The Norwegian welfare system

Learn about the welfare model, your rights and your duties.

National Insurance Scheme (folketrygden)

The Norwegian welfare model is based on the National Insurance Scheme. Membership in the National Insurance Scheme is compulsory for everyone who lives in Norway for more than one year. It entitles you to social security and health care in Norway, but for certain services and benefits there might be certain requirements such as residence and employment.

Norway has social security agreements with a number of other countries. The most comprehensive are with the European Union and the EEA countries, but there are also agreements with individual countries. This means you should research what your particular rights are according to your citizenship and permit type.

Go to for information about membership of the National Insurance Scheme

Go to for information about coverage in the National Insurance Scheme

For European nationals

The European Comission has information for EU/EEA nationals in Norway that sets out when you are eligible for benefits, what you are entitled to and how to go about claiming it.

Go to (the European Comission) for information about social security coordination for Europeans living in Norway, including European Health Insurance Card

For students

Go to to learn about National Insurance membership for foreign students

Your right to social security services

The main general social insurance schemes in Norway are:

  • the National Insurance Scheme
  • the Child Benefit Scheme
  • he Scheme for Cash Benefit for Families with Small Children

Social security services are administered by NAV. There are many types of services included, like unemployment benefit, parental benefit, pensions etc. Some rights, like retirement pensions or disability benefits, require that you have lived in Norway for a certain number of years.

Go to for information about NAV’s services and benefits

You should contact NAV if you have children under the age of 18 living in another country than Norway.

NAV Call and Service Centre

If you have any questions about social security rights and services, you can contact NAV directly. They can answer your call in Norwegian or English.

Go to for phone numbers to NAV’s helplines

Good to know

The national Insurance basic amount (grunnbeløpet-1G) is the entity used to estimate a lot of Nav’s services (in Norwegian)

Learn more about the Norwegian welfare system

Store Norske Leksikon is a Norwegian online encyclopedia. The content is in Norwegian, but it translates well in Google Translate.