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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. All European Economic Area (EEA) citizens who move to Norway to work and live for longer than three months will need to register with the Norwegian police. Registration is free and only needs to be done once. If an EEA expat continues to stay in the country, they will be granted resident status after five years. EEA expats arriving in Norway without a job will also need to register and must leave the country after six months if they do not find a job.
Short-term 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 US, 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.
Residence permits for Norway
Non-EU or non-EFTA expats who are interested in moving to Norway to work will need a residence permit. They cannot move to Norway without being issued a residence permit, which can only happen with a concrete offer of a job. An employer can apply on behalf of an employee for a residence permit.
Are you an expat living in Norway?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Norway. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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