A true gem of Scandanavia, the Kingdom of Norway should be a bucket list destination for every tourist or traveler. But dreams of a long weekend or even a fortnightly break are being quickly overshadowed thanks to the long-stay-encouraging Norweigan digital nomad visa. Instead of a 14-day holiday, remote workers can now spend up to two years in the country with an independent contractor visa.
From the minimum annual income requirement to the Norwegian client contracts, there’s a handful of hoops nomads need to jump through to qualify for their visa. Find out everything you need to know about the Norway digital nomad visa in our guide to remote working in the country.
READ MORE: How to Get a Digital Nomad Visa
What is the Norway Digital Nomad Visa?
Although not technically an official digital nomad visa, the Norweigan independent contractor visa is perfect for digital nomads to live and work in the country for up to two years. This visa option has been around for a little while, but as this is not a dedicated digital nomad visa, there are some tricky qualifying requirements to meet. The most challenging of these is the requirement for each applicant to have at least one Norwegian client for a successful application. Successful visa applicants will be required to pay taxes in Norway, meaning that they must also apply for a local VAT number.
Why is the Norway Digital Nomad Visa Better Than a Tourist Visa?
As with many other European digital nomad visas, one of the biggest benefits for digital nomads applying for the visa is the length of time that can be spent in the country. Despite not being a part of the EU, Norway is in the Schengen Zone, meaning visitors from outside of the 26 countries that make up the Schengen area are only permitted to spend 90 days out of every 180 in the area. With a visit length of up two years permitted by the Norway independent contractor visa, nomads can increase their potential visit times by more than eight times.
Norway Digital Nomad Visa Requirements
The Norway digital nomad visa may sound a little too good to be true—but it’s not available for everybody. There is a short list of requirements that digital nomads are expected to meet if they’re hoping to be successful in their visa application:
- Valid Passport: The applicant's passport must be valid for the entire visa duration.
- Proof of Self-Employment: All applicants must prove that they run a business outside of Norway to warrant the independent contractor visa.
- €35,719 Minimum Annual Income: Applicants must prove a minimum income of at least €35,719 per year. This should be proven with the submission of bank statements.
- Contract with Norwegian Client: All applicants must show proof of a signed contract with a Norwegian client. This must be in agreement to pay the minimum wage to a skilled worker during the visa duration.
- Health Insurance: Applicants must show proof of health insurance with coverage in Norway.
- Proof of Address: Applicants must provide proof of address for their time in Norway.
How to Apply
Applying for the Norweigan remote working visa can be a confusing process. The following step-by-step guide is designed to instruct digital nomads through the application process to successfully register for the digital nomad visa.
Step 1: Collect all Necessary Documents
The first step when applying for any digital nomad visa is first to collect all of the necessary documents that are needed for the process. When applying for the Norway remote working visa, the following documents are required:
- Passport (Valid for Visa Period) & Passport Copy
- Two Passport Sized Photos
- Proof of Accommodation Address in Norway
- Contract with a Norwegian Client
- CV & Work History
- Documentation and/or Proof of Business Established Abroad
- Proof of Education (Degree etc.)
Step 2: Complete the Application Form and UDI Checklist
After collecting all necessary documents, the Norway digital nomad visa application form can then be completed. This should be done in addition to the UDI Checklist. This must be completed online, including the applicable questions at the bottom of the page, printed, and signed. Both of these documents must be both completed and brought to the visa appointment.
Step 3: Submit Visa Application
Unlike the majority of other digital nomad visas, the Norweigan remote working visa allows for applications to be made from inside the county’s borders. This can be completed by visiting a local police station.
Alternatively, visa applications can be made through the nearest Norwegian Embassy or Consulate. This ensures that the visa can be processed before visiting Norway in the home country of the applicant.
All applicants must pay a €600 application fee, regardless of the route chosen for visa processing.
Step 4: Await Approval of the Norway Digital Nomad Visa
Once the application process has been completed, nomads are simply required to await the result of their visa application. The processing times do vary according to the country of application, although the current waiting times are said to be around the four-month mark.
Why Choose Norway for Your Next Remote Working Trip?
Using the 2021 Legatum Prosperity Index, an annual independent study utilizing more than 100 different indexes to evaluate individual countries, Norway ranks an incredible 2nd from a total of 167 different nations. This study lists only Denmark as the country higher on the list with Sweden listed in third place position.
The country ranks consistently high across the categories that make up the Prosperity Index and brags the first place position in safety and security and personal freedom. The country also earns second place in social capital, third place in governance, and fourth place in health.
The statistics don’t lie, but it only takes a little research to learn just how impressive of a country Norway really is. Both the official capital, Oslo, and the capital of the Arctic, Tromsø, make for incredible destinations for short stays or long trips. The historical world heritage site of Bergen and the western fjords, the Geirangerfjord, and the Northwest are all must-visit destinations for any traveling nomad.
Remote Work Culture in Norway
Norway’s capital, Oslo, is the best bet for digital nomads looking to create a base in Norway with a range of top-quality cafes and coworking spaces. Startup Campus, 657 Oslo, and WeWork Oslo are among the most popular choices in the city.
Internet speeds are good in the country with Norway reportedly boasting the fastest mobile internet globally. Accommodation can be sourced for fair prices, although the cost of living in the country is noted as being one of the most expensive in the world.
Cost of Living and Quality of Life in Norway
The cost of living in Norway is notoriously high, on average approximately 15.8% higher than in the United States.
It is estimated that a single person living in Norway would expect an approximate monthly average cost of $1,080 USD (without rent). This figure increases to more than $3,850 USD (without rent) for a family of four living in the country. Rental prices, however, are estimated to be an average of 38% lower than in the States, depending on the locations chosen within Norway.
It should come as no surprise that Norway scores very highly in the quality of life index, earning an overall score of 183.6 out of a potential maximum of 240 points. The country performs well in most areas and only falls short on the cost of living index (as mentioned above) and the property price-to-income ratio which is rated as moderate.
Healthcare in Norway
Again, using the 2021 Legatum Prosperity Index, Norway is listed highly, in the fourth position out of the 167 different countries included in the study. The health pillar takes into account access to health systems, mortality rates, risk factors, etc. to create a balanced representation of healthcare in Norway.
Digital nomads registered as Norweigan residents are entitled to the same healthcare as locals—a state healthcare system with costs covered by both the state and patient fees. We would recommend that all travelers, tourists, and digital nomads visiting Norway should invest in good-quality travel insurance with health coverage in the country.
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From Oslo and Tromsø to Bergen and Geirangerfjord, there is so much to see, do and visit on a digital nomad visa in Norway. Ranked in second place on the 2021 Legatum Prosperity Index, Norway is one of the major world leaders with a very high quality of life and personal freedom to match. But this does come at a price and although the country has plenty to offer, the cost of living is high at an average of 15.8% higher than in the States.
Visitors to the country would typically be subject to the Schengen Zone visiting terms, but the Norweigan independent contractor visa offers a long-term alternative with a stay of up to two years. However, the digital nomad visa is not a dedicated solution for traveling remote workers and may come with hurdles. With the prize of living and working in Norway for up to two years, the remote working visa is a document worth going for.
This story was originally published in November 2022.