Countries across the globe are in a race to attract skilled workers to boost their flagging tourism industries and economies. Since the COVID-19 lockdown, employees are reluctant to go back to physical offices and are now embracing the digital nomad lifestyle.
Digital nomads contribute immensely to any economy that is willing to absolve them. They spend money, facilitate entrepreneurship, spur innovation, foster knowledge and resource flow.
One of the countries offering digital nomads an opportunity to work remotely is Norway. Officially known as the Kingdom of Norway, the country is located in the Northwestern part of Europe.
Norway is known for its fairytale creeks, coastline, skiing, and as the land of the midnight sun (along with the other Nordic countries). The country has the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund and has the fourth-highest per capita income in the world according to the World Bank.
In addition, 98% of the country is powered by hydroelectric power plants, and the reputable Nobel Peace Prize happens to be awarded in Oslo every year. Norway’s fixed broadband download speed is 106.30Mbps and 129.81Mbps for mobile.
What is Norway’s definition of remote work?
It is considered remote work when you work for a Norwegian or foreign employer off-site (e.g. from a hotel, a home or similar). This also applies if you are self-employed in Norway or abroad.
Digital nomads can live in Norway for up to two years with the country’s residence work permit, called an independent contractor visa. There is no specific residence permit for remote work in Norway, although there are three types of residence permit visas which entitle you to work remotely from Norway.
The three residence permit visas are a residence permit for family immigration, a permanent residence permit and a residence permit for work where remote work is part of your job.
Requirements for Norway's independent contract visa
- Valid Passport – Your passport must be valid when applying for the visa
- Proof of Self-Employment – You must prove that your business is established outside of Norway
- Earn at least $36,871 per year – Your income must meet the income requirement
- Proof of Income – Applicants are required to provide bank statements proving how much they earn.
- Contract with Norwegian Client – You must have a signed contract with a Norwegian client agreeing to pay at least minimum wage for a skilled worker
- Address of Accommodations – You must provide an address where you will live in Norway
Steps to obtain the independent contract visa
The process to apply for the Norwegian digital nomad visa is concise and moves pretty quickly if you have all of your documents in order. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to apply.
Step 1: Gather Documents
Before you begin the application process, it’s important to get all of your documents in order. You’ll need the following:
- €600 Application Fee
- Passport & Copy of Passport (All Used Pages)
- Two Passport Photos
- Contract with Norwegian Client
- Documentation of Business Established Abroad
- Proof of Education
- CV & Work History
- Address of Accommodations in Norway
- Completed Application Form
Be sure to bring all original documents and copies of everything to your visa appointment. All documents must either be in Norwegian or English.
Step 2: Print the UDI Checklist
UDI (The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration) is responsible for processing applications from foreign nationals who wish to visit or live in Norway. Download the UDI checklist. It is critical that you complete the checklist online, print it, sign it, and bring it with you to your visa appointment.
There are a variety of questions at the bottom of the checklist. Be sure to answer all necessary questions.
Step 3: Submit Application
You can submit your Norway digital nomad visa application and documents in two different ways.
If you are already in Norway, you can apply for a visa at the police station. Be aware that you must prove that you are in the country legally at this time.
The other option is to go through a Norwegian embassy or consulate from abroad. You will make an appointment and submit your application and required documents.
It’s important to note that you may need additional documents depending on the embassy or consulate.
Step 4: Wait for Approval
After submitting your documents and application, it could take about four months to receive an answer. However, this waiting time does depend on your country of origin.
Requirements relating to the employment
- You must be a self-employed person with an established business abroad.
- The business concerned must normally be your own sole proprietorship. The business cannot be a limited company.
- You must have entered into a contract to carry out an assignment for a business in Norway.
- The business in Norway must have a registered business address here.
- As a rule, the offer of an assignment must be for one specific enterprise in Norway.
- Your remuneration must not be lower than is normal in Norway.
- Your qualifications as a skilled worker must be relevant to your ability to complete the assignment.
- If you are going to carry out an assignment in an occupation for which recognition or authorisation is required (external website), you must have such approval or authorisation.