For the majority who hail from outside the EEA, the main way to be able to live and work in Norway legally is by holding a residence permit.
The most common of these for workers without a Norwegian partner is the work permit. These are awarded to individuals who have been offered a job by an employer which requires specific qualifications to be carried out, such as a university degree or vocational education diploma.
Norway’s immigration authority, the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UD), last year uncovered hundreds of work permit applications that were submitted with fraudulent documentation, the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten reports.
These came in the form of counterfeit education certificates used to demonstrate the applicant is qualified for the job offered.
The immigration authority first detected the use of fake paperwork when it received an abnormally large number of applications from Turkish nationals claiming to be trained chefs. Upon further investigation, it was revealed that the applicants had issued bogus certificates and weren’t formally trained as cooks.
Following this discovery, the UDI performed a random check of 20 applications, 11 of which turned out to be fraudulent. This prompted increased scrutiny of similar application types.
Aftenposten also reports that the UDI discovered applications from Indian nationals with fake certificates saying they were trained as mechanics. The UDI also uncovered applications from Kosovo and Iran filed with forged documentation.