Frequently asked questions about visa applications

Last updated: 20.03.2014 //

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - VISAS

What is the difference between a visa and a residence permit?

A visa grants the holder the right to enter Norway/the Schengen area and stay up to 90 days. Both the amount of days you may stay and the visas validity period are specified on the visa sticker. A visa may be valid for one, two ore multiple entries during the validity period. A visa does not allow you to work.

A residence permit grants the holder the right to stay in Norway for longer than 90 days. It will also grant you the right to work or study depending on the type of residence permit you have been granted.

I am an Australian citizen who will visit Norway for two weeks. Do I need a visa?

Australian citizens travelling on Australian passports are exempt from the visa requirement for entering Norway. They can stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days during a period of 180 days. Their stay can be for 90 consecutive days, or divided into several stays. It is their own responsibility to make sure that they are not in breach of this requirement.

Further information regarding visa waiver countries as well as other visa matters can be found at the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration’s website.

 I am an Australian citizen who will travel around Europe for four months. How do I apply for a visa?

Australian citizens travelling on Australian passports can stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days during a period of 180 days. For stays longer than 90 days, a residence permit is required. There is no way to extend the 90 days visa free period.

 However, there is currently a separate bilateral agreement between Norway and Australia allowing stays for up to 90 days visa free in Norway in addition to any days spent in a non-Nordic Schengen country. For more information regarding the bilateral agreement between Norway and Australia, please contact the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration.

 I wish to travel to Svalbard. Do I need a visa?

Everyone may, in principle, travel to Svalbard, and Norwegian authorities do not require a visa for visiting Svalbard in itself. However, foreign citizens with visa requirements to the Schengen area do need a valid Schengen visa if they travel through the Schengen area on their way to or from Svalbard.

How do I apply for a visa?

Please visit http://www.vfsglobal.com/norway/australia/ for information about how to apply for a visa.

 I wish to apply for a multiple entry visa valid for one year. How do I do that?

To apply for a multiple entry visa, you must register your application online before making an appointment to lodge your supporting documents in person. In addition to the documents required for all visa application, you must also provide documentation of the need for a multiple entry visa.  

Do I have to apply in person?

Yes, all applications must be lodged in person and by appointment only.

I will be travelling with my spouse and our children. Do we all need to apply in person?

Yes, all applications must be lodged in person and by appointment only. Separate applications must be lodged for each applicant, even if they are registered as a group application online.

Where can I lodge my application?

Applications should be lodged at one of VFS Global Services’ Joint Visa Application Centres. Their contact details are available here: http://www.vfsglobal.com/norway/australia/

Do I need an appointment to lodge my application?

Yes, applications are accepted by appointment only. Please click schedule an appointment with your nearest VFS Global Services’ Joint Visa Application Centre.

When should I apply for the visa?

Applicants are advised to apply at least 30 days, but no more than three months, in advance to avoid disappointment.

I have to go to Norway urgently. How can I get a visa as soon as possible?

To ensure equal treatment, we are generally not able to prioritise applications, unless there are special circumstances concerning the application that must be considered (such as life-threatening illness or funerals for close family members, etc.).

The Embassy will always try to process all applications in time for the intended departure, but this cannot be guaranteed. We therefore advise everyone to apply in good time before the intended departure.

I will be travelling to Sweden, do I still apply through the Norwegian Application Portal?

Yes. In accordance with bilateral agreements, the Norwegian Embassy in Canberra processes applications for Schengen visas for both Sweden and Iceland. Applications for these countries must therefore be registered online on the Norwegian Application Portal.

I will be visiting several Schengen countries during my stay. Will I require a multiple entry visa?

The number of entries needed refers to the number of times you will enter the Schengen area. Once you have entered the Schengen area, you can travel freely between the Schengen countries in accordance with your visa sticker.

Two or more entries are only required if you intend to leave and then re-enter the Schengen area during your travel.

I will be visiting several Schengen countries during my stay. Where do I apply for the visa?

If you wish to visit multiple Schengen countries, the application must be lodged with the mission of your main destination. The main destination is determined by your purposes for visiting and the length of stay in each country. If no main destination can be determined, you must lodge your application with the mission of the country you will enter first.

What is the fee payable?

There are two fees payable; the application fee and a service fee.  

I wish to withdraw my application. Can I get the fee paid refunded?

All fees are non-refundable once an application has been lodged. If you register an application in error on the Application Portal, you may request, in writing, a refund of the application fee as long as no documents have been submitted, and the Embassy has not handled the application in any way.  

My application was rejected. Can I get the fee paid refunded?

The fees paid are for the lodgement and processing of your application, not for the issuance of a visa. All fees are therefore non-refundable once an application has been lodged, regardless of the outcome of the application.

Do I have to provide originals of all my documents?

Yes, the Embassy requires all documents to be provided in original. If a document has not been produced specifically for the application, you may have the original document returned to you immediately if you also provide a certified copy of the original. Scanned or faxed copies are not sufficient.

I will be travelling with my child. Do I need to provide any documents from the other parent?

If the applicant is under the age of 18, written consent is required from the parent/-s with parental responsibility, or the legal guardian/-s. Documentation of responsibility, e.g. the applicant’s birth certificate, must be provided together with verification of the parent’s/guardian’s signature, e.g. valid photo ID.

 At least one of the parents/guardians must appear in person together with the applicant when lodging the application.

I have a friend who has invited me to visit. What documents must my friend provide?

If you travel to visit friends or family, the person you intend to visit must provide a written invitation. For travels to Sweden, the invitation form is available here invitation form. For travels to Norway and Iceland, the invitation form is avaiable here invitation form

I have received an invitation and a guarantee form for visits. For how long are these valid?

The Embassy does not accept invitations or guarantee forms which are older than six months.

My family member/friend will be sponsoring my trip. Do I still need to provide proof of own funds?

If visiting a family member or friend in Norway or Iceland, your reference person may provide a guarantee form for visits. In such case, no proof of own funds is required. If visiting a friend or family member in Sweden, you must still provide proof of own funds. However, accommodation etc. from the reference person will be taken into consideration when assessing your application.

How can I provide proof of sufficient financial means?

When applying for a visa, you should provide original bank statements for the last three months. Internet statements are only accepted if they clearly state your name and they have been stamped as correct by the appropriate bank.

Please note that if you do not provide documentation of a bank account, the Embassy cannot take this account into consideration when assessing your application.

My passport is about to expire. Can I still be granted a visa?

To be granted a Schengen visa, your passport must be valid at least three months after your departure date from the Schengen area.

My passport is full. Can I still be granted a visa?

To be granted a Schengen visa, your passport must have at least two blank visa pages.

I need my passport for international travels. Can I keep my passport whilst the application is being processed?

The Embassy may, if needed, process your application based on certified copies of all used pages in your passport. However, the original passport should be shown when you lodge your application. If your application is approved, you must submit your passport to enable us to issue the visa sticker.

How can I get a status update on my application?

Once your application has been lodged, you may track the process of your application on the VFS Global Services’ website[HW8] . The Embassy will generally not reply to enquiries for status updates.

I am a tourist in Australia. Can I apply for a Schengen visa for Norway whilst in Australia?

As a general rule, the Embassy does not accept applications from non-residents in Australia. If you are in Australia as a tourist for more than three months, you may send an email to the Embassy requesting an exemption from the requirement to hold residency in Australia. The Embassy may grant such exemption after an individual assessment of the circumstances outlined in your email.

My Australian visa is not endorsed in my passport, but I have printed the electronic grant letter. Is this sufficient proof of my visa status in Australia?

No. To prove your visa status in Australia, you must use the VEVO email service provided by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Select “Check Visa Entitlements (VEVO)” and have a verification sent to info.ausau@vfshelpline.com. The email has to be sent on the day you submit your application. Applications without VEVO confirmation cannot be accepted.

I am finishing my studies in Australia and wish to visit Norway before returning to my home country. Can I apply for a Schengen visa for Norway whilst in Australia?

Yes, if you hold a valid student visa in Australia, you may lodge your application here. Whilst applicants generally have to prove ties to Australia to be granted a visa, you must, if not returning to Australia, prove similar ties to your home country, e.g. employment, enrolment at educational institution etc.

I have a valid multiple entry visa issued by another Schengen country. Is this valid for travel to Norway?

Yes. During the validity of the Schengen-visa you can visit the entire Schengen-region, unless the visa was limited to one or more countries.

Does my Norwegian visa allow me to visit other Schengen countries?

Yes. During the validity of the Schengen-visa you can visit the entire Schengen-region, unless the visa was limited to one or more countries.

I have been issued a Schengen visa, but now I wish to stay longer in Norway. How can I extend my visa?

A visa extension can only be granted in cases of force majeure (e.g. a natural disaster), humanitarian reasons or other substantial professional or personal reasons. A Schengen visa cannot exceed 90 days. If you have already stayed in the Schengen area for 90 days, the visa will not be extended even if new and unforeseen circumstances occur. Please see the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration’s website for more information.

Why was my application rejected?

Your application may be rejected on the basis of immigration policy, foreign policy or security policy considerations. It may also be rejected if there is reason to doubt the purpose of the trip, or there is reason to doubt the accuracy of the information provided in the application.

If your application is rejected, you will receive a decision letter outlining the basis for the decision. This letter will also provide information regarding the possibility and process for an appeal.

 


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