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Social security during stays abroad

Membership in the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme is one of the most important benefits of living or working in Norway. Always contact the National Office for Social Insurance Abroad (nav.no) if you are unsure of whether you retain your rights when moving abroad.


Membership in the National Insurance Scheme

General issues

  • Persons resident in Norway who are abroad temporarily retain membership in the National Insurance Scheme as long as they are not performing paid work abroad. Being abroad 'temporarily' means stays of up to 12 months, provided that the intention is to subsequently be in Norway for at least 12 months.
  • For work-related stays of more than 12 months for which your salaried is paid from Norway, you must apply for membership in the National Insurance Scheme during stays abroad (nav.no) (Norwegian ). Your employer, represented by the Payroll Office must certify part 15 of the application. Apply well in advance - the processing time is up to 12 weeks!
  • We recommend that you apply to maintain your membership in the National Insurance Scheme even when your stay abroad will extend beyond 12 months. You will then get a written confirmation that you remain a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme.
  • If the tax office has granted you a tax exemption for salary earned abroad, you must always apply to maintain your membership in the National Insurance Scheme, regardless of the duration of your stay abroad.
  • If you have decided to extend your stay abroad beyond one year, you must be aware that your National Insurance entitlements are terminated as of the date this decision is made. The same applies when you accept paid work abroad. Contact the NAV National Office for Social Insurance Abroad (nav.no) for a further clarification.
  • You are required to notify your local NAV office (nav.no) if you return to Norway sooner than you indicated in your application to retain membership while abroad.
  • Read more about Working abroad (nav.no) and Staying abroad (nav.no), Entitlements to health care when staying abroad (helsenorge.no) (Norwegian) and Social security (euraxess.no).

Control questions you should ask yourself

Family members

  • Family members who accompany your from Norway are automatically members of the National Insurance Scheme during stays that last for less than 12 months, provided that they do not work while abroad.
  • For longer stays, dependants may be covered by the employee's decision about membership. The spouse must have been a member of the National Insurance Scheme for at least three full years in the past five years immediately prior to the date the application is made.
  • It is possible to accumulate points for care work for unpaid care for children below the age of seven. You can get further information and an application form from the NAV National Office for Social Insurance Abroad (nav.no). Those who retain entitlements to child benefits will automatically accumulate points for care work.

Working within the EEA/Switzerland

  • During temporary stays, you should bring your European Health Insurance Card (ec.europa.eu). The card documents that you are entitled to coverage for expenses for necessary medical treatment when you are temporarily in another EEA country (helsenorge.no) (Norwegian) or Switzerland. You are entitled to treatment in the same manner as citizens of the country in question. Order the card online (nav.no). It will be sent to you by mail within about a week.
  • The health insurance card provides coverage according to the rules applicable in the country you are in. For example, in France, people must generally pay 20 per cent of the cost of hospitalisation themselves. Any repatriation to Norway is never covered. In other words, you may want to buy additional private travel insurance.
  • For those travelling to Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, we recommend that you always apply for membership in the National Insurance Scheme during stays abroad (nav.no) (Norwegian). In these countries, the public health system is assessed in such a way that you can be reimbursed pursuant to the National Insurance Act, which requires that you can document your membership.
  • With the exception of short business trips, we generally recommend applying to maintain membership in the National Insurance Scheme during work-related stays in EEA countries or Switzerland - including for stays of up to 12 months. To confirm your membership, the NAV National Office for Social Insurance Abroad (nav.no) issues EEA form A1 (previously E-101) (for stays up to 12 months) or S1 (previously E-106) (for stays of one to six years). This form must be submitted to the national insurance authorities in the country in which you are working. You will then be exempted from paying national insurance contributions in this country.

Working outside the EEA/Switzerland

  • Those who work abroad temporarily (up to 12 months) and are paid by UiO/a Norwegian employer, are required to retain membership in the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme. The membership includes all chapters of the National Insurance Act. This provides an automatic entitlement to extended benefits for health services.
  • When working abroad for more than 12 months while being paid by a Norwegian employer, you must apply for membership in the National Insurance Scheme during stays abroad (nav.no) (Norwegian).
  • We recommend that you also apply to retain your membership for stays of up to 12 months, to ensure that your membership has been registered by the NAV National Office for Social Insurance Abroad.
  • If you have been granted a tax exemption for your stay, you must always apply to retain your membership.
  • Your entitlements will depend on whether there is a social security agreement (nav.no) with your host country.

Working in the USA and Canada

Reimbursement from the National Insurance Scheme

Benefit schemes for parents

Parental benefits

Child benefits

Cash-for-care benefit (kontantstøtte)

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Published Oct. 30, 2012 1:50 PM - Last modified Jan. 12, 2018 1:54 PM