Visas for Norway
Norway is part of the borderless Schengen area, which means that citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and some other countries will not require a visa to enter Norway for short stays.
Expats who do not require a formal visa to enter Norway could, however, still be questioned at the border about the purpose of their visit and where they're staying - this is routine and isn’t meant to antagonise travellers. The easiest thing to do is to answer the questions simply and honestly.
Various residence and work permits are available, depending on the applicant’s skill set and circumstances. Fortunately, it is possible to apply for residence status from within Norway, so a foreigner could arrive on a tourist visa, look for a job in the country, and then apply for a residence permit, which would legally allow them to work.
European Economic Area (EEA) citizens can live and work in Norway for up to three months as long as they register with the Norwegian police when they arrive in the country, and can prove that they won’t be a burden on Norwegian social services.
Tourist visas for Norway
Citizens of the EU, the EFTA, and from countries on the Norwegian government’s designated list do not need a visa to enter the country, and are entitled to a 90-day stay in the Schengen area. It is only necessary to have a passport that is valid for six months from the period of stay.
The list of countries that don’t need a visa for Norway includes the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China and Ireland. Citizens of countries not on the list, such as India or South Africa, need to apply for a Schengen visa to enter the country. This can be applied for at a Norwegian embassy or, in some countries, at a Swedish or Danish embassy.
Schengen visas for Norway
Expats applying for a Schengen visa will need to have all required documents, complete application forms, and make an appointment to submit their application to the Norwegian consulate or embassy in their home country. Processing times can vary, so applicants should be sure to submit their applications in good time before they plan on arriving.
Travellers applying for a Schengen visa to travel to Norway for business purposes are required to include a letter of invitation from the Norwegian business party and one from their employer stating their duties in Norway. Conference delegates are required to produce proof of registration and accommodation.
In some cases, applicants may be asked to provide additional documents, at the discretion of the Norwegian embassy or consulate.
It is still best to bring supporting documents such as proof of accommodation after being granted a Schengen visa, just in case immigration officials want to see them.
Other visit visas for Norway
Norway also offers a special visitor’s visa to people who are unable to apply for a Schengen visa. This visit visa grants holders entry into Norway only. It must also be applied for at an embassy before travelling and is only granted in special circumstances, such as for humanitarian reasons.
An emergency visa may be granted on arrival in truly exceptional circumstances – for example, if a close family member is gravely ill in Norway and the Norwegian embassy was closed that day.
Parents who have children living in Norway as students, citizens or as permanent residents can apply for a Parental Visit Visa, which is valid for nine months.
Work permits for Norway
Entry visa for skilled workers
Expatriates who have found a job in Norway and have been granted a residence permit will automatically be granted an entry visa, valid for seven days. This can also be applied for ahead of time, if they have proof that their application for a residence permit is being processed as well as proof that they have an offer of a job in Norway. New arrivals will need to report to a Norwegian police station within seven days of entering the country.
It is also possible to apply for a six-month visa for skilled workers if they have not yet found a job in the country; however, they will need to prove that they have relevant skills to contribute to the Norwegian workforce.