Skilled workers from outside the EEA and unemployment benefit

Language

If you are from a country outside the EEA and have legal residence in Norway as a skilled worker, you will not, as a rule, be entitled to unemployment benefit.

As a skilled worker, you 

  • have been granted residence in Norway because you have special qualifications or a higher education as described in section 6-1 or section 6-15 of the Immigration Regulations.
  • have, as a rule, been granted residence to work for a single employer or within a single industry, where your special expertise is relevant to the tasks you will perform.
  • are not, as a rule, permitted to work for others than the employer or industry to which your residence permit is linked. 

You can find more information about right of residence as a skilled worker from UDI

Why you are not entitled to unemployment benefit 

The grounds for your work and residence permit will be decisive for whether you are entitled to unemployment benefit. 

To be entitled to unemployment benefit you must be a genuine jobseeker (text in Norwegian). This means that you must be able to take any work in any profession you are fit for, if the work is paid according to a collective wage agreement or practice. 

If you have been granted a residence permit as a skilled worker, you will only be able to work with one or very few potential employers. You are therefore not a geniune jobseeker, and are not entitled to unemployment benefit. 

Can I still stay in Norway? 

Skilled workers with a residence permit, who become unemployed, may stay in Norway for up to 6 months after the end of employment (Section 6-1 of the Immigration Regulations). 

When your employment is terminated you are only entitled to stay in Norway if your original residence permit still applies. The same conditions for residence also apply as long as you have not been granted a resident permit on other grounds. This also applies to employees who are laid-off. 

Residence permit on new grounds 

If you are granted a new residence permit as a skilled worker, the new residence permit will also have limitations, which are not consistent with being a geniune jobseeker. If you are granted a new residence permit on other grounds, you may be entitled to unemployment benefit if you also meet the ordinary conditions for entitlement to the benefit. You must then submit a copy of your new residence permit to NAV so that NAV can assess whether you are entitled to unemployment benefit.