If you want to study in Norway for a while, you might need to get a student visa, which is also called a student residence permit.
Who can go to school in Norway without a student visa?
Students from Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, or Finland can study in Norway without a student visa and without registering with the police. But if you want to study in Norway for more than six months, you have to go to a tax office there to show your ID and let them know you’ve moved there.
Students from countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) can study in Norway without a student residence permit for up to 90 days.
But if they stay longer than 90 days, these students will need to apply for a student residence permit. This is a simple process. First, you’ll need to register online with the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration and give them your correspondence address in Norway. Once you arrive, you’ll need to go to the nearest police station and show them the documents that prove your right to live there.
You’ll have to prove:
- Your passport
- Confirmation of acceptance into an approved school or college
- The European Health Insurance Card or private health insurance (EHIC)
- Personal statement that you have enough money to live on while you study in Norway
You also don’t need to apply for a student visa if one of the other reasons listed on the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) website lets you skip the visa requirement.
Who in Norway needs a student visa?
All other students who want to study in Norway for more than three months will need to apply for a student residence permit. If you are from a country that needs a visa to enter Norway and you are studying in Norway for less than three months, you will still need to get a visa. Getting a student residence permit will depend on where you are from and what you need to do.
How to get a student visa for Norway and what you need to do
To get a student visa for Norway, you must be accepted into a program of study at a college or university (with some exemptions). After you get your letter of admission, you should contact the Norwegian Embassy or Consulate near you to find out how to apply for a study permit and do so from your home country.
Some people can apply online from Norway or through a Norwegian embassy, but most students will need to bring a paper application form to the nearest Norwegian embassy or consulate.
When you turn in your application for a student residence permit, you must also hand in your passport and any other necessary paperwork.
You’ll have to send:
- A form that has been filled out
- Notice that the application fee (NOK 5,300, or about US$650) has been paid.
- A valid travel document (i.e. passport)
- Two recent photos that are passport size and have a white background
- Proof of acceptance into a full-time education program that has been approved
- Proof that you have enough money for the whole study period, including money to support any family members who come with you. This money 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 must show that you have NOK 116,369, which is about US$14,350, for each academic year (10 months).
- Proof that you have a place to live (such as a house, apartment, bedsit or room in a hall of residence)
- Proof that you will leave Norway when your visa runs out (usually in the form of a return ticket)
- Completed and signed UDI document checklist, which you should print and hand in with your other documents.
Student residence permits can take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months to process, so it’s best to apply as soon as you can. If your request is accepted, you will need to get a residence card. This is proof that you are allowed to live in Norway, and your local police station in Norway gives it to you. You have to go to the police station within 7 days of getting to Norway. Your fingerprints and a picture will be taken, and your residence card will be sent to you by mail within 10 working days.
What can you do with the student residence permit?
When you get a Norwegian student residence permit, you also get a free permit to work part-time (up to 20 hours per week) in addition to your studies and full-time during university breaks. You can renew your study permit through the online Application Portal Norway at least three months before it expires. You’ll need to show proof that you have enough money to live on and that you’re making good progress in your studies in Norway (your Study Progression Report, issued from your faculty, confirms this). The UDI will also look at your Study Progression Report to make sure you can still get a work permit. To keep working part-time, you must be making good enough progress in your studies.
You can also ask for permission to work full-time for a certain amount of time if you can show that the job is related to your studies.
After you finish your studies, you can apply for a residence permit that lets you stay for up to six months and look for work as a skilled worker. You must be able to show that you became qualified as a skilled worker while you were studying in Norway, or that you were trained as a skilled worker before coming to Norway and then got more training there. You must also be able to support yourself and your family financially and have a good job offer.