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Norwegian Student Loans for Foreign Citizens

Living in Norway has a lot of perks. One of them is that you don’t have to pay for education. Even university degrees, Masters and PhDs can be obtained for free.

Even though the education is free, the living is certainly not. Full time study is hard enough but juggling it with a day job to support a family is tough.

A good amount of families in Norway have parents with different citizenships. To make sure that these families have the ability to further their education, Norway has enabled some residents to be eligible for Lånekassen, Student Loans.

Yes, these loans will need to be paid back, and depending on how much you earn with your job, you might only be eligible for a part-loan, but they are handy during a time when the family sacrifices employment for education.

Here is the information from Lånekassen about financial support for foreign citizens:

The main requirement for support from Lånekassen is that you are a Norwegian citizen. However, foreign citizens may also be entitled to financial support.

Requirements for support

If you are a foreign citizen with legal residence in Norway and you are a student here, you may be entitled to financial support if you meet one of the requirements below.

Grounds qualifying for financial support from Lånekassen When applying please enclose documentation to the following

Protection (asylum)

You have been granted protection (asylum) in Norway. If you live in a refugee reception centre, you are not entitled to support. You may only receive a grant for learning materials if you are planning to attend upper secondary education and still live in a refugee reception centre after your asylum application has been granted. You may receive regular financial support when you have moved from the refugee reception centre.

You must submit a

  • copy of the letter of decision you received from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) after you came to Norway, that states when you were granted asylum
  • copy of a valid residence permit

If you are receiving, or will receive, introductory support, you must submit a copy of the decision that proves the period for which you receive introductory support.

Special humanitarian considerations or particular attachment to the country

You have residence in Norway due to special humanitarian considerations or particular attachment to the country. If you live in a refugee reception centre, you are not entitled to support. You may only receive a grant for learning materials if you are planning to attend upper secondary education and still lives in a refugee reception centre after your residence permit has been granted. You may receive regular financial support when you have moved from the refugee reception centre.

You must submit a

  • copy of the decision from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) that states the grounds for being granted residence in Norway
  • copy of a valid residence permit

Married to a Norwegian citizen

You are married / cohabitant with common children / partner to a Norwegian citizen. Both you and your spouse/cohabitant/partner must reside in Norway.

You must submit a

  • copy of a valid residence permit (does not apply to Nordic citizens)
  • copy of documentation that proves marriage or registered partnership with Norwegian citizen, or
  • copy of birth certificate for common children with Norwegian cohabitant

Right of residency as family member of EEA citizen

The EEA citizen must have a different basis for residence in Norway than education.

You must submit a

  • copy of a valid residence permit (does not apply to Nordic citizens)
  • copy of decision from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) or the police that proves that you have been reunited with a family member with a residence permit in Norway (does not apply to Nordic citizens)
  • copy of a valid residence permit or proof of registration for the person you are reunited with (does not apply to Nordic citizens)

You may also be granted support in accordance to this subsection, if you are a Nordic citizen. Please provide information about your family in Norway, which entails father, mother, spouse or cohabitant with whom you have a common child. Enclose his or her name, personal identification number, Norwegian address, how long he or she has lived in Norway and what he or she is doing in Norway (eg. work or education).

Residence permit in connection with a family reunion with a Norwegian or foreign citizen

The person you are reunited with, must have a different basis for residence in Norway than education.

You must submit a

  • copy of a valid residence permit (does not apply to Nordic citizens)
  • copy of the decision from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) or the police that proves that you have been reunited with a family member who has a residence permit in Norway (does not apply to Nordic citizens)
  • copy of a valid residence permit for the person you have been reunited with (does not apply to Nordic citizens)

You may also be granted support in accordance to this subsection, if you are a Nordic citizen. Please provide information about your family in Norway, which entails father, mother, spouse or cohabitant with whom you have a common child. Enclose his or her name, personal identification number, Norwegian address, how long he or she has lived in Norway and what he or she is doing in Norway (eg. work or education).

Full-time employment

You have been a resident of and held continuous full-time employment in Norway for at least 24 months just prior to starting the education. You must have held a residence permit as an employee and paid tax to Norway during this period. Note that au pair work does not qualify as full-time employment.

You must submit a

  • copy of a valid work permit (does not apply to Nordic citizens) for the entire period
  • documentation from employer that proves that you have had continuous full-time employment in Norway for at least 24 months just prior to starting the education. The documentation must be signed by the employer and include an official logo or stamp.
  • confirmation from employer, printout of tax return form or other documentation that proves that you have paid tax in Norway during the same period

Education

You have completed education in Norway for at least three years just prior to the academic year and you have passed education that corresponds to at least three years of full-time education. In this period you may not have received support for the education from Lånekassen, public educational support schemes in other countries (eg. Centrala studiestödsnämnden or Uddannelsesstyrelsen), Norad, Erasmus Mundus, The Norwegian Program for Development, Research and Education (NUFU) or corresponding schemes.

You must submit a

  • copy of a valid residence permit (does not apply to Nordic citizens)
  • grade transcript or diploma for education you have completed in Norway

 

National of EEA or EFTA country

Employees from EEA or EFTA countries and their family members, may also be entitled to financial support if they meet one of the requirements below.

Grounds qualifying for financial support from Lånekassen When applying please enclose documentation to the following

EEA or EFTA citizen with employee status

You are a EEA or EFTA citizen with employee status in Norway. There must be a professional connection between your work in Norway and the education you are applying for. If you have become involuntarily unemployed due to general changes in the labour market, the professional connection requirement does not apply.

You must submit a

  • copy of a valid work permit or proof of registration (does not apply to Nordic citizens)
  • confirmation from your Norwegian employer(s) that proves the period(s) you have worked in Norway, what the work consisted of and the workload

Child of a EEA or EFTA citizen with employee status in Norway

Other family members may also be entitled to support.

If one or both of your parents are Nordic citizens, you must submit

  • confirmation that proves that one of your parents is employed in Norway

If your parents are from a country outside the Nordic area, you must submit a

  • copy of a valid residence permit or proof of registration for one of your parents
  • confirmation from employer of work in Norway

If you, yourself are from a country outside the Nordic area, you must, in addition to documentation for your parents, submit a

  • copy of valid residence permit, proof of registration or residence card for yourself

Married / cohabitant with common children / partner of EEA or EFTA citizen with employee status in Norway

Other family members may also be entitled to support.

If your spouse/cohabitant/partner is a Nordic citizen, you must submit

  • confirmation from employer that proves that he/she is employed in Norway

If your spouse/cohabitant/partner is from a country outside of the Nordic area, you must submit a

  • copy of a valid residence permit or proof of registration for him/her
  • confirmation from the employer of his/her work in Norway

Permanent residence in Norway

You are a EEA citizen, or a family member of a EEA citizen, and you have permanent residence in Norway.

You must submit a

  • copy of permanent residence permit / residence card (does not apply to Nordic citizens)

If you are a Nordic citizen, you must submit

  • confirmation that proves that you have been a resident of Norway for a continuous period of at least five years prior to the education for which you are applying for support. You may for example submit confirmation from employer(s) that proves that you have worked in Norway, or confirmation from academic institution(s) that proves that you have been studying. Lånekassen will check information on registered residence with the national register.

 

Quota students

Separate rules apply for students from developing countries, the Western Balkan countries, countries in Eastern Europe and Central-Asia.

Grounds qualifying for financial support from Lånekassen When applying please enclose documentation to the following

Quota student

You have been accepted to a university college or university on the basis of a quota programme for nationals of developing countries, the Western Balkan countries, countries in Eastern Europe or Central Asia.

For information on which academic institutions and educational programs are included in the quota scheme, please contact your Norwegian university and university college. Read more about the quota scheme here or go to The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU).

You must submit the following to your academic institution:

  • copy of the decision from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI)
  • documentation of entry to Norway, for example airline ticket, boarding card or intinerary

Lånekassen will receive confirmation from the academic institution that you have been accepted under a quota program.

 

Remember, a loan isn’t free money – it means you have to pay it back.  You would want to pay it back while you live in Norway.  Returning to your home country that has less money value than Norway could mean you will never be able to pay off the loan.

Be wise and think ahead 10 years of where you will be after you have finished your education.  Will the student loan be worth it?

Information correct at publishing.

http://www.lanekassen.no/Toppmeny/Languages/English/Financial-support-for-foreign-students/Who-is-eligible/

 

In the Blue Light Hour – Windbreakers

We get cold winds down from the Finnmark plateau and so the trees that surround our fields are our windbreakers.

National Insurance Contributions in Norway

From the National Insurance Contributions page on Nav.no:

If you are a member of the National Insurance Scheme, you will have to pay national insurance contributions.

Calculating and collecting national insurance contributions
When you pay taxes to Norway, the Norwegian Tax Administration determines the size of national insurance contributions and deducts them from your pay.

National insurance contributions are calculated on personal income and pension. The contribution rates for 2011are:
– Personal income 7.8 percent
– Personal income from self-employment 11.0 percent
– Pension 4.7 percent

The basis for calculation of the contributions is set by the Tax Administration Authorities. The annual tax assessment notice will show how much you have paid in national insurance contributions.
If you do not pay taxes in Norway but are nevertheless a member of the National Insurance Scheme, it will be NAV that sets and collects the contributions.

NAV Local Services Office – if you work in Norway
NAV National Office for Social Insurance Abroad – if you work outside Norway

The contribution rates for voluntary membership vary on the basis of whether the employer is required to pay employer’s contributions in Norway or not.

Contribution rates for voluntary membership – when employer is required to pay employer’s contributions
– Health section 6.8 percent
– Health section with entitlement to sickness benefit 6.8 percent
– Pension section 14.3 percent

Contribution rates for voluntary membership – when employer is not required to pay employer’s contributions
– Health section 9.1 percent
– Health section with entitlement to sickness benefit 13.8 percent
– Pension section 21.2 percent

Correct at time of publishing.

http://www.nav.no/English/Membership+in+The+National+Insurance+Scheme/National+Insurance+Contributions

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