Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Norway - 'Resident' and 'employee' in Norway

In what situation can I claim?

The term 'habitually resident' is not used in Norwegian social security legislation and is consequently not defined by it.

Membership of the National Insurance Scheme is a fundamental requirement if you are to be entitled to Norwegian social security benefits. Generally, anyone who is resident in Norway is a member of the National Insurance Scheme. This also applies to persons who are resident abroad but who are working in Norway. Self-employed workers within the EEA are also included.

In order to be regarded as resident in Norway, you must have a legal right to reside in Norway, either via a work visa or via special agreements (such as the EEA agreement).

Your period of residence must have lasted at least 12 months, or have been intended to last for that period. Any assessment of the intended duration of residence will also evaluate objective criteria that may validate the information that you provide.

You cease to be a member if you leave Norway for a period of residence that lasts or is intended to last for more than 12 months, or more than 6 months per year for 2 or more consecutive years.

Anyone who lives abroad but works in Norway is required to have a legal right to work in Norway if they are to become a member of the National Insurance Scheme.

Irrespective of whether you are a member of the National Insurance Scheme through residence or work, your membership ceases if you start work abroad or on a ship that is registered abroad.

There are a number of exceptions to these main rules. For example, the diplomats of other countries do not become members of the National Insurance Scheme, even if they are both resident and working in Norway. The same applies to 'posted workers', i.e. workers who are posted by their employer abroad to work in Norway for a certain period, and through the EEA agreement or bilateral social security agreements are entitled to remain covered by the social security scheme of their homeland.

The National Insurance Scheme also has provisions that under certain conditions allow persons to have voluntary membership of the National Insurance Scheme.

Naturally, in order to be entitled to social security benefits, you must also fulfil the various conditions for each individual benefit.

Jargon busters

  • Habitual resident - this term is not part of Norwegian national legislation, but is defined in European law. Click here for more information. In practice, the term 'habitual resident' refers to the location which is central to your interests;
  • EEA Agreement - an agreement that includes Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and all the EU countries.

Know your rights

The links below direct you to websites that describe your legal rights, but they are not part of the European Commission's websites. The Commission is  therefore not responsible for the content:

The Commission's publications and websites:

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