Frequently asked questions about residence permits

Last updated: 20.03.2014 //

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – Residence Permits

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 travel around Europe for four months as a tourist. How do I apply for a residence permit?

Residence permits are generally granted based on family immigration, work or studies in Norway. A list of residence permits is available on the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration’s website.

If you do not qualify for any of the permits available, you cannot be granted a residence permit, and may have to change your travel plans.

I would like to migrate and become a citizen of Norway. What do I need to do?

To apply for Norwegian citizenship, you must hold a valid residence permit in Norway. An overview of the requirements to obtain Norwegian citizenship is outlined on the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration’s website.

Please note that you do not need to become a citizen to live in Norway. You can take up residency in Norway as a foreign citizen as long as you hold a valid resident permit.

Which residence permit should I apply for?

The Embassy cannot advise an applicant which permit to apply for as this depends greatly on the individual's situation and background.

There is an application guide available on the Application Portal Norway.

How do I apply for a residence permit?

To apply for a resident permit, you must register your application online before making an appointment to lodge your supporting documents in person. More information is available here.

I am trying to register an application for a Working Holiday permit online, but cannot find the right category. How do I register the application?

A Working Holiday permit is classified as a work permit. When registering an application online, you must choose “Work” and “Other, without employer in Norway”.

Do I have to apply in person?

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

I am applying together 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.

Do I need an appointment to lodge my application?

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

Can I lodge my application in Norway?

As a general rule, you must obtain a residence permit before entering Norway. An exemption from this requirement has been granted to certain groups. More information is available on the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration’s website.

I have lodged an application for a residence permit. Can I enter Norway whilst my application is being processed?

As a general rule, you must obtain a residence permit before entering Norway. An exemption from this requirement has been granted to certain groups. More information is available on the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration’s website.

Please note that if you are not entitled to apply from Norway, you are generally not entitled to enter Norway whilst your application is being processed.

How long will it take to process my application?

The case processing times depend on the work load when your application is received. Case processing times will therefore always vary. An overview of expected case processing times is available on their website.

My residence permit is about to expire. How can I renew my permit?

Most residence permits are renewable. You must apply for a renewal at the latest one month before your permit expires in order to keep all your rights. We recommend that you apply to-three months before the permit expires.

Applications for renewal must be lodged with the local police in Norway. Information on how to apply is available on the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration’s website.

My residence permit is about to expire. I am currently in Australia. How can I renew my permit?

Applications for renewal must be lodged with the local police in Norway. Information on how to apply is available on the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration’s website.

The Embassy in Canberra does not accept applications for renewal unless we receive written confirmation from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration confirming that they have granted you an exemption from the requirement to lodge the application in Norway.

I hold a valid Working Holiday permit, and have just turned 31. Can I still renew my permit?

Yes, you can apply for renewal even if you have reached the age of 31.

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. The Embassy will generally not reply to enquiries for status updates.

I have been offered a job in Sweden, do I still apply through the Norwegian Application Portal?

No. The Norwegian Embassy in Canberra only processes Schengen short-stay visas for Sweden. For information regarding all other visas and permits for Sweden, including travel under the visa waiver scheme, please contact the Swedish Embassy in Canberra.

What is the fee payable?

There are two fees payable; the application fee and a service fee. Information regarding the application fee is available here. Information regarding the service fee is available here.

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?

No. The fees paid are for the lodgement and processing of your application, not for granting a residence permit. 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 am applying together 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.

My Norwegian spouse and I live in Australia. We wish to move to Norway. Does my spouse need to document income in Norway?

Yes. When applying for family immigration, one of the requirements for the reference person is to document future income. This requirement refers to income after you have moved to Norway and is intended to confirm that the reference partner can support you once you move there.

How can I provide proof of sufficient financial means?

If requested to provide evidence of current funds 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.

For family immigration your reference person must provide proof of past and future income, together with confirmation that he or she has not received social benefits from Norway for the last 12 months. More information regarding the required supporting documents is given on the check lists for family immigration.

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 residence permit?

You must hold a valid passport when you apply for a residence permit. If your application is approved, your passport must be valid on arrival in Norway. There is no requirement for a minimum validity, but your residence card cannot be valid beyond the expiry date of your passport.

Do I have to provide my original passport?

Yes. When lodging your application, you must provide both your original passport and certified copies. Your passport will be returned to you by the end of the appointment.

If your application is approved and you require an entry visa to travel to Norway, the Embassy will request that you provide your passport directly to the Embassy to enable us to issue the visa.

What is a residence card?

A residence card is issued as proof that the holder has valid residency in Norway. Everyone who is granted a residence permit must obtain a residence card.

Information regarding the residence card and how to obtain one is available on the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration’s website.

I am studying in Australia, and have been offered an exchange course in Norway. Can I apply for a residence permit for Norway whilst in Australia?

If you have held a study visa in Australia for the last six months, you may lodge your application in Australia. If not you must lodge your application in your home country.

Some exchange programs also allow you to lodge your application in Norway. More information is available here.

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.

Can you send the decision letter to an address overseas?

No. The Embassy will only send the notification of decision to your Australian/New Zealand address. If you depart before you receive the notification from the Embassy, you must arrange for someone to forward the letter to you overseas.

If you are eligible to enter Norway and await the decision there, the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration may notify via the local police in Norway rather than through the Embassy in Canberra.

Can you send the decision letter to my email address?

No. Once your application has been processed, you will receive a signed letter from the Embassy. As you may be required to present the signed letter in original, the Embassy always sends notification and decision letters by post, not email.

 Does my Norwegian residence permit allow me to visit other Schengen countries?

Yes. Residence permits for Norway are issued in accordance with national regulations and outside the Schengen system. However, according to the principle of equivalence between short stay-visas and residence permits, holders of a residence permit issued by Norway may circulate for up to three months within the territories of the Schengen countries as long as you hold a valid travel document.

I hold a valid residence permit for Sweden, am I allowed to work in Norway?

No. Residence permits are issued in accordance with national regulations. A residence permit in one country does not grant you the right to work in another country. If you wish to work in Norway, you must obtain a residence permit for Norway.

Why was my application rejected?

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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