The aim of social security agreements is to ensure that you as a foreign national have the same rights as the nationals of the other country that is party to the agreement when you live or work there. Such agreements contain rules that are intended to prevent employees having social security obligations to two countries at the same time, so that you do not have to pay National Insurance contributions to both countries.
When Norway has signed a social security agreement the agreement's rules take precedence over the rules in the National Insurance Act. Social security agreements differ in structure and set different rules (for exporting benefits). If you are going to move to or work in a country with which Norway has a social security agreement, you must investigate your rights according to the individual agreement.
To whom does the social security agreement apply?
Each individual agreement defines who it applies to. Notwithstanding this, social security agreements cover people who are, or have been, covered by a national insurance scheme in one of the agreement countries. Furthermore, the principle of equal treatment applies in most social security agreements. This means that people from one agreement country must be treated the same as the other country's own nationals while they are in the agreement country and that they have the same rights and obligations in the jurisdiction which the agreement covers. For example, if a country's rules that state that only a country's own nationals are entitled to become members of a national insurance scheme, this has no effect on people who can assert such a right under a social security agreement that gives them that right.
With whom has Norway signed social security agreements?
Norway has signed social security agreements with a number of countries. The most comprehensive agreement Norway has signed is with the EEA countries (the EEA Agreement). A separate social security agreement has been signed with Switzerland, which means the EEA rules also apply in this country.
The Nordic Convention is a special social security agreement between Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. It refers employees to the rules of the EEA Agreement.
Read more about the social security agreements Norway has signed with other countries in the menu to the right.
Most of the main information is available here in English. There are also links to other more detailed information; however, some of this information is only available in Norwegian.