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Norway Expat Forum

Dealing with the Norwegian state

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Jonty
3/15/2012 11:56 EST

I was going to finish with this line. If you're thinking of coming to Norway and have no intention of living in Oslo, I'd suggest you'd need to earn £60,000 a year at least for you to have any kind of standard of living. £22,800 of that wil go in taxes (38%) and 11% of your gross will go as national Insurance contributions. That's £6,600 and leaves you with £30,600 to spend on expensive cars, expensive food, calls and trips "home", lawyers for when the state makes mistakes and, of course, you have to read Paul Hodgkinson's experiences (google "Paul Hodkinson""Norwegian""Nightmare")

When you're in your native country, the state has a duty to pick you up when you fall whereas when you're abroad, you can simply be told you have no right to be in the country if you're not working and, if they do that, what are you going to do about it?

I still have to go back to the UK to see anything more than a GP though emergency stuff even the Norwegians wouldn't dare deny you ... but you can end up with no heating or food in the middle of cold winter in bed with all your clothes on.

If you must leave, go somewhere warm.

rant over ... this was what I meant to write ... sorry it's disjointed. Loads to do so must dash!

As you may have read elsewhere on here, dealing with the Norwegian state can be very unpleasant if you manage to get a reply at all.

UDI ARE pretty quick at replying to you but I had to wait 364 days to get a reply from one Norwegian government department after a few phone calls and reminding about 5 times by email.

Using Google translate. It's OK I suppose for some things but no use for decoding official documents in Norwegian.

I want to get out of Norway but have been waiting 15 months for repairs to my house after extreme weather wrecked the infrastructure then froze the house so until that's fixed I'm stuck here.

You may only be able to afford to live "in the districts" and will therefore be away from the three centres in Norway dedicated for helping foreign workers.

You may well find yourself not actually working but making a 3 hour round trip to this office regarding your residence permit, a 3 hour round trip to another place to deal with tax, your welfare office may well be somewhere else ... you will actually miss the luxury of having everything in the centre of town as in the UK and miss being able to get pizzas and chinese take aways delivered.

I know a LOT of Norwegians who have left Norway as well as foreigners who WERE here for a while who have left which makes me think Norway isn't the best place in the world to live after all.

If you're offered a contract in Norway, be very careful what you accept and price everything carefully. You may be worse off than staying home on the dole especially if you get no reply to your letters and have to make international phone calls once you get home. I know three people who say they have contemplated suicide because of the reality of dealing with the Norwegian state.

You ARE entitled to work here and pay tax and have national insurance taken from you.

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