How to Get a Student Visa for Norway
If you plan to spend some time studying in Norway, you may need to apply for a student visa, otherwise known as a student residence permit.
Who doesn’t need a student visa for studying in Norway?
Students from Iceland, Denmark, Sweden or Finland do not need a student visa for Norway, and do not need to register with the police. However, if you plan to study in Norway for more than six months, you must report to a tax office in Norway for an ID check and to report your move to Norway.
Students from nations within the European Economic Area (EEA) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) can study in Norway for up to 90 days without applying for a student residence permit.
However, these students will need to apply for a student residence permit for stays of over 90 days. This process is quite straightforward: you’ll firstly need to register with the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration online, providing details of your correspondence address in Norway, and then go in person to the nearest police station once you arrive, to present the relevant documents showing your basis for residence.
You will need to show:
- Your passport
- Confirmation of admission to an approved educational institution
- Private health insurance or European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
- Personal declaration of sufficient funds to support yourself while you study in Norway
You also do not need to apply for a student visa if you fulfill one of the other exemptions to the visa requirement, as listed on the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) website.
Who does need a student visa for Norway?
All other students will need to apply for a student residence permit if they intend to study in Norway for more than three months. If you are studying in Norway for less than three months, and you come from a country with a visa requirement for entering Norway, you will still need to obtain a visa. Requirements and procedures for obtaining a student residence permit will depend upon your country of origin.
Requirements to get a student visa for Norway
In order to be granted a student visa for Norway, you must have been admitted to a field of study at a college or university (with some exemptions). After you’ve received your letter of admission you should contact your nearest Norwegian Embassy or Consulate for information on the study permit application procedure, and apply from your country of origin.
While some candidates can apply online from within Norway or through a Norwegian embassy, most students will need to hand in a paper application form to their closest Norwegian embassy or consulate.
When you hand in your student residence permit application form, you must also provide your passport, along with other necessary documentation. You’ll need to submit:
- A completed application form
- Receipt of having paid the application fee (NOK 5,300, which is roughly US$650)
- A valid travel document (i.e. passport)
- Two recent passport-sized photos with a white background
- Evidence of admittance to an approved full-time education program
- Evidence of sufficient financial funds for the entire period of study, including funds to support any accompanying family, which should be in a Norwegian bank account (it can be difficult to open an account in a Norwegian bank without a Norwegian personal number, so you can usually deposit the required amount into an account established by your educational institution). You need to prove you have access to NOK 116,369 for each academic year (10 months), which is approximately US$14,350.
- Evidence that you have somewhere to live (such as a house, apartment, bedsit or room in a hall of residence)
- Evidence that you will leave Norway when your residence permit expires (usually in the form of a return ticket)
- Completed and signed UDI document checklist, which you should print off and hand in along with your other documents
Processing times for student residence permits will vary and may take two months or so, therefore it is advisable to apply as soon as you are able. If your application is granted, you must then obtain a residence card. This is proof that you have the right to live in Norway and is issued by your local police station in Norway. You’re required to visit the police station within seven days of your arrival in Norway. You’ll have your fingerprints and photo taken and will be sent your residence card by post within 10 working days.
What does the student residence permit allow you to do?
When you are granted a Norwegian student residence permit, you are also granted a permit to work part-time in addition to your studies (up to 20 hours per week) and full-time during university holidays, at no extra charge. You can renew your study permit through the online Application Portal Norway at least three months before it expires, providing evidence of sufficient funds to support yourself, as well as satisfactory progress studying in Norway (your Study Progression Report, issued from your faculty, confirms this). The UDI will also use your Study Progression Report to confirm that you can continue to be issued a work permit. You must be making satisfactory progress in your studies to continue to be able to work part-time.
You can also apply for a permit to work full-time for a limited period if you can prove that the work is relevant to your studies.
Having completed your studies, you are eligible to apply for a residence permit for up to six months in which to seek employment as a skilled worker. You must be able to prove you have become qualified as a skilled worker during your time studying in Norway, or that you had specialist training before your stay in Norway and then undertook further education in Norway. You must also meet the requirements to be able to provide financial support for yourself (and your family), and have a solid job offer.
This article was originally published in February 2014. It was last updated in June 2018.
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This article was originally published in June 2018 . It was last updated in January 2020