(Editor’s note: As of 2020, Ringerike’s “Emigrate Me” program has ended and the website is no longer live.)
A district in Norway is courting Americans in the throes of “anywhere but here” Trump angst, ready and waiting to help them find their inner Norwegian.
The region of Ringerike just northwest of Oslo has created an actual economic development recruitment effort called “Emigrate Me,” complete with an elaborate website to reach out to disaffected Americans, especially those of Norwegian descent.
By their own admission, the outreach project is an ad hoc work in progress coming together just at the election, with the promise of more detailed information to follow.
In light of the results of the U.S presidential election, the Ringerike Recovery Program has been developed by the regional development company of Ringerike, Norway. We are offering acute aid to descendants of emigrated Norwegians, and other Americans, considering a new start abroad.
The Ringerike Recovery Program was developed by our region’s three mayors; Kjell, Lars and Per. The initiative was built on a sincere wish to help our family and friends in America by offering a tailored recovery program to make the emigration easier. We are proud of what we can offer our new neighbors and colleagues ….
There is already quite a bit of information on the website including links to employment sites, real estate and even a data base where you can find out if your ancestors are Norwegian.
And what’s not to like? Norway is rich in oil and natural resources, with one of the world’s highest standards of living. Oslo is a glittering Scandinavian city. The United Nation’s Human Development Index has ranked Norway as the world’s best country to live in … for 12 years in a row!
The EmigrateMe website notes Ringerike region in particular has a lot to offer including free healthcare and schools, reasonably priced housing, culture and a “high tolerance for religious beliefs and sexual orientation, stunning nature, clean air and fresh water.
“All are equal; women’s rights are advanced, and our current female head of state is not our first.”
To this expat, it all sounds too good to be true. There’s a always a catch, right?
In this case, there doesn’t really seem to be.
We emailed and called the contacts listed on the EmigrateMe website just to make certain this isn’t a hoax.
We got this back:
The region of Ringerike welcomes everyone wishing to contribute to our society. We sincerely wanted to answer each one of you personally, but the massive amount of requests has forced us to set up this auto reply and focus on providing more job openings. As a foreigner, there are a few rules and regulations that you must consider:
The response linked to a page which has since been taken down.
What’s this all about?
Our first question was, “Why are they doing this?” And the obvious answer is, Norway needs talent.
Norway’s land mass is pretty large. If you overlay it on a map of the eastern United States, it stretches from New York State to the Gulf of Mexico. But the total population is only 5.3 million people, slightly less than the population of Atlanta.
Ringerike is just north of Oslo, so it’s close to urban attractions and conveniences. The largest city is Hønefos, about 60 miles northwest of Oslo, which looks awesome on the website.
Even if you’re a Trump lover and have no intensions of leaving the Good Ol’ USA, check out the website because it’s pretty entertaining, alluding to American celebrities (who may or may not be of Norwegian descent) who vowed to clear out if Trump were elected:
IS EVERYONE WELCOME?
Absolutely! We have extended invitations to Miley Cyrus, Bryan Cranston, Cher, Samuel L. Jackson and Jon Stewart to name a few. Who knows — maybe you’ll be neighbors in Ringerike?
The site includes this link to the visa application process at The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI).
Go ahead …
To quote President Trump, “What have you go to lose?”
More about Norway
This is certainly not the first time Dispatches Europe has posted about Norway as a potential expat destination.
You can read Willeke van Doorn’s detailed post “The truth behind Norway’s reputation as ‘the happiest place on earth’ “ with the good and the bad about Norway from her research there.
Also see our Expat Essentials post, “So, you want to move to Norway …” which has immigration details.
And don’t forget to save us some smalahove.
Co-CEO of Dispatches Europe. A former military reporter, I'm a serial expat who has lived in France, Turkey, Germany and the Netherlands.