Introduction / History There are many South Asians in Norway and the Pakistanis are the largest group. Before 1970 South Asian migrants preferred other European countries like the U.K. and Germany as they were known better and workers got more money.
Immigration was made more difficult in other countries and North Sea oil was discovered in Norway and so more South Asians wanted to go there. Friends and families were told about work opportunities by those already in Norway. Agents began to organize transport and many Pakistanis came to the capital, Oslo. The Pakistanis already in Norway helped the new migrants and work permits were given by the Norwegian authorities. Immigrant controls came into being later and this particularly discouraged students from coming. The Pakistanis became the biggest group of immigrants.
There are fewer Indians in Norway, though the number is still significant. They, like the Pakistanis, came in the late 1960s. Like the Pakistanis, the Indians went into semi-skilled and unskilled work that they did not do in their home countries. Some went into higher education. By 1980, women joined the men and communities began. They remain close to their families in their home countries.
Gujarati refugees came from Uganda to Norway in the 1970s. From 1987 large numbers of Tamils came from Sri Lanka. By 2000 there were more Sri Lankan Tamils in Norway than Indians. However, the Pakistanis remain the largest immigrant group in Norway. Now more than half of the Pakistanis are Norwegian citizens. Yet their numbers are decreasing.