Approximately 40,000 citizens from within the European Economic Area (EEA) and close to 10,000 workers outside of the EEA were granted work permits in Norway last year.
The largest group of workers, 15,000, arrived from Poland, according to figures released by the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI). There is also a large number of Swedes that come to Norway to work, but the directorate does not register them as immigrant workers.
The number of immigrants from Southern Europe has increased from 1600 in 2011 to 2700 in 2012, but is still lower than expected.
Minister of Labour Anniken Huitfeldt is pleased with the increased number of immigrant workers who choose to come to Norway. She says the country is in need of even more workers, especially engineers and people from the health sector.
The Minister thinks our growing economy combined with good salaries and working conditions are part of the reason why more workers choose to come here. Huitfeldt also says that she is pleased with the shorter processing times now offered by the UDI, and the close contact they have with the labour market.
The report by UDI also states that the number of immigrant workers who come to Norway is much higher than the number of asylum seekers.