Friday, September 30, 2011

Good news: Work visa update

Based on the recommendations of up-rooted, another American-in-Norway blogger, we finally got our asses in gear and checked with UDI (Utlendingsdirektoratet--the Norwegian Immigration Directorate) about what kind of visa I actually have. 

Let me clarify: up-rooted did not suggest we get our asses in gear. Up-rooted simply suggested that I might already have a work visa, even though I did not apply for one, as this was her situation as well. What I meant is that we have intended to make this phone call for a number of months--I actually dug out the necessary documents before we moved in June. I must also clarify that we* did not actually need to check with UDI about my visa, because right there on the second line under "Tillatelsens innhold" it reads, "Søkeren kan ta arbeid eller drive erversvirksomhet i Norge", and we all know what that means!


It means "The applicant can work or engage in business in Norway". On a document dated June 11, 2010. 

This is a relief, to be sure. Norway does have a law that people outside of the European Union must have a job offer before you can get a work visa. And they have family visas, for those people joining the working family member. I promise you: I have read this website hundreds of times! I was certain that I was going to have to change my visa from a residential to a work visa--but only after I had a job offer in hand--and a job as a skilled laborer, too, as that is all a non-EU job seeker can get--and this too would take months and months. We even talked with a Norwegian consulate person when we applied for these visas, and this is what they told us!!!

Yes, it would have been nice to have known this months or even a year ago. Nice to know I could get a job if I wanted to. But, honestly, I don't think it would have changed much. I still can't get a job as a nurse or midwife. That waiting process is still on-going. Until now, I didn't feel like I had the language skills to work. I am only now beginning to feel confident enough in speaking Norwegian that I can appreciate how a job would really help cement my language skills and take them to the next level.

We'll see where this information takes us. I don't think I'll actively look for a job at this moment. I'm considering making contact again with the midwives at the local hospital, and hope that I can spend time with them on the labor and delivery floor, soaking up the midwifery lingo and birth culture. That would probably be a better use of my time in terms of "long term goals to work as a midwife" in comparison with working at a grocery store to make a little money and converse a little with colleagues. I'm also busy with the house on a daily basis, and will continue to be so for the next few months. 

But again. . . nice to know. 

Thanks for the kick in the butt, up-rooted!

*I must also clarify that "we" means "Erik" or "me asking Erik to do this for me".

1 comment:

  1. Oh my! What great news! Congratulations! I'm so relieved for you that you didn't need to jump through any more hoops to get this. But I also think that you are right that it wouldn't have mattered too much if you had known this earlier. It takes a good year just to find one's feet in Norway (by which I mean not just learning what is what, but navigating an entire different system of what is what!)

    I have found that getting to know people "in" the system has gone a long way. I started asking people at the Univ. of Bergen in my field to coffee to ask questions about jobs and then was asked to give a guest lecture and then teach a seminar, and then teach a whole course and then two courses... I don't know if this is possible in your field, but sometimes they will make allowances for people once they get to know them (probably not a permanent job, since you don't meet their requirements yet), but maybe filling in part time for someone who is on sick leave or maternity leave (because this happens so often in Norway!!) Another good way to work a little bit and learn Norwegian is as a substitute for daycare workers on leave. In Bergen you can just sign up to be on their list of substitutes through the kommune.

    Anyway, before this gets to long - GREAT NEWS! And thanks for the thanks! I'm so glad my info was useful for once! :)