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Norway - Visas

Norway is not a member of the European Union (EU), but is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA). Importantly for travellers and expats, it is also one of the 27 countries that make up the Schengen Area. This allows freedom of travel between the Schengen Area countries for those citizens who have legal residence in one of the member countries.

All visitors must have a passport which is valid for the duration of their visit or residence, but you will normally be asked to show your passport only when arriving in and leaving the Schengen Area. If you are arriving from outside the EEA, you will also need to show your visitors Visa. If you have received a residence permit, you must show it along with the official sticker in your passport and documentation showing the purpose of your stay.

The Schengen Information System records all individuals who have been expelled from a Schengen Area country. Each individual legally entering a Schengen Area country will be checked against this system.

If you are a citizen of an EEA country, you do not need a visa to visit any Schengen Area country, including Norway. You may stay for up to 90 days in any 180 day time period.

Should you decide to stay longer, you can do so without applying for permission first. However, you must register with the police by the time you have stayed more than 90 days. The police will take an official photograph of you; it will be used for your residence card and to update their records. The police will order your plastic credit card sized residence card at this point.

If you are the citizen of a country outside the EEA area, you may apply for a visitors visa which will allow you 90 day access to Norway within a 180 day period. Your visa will state how many times you may enter and exit the Schengen Area within the 90 days. However, whilst you are in the Schengen Area you may freely visit any of the other member countries that you wish to travel to during the 90 days. Remember to check which countries are part of the Schengen Area before travel - there are important exceptions. England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are members of the European Union but are not members of the Schengen Agreement. Russia and Turkey are not members of the European Union nor members of the Schengen Agreement. If you travel to these countries you may not be able to get back to Norway unless your visa allows it.

If you want to stay in Norway longer, you will need to receive a residence order from the Directorate of Immigration (UDI). You must identify the purpose of your stay, as it affects the type of residence order issued. Work, Studies, Family Circumstances and Au pair work are some of the reasons that are used to issue residence orders.

If you have received an offer of medical treatment from a recognised institution in Norway, your treatment is expected to last less than a year, and you have no prohibition on entering the Schengen Area, you can apply for a residence permit on medical grounds. You must be paying the full cost of treatment and living expenses yourself, or via other means of support, without recourse to Norwegian taxpayers. This is such an important condition that the institution treating you must confirm in writing that Norwegian patients will not receive poorer treatment and care should your application be approved. You will be required to leave Norway and the Schengen Area as soon as your treatment has ended.

You will need to open an account in the Application Portal, and register your application there. The non refundable fee is paid at this point. Some countries nominate an external provider to run access to the Application Portal, and an additional service fee would be charged to the applicant. An example of this is VFS Global, who processes applications from Nigerian residents who wish to live in Norway.

You will receive an email which links to a list all of the essential documentation you must now gather. The email will also contain an attached letter, which will acknowledge receipt of your application form and confirm you have paid the fee. Print out this letter, and keep it with the other essential documents you will use to support your application.

In some countries you will have access to services which allow you to make an application for a residence permit without having to use the online system. Sometimes you can visit these services without an application. However, every applicant must present their essential documentation regardless of the manner in which they have made an application or where they are based.

Your passport and birth certificate, along with any other identity documents will be needed.

You will then attend an interview at an embassy or consulate building, at a designated company building or at a UDI building, depending on your current place of residence.

When you application has been processed, you will receive an email or telephone call to tell you this. You will normally be expected to visit an embassy or service offices in order to pick up the result, and this may require a set appointment time.

If your application was successful, an official sticker will be placed in your passport, showing your right to live in Norway. It is possible that your passport will be held for a few days while this task is carried out in conjunction with your passport IT record update.

If you were not granted a residence permit, you will be given a reason in writing. You can then appeal and ask for your application to be looked at again.

As soon as possible after arriving in Norway, you need to attend an interview with the police. You can even arrange the interview before you arrive. The police will take an official photograph of you which will be used for your residence card and to update their records. The police will now order your residence card.

Once you have a residence permit to live in Norway, you may freely visit the Schengen Area countries should you wish to do so.

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners

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