Although Norway is not a member of the European Union (EU), it is a member of the Schengen Area. This means you can travel freely between Norway and throughout the Schengen Zone which includes 25 other European countries. The borders between these countries are open, so a visa for one Schengen Area country is good for all Schengen Area countries. If you are from a country within the EU or European Economic Area (EEA), you do not need a visa to enter Norway.
American citizens do not need a visa to enter Norway, so long as they don't plan to stay longer than 90 days. If you do plan to stay longer, you'll need to apply for a long-term visa at the nearest Norwegian consulate.
If you are an American citizen and you plan to stay in Norway for longer than three months, then you must apply for a visa at the closest consulate near you. If you're not sure if your country of origin is eligible for automatic visa exemption, you can check the official Norwegian government website. If your country is not on the list, you'll need to apply for a visitor's visa separately.
Bear in mind that your 90-day entry is only good within a 180-day period, which means if you stay in the Schengen Area for 90 days in a row, you will not be able to reenter until another 90 days have passed. If you are an American citizen and hope to stay in Norway for longer than three months, there are a couple of long-term visas you could apply for. In most cases, such as medical and business visas, you'll be applying for a temporary resident visa, but two exceptions that fall between the short-term travel visa and the long-term residence visa: study visas and Au pair visas.
|Visa Requirements for Norway|
|Visa Type||How Long Is It Valid?||Required Documents||Application Fees|
|Schengen Tourist Visa||90 days in any 180-day period||Confirmation of accommodation for your entire stay in the Schengen Area||$55|
|Au Pair Visa||Two years||Contract of cultural exchange between au pair and host family, course certificate for e-learning course for host families, filled-out questionnaire||$893|
|Study Visa||One year||Enrollment certificate, certificate of courses attended, proof of financial sustenance||$521|
Schengen Tourist Visa
If your country does not apply for visa exemption for Schengen Area countries, such as China, Russia, or India, you'll need to apply for your tourist visa with the consulate in your home country or in the U.S. (if that's your place of residence). You should only apply for this visa via the U.S. embassy if Norway is the only Schengen Area country you plan on visiting, your main destination, or the first country you are visiting. You won't be allowed to stay longer than 90 days.
Visa Application and Fees
With your application form, you will need to submit the following documents:
- 80 euro application fee
- Two photos in the passport format
- Your passport and copies of your previous visas
- Your passport must have at least two blank pages
- A copy of your return ticket reservation
- Confirmation of travel insurance
- A cover letter stating the purpose of your visit and your itinerary
- Proof of accommodation throughout your stay in Norway
If you hope to study at a Norwegian University, you can apply for a study visa, which will allow you to stay in Norway for up to one year. There is no application fee if you are under 18 years old, but for everyone else, the fee is 4,900 NOK (around $523). When you apply, you'll need to show proof of your enrollment, capability of financially supporting yourself in Norway, and documentation of the courses you plan to attend.
Au Pair Visa
For those who wish to live in Norway for an extended period, an Au pair visa will allow you to stay in the country for up to two years, so long as you reside and provide housework and child care services to a Norwegian host family. To be eligible for this visa, you must be between the ages of 18 and 30, must not have any children of your own, and it must be likely that you'll return to your home country at the end of your stay in Norway. The purpose of your stay must be for cultural exchange and both you and your host family will be required to sign a contract and take an online course and you won't be allowed to work more than 30 hours per week. The application fee is 8,400 NOK (around $897), but the host family will also be obligated to cover your travel expenses and even to pay for your Norwegian language courses.
If you exceed the 90-day limit of your Schengen visa, you could be fined, deported, and potentially banned from the Schengen Area for up to five years. Every country is different, but in Norway, it's unlikely you will face deportation or banning unless you overstay your visa by more than 30 days. However, you may have difficulties reentering the Schengen Area on your next trip.
Some countries have reputations for doling out hefty fines and enforcing strict penalties for visa overstayers, but not much has been written about Norwegian overstays and no specific details are outlined on any official government website. Chances are that if you overstay less than 30 days and are already on your way out of the Schengen Area, your consequences will not be too severe.
Extending Your Visa
If you want to extend your Schengen Area visa, you will need a good reason. Visa extensions are granted for humanitarian reasons, like staying to continue receiving necessary medical treatment, important personal reasons, like a funeral of a relative, or force majeure, which could mean anything from the outbreak of war in your home country to extreme weather conditions that make it impossible to fly—take for example the 2010 eruption of the Icelandic volcano that prevented transatlantic flights. In these cases, you will need to contact your country's embassy in Norway to apply for an extension.