:00-14:00)
Visiting address: Schweigaards gate 15 B, 0191 Oslo, entrance at the narrow, eastern side of the building
- Norwegian Directorate of ImmigrationPostal address: PO Box 8108 Dep., 0032 Oslo
Visiting address: Hausmannsgate 21, 0182 Oslo
- Oslo Tax Office and Population Registry
Postal address: Skatt øst Oslo, P.O. Box 9200, Grønland, 0134 Oslo
Phone: +47 80 08 00 00 (08:00-15:30)
Visiting address:Schweigaards gate 17, 0191 Oslo Office hours: Monday - Friday 09:00-14:30
- National Office for Social Insurance Abroad (Norwegian)
Postal address: PO Box 8138 Dep., 0033 Oslo
Phone: +47 21 07 37 00 (08:00-15:30)
Visiting address: Hagegata 23, 0653 Oslo