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Moving to Norway From the UK

Ashleigh Williams

Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

9th Jun 2023 (Last updated on 16th Feb 2024) 10 minute read

Norway is a fantastic Scandinavian country known for its coastal fjords and beautiful scenery. With low crime rates and a friendly nation, it’s easy to see why around 13, 000 British expats have chosen to make the move.

If you’re looking to move to Norway, there are many things you need to consider. This guide covers everything you need to be aware of, from visa applications to education and property prices.

  1. Why Are People Moving from the UK to Norway?
  2. Types of Norwegian Visas
  3. How to Apply for a Norwegian Visa
  4. Norwegian Residency Permit
  5. Norwegian ID Number
  6. Norwegian Citizenship
  7. Cost of Removals to Norway from the UK
  8. Property Prices
  9. Work
  10. Cost of Living
  11. Healthcare
  12. Education
  13. Importing a Vehicle
  14. Culture
  15. Is it Worth Moving to Norway from the UK?

Why Are People Moving from the UK to Norway?

British people looking for a quieter and greener way of life will find Norway an attractive prospect. The scenery is fantastic, and there is a big emphasis on eco-friendly living. The standard of living in Scandinavian countries is particularly high, and Norway has one of the best healthcare systems in the world.

Job opportunities in Norway are great, and also well paying. In addition to this, public university fees in Norway are free, which is a driving force for many students looking to study in a different country. The level of education that’s provided in the universities is also of a high-quality.

The country as a whole is far less populated. It has a population of just over 5.5 million compared to the UK where the population is just under 69 million. While Norway doesn’t have as many British expats compared to other countries like Spain and France, it’s still a popular option to consider. According to OECD, 11% of Norway’s population are immigrants.

*Data taken from Worldometer

Types of Norwegian Visas

As the UK has now left the EU, applying for a Norwegian Visa does involve some extra steps. The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement has changed the application process and no longer allows free movement from the UK to EU/EEA countries.

If you’re visiting Norway for less than 90 days within a 180-day period, you aren’t required to apply for a visa. This applies to anyone with a UK passport visiting a country in the Schengen Area. After this time, you will need to apply for a temporary or permanent visa depending on the purpose of your stay.

Here are some of the most common Norwegian Visas and permits:

  • National Visa D - Allows people to stay in Norway for up to 180 days. This is useful for short-term work, seasonal work or research purposes.
  • Visitor Visa - For those visiting Norway for a short period
  • Business Visa - This is for those travelling to Norway for business purposes
  • Medical Visa - Medical Visas are required for those travelling to Norway for medical purposes
  • Study Visa - For those looking to study in Norway
  • Retirement Visa - For retirement purposes
  • Family Visa - For family reunification and family immigration
  • Work Permits - For skilled workers looking to work in Norway

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How to Apply for a Norwegian Visa

Applying for a Norwegian Visa is a fairly straightforward process. To begin with, you will need to choose the correct visa. You can use the Schengen Visa eligibility checker to check whether you are eligible to apply. You will need to visit your local Embassy of Norway

Here is some of the documentation you will need to support your application:

  • Valid passport
  • Visa application form
  • Visa fees
  • One photograph
  • Travel Insurance
  • Cover letter (explaining the purpose of the stay)
  • Proof of finances (at least £40 a day)

For more information on visa applications, visit the SchengenVisaInfo website.

Norwegian Residency Permit

When moving to Norway from the UK, you will need to obtain a Norwegian Residency Permit to legally live in the country for more than 90 days. This is because the UK is not an EU/EEA member.

All long-term visas provide temporary residency. However, after 3 years of living in Norway, British expats are eligible to apply for a permanent residency permit (oppholdstillatelse). This application will need to be sent to the Norwegian Immigration Directorate (UDI). Applicants will then receive a permanent residency card once approved. This will need to be renewed every 2 years.

Norwegian ID Number

Everyone that moves to Norway for more than 6 months is assigned a National Identity Number. This is an 11-digit personal identifier that is used for tax, banking and insurance purposes. You will need to apply for this number via the National Registry. There are many offices across the country you can visit to apply.

For more information visit the Skatteetaten website.

Norwegian Citizenship

To become a Norwegian citizen as a foreign national, there are several requirements you need to meet. Eligibility will vary depending on the type of permanent residency permit you have. Some of these include:

  • Have lived in Norway permanently for at least 8 years
  • Can speak the Norwegian language adequately
  • Pass the relevant tests

Norway recognises dual citizenship so British citizens won’t have to renounce their UK citizenship.

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Cost of Removals to Norway from the UK

According to our research, the cost of shipping to Norway is around £893. This is based on shipping the contents of a 40ft container, which is equivalent to a 3-bedroom house.

If you need additional services with your removals to Norway such as packing, this will cost around £250 on top of the shipping total. Final costs will vary depending on the type of shipping used, the distance travelled and the number of items you have.

Compare My Move can help you with your removals to Norway by putting you in contact with up to 6 of our international removal partners. All our partners are verified and trusted. We can help you to save up to 70% on your move.

Property Prices

The average house price per square meter in Norway is 69,157.23 KR (£5,047.79) within the city centres. Outside of the city centre, the average house price is 48,707.21 KR (£3,555.14).

In the UK, city centre house prices are£4,436.67 on average per square meter. Outside of city centres, house prices are slightly lower at around £3,343.60.

Here are the rental costs for Norway and the UK:

Type of PropertyNorway (PCM)UK (PCM)

1 bedroom property

11,300.60 KR (£824.83)


3 bedroom property

18,987.41 KR (£1,385.89)


Property in Norway is slightly more expensive compared to the UK. However, rental prices are slightly lower. As the average salary is higher in Norway, this helps to offset the increased property costs.

The most popular places to live for British expats include Arendal, Fredrikstad and Oslo. Oslo is the most expensive place to live, but it also has the highest population. Bergen is another popular destination for British expats to move to. Hedmark and Oppland are more affordable areas of Norway to live in.

* Data taken from Numbeo statistics


The average wage in Norway is 54,360 NK (£3976.09). This is slightly higher than in the UK, where the average wage is £25,971. As the average wage is higher, people living in Norway have a higher amount of disposable income compared to the UK.

Some of the most common jobs in Norway are in the following industries:

  • Fishing
  • Tourism
  • Mining
  • Shipping
  • Textiles

Working in Norway is slightly more relaxed in comparison to working in the UK. Typically the working week is shorter, and unemployment rates are lower. According to, employment rates in 2022 were only 3.3%. While this is great, it can make finding employment slightly more difficult compared to other EU/EEA countries.

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Cost of Living

The cost of living in Norway and the United Kingdom isn’t too dissimilar. However, Norway is slightly more expensive on the whole by around 1%. It’s one of the more expensive European countries.

Here are some cost of living examples for each country:

Cost of Living ExamplesNorwayUnited Kingdom

Public Transport Pass (Monthly)



Utility Bills (Monthly - One Person)



Gym Membership (Monthly)



Taxi (5 Miles)



Inexpensive Restaurant Meal for 2 People



1 Cinema Ticket



Beer (0.5L)



Chicken Breast (1kg)






* Data taken from LivingCost.Org


Norway is known to have one of the best and most efficient healthcare systems in the world. While it’s not free like the UK’s NHS, services are subsidised by the Norwegian government.

All residents of Norway, whether they are citizens or not, can access these services. Contributions towards the Norwegian healthcare system are taken via Norway’s National Insurance Scheme.

This is paid for through employment and the National Insurance Scheme, which allows people to voluntarily contribute to their healthcare. In addition to this, many people chose to pay for private medical insurance to offset the costs that aren’t subsidised.


Education in Norway is mandatory between the ages of 6-16. Between the ages of 16-19, education is a statutory right but isn’t compulsory. It prepares pupils for higher education. In the UK, the education system is mandatory between the ages of 5-16 (4 in Northern Ireland) and can be continued until the age of 18.

The Norwegian education system is split into 3 sections:

  • Elementary school: 6-13
  • Lower secondary school: 13-16
  • Upper secondary school: 16-19

The best schools in Norway include Elvebakken videregående Skole, Uranienborg Skole and Ila Skole. There are very few private schools in Norway, especially when compared to the UK. This is because it must be either religious or provide an alternative to traditional teaching. Fees for these schools are low, and learners cannot be judged on their ability.

As the main languages in Norway are Norwegian and Sami, if your child’s first language is English, they may benefit from attending an English-speaking international school. Some of the best international schools in the country are Kongsberg International School and Oslo International School.

One of the biggest differences between Norwegian and UK universities is that Norway doesn’t charge any tuition fees. Even international students can study at Norwegian universities free of charge. They just need to pay student union fees each semester, which is roughly £50. When compared to the yearly fees of £9,250 in the UK, it’s clear why education in Norway is a driving force for immigrants.

The best universities in Norway include:

  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • University of Bergen
  • University of Oslo
  • UiT The Arctic University of Norway
  • University of Stavanger

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Importing a Vehicle

All vehicles have to be approved by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration before they are imported into the country.

Any vehicle that’s imported to Norway from the UK must then be declared to Norwegian customs. You will need to pay VAT, customs and potentially tax on the vehicle too.

Some of the documentation you will need to pass customs clearance include:

  • Certificate of Conformity (CoC)
  • Transit documents
  • Purchase details

Once the car has been approved, it can be driven in Norway with UK license plates for up to 30 days. After this time, the number plates will need to be replaced with Norwegian ones.

It’s advised to always have your vehicle registration certificate (Vognkort) and all the customs documents to hand in case these need to be checked. Your vehicle must also be insured.

For more information on importing a vehicle, visit TollCustoms.

When you have moved to Norway permanently, you will need to apply for a driving permit, which can be used with your UK license for up to 14 days after your move. You will need to apply for this prior to your move. After this, you can then apply for a Norwegian driving license and will not need to retake your driving test.


The culture in Norway is open and welcoming. There is a big emphasis on equality, and the country is very tolerant on the whole. Norwegian people are proud of their history and Scandinavian roots. Traditional clothing (bunad) is often worn and the majority of Norwegian people enjoy winter sports.

Traditional foods include pickled herring, and there is a big emphasis on the outdoors and celebrating the beauty of the country. Allemannsretten is a law that allows people to camp, hike and roam on uncultivated land, and this is actively encouraged.

Norwegian and Sami are the main languages spoken in the country. Sami is the language spoken by Norway’s indigenous people. While many Norwegian people can speak English fluently, it’s important to embrace the culture and local language when moving to Norway.

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Is it Worth Moving to Norway from the UK?

If you’re looking for a better quality of life, and enjoy an outdoor lifestyle, Norway can be a great country to consider moving to. Before making the permanent move, here are some positives and negatives to consider:


  • Excellent healthcare system
  • Free universities
  • More eco-friendly
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Higher wages
  • Less expensive rental prices
  • Strong economy
  • Low crime rates


  • More expensive to purchase properties
  • Colder weather compared to the UK
  • You will need to speak Norwegian adequately to live in Norway permanently
Ashleigh Williams

Having written book reviews and content for For The Love of Books for over five years, Ashleigh now creates advice articles for Compare My Move, focusing on all things home-related.

Dave Sayce

Reviewed by Dave Sayce

Owner & Managing Director, Compare My Move

Dave Sayce is the owner and managing director of Compare My Move and has over 10 years of experience in the house removals industry.

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