A stay abroad requires good planning and a number of practical preparations, especially if you are staying abroad for a longer period and will be accompanied by your family. Here, we provide you with a checklist, UiO-specific information and links to websites with further information.
- Are there administrative questions that you must discuss or clarify with UiO? Contact your immediate superior.
- Register new address, possibly temporary work place abroad with pertaining period of validity, in the HR portal under Personal Profile, see guide.
- If you wish to have payments from UiO transferred to a foreign bank account, e.g. your salary during a research stay abroad, you must complete the form for bank information (pdf) and send it to the Group for salary payment at the Payroll Office. When returning to Norway, remember to inform the Group for salary payment at the Payroll Office about changes from a Foreign to a Norwegian bank account. Such changes must be recorded manually to insure that the IBAN, BIC and currency codes are removed correctly.
2. Passport, visa and permits
- Make sure your passport is valid for at least three months beyond the date on which you plan to return home. The passport must have sufficient space for new stamps/permits. Some countries require you to have an electronic passport in order to work there. Children who accompany you must have their own passports. Apply well in advance if you need a new passport.
- Do you need a visa, work and residence permit, or take care of other official business? The host institution and the country's embassy in Norway (regjeringen.no) can provide information. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs' country and travel information (landsider.no) (Norwegian) is a good place to start. If you are going to a European country, you can find useful information on the country's national EURAXESS portal (ec.europa.eu). Remember that there will often be requirements regarding the translation of documents, medical examinations, health certificates, vaccinations, etc.
3. Social security and pensions
- Health insurance, pension accrual in the National Insurance Scheme, insurance in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund and benefit schemes for parents are all tied to membership in the National Insurance Scheme. Before you leave, you should therefore find out whether your membership in the National Insurance Scheme will continue while you are abroad, and whether you can apply for voluntary membership.
- You may also need to bring forms from NAV to your host country.
- If you maintain membership in the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme while abroad, you will earn pension points while you are abroad. If you are not a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme while abroad, you do not accrue entitlements to national insurance cover or pension points. This may have consequences in relation to, for example, applications for old-age pensions, disability pensions and survivor's pensions. Find out whether you will accrue pension points in your host country and consider the options for private savings.
- Read about Working abroad and Staying abroad (nav.no), Rights to health care when staying abroad (helsenorge.no) (Norwegian) and Social security (euraxess.no).
- To clarify these issues further, contact the NAV National Office for Social Insurance Abroad (nav.no) (Norwegian).
- Read more about social security during stays abroad
- Travel insurance provided by an employer usually only covers business travel that is paid by the employer.
- Contact your insurance company to safeguard your interests while abroad.
- Obtain the necessary documentation.
- Read more about insurance during stays abroad.
- Contact your local tax office to find out how your stay abroad will affect your tax situation.
- Norway has tax agreements (regjeringen.no) with a number of countries in order to prevent double taxation.
- Ensure that the tax office has been informed of your dates of departure and return.
- Tax Cards are obtained automatically by the Payroll Office each month.
- If you lease out your home in Norway, scholarships for or expense-reimbursement of, accomodation abroad will not be tax-exempt.
- Read more about taxes during stays abroad.
6. Use of IT resources
If you plan to use IT resources during your journey and stay abroad, you should take some precautions regarding security. This is especially important when traveling to a high-risk country. Read USIT's recommendations on using IT resources for travel abroad.
If your partner accompanies you abroad, you may want to look into the options for work, education, self-employment or telecommuting. Dual careers (euraxess.no) is a good place to start this research.
If your children will accompany you, you may have to clarify your entitlements to benefit schemes, the relationship to the Norwegian kindergarten/school, securing a place in a kindergarten/school abroad, the documentation requirements (transcripts, level/grades) and access to Norwegian social security benefits while abroad. Read more about benefit schemes for parents and Children and school (euraxess.no).
- Accommodation abroad
- Investigate accommodation options and standards in the location where you will be living. Your host institution may be able to help.
- If you are renting accommodation, you should always have a written contract. Your host institution or the national renter's association can provide advice.
- Check whether you will need adapters for electrical appliances you bring from Norway.
- Renting out your residence in Norway
- You can place an ad on www.finn.no, www.hybel.no, www.airbnb.no or www.sabbaticalhomes.com (a website for home exchanges and home rentals for academics going abroad).
- If you wish to rent your Norwegian home to an international researcher at UiO, you can advertise your home on UiO's bulletin board for private accommodation. Below the table with current advertisements, follow the link Answer this form to register your apartment/house.
- It is also a good idea to inquire with your own and other departments about whether foreign researchers who may be interested in renting your home are expected to arrive.
- You should always write a contract for the rental. A standard tenancy contract for Dwellings and related documents (forbrukerradet.no) (Norwegian) can be downloaded free of charge both in Norwegian and English from the Norwegian Consumer Concil's website.
- Check whether there are any issues related to your home insurance during the rental period.
- Rental income is tax exempt up to NOK 20 000 per calendar year. If the rental income exceeds NOK 20 000, the entire amount is taxable. Read more about tax on the letting of housing (skatteetaten.no).
- Notification of move abroad to the authorities
You must report moving from Norway (skatteetaten.no) to the National Population Register if you are staying abroad for at least six months and no family member remains in your residence in Norway.
- Change of address
Notify your private, official and business contacts about your new address abroad and how long it is valid for. These may include UiO, the tax office, your local NAV office, the armed forces, your bank, insurance company, and housing cooperative/co-ownership.
- Cancel subscriptions and memberships
Remember to cancel subscriptions that should not continue while you are abroad, such as telephone, electricity, newspapers and magazines, memberships in associations and organisations.
The Norwegain postal service offers temporary redirection of mail for individuals (posten.no). Redirecting mail abroad can be time-consuming and is not free. Consider whether Posten can forward your mail to your family, neighbour or perhaps your department, in order for these to send you any mail that is important.
- If you continue to use your Norwegian current account, you should consider getting an international credit card. Avail yourself of the opportunity to acquire a private credit card through UiO's agreement with Eurocard or get in touch with your bank.
- If you wish to have payments from UiO transferred to a foreign bank account, e.g. your salary during a research stay abroad, you must complete the form for bank account information (pdf) and send it to the Group for salary payment at the Payroll Office.
- Consider whether to provide someone with the authorisation to do bank transfers, access your safety box, etc.
- Driver's licence
If you will be driving while abroad, you must check whether your Norwegian driver's licence is valid or whether you need an international licence (vegvesen.no).
- Moving goods
- If you permanently leave your Norwegian residence, you must decide which household goods to bring and which to store.
- Find out whether your employer covers moving/storage expenses and if so under which conditions.
- Get an overview of the time it takes to transport the items. You should always buy transport insurance.
- Check import-/export restrictions (toll.no) (Norwegian). Every country has its own customs regulations, including the individual countries within the EU. You should always examine import regulations with the host country's customs before moving. Normally, freight forwarding companies har aware of and abide by customs rules, but as the responsible importer you should check the legal conditions in advance. China, for example, has many types of books that are not allowed in.
- If you intend to bring with you large amounts of cash, there are rules for pre-registration in Norway and all other countries in the world (except Turkey).
- Read more about moving (euraxess.no).
10. What can you expect?
- You should always consult the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' country and travel information (landsider.no) (Norwegian) when you plan to go abroad.
- Relevant background information on countries from which Norway receives asylum seekers and refugees can be found on LandInfo (landinfo.no) (only partially available in English), which is the immigration administration's centre for country of origin information.
- Beyond the information available on these websites, your best option is to talk with people who have been to the country, city or university you are travelling to. Inquire in your academic and private networks.
Studies show that many people who have lived abroad for an extended period find that their return home is more challenging than the stay abroad. One of the reasons for this is that the return is expected to be unproblematic and is therefore not planned well. However, you should plan your return home just as well as you plan your stay abroad - legally, economically and practically.
Most of the points above will also apply to your planning of the return home. You should also consider the following:
- Before you return
Discuss your expectations about your return with your immediate superior at UiO. Ask whether changes have occurred or are being planned for your workplace.
- After you return
- Share your experiences and assess your stay abroad and its organisation before, during and after the stay with your immediate superior.
- Update your address in the HR portal under Personal Profile, see guide.
- If you have had payments from UiO transferred to a foreign bank account, e.g. salary during a research stay abroad, remember to inform the Group for salary payment at the Payroll Office about changes from a Foreign to a Norwegian bank account. Such changes must be recorded manually to insure that the IBAN, BIC and currency codes are removed correctly.
- Before you return
- Residence in Norway
It is important that your residence and household goods are available to you at the right time.
If you have children, you should make sure that everything is in order with their kindergarten, school etc. well in advance of your return. Find out what documentation you should provide regarding their schooling while abroad.
- Change of address notification to the authorities
Notify the authorities (skatteetaten.no) that you and your family have returned to Norway. The notification must be made within eight days of your arrival in Norway. This requires you to meet in person at a tax office, which will check your identity (skatteetaten.no).
- Importation of household goods and other goods
- If you have lived abroad continuously for more than one year, you may bring most of your household goods to Norway free of duties and taxes. Check out the details (toll.no). Remember to complete the moving goods declaration (toll.no) that you must submit to the Customs Administration at the time the goods are imported to Norway. If you do not personally travel with the household goods you must make sure that the shipper has the documents, and that they are handed to Customs at the time of importation.
- Goods charged with excise duties can, as a rule, not be introduced duty free as household goods. Such goods include cars, alcohol, tobacco, etc.
- If you have taken with you, or purchased, pets during your stay abroad, you must make sure that they have all necessary vaccinations. You should have been in contact with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (mattilsynet.no) well in advance of repatriation to be sure you have all your paperwork in order. The VAT is also charged on pets acquired abroad.
- The regular import of goods requires that you pay customs and taxes. Read about importing goods to Norway (toll.no) (Norwegian).
- Note: Be aware of that all this must be done at the border. It's too late to try to arrange customs clearance after the goods have been introduced. Alongside a potentially significant tax claim due to unlawful importation of goods you will also be charged an administrative fee.
- Tax card
Order a tax deduction card (skatteetaten.no) if you do not already have one. UiO will obtain your tax deduction card automatically from the Tax Administration after you have ordered it.
- Social security
- As an employee in Norway, you are a member of the National Insurance Scheme as of your first day of work. Read more about your relationship to the National Insurance Scheme on your return to Norway (nav.no).
- Notify your local NAV Office (nav.no) (Norwegian) that you have returned to Norway.