Ukranian Refugees and Immigration to Norway

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Norway is a gem of a country that lies in Northern Europe. If you don’t find the fjords of Norway an interesting attraction then possibly the undulating landscape, ice covered mountains and seashore cities such as Kristiansand and Bergen will be something intriguing.

Generally, Norwegians are normally friendly towards foreigners and tourists who settle in there. Every year, people from different parts of the world come to Norway for reasons including but not limited to family reunification, protection, education, and employment. Being part of the global community of nations, Norway tries at all times to respect the UN requirement to offer safe haven for people whose life is genuinely under threat as is the case with Ukrainians.

Ways of Coming to Norway

There are different ways that foreigners experiencing war in their nations such as Ukraine can use to come to Norway, and one of them is by getting transported by Norwegians from the borders including Poland border. Any individual transporting the Ukrainian refugees to the nation have to report to the National Police Immigration Service. The email used is [email protected] or on the phone 22 80 66 00. The Poland border is currently crowded; thus, they can also cross through Siret (Romania), Mogilev-Podolskiy (Moldova), Zahony-Chop (Hungary), and Vysne Nemescke (Slovakia).

The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration gets several inquiries on the transportation of refugees to Norway. Even though there is war in Ukraine, the right channel should be used to transport people, and they are supposed to have proper documentation. The reason is that transporting people without correct documents is human trafficking.

All Norwegian foreigners must enter legally. The different ways of traveling to Norway legally include:

  • Visa-free travel to Norway (one must have a biometric passport)
  • Already has a valid Norwegian Visitor’s visa
  • Have a valid residence permit in Norway

Also, the Ukrainians on the Norwegian border can apply for protection whether they have legally traveled there or not.

Can I come to Norway without a visa, Id documents, biometrics, or passport?

Yes, you can come to Norway and seek asylum even if you do not have these documents and you are already on the Norwegian border. Currently, the Norwegian authorities do not consider nations experiencing war as safe. Thus, the government will provide them with temporary collective protection in Norway. However, if one does not want to apply for asylum, the above three conditions apply in a case where there are no documents. More information about this can be found on UDI.

Processing Residence in Norway

Initially, as a rule, foreigners coming to Norway were supposed to apply for a residence permit to work or live in Norway in their nation’s embassy. Unfortunately in a case such as war in Ukraine, the Norwegian embassy in Ukraine is currently closed. It means one cannot make an application while still in Norway. Therefore, the Embassy in Ankara handles Ukrainian citizens’ applications, and their applications can also be handled by Norway if they are on the Norwegian border.

The following are the centers accepting visitor’s visas from the Ukrainians if one is not at the Norwegian border:

  • The VFS Visa Application Centre in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, or Antalya, which represents the embassy
  • VFS Visa Application Centre in Prishtina, Kosovo
  • VFS Visa Application Centre in Baku, Azerbaijan 
  • VFS Visa Application Centre in Beograd, Serbia

The Ukrainians who have entered Norway can stay with family, social networks, and friends till they get more information. One does not have to show up for registration at National Arrival Centre. It is applicable whether one has the required ID documents or biometric passport or not.

Although the rule applies when one arrives recently, since 16th March, the Ukrainian citizens making an application can register in different places. If one is far, then they can contact the police to transport them to the nearest place where they can register. Moreover, the individuals with no place to stay may contact the police.

The following are the contacts of different police districts where one can apply for collective protection:

Oslo, Eastern, South-eastern, and Innlandet Police District

The people in South-Eastern Norway can register at National Arrivals Centre in Råde. Their phone number is 40 02 61 90. Also, the phone is manned from Monday to Friday between 9 am to 8 pm and Saturday and Sunday between 9:00 to 16:00.

Agder Police District

One has to make an appointment before visiting the police station. They can be contacted through [email protected] and phone number 38 13 60 00 or 02800. The phone is manned from Monday to Friday from 8.00 and 15.30.

Finnmark Police District

The individuals who have not registered can do so by booking an appointment at the police station. The station’s phone number is 45 72 00 64, and they are open from Monday to Friday between 10,00 and 14.00. Also, they can be contacted through their email address [email protected]. When sending an email, just state your phone number, and the police will call in a booking appointment.

Møre and Romsdal Police District

When visiting this police station, it is important to first book an appointment. When one needs to register, he or she can contact the police through their phone number 70 11 87 00 or 02800. The phone is manned from 8:00 to 15:00.

Nordland Police District

In case one has been contacted with the police, then they can wait while they schedule an appointment. If not, they can be contacted at 75 58 90 00. Besides, they operate from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 15:00. Also, they may be contacted through their email address [email protected].

Southwestern Police District

Any Ukrainian in the South of the country can meet at hotel Sverre in Storgata 45, Sandnes. In that place, the police will contact the people and book an appointment. In addition, those in the north of the country who have not registered can do so at Haugesund police station in Smedasundet 50, Haugesund.

While visiting the police stations, one should first book an appointment. They can do so through their phone number 48 99 66 50. The place operates between 8:00 and 22:00 daily.

Troms Police District

It is important to book an appointment first before visiting the place. The place operates Monday to Friday between 08:15 and 15:30. Appointments can be made through their phone number 77 79 60 00.

Trøndelag Police District

Anyone who has not registered and is around Trøndelag can do so by contacting the Police District. They operate from 08:00 and 15:00. Their phone number is 73 89 90 90.

Western Police District

Unlike the other police districts, anyone around Kostad can visit the place to register. One does not have to book an appointment before registration. The hotel’s address is Kokstadflaten 2, 5257 Kokstad (google maps). The police are at the hotel daily from 08:00 to 20:00.

The asylum seekers that do not have a place to stay can get emergency accommodation at the hotel. However, it is important to note that in some cases, there may be long wait times when many people arrive at the same time.

Foreigners are Granted Temporary Protection in Norway

Any person that previously resides in a war affected nation entitled to temporary protection from any EU nation. The temporary protection will last for at least one year, depending on how things unfold in their nations. The things included in the temporary application include access to education for the children, access to housing and labor market, medical assistance, and residence permit.

All the nationals and their families displaced because of war are entitled to temporary protection. Also, nationals from third nations and the stateless individuals who got protection in war inflicted countries such as Ukraine and their families can get protection. To be on the safe side, one should have documents such as Id and passports to make the registration process easy.

Opening a Bank Account in Norway

Norway is one of the nations with a strong economy, and this means that it will play a significant role in helping the refugees. The services provided by the Norwegian banks include investment advice, overseas banking, mortgage, financial advice, low-interest loans, and asset financing.

The process of opening a bank account in Norway is not complicated. The following documents are needed:

  • Passport
  • Passport photo
  • Norwegian National Identification Number (Personal Number or D-number)
  • Apartment rental contract or lease

It is important to note that the refugees coming to Norway need to get D-number. They can get it from the police district offices as listed above. Apart from opening a bank account, the temporary identification number gives them access to other services. Refugees such as Ukrainians possessing biometric passports can stay in Norway for 90 days with no visa. However, they have to register to access services from authorities.

For any person who wants to open a bank account online, the services are available in Norway. Nevertheless, one should first create an account with a credit rating company, including Experian. It helps in the processing and registration process. Moreover, identity verification is important, and it can be done by visiting a post office.

There are several banks. However, some of the popular ones include:

DinBank: It is a good bank. It is for everyone, including foreigners in Norway, and it has low prices, loan options, and savings.

Bank Norwegian: In this bank, most transactions take place online. Besides, one can open accounts, apply for a mortgage, and get credit online.

Nordea: the bank has a varied network of ATMs as well as customer service chat. It is considered one of the best bets. Also, they have a full banking product for businesses and individuals. Also, their app is in English, which is good for refugees.

Skandia: it has an excellent online platform. Moreover, it has full service in English as well as a large network. There is a possibility of carrying out banking services online with the bank.

D number

A D number refers to a temporary identification number that one gets from the Norwegian Tax Administration. It is given when one needs an identification number in Norway, but unfortunately, they do not meet the criteria of getting a national identity number.

The number is important for the Ukrainians because it will be needed when they go to seek services in private and public companies. The D number gives one the chance of opening a bank account, paying taxes, renting a place to live, and getting a general practitioner. Besides, it has 11 numbers. Refugees can get the D number from the above-listed police district by calling them during working hours which depends on each district.

The following are the people who need D number

  • One is going to open a bank account
  • Receiving benefits
  • Going to run a business or work
  • Own a residential property
  • Asylum seeker or individual with another valid residence permit
  • Board member in an enterprise

Housing in Norway

There are varied houses in Norway, including apartments, semi-detached homes, detached homes, and others. The main ways of getting housing in Norway include housing companies, housing websites, and municipal housing. More about renting a house in Norway can be found on the website.

The following are the housing companies where one can check for rental houses:

  • Nestpick
  • Rentberry
  • Housing Anywhere
  • Facebook Marketplace

After identifying a place to rent, it is important to consider the deposit. Norway has a very high deposit, and it is equal to about three months’ rent. On top of that, the first month’s rent should be added. Moreover, the security deposit is deposited in a separate account which both the tenant and the landlord cannot withdraw during the tenancy agreement.

A contract is very vital when making the decision to rent a place. The contract needs to include the following:

  • Deposit conditions
  • The amount of rent that is supposed to be paid
  • Property to be rented
  • Parties’ addresses and names

Depending on the tenancy agreement, the utility bill can or cannot be included in the rent. Thus, it is critical to ask before making any decision. Besides, a tenant cannot terminate a lease at any moment for no reason. Thus, three months’ notice should be given before moving out.

The average rent in Norway mainly depends on the place one is residing. The minimum house rent in Norway is 4000 NOK, approximately $ 437 up to 45 000 NOK ($ 4914) monthly. The following is the average rent for various cities:

  • Stavanger—8,100 NOK (885 USD)
    • Oslo and Bærum—11,240 NOK (1,230 USD)
    • Trondheim—9,070 NOK (990 USD)
    • Bergen—8,880 NOK (970 USD)

The Important Applications to have in Norway

In Norway, there is WIFI in most of the places, making it easy to communicate. These applications make any foreigners’ stay in Norway easier.

Language Application

There are various language applications. However, most of them are paid. With the war in Ukraine, Ling App offers a free Ukrainian Language course. Therefore, while the Ukrainians are learning other languages, the world can also discover the Ukrainian culture and language for free. In accessing the Ling App for free, one should:

  • Download the application
  • Sign up by creating an account
  • Setting the native language to be Ukrainian
  • Selecting the language one wants to learn
  • Downloading and commencing the lessons

Trail Wallet

Trail Wallet is an important application to have while in Norway. It helps one to spend money earlier and keep liquid throughout the stay. Besides, the application helps an individual track their expenses. The application gives one the chance to set a daily budget or even monthly.

Transportation and travel applications

Vygruppen or Vy is a state-owned application. The application plays an essential role in planning one’s trip door to door using boats, the subway, taxis, buses, and trains. Besides, it shows an individual the nearby city bikes and scooters for rent in the large cities.

The application is considered the best solution to the current climate challenges. The reason is that it contributes to a sustainable society daily when the consumers choose to travel using the eco-friendly transport solution. Moreover, the app is good as it ensures a good customer experience, is an industry leader in innovation and is efficient.

Other applications such as RuterBillett App and SAS enable one to check information on the existing bookings new bookings, scan electronic board pass, and check-in. Essentially, they enable an individual to purchase and show tickets and search for certain route information.

News and weather apps

Every individual who is in Norway pays for NRK. The application is free and plays an important role in making one keep up with the Norwegian news. Basically, it is web content in an application.

For the weather forecasts, one may use Storm and Yr. they are both free. The applications offer information concerning the upcoming days’ weather in Norway. Although they are applicable globally, their forecasts are highly accurate in Norway.

Mobile Subscription in Norway

After arriving in important, it is important to have internet as well as a way of communicating with family and friends. The market for mobile subscriptions is highly competitive as there are varied companies with enticing offers to their customers. The largest telecommunication company is Telenor, followed by Telia, then Ice Norge, and others.

Telenor offers stable and fast internet that enables one to watch Tv, stream series, and work while at home. Also, it offers a mobile subscription for an individual as well as the rest of the family. One can choose from a fixed data package or unlimited data monthly. Apart from the services, it sells mobile phones to consumers, and one can even take them on credit.

Telia is a secure mobile subscription service in Norway. For instance, by subscribing to Telia X, one gets unlimited data as well as automatic insurance against misuse of SIM cards, ID insurance, Appkjop, ID insurance, and Nettslett.

With the war in Ukraine, Telia has even made it easier for them to communicate with their loved ones back at home. In making it easier for the consumers to keep in touch with their loved ones, Ukraine will not be charged for making calls to and from Ukraine. However, it is important to remember that this is applicable to ordinary landline numbers as well as mobile but not special numbers. The same is applicable for MMS and SMS.

Ice Norge offers mobile subscriptions, mobile broadband, and mobile phones to consumers. The firm plays an essential role in building the new mobile network in Norway by offering the consumers more data but at a low price. The firm has won awards for being the best customer service and customer center in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

In Norway, there are mainly two kinds of mobile plans. It is important for one to choose the best plan while considering convenience and cost. The main two mobile plans in the country are Abonnement (contract) and Kontantkort (pay-as-you-go). Any person with a short visa should go for the pay as you go as only a few documents are needed. However, the case of people who want to stay for a longer duration (more than 90 days) should opt for the contract plan.

In getting a mobile subscription, the main requirement is Norwegian personal registration (D-number). It is used in the registration of the contract. Thus, the number has to be verifiable and valid.

Studying in Norway

Norway has one of the best high academic standards, informal relations among lecturers and students, and innovative teaching methods. International students, including Ukrainians, have all the reasons to study in Norway as it is a technologically advanced society, peaceful, and safe.

In doing a degree in Norway, one can do so through developed exchange agreements or programs between institutions. Also, one may just come to Norway and follow its whole Master’s or Bachelors’s degree course. To apply for a degree in Norway, one can do so at studyinnorway.no.

Due to the current war in Ukraine, Belarus, Russian, and Ukrainian students who are unable to access their bank accounts will be given a scholarship. The scholarship will play a major role in assisting those students in pursuing their careers. Every student eligible for the aid will get about €1,191 monthly as the doctorate students get €2,175. The scheme will be available from March to August, and there is the possibility of an extension in the future.

According to the minister, “Many Ukrainian students in Norway are having a very hard time now, both mentally and financially. In addition, it is important for us those Russian and Belarusian students also participate in this scheme. These students are just as innocent in the war that has arisen as you and me.” The minister believes that it will be unfair for the students to discontinue their studies as they are currently undergoing financial hardships.

Furthermore, the students in exchange visas in Norway will get temporary residence permits while continuing with their degree studies. The other issues to be addressed include housing, language requirements, funding, documentation before education, admission requirements, and application deadlines.

The Ukrainians can study the English taught programs in Norway. The deadline for the applications for higher education is 15th April. Institutions such as the University of Bergen Rector Margareth Hagen is highly interested in offering help. While the Ukrainians cannot go home, the Russian students in Norway may also lose access to their home bank accounts because of sanctions. It means that they both need help.

 Universities In Norway Offering Master of Ukraine Studies Course

  • University Of Bergen
  • University Of Oslo
  • NLA University College
  • Nord University
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • University Of Bergen Rector Margareth Hagen

Basically, the academic calendar of Norway does run from August yearly. However, in some cases, changes can be made. In making a successful application, one should choose a program matching the previous education. It makes it easier for the board to accept the application instead of struggling to match the current and past education because denial can result in an annulation of admission. As a student, living in Norway is so costly. Thus, one needs to spend appropriately.

The Norwegian municipalities expected more Ukrainians to come to the nation currently because of war. For the Ukrainian children, the Norwegian government agreed that they would get schooling even with no registration. The reason is that the children have a right to lower secondary and primary education if they will be in Norway for over 3 months.

In a place like Bergen, a school has already been established for Ukrainian children. The municipality is highly working in ensuring that the children run in the best way possible. Besides, it is important for the children to get some form of education so that they do not feel left out by their peers across the globe. Even the children living in the private addresses will attend the local schools.

Shopping in Norway

Currency is one of the most important things to consider before shopping. Norway does not use the Euro currency, and its official currency is the Norwegian Krone (NOK). 1 Norwegian Krone equals 3,37 Ukrainian hryvnia, and one can easily use the Google currency converter. Most of the shops in Norway have their price tags in NOK, and that is the reason it is important to convert it and know the much you are spending on anything.

Most of the shopping centers in Norway open from 9 am to 8 pm. However, on Saturdays, they may close one hour before the usual time. Besides, most of the shopping malls are so family-friendly. It means that they have a kids’ area, kids’ play stations, and a kids’ shop, as well as a place to eat and get entertained.

A high number of shops in Norway accept credit card payments. Also, those shops are the best ones to purchase fashion clothing for women, men, and kids.

Concerning supermarkets in Norway, the place is believed to have the most expensive groceries. Therefore, the groceries will feel pricey, and that is the reason to have apps for different supermarkets and compare the price. The best way of searching for supermarkets is using google maps and searching “supermarkets near me.”

The most popular chain store in Norway is Rema 1000. As a regular consumer, it is important to download the company’s app. The reason is that the members usually get about 10% on all fruits, veg, as well as frequently bought items. Apart from Rema 1000, the other popular storers include Joker, Bunnpris, Kiwi, Coop, and Meny.

The main places to shop in Norway include:

  • Stavanger Storsenter
  • Lagunen Storsenter
  • Karl Johans Gate Shopping Area
  • Aker Brygge
  • Oslo City Shopping Center
  • Old Market
  • Villvin Market
  • Viking Market
  • Farmer’s Market
  • Roros Christmas Market

There is a shift in paying money through mobile payments in Norway. The main mobile pay used is Vipps. The application is used in doing different things, including purchasing groceries, paying bills, donating to charities, and sharing the cost of goods with friends.

Getting a job in Norway

After getting shelter, then it is time to get a job. The Norwegian market has very skilled people. Getting a job in Norway is not easy. One is supposed to know Norwegian, but some companies have English-speaking jobs.

While trying to get a job in Norway, it is important to search the opportunities related to the place you want to stay. Also, one should know the available salaries in that place as well as the top employers before getting started. Some of the jobs in Norway are normally shared through word of mouth.

Having English as a first language in Norway is useful but does not offer more advantages. Thus, it is important for one to have good knowledge of spoken and written Norwegian. Through this, one can get access to more work opportunities.

The best places where foreigners can get jobs in Norway:

  • Finn.no: it is the best place to get legit jobs in Norway
  • Jobbnorge: The site mainly advertises jobs in Norwegian
  • Jobs in Oslo: the site mainly offers jobs in Oslo
  • Jobb Direkte: When no options for job search are left, then this is a good place to search for jobs.
  • TheLocal.no: the site is a specialist in English language jobs.
  • Career Jet: although it is in Norwegian, it is a good place where one can upload his or her resume while searching for different jobs.
  • LinkedIn: Through the application, one can build his or her network and search for jobs in Norway.
  • Learn4Good: One can also get jobs on this site

The best tips for getting a job in Norway include writing a captivating CV that lists your capabilities. When making applications for jobs that are advertised in Norwegian, one should translate the CV to Norwegian. That CV is supposed to have important information from previous jobs. Also, one should be very confident about the application while also being creative while making the application. Last but not least, it is good to have some information concerning the Norwegian job market.

The Challenges of Getting a Job in Norway

  • Foreign name
  • Nepotism as some jobs is not posted to the public
  • Inadequate network in Norway
  • Graduate from non-Norwegian University
  • The language barrier, not understanding the Norwegian language
  • Inadequate knowledge of the Norwegian cultural cues

Credit card Norway

The Norwegian shops highly accept credit and debit cards. In getting BankID issued in Norway, one should be above 15 years of age. In order to qualify for a credit card, one should have lived in Norway for over one year. Moreover, one should have a Norwegian bank account where they get their income.

Apart from the 1 year of stay requirement, one should meet the minimum requirement depending on the credit issuer. The other requirements include proof of creditworthiness and full-time employment. Also, one should be paying all the bills on time frequently.

Making an application for a credit card is usually easy, and it can be done online. An applicant can get a response within 24 hours. Moreover, there are varied offers, and one can also make a comparison before making a decision.

In order for anyone to qualify for a credit card in Norway, various requirements apply. These requirements among others include:

  • Be 18 years of age and above
  • Positive credit score history
  • Active address in Norway
  • A resident of Norway for over 1 year
  • Have a regular income

The following are the main credit companies in Norway

  • Bank Norwegian AS
  • Santander Flexi Visa
  • Santander Red
  • re: member Black
  • Free Visa
  • re: member Gold
  • TF Bank Mastercard
  • Complete Bank Mastercard
  • Ikano Visa
  • Resource Gold

Getting a Loan in Norway

There are different ways of getting loans in Norway and one of them is through banks. One can get between NOK 25,000 to NOK 600,000. The factors considered before getting a loan include creditworthiness, be over 23 years age, and one’s need. Besides, the consumer loan cost interest do range from about 7.4% to 33.3%. The factors considered for consumer loan cost are current bank offers, credit history, and amount.

The repayments of the loans do vary depending on one’s needs. However, the maximum period is 5 years. The banks do not usually need any collateral. The reason is that they mainly depend on an individual’s creditworthiness before taking a loan. In getting a loan, the following steps are followed:

  • Preparation and sending of requests
  • Choosing the best offer as well as signing a contract with a bank through the use of Bank ID
  • Funds from loan appear on the account

The banks where one can get loans include Bank Norwegian, Re:member, Bluestep, Nordea Direct, Resurs Bank, IKANO Bank, and mybank.

Does Norwegian Immigration and Hotels Receiving the Refugees accept Gifts?

The Norwegian immigration, municipalities, and hotels receiving refugees do not accept any gifts for them. If anyone needs to help them, it can be done through the following organizations:

UNICEF

UNICEF works towards assisting the refugees children in different ways. They include healthcare and protection, education and medical supplies, and meeting the safe water needs. It also offers psychological care to the children while continuing to address Covid-19. Donations can be rendered to the company’s website.

NRC (Norwegian Refugee Council)

The Norwegian Refugee Council helps the individuals who have been refugees globally. Donations are channeled through NRC. Generally, it helps the individuals who have been forced to flee. Also, those people are affected by displacement

Doctors Without Borders

With the current Coronavirus cases and other illnesses, refugees may need medical assistance while seeking protection. Therefore, the Doctors Without Borders, also called Leger Uten Grenser or  Medecins Sans Frontieres, is active for refugees. Donations can be submitted through their website.

The Red Cross

The Red Cross has been delivering its services to refugees over the years. They work towards ensuring that the residents get toiletries for families, first aid, clean water, and food. Moreover, they give money to individuals in need, psychological support, and provide medical supplies to hospitals. Card donations can be done through their website or even using Vipps.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

UNHCR has been in existence since 1950. The organization assists the refugees by providing them with shelter, repairing destroyed homes, offering winter clothes, and emergency care. One can donate through the UNHCR website.

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