Moving to Norway

In Moving Guides by Steven Kane

Capital City: Oslo
Population: 5.23 Million
Language(s): Norwegian
Currency: Norwegian Krone (NOK)
GDP per capita: USD 70,800 (2016)
Drives on the: Right
Time: GMT +1
Internet domain: .No
International dialling code: +47

We are pleased to provide you with our guide on moving to Norway from Dubai, UAE. Please make note of the special links at the foot of this page.

Overview
Located on the western side of the Scandinavian peninsula, Norway is considered one of the most picturesque countries in the world. The sparsely populated country consists of mountains, forests, rivers and lakes, and with a coastline of more than 2700 kilometers Norway is famous for its spectacular fjords, many of which are over 100 kilometers long.

For centuries Norway’s chief economy was based on fishing, however the discovery of offshore oil in the 60’s lead to a huge boom and Norway is now the 12th largest major oil exporter in the world.

Norway’s climate differs considerably with the South and West of the country experiencing warmer summers and milder winters. However Atlantic storm fronts brings these areas more rainfall. The East and North of the country endure much colder winters. In addition, Norway’s high latitude brings large variations in daylight hours that take a bit of getting used to. In early summer, in areas North of the Arctic Circle the sun does not set below the horizon, which is where the moniker “ The land of the midnight sun” originates. Even in the more urbanised southern and western areas of the country, summer can see as much as 20 hours of sunlight, with winters yielding less than 5 or 6 hours of light.

Expats in Norway
Expats in Norway will find themselves in a country which is, there is no way around it, very expensive, however this is balanced by a thriving economy with generally very well paid jobs, excellent public services and a very high standard of living and general quality of life. Norway ranks very high in virtually every list and index from the World Bank (4th highest GDP) to ranking first on the World Happiness Report and the OECD better life index. Norway also has the highest sovereign wealth fund, which exceeds one trillion US Dollars.

With the petroleum industry accounting for a quarter of the country’s GDP, many of the countries expats are employed in the oil and gas sector particularly those based in Stavanger and Bergen.

Norwegians are generally quite reserved, but are friendly especially when they get to know you. They are hospitable towards foreigners and English is widely spoken in many parts of the country, especially the south. English is widely spoken in the oil and gas sector, but for a good job in other industries you would be expected to have at the very least a basic understanding of Norwegian.

Working hours in Norway are quite relaxed compared to much of the world. Many employees are expected to work from 8am until 4pm, however companies may close a little earlier, especially if the weather is good. Norwegians value highly time spent with families and when children are born mothers can take one year of paid maternity leave.

Cost of living (Oslo)
A meal at a standard restaurant is likely to cost roughly USD 30-40 per person with a beer priced around USD 10 and soft drinks around USD 3.75 per can.  A reasonable bottle of wine costs approximately USD 18 and a coffee typically sets you back around USD 5. At the local supermarkets a loaf of bread is priced around USD 3.10, a liter of milk approximately USD 2.20 and a dozen eggs roughly USD 4.10.

Public transport in Norway, in general is excellent. A monthly pass in a major city is likely to cost around USD 85. Taxis start around is USD 12 and then around USD 1.80 per kilometer thereafter. Petrol is relatively expensive at around USD 1.90 per liter.

Accommodation is expensive, although a little higher in Oslo. A typical 1-2 bedroom apartment in a prestigious area of a major city would be approximately USD 1700 per month. Less desirable areas would reduce monthly rent to around USD 1200. A typical house would cost around USD 2500 per month.

Basic utilities for an average two-bedroom apartment will be around USD 175.  Prepaid mobile phone charges are approximately USD.20 per minutes and extremely fast broadband internet is roughly USD 45 per month.

Schooling
All children who are citizens and legal residents are eligible for free public education in Norway.

It is not uncommon for children to start day care as early as 1 year old, in fact it is likely you will encounter a waiting list should this be required. However, looking beyond day care and kinder garden, the Norwegian schooling system starts at age 6 and continues through primary to lower secondary (13 to 16) at which point an increasing number of students undertake further education until 19. These further studies take the form of an academic program or a vocational option, which generally takes the role of an apprenticeship.

Private schools are available, but can be quite expensive. The main reason to send an expat child would be language, where Norwegian would not be the first language and where the child is unlikely to remain long-term in Norway.

Healthcare
Healthcare in Norway is of a very high standard, however it is not completely free as some people may think. It is true that anyone under the age of 16 is entitled to free health and dental care provided they are a Norwegian citizen or are a permanent resident. Anyone else who spends more than one year in Norway is expected to pay into the NIS – National Insurance Scheme. This entitles everyone to heavily subsidized healthcare and once a certain financial limit is exceeded a ‘Free Card’ (Frikort) is issued and then routine medical treatment is provided free for the remainder of the financial year.

Like many European countries you need to be registered with the government in order to be assigned to a GP. In order to be seen by most specialists a referral is required by your GP.

Dental healthcare (for anyone over the age of 16) is not free and is paid in full by the individual. Employers may contribute or cover these costs, but it is a case-by-case basis.

Private insurance and healthcare is becoming increasingly popular with many people living in Norway. There are many reasons for this including, shorter wait times, easier access to specialists and the inclusion of dental coverage. It is also noticeable that Norway is increasingly servicing the medical tourism sector. This is due to prices, which compete favorably with the US and the UK.

Moving Documents Required
When moving to Norway from Dubai, importation of Household Goods and Personal Effects

  • Passport
  • Detailed Packing list in English, Norwegian or German (duplicate copies)
  • Norwegian customs form (RD 0030E)
  • Bill of lading / AWB

Useful link(s);
https://www.toll.no/en/goods/moving-goods/
http://www.nyinorge.no/en/Ny-i-Norge-velg-sprak/New-in-Norway/Residence/Registration-on-arrival/Personal-belongings/

Note: This document is provided as a guide for people moving to Norway from Dubai, UAE and for information purposes only. Customs regulations can and do change at any time, usually without notice. Your mover will provide you with more information.