To start page
  • Use of cookies
  • Archive
  • Sitemap
  • Contact
  • Print
  • Print
  • Change text size
Norsk

UDI circulars

RS 2014-018
Document-ID : RS 2014-018
Case-ID : 15/08884-12
Last modified : 01.12.2016
Documentdate : 01.12.2014
Receiver :

Chiefs of Police
The foreign service missions
The directorate of Immigration (UDI)

Residence permit for skilled workers etc. - the Immigration Act section 23 first paragraph, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 6-1 first paragraph


1. Introduction

2. General rules concerning residence permits, cf. Sections 55, 58 and 59 of the Immigration Act

2.1. Requirement for a residence permit, cf. Section 55 of the Immigration Act

2.2. Requirement concerning subsistence and accommodation, cf. Section 58 of the Immigration Act

2.3. Requirement concerning foreign nationals’ conduct etc., cf. Section 59 of the Immigration Act

3. Conditions for being granted a residence permit as a skilled worker

3.1. General conditions for residence permits for employees, cf. Section 23 first paragraph of the Immigration Act

3.1.1. Requirement for an employer in Norway

3.1.2. Requirement concerning pay and working conditions

3.1.3. Requirement for a concrete offer of employment

3.1.4. Requirement concerning full-time work for a single employer

3.1.5. Offer of non-continuous employment

3.2. Special requirements for being granted a residence permit as a skilled worker etc., cf. Section 6-1 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations

3.2.1. The competence condition

3.2.2. The relevance condition

3.2.3. Condition concerning approval by other authorities

3.2.4. Condition concerning quota or labour market assessment

3.2.5. Skilled workers planning to work through staffing agencies

3.3. Choice of legal basis when the applicant also meets the conditions for other types of residence permit

4. Application procedures

4.1. Who can submit an application for a residence permit?

4.2. Where to submit the application

4.3. Application form and other documentation

4.3.1. Application form, cf. Section 10-2 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations

4.3.2. Other documentation

4.4. Fee, cf. Section 17-10 of the Immigration Regulations

4.5. The early employment scheme, cf. Sections 6-8 and 10-4 of the Immigration Regulations

4.6. Permit during the processing of an application, cf. Section 57 of the Immigration Act

4.7. Power of decision, cf. Section 65 first paragraph of the Immigration Act and Section 13-4 of the Immigration Regulations

5. Content and duration of the permit

5.1. Content

5.2. Duration

6. Renewal of a residence permit as a skilled worker

6.1. Conditions, cf. Section 61 first paragraph of the Immigration Act

6.2 Application procedures, cf. Section 10-27 of the Immigration Regulations

6.3 Power of decision in connection with renewal, cf. Section 65 first paragraph of the Immigration Act and Section 13-2 of the Immigration Regulations

6.4. Duration of renewed permits

7. Conditions for residence permits for skilled workers when the applicant is an athlete and/or a coach

7.1. Special conditions relating to permits for athletes and/or coaches

7.1.1. The competence condition – high-level athlete and/or coach

7.1.2. The relevance condition – ability to participate in high-level sports

7.1.3. Statement on the level of the sport and the applicant’s competence

7.1.4. Jockeys

7.2. General conditions relating to permits for athletes and/or coaches

7.2.1. Full-time employment

7.2.2. A single employer

7.2.3. Pay and working conditions

7.3. Documentation requirement

7.4. Temporary residence permit during the processing of an application  

7.5. Duration

7.6. Assessments in connection with applications for a renewed permit

7.6.1. Documentation

7.6.2. When the sports club has been relegated or it is no longer possible to coach high-level athletes

7.6.3. Assessment of the condition ‘high-level sport’ when the athlete has not participated much during the contract period

7.7. Relationship to other provisions

8. Appeals

9. Revocation of residence permits and residence during unemployment, cf. Section 63 of the Immigration Act and Section 6-11 of the Immigration Regulations

9.1. Revocation

9.2. Unemployment

1. Introduction

This circular replaces circulars RS 2010-113 and RS 2010-111, which are repealed at the same time. This circular now only deals with the conditions for being granted a residence permit as a skilled worker etc. pursuant to Section 23 of the Immigration Act and Section 6-1 second paragraph of the Immigration Regulations. For information about the conditions for being granted a residence permit pursuant to the second paragraph of the provision (‘more stringent competence requirements’), see circulars RS 2011-046 (religious leaders and teachers) and RS 2012-003 (ethnic cooks).

This circular also contains guidelines for residence permits for athletes and coaches, and for employees of staffing agencies.

2. General rules concerning residence permits, cf. Sections 55, 58 and 59 of the Immigration Act

2.1. Requirement for a residence permit, cf. Section 55 of the Immigration Act

A foreign national who is to take paid or unpaid work must hold a residence permit conferring the right to take employment, unless otherwise provided for in or pursuant to the Act, cf. Section 55 first paragraph of the Immigration Act. Exceptions from the requirement for a residence permit for employment relationships are regulated in Chapter 1 of the Immigration Regulations. For more detailed guidelines, see circulars RS 2011-032 and RS 2010-076.

2.2. Requirement concerning subsistence and accommodation, cf. Section 58 of the Immigration Act

Subsistence is deemed to be guaranteed when the foreign national will receive sufficient income from employment. Income from full-time work is generally deemed to be sufficient, cf. Section 10-7 first paragraph letter (a) of the Immigration Regulations. In accordance with established practice, subsistence is deemed to be ensured when the applicant has funds corresponding to 82% of salary grade 19 in the pay scale for Norwegian state employees.

Accommodation is deemed to be ensured when the foreign national has the use of a house, apartment, bedsit etc. that satisfies official requirements. If the accommodation is rented, a written lease must be presented that is approved by the landlord, housing cooperative or other party having the accommodation at its disposal, cf. Section 10-12 first and second paragraphs of the Immigration Regulations.

2.3. Requirement concerning foreign nationals’ conduct etc., cf. Section 59 of the Immigration Act

A foreign national who otherwise satisfies the conditions for being granted a residence permit can be denied a permit if circumstances exist that constitute grounds for refusing the foreign national entry to or residence in the realm pursuant to other provisions of the Immigration Act, cf. Section 59 first paragraph of the Immigration Act.

3. Conditions for being granted a residence permit as a skilled worker

Both the general conditions for residence permits for employees pursuant to Section 23 first paragraph of the Immigration Act (see 3.1. below), and the special conditions for being granted a residence permit as a skilled worker pursuant to Section 6-1 of the Immigration Regulations (see 3.2 below) must be met, except Section 6-1 second paragraph.

3.1. General conditions for residence permits for employees, cf. Section 23 first paragraph of the Immigration Act

3.1.1. Requirement for an employer in Norway

The applicant must have an employer in Norway, cf. Section 23 first paragraph of the Immigration Act. Who is deemed to be an employer within the meaning of the Immigration Act is regulated in more detail in circular RS 2010-048.

Definition and delimitation in relation to an employer abroad

An employer must

  • be registered in the Norwegian Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities
  • actually be engaged in running a business in Norway
  • have a registered place of business (address) in Norway[1]

In some cases, it may be difficult to determine whether the applicant has an employer in Norway, because he or she also has a connection to an employer abroad. In order to be able to conclude that the applicant has an employer in Norway, the following conditions must be met:

  • pay in accordance with a collective agreement, pay scale or normal pay must be paid by the enterprise in Norway
  • the enterprise in Norway must have management prerogative in relation to the applicant

When these conditions are not met, and the applicant thereby does not have an employer in Norway, he or she falls outside the group of persons to whom this circular applies, and his/her application shall not be considered pursuant to Section 23 of the Immigration Act. In such cases, the application shall be considered pursuant to Section 24 of the Immigration Act, cf. Section 6-13 of the Immigration Regulations.

Delimitation in relation to self-employment

It can be challenging to decide whether the applicant has an employer and is an employee or whether the applicant is self-employed. The decisive factor will be the actual (de facto) circumstances, not just the formal framework. An employer-employee relationship is characterised by the employer having administrative and professional authority to instruct the employee. For further information about how to distinguish an employment relationship from independent business activity, see circular RS 2014-009. If it cannot be established that the applicant is an employee, the application shall be considered pursuant to Section 25 of the Immigration Act, cf. Section 6-18 of the Immigration Regulations.

In some cases, the applicant can be both an employee and a self-employed person. This can apply, for example, to doctors, dentists, musicians, artists and researchers. In accordance with established practice, the UDI does not issue two permits with concurring or overlapping validity periods. The applicant will therefore be granted the permit that is most favourable for him/her, provided that all conditions are met.

3.1.2. Requirement concerning pay and working conditions

It is a requirement that the pay and working conditions are not poorer than the applicable collective agreement or pay scale for the industry in question. Any new agreements/pay scales, or adjustments, must be reflected in the applicant’s pay and working conditions from the day they enter into force, so that he or she is paid in accordance with the applicable collective agreement/pay scale at all times.

If no such collective agreement or pay scale exists, the pay and working conditions must not be poorer than is normal for the occupation and place concerned, cf. Section 23 first paragraph letter (b) of the Immigration Act.

What is deemed to be sufficient pay is described in more detail in circular RS 2010-129.

3.1.3. Requirement for a concrete offer of employment

A concrete and current offer of employment must exist, cf. Section 23 first paragraph letter (d) of the Immigration Act. Among other things, this means that the offer of employment must be genuine. The employer shall provide necessary information about the offer of employment using the form ‘Offer of employment’. The form must be signed by both the employer and the applicant, cf. Section 6-9 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations. The form is available at www.udi.no, from the police and at foreign service missions. For further information about the ‘Offer of employment’ form, including signatures and authorisations, see circular RS 2013-006.

3.1.4. Requirement concerning full-time work for a single employer

As a rule, the offer of employment must be for full-time work for a single employer, cf. the Immigration Act Section 23 first paragraph letter (d).

It is possible to be granted exemption from the requirement for full-time work following a concrete assessment of the nature of the job. Based on general developments in the labour market, an exception currently applies to all occupations when the employee has been offered at least 80% of a full-time position. On-call work, casual work etc. cannot be included in the calculation of the percentage of a full-time position. If the applicant’s working hours will amount to less than 80% of a full-time position, weight shall be given in the assessment to whether reduced working hours are common in the occupation/industry in question, whether a special type of competence is required that there is particular demand for, whether it is a short-term employment relationship, and how far the job falls short of a full-time position. Under all circumstances, it is a minimum requirement that the percentage of a full-time position is sufficient to meet the subsistence requirement; see 2.2 above.

It is also possible to be granted exemption from the requirement that the employment relationship shall be with a single employer, following a concrete assessment of the nature of the job. It must be the applicant’s special competence or circumstances relating to the practising of the occupation that decide whether exemption is granted, not attempts on the applicant’s part to meet the requirement for full-time employment by presenting offers of employment from several employers. Exemption from the requirement for an employment relationship with a single employer may for example be granted for:

  • an organist who is to work at a local music and culture school, as this is considered normal for this profession;
  • a midwife with special expertise who is employed at two hospitals to be able to offer alternative methods;
  • an engineer working in a full-time position in an oil company and as a guest lecturer in 1% of a full-time position;
  • a researcher or doctor working at several research institutions or a research institution and a publishing house or a hospital.

When a nurse has received offers of employment from several health institutions, however, exemption shall not, as a rule, be granted, as it is not typical for nurses to work for several employers.

3.1.5. Offer of non-continuous employment

In special circumstances, a permit can be granted to a skilled worker as mentioned in Section 6-1 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations even though the concrete offer of full-time employment is not for continuous work, cf. Section 6-1 third paragraph of the Immigration Regulations and Section 23 first paragraph letter (d) of the Immigration Act.

Whether such an exception can be made depends on a concrete assessment.

Factors that may be included in the assessment (the list is not exhaustive):

  • The applicant also has an employment relationship in another country.
  • The applicant has particularly high competence that the employer in Norway has a special need for.
  • It is common in the occupation/industry in question to receive an offer of non-continuous work.

It is a strong argument against granting a permit if the applicant will be working in Norway for less than half the period applied for.

3.2. Special requirements for being granted a residence permit as a skilled worker etc., cf. Section 6-1 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations

3.2.1. The competence condition

Applicants who have a vocational education that is at least equivalent to upper secondary level, hold a craft certificate or have a university college/university education or special qualifications, are entitled to a residence permit, cf. Section 6-1 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations. A person with such qualifications is designated a skilled worker.

Vocational training at upper secondary level and/or a craft certificate

Completed education corresponding to at least three years of vocational education at upper secondary school level is required. General studies at upper secondary level fall outside the scope of the term ‘vocational education’.

The applicant must document or substantiate that the education that he or she has taken abroad has resulted in competence corresponding to that provided by equivalent vocational education in Norway. If the corresponding vocational education in Norway has a duration of more than four years, a concrete assessment must be made of whether a three-year education from abroad has resulted in sufficient qualifications.

Examples of vocational education include vocational training as a joiner, plumber or healthcare worker.

Craft certificate

If the applicant documents that he or she has taken a craft certificate abroad, it can be difficult to establish whether the applicant has acquired the same level of competence as he/she would have done had the craft certificate been taken in Norway. Because a craft certificate in Norway is based on a vocational education, an applicant with a craft certificate from abroad must document the education that forms the basis for the craft certificate. In other words, it is sufficient to assess whether the applicant has an education at upper secondary level as mentioned above.

Tertiary vocational education

In Norway, tertiary vocational education means vocational education based on upper secondary training or equivalent prior learning and work experience, with a duration of at least half an academic year and a maximum of two academic years. By vocational training is meant a study programme that results in qualifications for work without further general training being required, cf. Section 1 of the Act relating to Tertiary Vocational Education.

If the applicant has studied at a technical college in Norway, the study programme must, as a rule, have lasted for two years. If the study programme lasted one and a half years, an individual assessment must be made of whether the applicant can be deemed to be a skilled worker. The content of the study programme will be considered, in addition to the applicant’s formal background in general and any work experience. Tertiary vocational education of a shorter duration than one and a half years is not deemed to be sufficient to qualify as a skilled worker within the meaning of the Immigration Regulations. An applicant with such a short education from a technical college may, by documenting other education and/or work experience, be considered in relation to the rule concerning special qualifications; see below.

If the applicant studied at a technical college abroad, the assessment will be somewhat more stringent.

University college or university education

The requirement for a university college or university education means a completed degree or study programme. Examples include a completed study programme in nursing or engineering, a bachelor’s or master’s degree or the equivalent.

Special qualifications

An applicant can have special qualifications as an alternative to, or in combination with, a formal education. It normally takes several years of targeted competence-raising measures in the form of training and practical work for an applicant to be regarded as a skilled worker based on special qualifications. The applicant must document how he/she has acquired this competence. A concrete, individual assessment must be made of the applicant’s competence.

The applicant can have special qualifications in an occupation where Norway has a training programme at minimum upper secondary level. In such case, the applicant can be deemed to have special qualifications if he or she has acquired competence equivalent to the level of such education in Norway through practical experience and training in the discipline in question, or in combination with formal education. Similarly, the applicant can have special qualifications in an occupation for which Norway does not have a training programme. In such case, the level of competence must be equivalent to the qualifications in an occupation acquired through upper secondary education in Norway.

Requirement for duration of practical experience and training

As a rule, the duration of practical experience and training must be at least twice the duration of the formal education that is lacking. Therefore, if the applicant has no formal education, the main rule is that at least six years of practical experience and training are required. In combination with formal education, the requirement for practical experience and training is reduced correspondingly, for example:

  • One year of vocational education plus four years of practical experience and training
  • Two years of vocational education plus two years of practical experience and training

In principle, a lot is required for a permit as a skilled worker to be granted on the basis of special qualifications. A requirement for thorough documentation applies.

3.2.2. The relevance condition

It is a condition that the applicant’s qualifications are deemed to be relevant to the position, cf. Section 6-1 first paragraph letter (a) of the Immigration Regulations. This means that the nature of the job offered must be such that a skilled worker is required, cf. Section 6-1 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations, and that the applicant has this competence. When assessing whether the applicant’s competence is deemed to be relevant to the position, consideration shall be given to the job description in the offer of employment, the employer’s statement about what competence the position requires and why the applicant’s competence is relevant to the position, as well as the pay level. If the pay offered is at the level that applies to unskilled workers, this could indicate that the position does not require competence as a skilled worker.

If the nature of the job is such that not all tasks require the applicant to be a skilled worker pursuant to Section 6-1 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations, a residence permit can nonetheless be granted provided that it is only a small part of the work the position entails that does not require such competence.

3.2.3. Condition concerning approval by other authorities

It is a condition for being granted a residence permit as a skilled worker that approval or authorisation has been obtained from the relevant professional authority in occupations where qualification requirements are set out in law or in regulations, cf. Section 6-1 first paragraph letter (b) of the Immigration Regulations. The regulation of a profession means that the authorities, by law or in regulations, require minimum qualifications for the right to use the professional title and/or practise the profession independently.

Some professions are regulated in Norway. This applies, among others, to doctors, nurses, electricians (skilled electrical workers), teachers and architects.

Approval/authorisation is granted by the directorates/supervisory authorities that are responsible for the different professions. For example, the Norwegian Registration Authority for Health Personnel (SAK) is responsible for granting authorisation or licences to the regulated professions in the health sector, while the Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning (DSB) approves skilled workers in the electrical trades.

Information about who requires approval of education from abroad in order to practise their profession and about who can grant such approval is available at www.nokut.no.

3.2.4. Condition concerning quota or labour market assessment

It is a condition that the applicant is either covered by the quota stipulated by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in consultation with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Finance, or that the position cannot be filled by domestic labour or labour from the EEA, cf. Section 23 first paragraph letter (c) of the Immigration Act, cf. Section 6-1 first paragraph letter (c) and Section 6-12.

Every year, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs stipulates a quota stating how many residence permits for skilled workers (cf. Sections 6-1 of the Immigration Regulations) can be granted without carrying out an individual labour market assessment. The quota is published in a circular from the Ministry and is available on the Ministry’s website.

The requirement for a quota or labour market assessment does not apply to a permit as a skilled worker for an applicant who is a national of a country that is a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and who is employed by an international company. For further information on what is deemed to be an international company, see circular RS 2011-033.

Only when the quota has been filled shall an individual labour market assessment be carried out before any more such permits can be granted in the same calendar year. In such case, a statement shall be obtained from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV). A residence permit cannot be granted without NAV’s consent.

3.2.5. Skilled workers planning to work through staffing agencies

When the applicant is going to work through a staffing agency in Norway, certain additional conditions apply:

  • The staffing agency must be registered in the Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities as an enterprise whose object is to engage in hiring out labour. The Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities is available at www.brreg.no.
  • If the enterprise is subject to a reporting and registration duty pursuant to the Regulations relating to Staffing Agencies, it must be registered in the Norwegian Labour and Inspection Authority’s register of staffing agencies; see www.arbeidstilsynet.no.
  • A list must be drawn up of the assignment(s) the applicant is to carry out. The client(s) shall confirm the concrete assignment(s), including the duration of the assignment.
  • It is a requirement that the applicant is given assignments that are in accordance with his/her qualifications.

A permit can only be granted for documented assignment(s); see the above. If the applicant is to carry out several assignments that do not follow immediately after each other, it must be assessed whether a permit will be granted even though the concrete offer of full-time work does not concern continuous work, cf. Section 6-1 third paragraph of the Immigration Regulations; see 3.1.5 above.

3.3. Choice of legal basis when the applicant also meets the conditions for other types of residence permit

When an applicant has submitted an application for a residence permit as a skilled worker pursuant to Section 6-1 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations, the applicant may, in some cases, also meet the conditions for other types of residence permit pursuant to Sections 23 to 26 of the Immigration Act, cf. Sections 6-1 to 6-31 of the Immigration Regulations. In such cases, the applicant shall as a rule be granted a permit as a skilled worker pursuant to 6-1 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations, as this permit is deemed to be most favourable for the applicant.

4. Application procedures

The applicant cannot start working before a residence permit has been granted. Under the early employment scheme, however, the employer can allow the employee to start work before a permit has been granted. For more information, see 4.5 below. A permit may be granted during the processing of an application when certain conditions are met. A more detailed description is provided in 4.6 below.

4.1. Who can submit an application for a residence permit?

As a rule, it is the applicant (the employee) who must submit an application for a residence permit, cf. Section 10-2 third and fourth paragraphs of the Immigration Regulations.

The employer may apply for a residence permit on behalf of the applicant, however, cf. Section 10-3 of the Immigration Regulations. It is a condition that the employer has written authorisation from the applicant. The authorisation must be enclosed with the application.

An employer who is covered by the early employment scheme, cf. Section 6-8 of the Immigration Regulations, can apply for a residence permit without written authorisation from the employee; see also 4.5 below.

An employer as mentioned above shall submit the application on behalf of the employee via the police in the district where the employer has his/her registered address or via a service centre for foreign workers, cf. Section 10-3 third paragraph of the Immigration Regulations.

When the application is submitted by a person other than the applicant or the employer, the application shall be rejected on formal grounds, cf. Section 10- 2 eighth paragraph of the Immigration Regulations. Errors in the application procedure cannot be rectified by the employer or applicant appealing the decision. In such case, a new application must be submitted in the correct manner.

4.2. Where to submit the application

As a rule, a first-time residence permit must have been granted prior to entering Norway, cf. Section 56 first paragraph of the Immigration Act. This means that the application must be submitted through a Norwegian foreign service mission in the country of which the applicant is a national, or in the country in which the applicant has held a residence permit for the past six months, cf. Section 10-2 third paragraph of the Immigration Regulations. The applicant may be required to submit the application in person.

An exception may be made from the main rule, however. The exception provision applies when the applicant has qualifications as a skilled worker, cf. Section 6-1 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations, cf. Section 10 first paragraph letter (a). It is a condition that the applicant is lawfully staying in Norway. However, the right to apply for a work permit from Norway does not apply to skilled workers living in Norway in connection with an application for asylum or pending departure following rejection of an asylum application, cf. Section 10-1 third paragraph of the Immigration Regulations. If an application has been submitted in contravention of the regulations, this cannot be rectified simply by the applicant leaving Norway. In such case, a new application must also be submitted. For further information, see circulars RS 2013-007 (submitting an application for a residence permit from Norway) and RS 2010-046 (entry visas for skilled workers who have received a concrete offer of employment). When the applicant is staying in Norway, the application must be submitted in person to the police in the district where the application has his/her fixed place of residence, or through a service centre for foreign workers, cf. Section 10-2 fourth paragraph of the Immigration Regulations. In this context, fixed place of residence means the place where the applicant has resided temporarily since his/her arrival, or where the applicant has settled.

Even if the requirements for submitting an application from Norway are not met, the authorities shall always, on their own initiative, consider whether strong grounds of reasonableness are present that indicate that the application should nonetheless be taken under consideration, cf. Section 56 third paragraph of the Immigration Act and Section 10-1 fourth paragraph of the Immigration Regulations.

4.3. Application form and other documentation

4.3.1. Application form, cf. Section 10-2 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations

As a rule, applications for residence permits must be submitted online (Application Portal Norway). In exceptional cases, the UDI’s own form can be used: ‘Application for a permit for residence or work’. The form is available on the UDI’s website www.udi.no, from the police and at foreign service missions.

4.3.2. Other documentation

What documentation must be included with the application form is explained in the appendix to this circular.

The originals of documents must be enclosed together with a translation into Norwegian or English.

If the case documents are not submitted electronically, it is usually sufficient that a copy of the documents is sent to the UDI. In such case, it is a condition that the original document has been presented to and the copy confirmed by the foreign service mission or the police.

4.4. Fee, cf. Section 17-10 of the Immigration Regulations

In order for an application for a residence permit to be considered, a fee must be paid when the application is submitted. The size of the fee is stipulated in Section 17-10 of the Immigration Regulations. The obligation to pay a fee also applies to applicants who are covered by the EEA Agreement who apply for a residence permit as a skilled worker.

4.5. The early employment scheme, cf. Sections 6-8 and 10-4 of the Immigration Regulations

The early employment scheme means that an employer can allow an employee to start work before a permit has been granted. For further information about conditions, procedures and documentation requirements in this context, see Sections 6-8 and 10-4 of the Immigration Regulations and circular RS 2011-033.

If the application for a temporary residence permit is rejected, the permission to work pursuant to the above-mentioned provision lapses from the decision date.

4.6. Permit during the processing of an application, cf. Section 57 of the Immigration Act

If it is probable that the application for a temporary residence permit will be granted, the applicant can be issued a permit to start work pending ordinary processing of the application. For further information about conditions and procedures in this context, see Section 57 of the Immigration Act and circular RS 2010-147.

If the application for a temporary residence permit is rejected, the permission to work pursuant to the above-mentioned provision lapses from the decision date.

4.7. Power of decision, cf. Section 65 first paragraph of the Immigration Act and Section 13-4 of the Immigration Regulations

As a rule, first-time applications for a residence permit as a skilled worker are decided by the UDI, cf. Section 65 first paragraph of the Immigration Act. Certain foreign service missions are also authorised to grant applications for a residence permit as a skilled worker if there is no doubt that the conditions are met, cf. Section 13-4 of the Immigration Regulations. The foreign service missions to which this applies are listed in Appendix 18 to the Immigration Regulations. See also circular RS 2010-114.

5. Content and duration of the permit

5.1. Content

A residence permit for a skilled worker pursuant to the Immigration Regulations Section 6-1 first paragraph applies to a specific type of work, cf. sixth paragraph of the provision. The type of work concerned shall be specified in the decision. The permit does not confer a right to take other types of work than that stated in the decision, or to engage in self-employed work as a main or secondary source of income.

If the quota pursuant to Section 6-1 first paragraph letter (c) has been filled, and the applicant is a national of a WTO country and is to work for an international company, a permit can be granted for specific work for a specific employer pursuant to Section 6-1 first paragraph, cf. sixth paragraph.

The permit can be renewed, cf. the Immigration Act Section 61 first paragraph and the Immigration Regulations Section 10-21 second paragraph, and it forms the basis for a permanent residence permit, cf. the Immigration Act Section 60 third paragraph letter (d).

The permit forms the basis for family immigration, cf. the Immigration Act Section 40 ff.

5.2. Duration

First-time residence permits pursuant to Section 6-1 first and fifth paragraphs of the Immigration Regulations can be granted for three years, but not, however, for longer than the period applied for and not for a period that exceeds the duration of the employment relationship.

If there are considerations indicating that the duration should be further limited, the permit shall be granted for a shorter period, cf. Section 10-16 first and fifth paragraphs of the Immigration Regulations. An example of such considerations would be a need to check whether the conditions for the permit continue to be met. In such cases, it is therefore established practice to grant a permit for one year, or shorter, in accordance with the above.

6. Renewal of a residence permit as a skilled worker

6.1. Conditions, cf. Section 61 first paragraph of the Immigration Act

An application for a residence permit as a skilled worker pursuant to Section 6-1 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations shall be renewed provided that the requirements for a first-time permit are still met.

In that connection, it shall be verified that the applicant has actually worked in accordance with the original offer of employment, including that he or she has received the agreed pay. If the collective agreement/pay scale has been changed, it shall be verified whether the applicant’s pay and working conditions have been changed accordingly.

A renewed permit can be granted for the same type of work even if the skilled worker changes employers, cf. Section 10-21 second paragraph letter (a) of the Immigration Regulations. The renewed permit shall also be valid for a specific type of work.

Permits granted pursuant to Section 6-1 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations, cf. fifth paragraph, can be renewed for the same type of work for the same employer, cf. Section 10-21 second paragraph letter (c) of the Immigration Regulations.

If the application for renewal is submitted no later than one month before the permit expires, the applicant is entitled to continued residence on the same conditions until the application has been finally decided, cf. Section 61 sixth paragraph of the Immigration Act.

In the case of applications for a residence permit on new factual or legal grounds, the applicant is entitled to continued residence on the same conditions as applied to the previous permit until the application has been finally decided, provided that the application is submitted no later than one month before the permit expires and the applicant has had legal residence pursuant to a previous permit for at least the past nine months, cf. Section 61 seventh paragraph of the Immigration Act.

Transition from a permit granted pursuant to Section 6-1 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations alone, to a permit granted pursuant to Section 6-1 first paragraph with reference to the fifth paragraph:

A permit granted pursuant to Section 6-1 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations can be used when the conditions for being granted a permit pursuant to the fifth paragraph are met, without having to apply for a new permit. This is contingent on the foreign national carrying out the same type of work, however. When the permit expires, a new permit must be applied for, which will then be granted pursuant to Section 6-1 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations, cf. fifth paragraph. The new permit is regarded as a renewal, which the police are authorised to grant; see 6.3 below.

Transition from a permit granted pursuant to Section 6-1 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations with reference to the fifth paragraph, to a permit pursuant to Section 6-1 first paragraph alone:

A permit granted pursuant to Section 6-1 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations with reference to the fifth paragraph shall be revoked when the foreign national carries out the same type of work but changes employers from an international company to a Norwegian company. An application for a new permit, now pursuant to the first paragraph of the provision alone, is regarded as a permit that the police are authorised to grant; see 6.3 below.

6.2 Application procedures, cf. Section 10-27 of the Immigration Regulations

Applications for renewal shall normally be submitted online via the Application Portal Norway. Alternatively, the application can be submitted on paper using the UDI’s form ‘Application for a permit for residence or work’. The form is available on the UDI’s website www.udi.no, from the police and at foreign service missions. The application shall be submitted to the police in the district where the applicant has his/her permanent place of residence, cf. Section 10-27 of the Immigration Regulations. This means that an application for renewal shall, as a rule, be submitted from Norway.

The documentation requirements in connection with applications for renewal are set out in the appendix to the circular.

6.3 Power of decision in connection with renewal, cf. Section 65 first paragraph of the Immigration Act and Section 13-2 of the Immigration Regulations

As a rule, applications for a renewal of a residence permit as a skilled worker are decided by the UDI, cf. Section 65 first paragraph of the Immigration Act.

However, the police have the authority to grant renewals of residence permits for skilled workers if there is no doubt that the conditions are met, cf. Section 13-2 of the Immigration Regulations.

No doubt shall be deemed to exist in the following cases (the list is not exhaustive):

  • when the application for renewal is submitted more than a month before the permit expires;
  • when it involves a transition from a permit granted pursuant to the first paragraph of Section 6-1 to a permit granted pursuant to the fifth paragraph, or vice versa, provided that it still concerns the same type of work;
  • when an exception had been made in the previous permit from the requirement for full-time work, a single employer or an offer of continuous employment, and the circumstances have not changed or it is no longer relevant to make such an exception.

The police shall be deemed to be in doubt and shall send the renewal application to the UDI for consideration in the following cases (the list is not exhaustive):

  • when the pay stipulated in connection with the previous permit has not been paid in accordance with the offer of employment;
  • when there is reason to suspect that the pay has not been paid in accordance with the information on the payslips;
  • when other conditions have not been met;
  • for athletes/coaches, when the requirement for high-level sport is no longer met;
  • for athletes/coaches, when they have not participated in high-level sport to a sufficient extent.

6.4. Duration of renewed permits

Renewal may be granted for up to two years, cf. Section 10-24 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations. If there are considerations indicating that the duration should be further limited, the permit shall be granted for a shorter period; see 5.2. above.

The provisions set out in the third and fourth sentences of Section 60 first paragraph of the Immigration Act, and in Sections 10-16 and 10-17 of the Regulations, apply correspondingly. For information about the calculation of the duration of the permit, see Section 10-24 second paragraph of the Immigration Regulations.

7. Conditions for residence permits for skilled workers when the applicant is an athlete and/or a coach

In the Immigration Act of 1988 and the Immigration Regulations of 1990, residence permits for athletes and coaches were regulated in a separate provision, cf. Section 3 second paragraph letter (e) of the Immigration Regulations of 1990. When the new Immigration Act and Regulations entered into force on 1 January 2010, the provision was upheld and included in Section 6-1 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations, i.e. that it was incorporated into the provision relating to skilled workers.

7.1. Special conditions relating to permits for athletes and/or coaches

7.1.1. The competence condition – high-level athlete and/or coach

In order to meet the requirement for being granted a residence permit as a skilled worker, cf. Section 6-1 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations, it is a condition that the applicant takes part in high-level sport as

  • an athlete
  • a coach
  • a player-coach

As a rule, the provision is applied to sports affiliated to the umbrella organisation for Norwegian sports, the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports (NIF), as sports that are not affiliated to the organisation rarely meet the requirement for high-level sports. See the section on jockeys, however.

Level of activity and results

In order to be granted a residence permit as a skilled worker, requirements apply as regards the level of activity and results. In team sports, the highest national league will normally be regarded as high-level sport, even if the level is low in the international context. Other factors to take into consideration can be the team’s level of activity, ambitions, previous results and participation in international competitions.

In particularly widespread sports, the two highest levels can be characterised as high-level sport, if the second level is generally characterised by professionalism and ambitious goals. This will apply, for example, to men’s football and women’s and men’s handball. In some cases, it must be concluded that no high level exists for a particular sport in Norway.

In individual sports, the decisive factor will be the applicant’s ranking at the national level. Only athletes and coaches who belong to the top national level will be deemed to be engaged in high-level sport. Relevant factors to be emphasised in the assessment are the applicant’s previous achievements and results, participation in international competitions and the expected level of activity and level of ambition in Norway.

7.1.2. The relevance condition – ability to participate in high-level sports

The requirement that the applicant’s competence must be deemed to be relevant to the position, cf. Section 6-1 first paragraph letter (a) of the Immigration Regulations, applies regardless of whether the applicant is an athlete, a coach or a player-coach.

The competence can be relevant in relation to continued activity or in connection with a more ambitious national and/or international goal.

When the applicant is to work as a coach, personal qualities can be of great importance.

When the applicant is an athlete, the national recruitment basis will be important. In sports that are less widespread in Norway, it may be necessary to recruit foreign athletes with a view to further developing the sport at the national level. In internationally widespread sports, it will often be necessary to recruit top athletes from abroad in order to compete successfully internationally.

In cases where clubs have several teams, the athlete can be active for different teams in the club, for example for a recruitment team in connection with match practice. A certain level of participation in the team that plays at the highest level is nonetheless required. As a rule, the athlete must participate in at least half of the matches that the team plays during the period in which the athlete has an employment contract, provided that the athlete is injury-free and available to play. Too little activity for the team that plays at the highest level may have a bearing on renewal of the permit.

That the applicant has a bachelor’s or master’s degree in sports does not necessarily mean that the requirement for relevance is met. The applicant is required to play sport or coach athletes at a high level.

7.1.3. Statement on the level of the sport and the applicant’s competence

A statement shall be obtained from the relevant sports federation under NIF. The sports federation shall submit a statement on whether the athlete will participate in high-level sport and whether the applicant’s competence is deemed to be relevant to the position. When the applicant is a coach, information shall be provided about who he or she is to train and the athletes’ achievements in national and, if relevant, international competitions. If the coach is to train athletes at a lower level as well, it must be stated how much of his/her working hours will be spent on training high-level athletes.

In its statement, the sports federation shall comment on the level and extent of the applicant’s previous activities as an athlete/coach, if this previous activity took place less than 12 months before the date of the new application.

The recommendation of the sports federation will usually be given decisive weight in the assessment of the application, but it is nonetheless not binding in relation to the UDI’s decision.

7.1.4. Jockeys

The Norwegian Jockey Club is not affiliated to NIF, but it is regarded as natural to consider applications from jockeys in accordance with the guidelines for athletes. The condition concerning being engaged in high-level sport is deemed to be met when the Norwegian Jockey Club is able to confirm that the applicant meets the requirements for being granted a licence as a professional jockey. When the applicant is to work as a jockey, a statement from the Norwegian Jockey Club shall therefore be included.

The relevance requirement is deemed to have been met when the applicant is to compete in horseraces. It is accepted that the applicant is to train horses, since that is a natural part of being a jockey. It is not accepted, however, that a jockey will solely be engaged in training. In such case, the applicant must present a licence as a trainer and meet the requirement for high-level trainers.

7.2. General conditions relating to permits for athletes and/or coaches

The general conditions for residence permits for skilled workers apply as mentioned in 3.1 above. Below, it is specified how some of these conditions shall be interpreted when the applicant is an athlete and/or a coach.

7.2.1. Full-time employment

Whether the work constitutes full-time employment must be assessed on the basis of what is normal in the sport in question. Travel time, practice time and other preparation work relating to high-level sports are included when calculating the total working hours.

7.2.2. A single employer

The applicant cannot, neither paid nor unpaid, work for the club’s sponsors or similar.

7.2.3. Pay and working conditions

No general agreements regulate pay and working conditions between clubs/associations, on the one hand, and athletes/coaches, on the other. It is therefore established administrative practice that the pay condition is deemed to be met when the subsistence requirement (see 2.2. above) is met. This means that the applicant must be offered at least 82% of salary grade 19 in the pay scale for Norwegian state employees. The pay must be guaranteed for the whole period during which the permit will be valid.

7.3. Documentation requirement

What documentation to include with the application form is described in the appendix to this circular.

7.4. Temporary residence permit during the processing of an application

If it is likely that the application will be granted, the applicant may, on request, be granted a residence permit that is valid until a decision has been made. It is a requirement that the application for a permit that is submitted to the police contains a statement from the relevant sports federation under NIF and that the subsistence requirement is met.

7.5. Duration

Permits for athletes and coaches are granted for one year, or for a shorter period, cf. Section 10-16 fifth paragraph of the Immigration Regulations.

7.6. Assessments in connection with applications for a renewed permit

7.6.1. Documentation

A new statement from the sports federation must be enclosed with an application for renewal. If conditions apply as mentioned in 7.6.2. and 7.6.3. below, the sports federation shall mention this in particular.

7.6.2. When the sports club has been relegated or it is no longer possible to coach high-level athletes

In situations where the club in question has been relegated and where a multi-year contract exists that has not expired, considerations of reasonableness indicate that an application for renewal of the residence permit can be granted for another year despite the fact that the athlete or coach no longer practises/coaches high-level sport. The same applies when a coach is no longer responsible for athletes at the top national level.

In a subsequent application for renewal of the residence permit, however, the applicant must document that he or she will again be in engaged in/coach high-level sport.

7.6.3. Assessment of the condition ‘high-level sport’ when the athlete has not participated much during the contract period

If it turns out, at the time of application for renewal of the residence permit, that the athlete has not had much activity for the team engaged in high-level sport, this may indicate that the athlete no longer meets the condition concerning full-time employment and that the application for renewal must be rejected. In the assessment, emphasis shall be placed on the reason for the lack of activity and the probability that the athlete, based on the available information, will meet the condition in future.

7.7. Relationship to other provisions

If the applicant is to practise as an athlete in Norway, and this activity is the purpose of his or her stay in Norway, it may be relevant to consider the application pursuant to Section 6-22 third paragraph of the Immigration Regulations. Pursuant to this provision, a temporary residence permit may be granted when the applicant’s stay is necessary in order to establish or further develop a sport. For more information, see circular RS 2010-047.

Professional athletes and accompanying support staff are exempt from the requirement for a residence permit for employment relationships of up to three months’ duration when they do not have an employer in Norway, cf. Section 1-1 first paragraph letter (d) of the Immigration Regulations.

Some sporting activities are not deemed to be work. If such activities are performed for up to three months, a residence permit is not required. Trials and stays for training purposes are not deemed to be work. For more information, see circular RS 2011-032.

8. Appeals

A rejection of an application for a residence permit as a skilled worker can be appealed pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 6 of the Public Administration Act.

The appeal shall be submitted to a Norwegian foreign service mission or to the police.

9. Revocation of residence permits and residence during unemployment, cf. Section 63 of the Immigration Act and Section 6-11 of the Immigration Regulations

9.1. Revocation

A residence permit as a skilled worker can be revoked if the foreign national deliberately provided incorrect information in his/her application or omitted matters of importance to the decision, or if it follows from other general provisions of administrative law, cf. Section 63 first paragraph of the Immigration Act and Section 6-11 of the Immigration Regulations. The police shall send such cases to the UDI for consideration of revocation when the conditions for this are deemed to be met, cf. Section 63 of the Immigration Act and Section 6-11 of the Immigration Regulations. If deemed necessary, the UDI will send advance notice of revocation in such cases.

9.2. Unemployment

An employee who has a permit as a skilled worker pursuant to Section 6-1 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations can stay in Norway to seek employment for up to six months after the employment relationship is terminated and until the original permit expires. The right of residence will then lapse. It is a condition that the employee notifies the police within seven days of the termination of the employment relationship. Furthermore, it is a condition that the employee notifies the police within seven days if he/she begins in a new employment relationship. The above-mentioned notifications to the police shall be registered in the computer system used for immigration and refugee cases (DUF), cf. Section 6-11 second and third paragraphs of the Immigration Regulations. In this connection, athletes/coaches must submit a new statement from the sports federation under NIF. Work under a new employment relationship cannot start until such a statement has been provided. The police can contact the UDI by phone if there is doubt about whether the applicant will be engaged in high-level sport.

An employee who holds a permit as a skilled worker pursuant to Section 6-1 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations, cf. the fifth paragraph, can avail him/herself of the provisions of Section 6-11 second paragraph to look for work. If he or she finds a new job, however, an application for a new permit must be submitted, unless the offer of employment is made by the same employer and applies to the same type of work.


Karl Erik Sjøholt
Head of Department

Contact: The Managed Migration Department, Work Unit



[1] In connection with a business start-up, it must be substantiated that there is an economic basis for the business.

Latest changes
  • Changed: RS 2014-018 Residence permit for skilled workers etc. - the Immigration Act section 23 first paragraph, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 6-1 first paragraph (12/1/2016)

    Chapter 3.1.4 in the circular is expanded with more examples of employment for more than one employer. In chapter 5.1 the wording is revised to specify that if the quota for WTO employees in an international company has been filled, a permit can be granted for specific work for a specific employer. Chapter 7.1 is revised to reflect the changes in the Immigration Regulations Section 10-4 (early employment scheme).

  • Endret: RS 2014-018 Oppholdstillatelse til faglærte mv. – utlendingsloven § 23 første ledd, jf. utlendingsforskriften § 6-1 første ledd (11/18/2016)

    Pkt 3.1.4 i rundskrivet er utvidet med flere eksempler på arbeidsforhold for mer enn én arbeidsgiver. I Pkt. 5.1 er ordlyden endret for å presisere at dersom kvoten for WTO arbeidstakere i internasjonalt selskap er fylt, kan søkeren få tillatelse til et bestemt arbeid for en bestemt arbeidsgiver. Pkt. 7.4 er revidert til å reflektere endringer i uf §10-4 (tidlig arbeidsstart).

  • Endret: RS 2014-018 Oppholdstillatelse til faglærte mv. – utlendingsloven § 23 første ledd, jf. utlendingsforskriften § 6-1 første ledd (2/1/2016)

    Rundskrivets punkt 3.2.3 er oppdatert. Statens Autorisasjonskontor for helsepersonell (SAK) finnes ikke lenger og arbeidet med autorisasjon og godkjenning av regulerte yrker i helsesektoren er overtatt Helsedirektoratet.

  • New: RS 2014-018 Residence permit for skilled workers etc. - the Immigration Act section 23 first paragraph, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 6-1 first paragraph (12/1/2014)

    The UDI circular about residence permits for skilled workers pursuant to the Immigration Act section 23 first paragraph, is now available in English. This circular also contains guidelines for residence permits for athletes and coaches, and for employees of staffing agencies.

  • Ny: RS 2014-018 Oppholdstillatelse til faglærte mv. – utlendingsloven § 23 første ledd, jf. utlendingsforskriften § 6-1 første ledd (7/30/2014)

    Rundskrivet om oppholdstillatelse til faglærte er revidert og slått sammen med rundskrivet om bemanningsbedrifter i et nytt rundskriv. Retningslinjene omfatter også idrettsutøvere og trenere, se punkt 7. Rundskrivet gjelder for politiet, utenriksstasjonene og UDI.

Utlendingsdirektoratet
Norwegian Directorate
of Immigration

Postboks 8108 Dep
N-0032 Oslo
Phone: + 47 23 35 15 00

Editor in Chief: Stephan Mo
Kontakt nettredaksjonen