Free or paid courses, and other rules

Not all immigrants are entitled to free Norwegian education. It is the residence permit under the Immigration Act, which determines whether you have the right, duty, right and duty, or do not have the right or duty to free Norwegian and social studies training according to the Introduction Act.

In this article you will find a description of some important rules for training in Norwegian and social science for adult immigrants, as the rules are as of August 2018. We note that there are simplifications and interpretations of the rules in this article. It is the law and the regulations that apply.

Having the right to Norwegian education means that the municipality must offer free Norwegian education.

Who has a right and a duty to Norwegian language and Society studies?

Persons with a right and a duty are entitled to free tuitions based on the Introduction Act
and its regulations.

The main groups are:

  • Persons with a refugee status
  • Resettlement refugees (overføringsflyktninger)
  • Persons with residency based on
    • Humanitarian grounds (humanitært)
    • Compassionate grounds (sterke menneskelige hensyn)
    • Independent grounds (selvstendig grunnlag
  • Persons who have family reunification with:
    • a person in one of the groups above
    • a person who has a permanent residence permit
      Note: special rules apply for calculating the time limit for free training for persons
      who have family reunification with a work immigrant who later is granted
      permanent residency
    • a Norwegian citizen or a Nordic citizen
      Note: special rules apply for persons reunited with Nordic citizens, see,
      or contact UDI for more details
    • Individuals under collective protection
      o If a person under collective protection has a residence permit that forms the
      basis for permanent residency, her/his family members with family
      reunification permits are granted a right and a duty.

For persons with right and duty to (free) tuitions who were granted first residence permit
from and including 1.9.2013, test in Norwegian and the Social studies test are mandatory.

Who has only a right (without duty) to training?

Persons with the right (without duty) are mainly the persons in the right and duty groups
who are between 55 and 67 years. The rules of right without duty to training apply only to
persons who were granted their first residence permit before 1.1.2017.

Persons with a right are granted free training, but do not have a duty to complete training/pass tests to apply for a permanent residence permit. However, from 2017, new rules for requirements of Norwegian and Social knowledge for citizenship for applicants up to 67 years apply also to such persons.
Persons, who have right and duty to training and were granted their first residence permit
from and including 01.01.2017, must meet the requirements of Norwegian and Social
knowledge skills when applying for a permanent residence permit until they are 67 years old.
No one has a right to free training after the age of 67 years.