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UMD: A Globally Connected University

Norway - Visa & Residence Permit Guidelines

What is the difference between a visa and a residence permit?
  • A visa is a legal document from immigration authorities which shows you have permission to enter the country for a certain amount of time. In the case of Norway, a visa permits foreigners to enter the country for 90 days on a visa.
  • A residence permit allows foreigners to remain in Norway for a specified purpose (in this case, to study) for a prescribed period of time which exceeds that of a standard 90-day visa. US passport holders do not need a visa to enter Norway, but must obtain a residence permit in order to study in Norway past 90 days.

Is a Visa Required for US Citizens?
  • No! US Passport Holders are NOT required to apply for a visa in order to enter Norway. See here to understand why.  
  • If you are not a US passport holder, please click here to see if you need a visa to enter Norway based on your nationality.
Is a Residence Permit Required for US citizens?
  • Yes! An application for a residence is required for US passport holders who are studying abroad at a Norwegian higher education institution.
  • This process must happen BEFORE you arrive in Norway but AFTER you have been formally admitted into the Norwegian University because proof of acceptance into a Norwegian University of College is required in order to obtain a study residence permit.
  • All nationalities, except for Nordic country citizens, need a residence permit to study in Norway.
Important notes

All Norwegian Universities and Colleges will process an initial part 1 of the residence permit application for the purposes of study on your behalf. You will then be e-mailed an ID number associated with your application and will be required to submit payment and the second portion of the residence permit application along with the residence permit application fee.

Each University has their own procedures so please visit the Visa/Resident permit section of your host institution’s exchange student website as listed below:

University of Oslo
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) Please note that these universities will provide detailed, up to date information regarding the visa/residence permit application process once you have been admitted.

List of requirements
See the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) for details
  1. passport and copy of all used pages in passport
  2. signed cover letter from the Application portal (or application form)
  3. two new/recent passport size photos with white background
  4. documentation that you have paid the application fee
    1. Norwegian Residence Permit Fee- NOK 3.200
  5. a letter of full-time admission from an approved educational institution, stating your name, which studies you have admission to, at what level the studies are and how long the program lasts ( you will receive this from your host institution)
  6. documentation that you have sufficient funds (see online version of this list of details)
  7. documentation which shows that you have somewhere to live in Norway
  8. UDI's checklist, filled out and signed (this list)- click here for list and detailed explanations of list contents
** Proof of funds- You must have funds equivalent of NOK 100 920 per year, however, exchange students do not need to open a Norwegian bank account. (in bank statements with your name on it and/or scholarship and loan letter from financial aid)

Application process
An overview of how the application process for a US citizen to study in Norway can be viewed here.
US based application process details are here.
  1. Receive official admission letters and other relevant documents and  instructions from Host university 
  2. Start and application online here: - you will also be required to book an appointment online at a consulate
    1. “After you have filled in your application, you will normally be asked to book an appointment for handing in your documents, for example with an embassy or the police.”
  3. Pay Fees
  4. Gather supplemental materials and submit application
  5. Submit to US Based Consulate
  6. Go to appointment and get biometrics
Instructions from the US Consulate:

Instructions from Norwegian Consulate:   


Please refer to website and your host institution contact for questions on the visa process.