Beat the bureaucracy: 7 essential articles to read before moving to Norway

Life in Norway is great, but before you make the move, there’s plenty of red tape you should be aware of. Here’s our pick of seven articles to help smooth the bureaucratic process.

Trondheim, central Norway.
These seven articles should help you navigate the red tape when you come to Norway. Pictured is Trondheim in Norway. Photo by AQEEL AFZALI on Unsplash

Moving to another country can be a stressful process with plenty of obstacles along the way, no matter how organised or prepared you are. Whether it’s figuring out what paperwork you need, finding a place to live or setting up a bank account, there’s plenty to mull over.

Thankfully, we’ve got you covered and have put together seven articles you need to read if you are moving to Norway, or if you are new to the country and want a lay of the land.

The essential documents you need to have in Norway

For the uninitiated, Norway’s bureaucratic process can be pretty gruelling and sometimes it can feel like there’s enough red tape to cover the country with twice over.

Additionally, not having the proper paperwork can bring the whole process to a grinding halt and can essentially lock you out of certain parts of life in Norway or stop you from performing essential activities such as opening a bank account.

The article should act as an essential checklist for ensuring all your affairs are in order before upping sticks to Norway.

Eight things to know when renting an apartment in Norway

Every country’s rental market has its own idiosyncrasies, and Norway’s has several that can catch first time renters in the country out.

Whether it’s the large deposits required to secure a place, the breakneck speed of the rental market, average costs and where to find a place, there’s plenty of things you need to know about renting in Norway.

READERS REVEAL: What are the best banks for foreigners in Norway?

Opening a bank account can feel like a big step in the moving process and certainly helps you feel like a fully-fledged resident. However, deciding on a bank is no easy task.

Luckily our readers have provided their own advice on what the best bank accounts for foreign residents are and why, to help you make the right decision for you when it comes to opening your first account in Norway.

These are the hidden costs of living in Norway

It should come as absolutely zero surprise to anybody reading this that Norway can be a pricey place to call home. However, certain expenses will come as somewhat of a surprise to people new to the country.

To make matters worse, some of these will be hard to avoid.

Everything foreigners in Norway need to know about electronic IDs

Having an electronic ID is essential in Norway, and you won’t get very far at all without one. Electronic ID’s are proof of identity used for online services, from online banking to checking tax returns and viewing your Covid-19 certificate.

Unfortunately, their essentialness doesn’t translate to foreigners being able to access them easily. That’s why we put together a guide on the various forms of digital ID.

How to get a work permit in Norway

Work-life balance in Norway is hard to beat, and the salaries are nothing to blush at. If you are from outside the EEA, you will need a work permit to come and live in Norway.

To secure a work permit, you will typically have to have found a job in Norway before applying.

This article covers everything from where to apply, where to look to see what applies to you and what requirements you’ll need to meet to get a work permit.

For those still in the planning phase, the article gives you info on how long the process will take to get a work permit.

How to switch to a Norwegian phone number

If you’re wondering about changing to a local number once you arrive, you’ll need to check out this guide as it outlines not only how foreigners can switch to a Norwegian number, but also what’s required to make the change, as well as a tip on a provider that’s popular with foreign residents.

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Renting in Norway: When can the landlord increase rent, and by how much?

In Norway, strict rules determine how much landlords can raise the rent by and when. This is what the law says about rent hikes.

Renting in Norway: When can the landlord increase rent, and by how much?

Every country’s property market has its idiosyncrasies, and Norway is no different. If you’re new to the rental market, there are several things you’ll need to know to help get you up to speed.


Rental properties in Norway are covered by the Tenancy Act, which you can read here in English. The act dictates the size of deposits that landlords can ask for and the rules for raising rent in Norway, among other things.

Knowing how much the landlord can raise rental prices is an essential piece of info you’ll need to familiarise yourself with. The law doesn’t just dictate how much landlords can hike their rent up by, but also when.

This knowledge can help you in two ways, firstly by helping you plan financially if your landlord tells you that your rent will be going up and secondly, by alerting you to rogue landlords if they try and increase rent outside of what is set out in law.

It’s also worth knowing that landlords can not request that rent be paid more than one month in advance. Furthermore, rent must be a fixed amount for the contract’s duration.

Once the lease has been signed, and the ink has dried on the paperwork, your landlord will only be able to raise your rent in line with the consumer price index (CPI). This can only be done once a year and not within the first twelve months of the tenancy. The landlord must also give the tenant at least one months’ notice of the rent going up.

If the CPI falls, the tenant can also request that the rent be lowered to reflect this.

If the rental agreement has been ongoing for more than two and a half years, then the landlord is also allowed to raise the rent in line with the average market price if the average price has grown beyond what you are currently paying.

The rent can only be raised to what’s known as the “prevailing rent level”. The prevailing rent level is calculated by comparing the property with places of a similar standard and size in the same location. 

The increase can only be introduced, at the earliest, six months after the tenant has been given written notification of the landlord’s intention to increase the rent. Essentially this means that rent can’t be raised beyond the CPI until after three years.

On the flipside, if average rental prices fall, the tenant can request the landlord to lower the rent.