Norway, a prosperous Scandinavian nation with a strong economy and an attractive standard of living, is an appealing destination for many expats. Whether or not you will need a visa in order to travel there, for a holiday or to take up employment, will depend on your reasons for travel and your nationality. We will look at some of your options below.
Will I need a visa?
If you are a citizen of a European Union (EU) / European Economic Area (EEA) / European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member state, or coming in from the UK, you will not need a visa to enter Norway. The country is not an EU member, but it does belong to the EFTA and it does have reciprocal agreements with the EU.
If you are from outside the EU / EEA / Schengen Area, you will need a visa. A Schengen visa will allow you to remain in Norway for up to 90 days.
Long stay entry visas (D-visas), for applicants outside the Schengen Zone, are generally issued only to applicants who have been granted a residence permit for Norway. As a general rule, an applicant must have been granted a residence permit before entering Norway.
How do I apply for an entry visa?
If you are a British passport holder, you will not need a visa to enter Norway and will be able to remain for 90 days. If you wish to remain in the country for longer, you will need to register with the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI). You will need to fill out an application form and make an appointment. Once you have your residency permit, you can apply for a Norwegian personal number from the local people register (Folkeregister).
If you are from outside the Schengen Zone, you will need a visa. In order to apply for a Schengen visa (a short-term entry visa applicable to the countries in the Schengen Zone), you will need:
• A completed application form
• Two passport format photos
• Your passport and any copies of previous visas
• Travel insurance (including medical coverage) with confirmation of a minimum of €30,000 coverage within the entire Schengen Area
• A cover letter stating the purpose of your visit and your itinerary
• Proof of civil status (for example, your marriage certificate or the birth certificates of your children)
• Flight itinerary
• The address of your accommodation, including hotels
• Proof that you are able to support yourself financially throughout your stay (for example, a recent statement from your bank for the last three months that shows funds of at least €50 (£40) per day, or traveller’s cheques, or proof of sponsorship
You may need further documentation depending on your status. If you are employed, you may need to supply:
• A contract of employment
• A letter of leave from your employer
• A bank statement for the last six months
• An income tax return
• Your business license (if you are self-employed)
If you are a student, you will need to include your certificate of enrolment at the relevant educational institution.
If you are retired, you will need a statement of your pension for the last six months.
From 2021, non-EU nationals who do not require a visa to enter the Schengen Area will need to request prior authorisation to visit Schengen countries. This authorisation is not the same as a visa. You can apply for authorisation via the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). You can only apply online. The date on which these changes will come into force is not yet known.
How much does it cost?
The standard cost of a visa is €80, but you will be exempt if you are in one of the following categories:
• A child younger than six years of age
• A family member of an EU/EEA national
Documents required for exemption are:
• Original marriage certificate or civil partnership Certificate
• Original full birth certificate
• EU/EEA national’s passport
You will also be exempt if you are travelling for the purpose of study or educational training, such as if you are a school pupil, an undergraduate student or a postgraduate student. You must be accompanied by your teachers/professors. In addition, invited researchers are exempt.
Documents required for exemption are:
• An invitation letter from the Norwegian institution
• A letter from the university/organisation in the UK
There is a reduced fee of €35 for nationals of countries that have a visa facilitation agreement with the EU.
Fees are non-refundable and are not a guarantee that you will be issued with a visa.
How long does it take?
A business visa is estimated to take between seven and 15 days to be processed from the start of your application.
A Schengen visa should take about a week.
What will I need to apply for a work visa?
If you are a British national and wish to work in Norway, you must make an appointment with the UDI. At your registration appointment, you will need to bring:
• Your completed application form
• Your valid ID card or passport
• An employment certificate completed by your employer (ansettelsesbevis) or an employment contract
You may also need income tax information and bank statements, and a ‘leave’ permission from your current employer.
If you are from the EU/EEA/EFTA, you will, similarly, be able to work in Norway. If you are in the country for more than three months, you will need to register with the police, bringing along your employment contract and an employment certificate from your employer.
If, as an EU/EEA citizen, you move to the country without a job, you will need to register in the country as a job seeker. You will have six months to look for employment. If you do not find one within this time frame, you must leave the country, although you will still have the right to move back and begin the process again.
If you are from outside the Schengen Area, the visa criteria will be stricter for you. You will need to have a firm job offer in order to apply for a skilled worker long term D visa, and you will need to apply for a residence permit.
D visas may be issued to enable skilled workers to either apply for a work permit or await a decision on a previously lodged application in Norway. The following documents must be provided if you are a skilled worker applying for a D visa:
• Cover letter from the Application Portal Norway
• Passport / travel document valid for at least three months after the visa expiry date
• Valid travel insurance
• Valid resident permit valid for at least the last six months for the country where the application is lodged
Note that you will not be able to use a blue card in Norway.
Bringing a pet into Norway
You can bring your pet into Norway, but it will need:
• A pet passport
• A rabies vaccination
• A rabies titer test
• Fox dwarf tapeworm treatment (if it is a dog)