If you plan to spend some time studying in Norway, you may need to apply for a student visa – or rather a ‘student residence permit’. Find out what requirements you need to meet, and how to apply.
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 also study in Norway for more than three months without applying for a student visa. You simply need to register with the police online, 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, and a 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 on 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). 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. Some countries will ask you to hand in the application at the Swedish or Danish embassy instead. 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
- A valid travel document (passport)
- A recent photograph
- 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 (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)
- 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)
Processing times for student residence permits will vary, so it is advisable to apply as soon as you are able. If your application is granted, you must then obtain a residence card – proof that you have the right to live in Norway. Typically, you will receive a letter that informs you to visit the police to have your fingerprints and photo taken, after which you will be sent the card by post.
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 one month before it expires, but you must contact the UDI separately to renew the part-time work permit, and show evidence of having made satisfactory progress studying in Norway.
You can apply for a permit to work full-time for a limited period if you can prove that the work is relevant to your studies, or necessary for admission to further education within the same program option – a concrete offer of employment must be made in this case.
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).