Moving to the UK from Norway

Relocating from Norway to the UK

Being only a short distance across the sea, the UK remains a popular destination for Norwegians seeking a new place to live. Indeed, according to the most recent figures, approximately 19,000 Norwegians call the UK home. While Brexit ended the freedom of movement between Norway and the UK, it is still possible to move from Norway to the UK by applying for a visa. If you have plans to relocate from Norway to England, Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland, perhaps for work, study, or to join loved ones, this guide is for you. We will provide a breakdown of the legal requirements for Norwegian people moving to the UK after Brexit and how the cost of living in the UK compares to Norway.

Moving from Norway to the UK after Brexit

Following Brexit at the end of 2020, the UK ended its freedom of movement arrangement with the EU and European Economic Area (EEA), including Norway. Those living in the UK before the Brexit cut-off date (31st December 2020) were able to stay under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). Norwegians who were not living here before this date now require a visa to live, work, study, or join family members in the UK.

Thankfully, with the assistance of a specialist in UK immigration law, the process of securing a visa as a Norwegian national can be completed easily and efficiently.

Moving to the UK from Norway benefits

The UK has a great deal to offer Norwegians seeking a new life. Firstly, it is geographically close to Norway, making it easy and relatively inexpensive to visit family and friends back home. The UK has a robust and thriving economy, providing a wealth of excellent skilled and well-paid jobs. The size of the UK market, coupled with the minimal levels of administration and ‘red tape’, means that it is possible for Norwegian business people to be extremely successful here.

The UK offers a wealth of culture, including music, arts, museums, cathedrals and much more. We have wonderful villages, mountains, hills, lakes, and countryside for Norwegians to explore. And, of course, there is our world-renowned education system, including universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, St Andrews, and University College London (UCL).

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As a citizen of Norway, the legal requirements you will need to meet will depend on the type of visa you apply for. The following explains the requirements for the most popular visas used by Norweigan nationals:

UK Skilled Worker visa

The UK Skilled Worker visa allows citizens of Norway to work for a sponsoring employer in the UK for up to 5 years. Once the 5 years are up, the visa can then be extended, or the holder can then apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), allowing them to settle permanently in the UK. As a Skilled Worker visa applicant, you will first need to secure an offer of a job in an eligible occupation. Importantly, your job must have a salary of at least £38,700 per year or the ‘going rate’ for the type of work you will be doing. That said, you may have a lower salary requirement if you have a PhD, a job on the UK government’s immigration salary list, or a new entrant to the job market. You will also need to satisfy the Home Office that you meet the English language requirement, normally by passing a secured English language test (SELT).

UK Student visa

Norweigan citizens who would like to study full-time in the UK at university, college, or school must apply for a Student visa. To be eligible for a Student visa, you must be aged 16 or over and have a formal offer of a place on a course from an approved (i.e. licenced) education provider. In addition, you will need to provide a bank statement showing that you have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course and that you can speak, read, write, and understand CEFR B2 level if studying at degree level or above.

UK Innovator Founder

The Innovator Founder visa enables Norweigan business people and entrepreneurs to come to the UK to set up and run a new business. It also provides an accelerated permanent settlement after just 3 years compared to the standard 5 years that applies to most visa types. To qualify for a business visa, you must have a new business idea and plan that is endorsed as being innovative, viable, and scalable. Applicants must be 18 years or older, meet the English language requirements, and have sufficient savings to support themselves and their dependants while in the UK.

This is only a small selection of the many visas available in the UK for citizens of Norway. Other routes include self-sponsorship, family visas, Graduate visas, and visitor visas. We recommend speaking to an experienced immigration Solicitor in the UK who can further assess your situation, plans, and goals and recommend the best route for you and your family.

How to set up your finances in the UK?

When it comes to banking, the UK has a modern digital infrastructure, making it easy to open new accounts and manage your money. Rather than trying to set up a new bank account from Norway, we recommend waiting until you arrive here because UK banks will need proof of your identity (e.g. passport) and your permanent UK address (e.g. rental agreement or utility bill).

You will need to apply for a National Insurance (NI) number in the UK before you start work or running a business. The tax is also very simple in the UK. Any tax you owe to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will be automatically deducted from your pay by your employer through the UK’s ‘Pay As You Earn’ (PAYE) system. However, if you plan to work for yourself in the UK, you will need to submit a self-assessment tax return each year. An accountant based in the UK can manage this for you.

Get in touch with our immigration experts for help with your move to the UK from Norway

What is the cost of living in the UK?

Norway is typically considered to have a high cost of living compared to most countries in Europe. The UK is approximately 17.6% less expensive overall compared to Norway, according to the cost of living website Numbeo. However, rental costs are typically around 20% higher in the UK compared to Norway, but food and grocery prices are 26% less in the UK.

Emigrating to the UK from Norway - Checklist

  • Speak to a UK immigration Solicitor to understand your visa/immigration options (for you and your dependants). By doing this first, the whole process of moving from Norway to the UK can be made much easier.
  • Secure a job offer with a licenced UK employer before applying for a work visa. This is one of the biggest hurdles for most applicants. Alternatively, you can consider applying under the self-sponsorship route (see below for details).
  • Create a detailed and realistic budget spreadsheet including your expected income after tax and all of your living costs in the UK. We also recommend speaking to someone you know who lives in the UK to get an idea of the actual cost of living here, including insurance, council tax, fuel, transport, food, energy, etc.
  • Visit the UK to help decide where you would like to live.
  • Determine your likely moving costs, including transport, removal costs, and rent deposit, etc.
  • Check which schools are available in your preferred areas and contact them to see if they have any spaces available.
  • If you know any Norweigan nationals living in the UK, ask them for any advice and tips on moving here
  • Norweigan / UK Driving licence - According to the rules, if you are younger than 67 when you become a resident of the UK, you can drive on your Norweigan licence until you are 70. If you are 67 or older when you become a resident, you can drive on your Norweigan licence for 3 years after that point.

What is a Self-Sponsored Route?

Self-Sponsorship is a relatively new way for citizens of Norway to relocate to the UK with their family members without the worry and stress of securing a job. Using this approach, you can set up your own business in the UK (we will guide you through the process) and work for yourself. Self-sponsorship puts you in the ‘driving seat’ and overcomes the risk of losing employment and, with it, the right to remain in the UK. In addition, Norweigan nationals who are self-sponsored can gain permanent settlement after a number of years of continuous residence and, after a further 12 months, British citizenship.

Emigrating to the UK as a non-Norweigan national

Non-Norweigan nationals typically also need a visa to emigrate to the UK. This will largely depend on your nationality, your family connections to the UK, and what you plan to do in the UK (i.e. settle permanently). Please speak to one of our friendly and insightful immigration Solicitors in the UK who can assess your background, current situation, and future plans and then determine the easiest and most beneficial route for your needs.

Joining UK Family Members as a Non-Norweigan National

With a UK family visa, you can join your partner, spouse, parent or child in the UK as a non-Norweigan National. To qualify, you must have a family member living in the UK who is either a British citizen, a person with permanent settlement, an EU/EEA national who started living in the UK before 1st January 2021 or has refugee status in the UK. The UK family visa provides a route to Indefinite Leave to Remain (i.e. permanent settlement) after 5 years of continuous residence and British citizenship a year later.


What documents and information do I need to move to the UK?

The documents that you need to move to the UK will depend on the type of visa you require. For example, if you require a work visa, you will need your Norweigan passport and UK visa, evidence of your job offer, a Certificate of Sponsorship, and bank statements showing that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your immediate family members. Your immigration Solicitor will explain all of the documents that you will need to move to the UK.

How long can a Norweigan citizen stay in the UK?

In most cases, Norweigan nationals can visit the UK for up to 6 months without the need for a visa. To stay longer, Norwegian nationals need to apply for a visa. Work visas last up to 5 years and provide a route to permanent settlement. Student visas typically last for the duration of the course, but holders can then apply for a Graduate visa to stay in the UK for a further 2 years to find work.

Do Norweigan citizens need sponsorship to work in the UK?

Yes, if you wish to apply for a work visa in the UK as a Norweigan national, you must be sponsored by a UK employer. Alternatively, you can consider the self-sponsorship route.

What should I consider before moving back to the UK from Norway?

Before returning to the UK from Norway, there are a number of important items to consider, including employment, banking arrangements, establishing a credit rating, selling your property, and your tax arrangements. If you have lived in Norway for more than 5 years, you may need to meet different rules for income and capital gains tax. We also recommend checking whether you will need to ‘top up’ your national insurance contributions so that you are eligible for a UK state pension when you reach retirement age.

Moving from Norway to the UK requirements

Please see the legal requirements for moving from Norway to the UK above.

Can you move to the UK from Norway?

Yes, however, Norweigan citizens and their family members require a visa to live in the UK. Please see the visa options explained above.

Are Norweigan citizens allowed to work in the UK?

Absolutely, but they require a job offer from a sponsoring employer, a certificate of sponsorship, and a work visa granted by the UK Home Office.

Applying for a UK visa from Norway

Norweigan nationals can apply for a UK visa through the UK Home Office website. You will need to complete the application form, pay any required fees, and submit any documents required to support your case. You will also need to meet the requirements for the type of visa you are applying for. An immigration Solicitor in the UK can handle this process for you.

UK entry requirements from Norway

Please see the legal requirements for moving from Norway to the UK above.

What is the cost of living in the UK?

Please see the cost of living section above.

Moving Back to the UK from Norway: Why are British ex-pats leaving Norway?

Some UK ex-pats are leaving Norway and other countries in Europe because of the post-Brexit rules, which mean they can only spend 90 days in EU and EFTA countries in any 180-day period. British ex-pats are also returning for work opportunities or to be with family members.

A Y & J Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm with extensive experience with all types of visa applications. We have an in-depth understanding of immigration law and are professional and results-focused. For assistance with your visa application or any other UK immigration law concerns, please contact us on +44 20 7404 7933 or at contact us today. We’re here to help!

Moving From Norway to the UK

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Moving From Norway to the UK

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