Special conditions if you are not studying at a university college or university
To be granted a study permit, you must, as a rule, have been accepted to a university college or a university, but certain other study programmes may also entitle you to a study permit. In certain cases, the permit entails other documentation requirements and other rights than those described here. Read more about which requirements apply to which study programmes on the page Which studies entitle you to a residence permit.
Study permit requirements
In order to be granted a residence permit as a student in Norway, you must meet the following five criteria:
1. You must be able to document your identity
A certified copy of a valid travel document (passport) must be enclosed with the application.
2. You must be admitted to an approved full-time education programme
More information about which studies entitle you to a residence permit and about approved study programmes
3. You must possess financial means (subsistence)
You must be able to support yourself and your family for the whole period for which you are applying for a study permit. You must have funds corresponding to the amount of full support from the Norwegian State Education Loan Fund. For the academic year 2012-2013, this is NOK 92 500. For the academic year 2013-2014, this is NOK 94 400. Student loans, grants, own funds or income from employment can be included in these funds. If you are to pay tuition fees, this sum will come in addition to those fees.
If you have income from employment, you must present a concrete offer of employment containing a job description, the number of working hours per week and hourly wage in NOK, as well as the duration of the offer.
If you have own funds, you must transfer the amount to an account in your own name in a Norwegian bank or deposit the amount in an account established by the educational institution for this purpose. You can document that you possess the funds by means of a transcript of your bank balance, or a confirmation from the educational institution that the money is deposited in an account. The UDI is aware that it can be difficult to open an account in a Norwegian bank, if you do not have a personal number in Norway. The real alternative for most potential students is to deposit the amount in an account established by the educational institution for this purpose.
4. You must be guaranteed accommodation
It must be guaranteed that you have somewhere to live during the period that the application refers to. The accommodation requirement is met if you have at your disposal a house, an apartment, a bedsitter or a room in a hall of residence.
5. You must leave Norway when your residence permit expires
It must be probable that you will return to your home country when you have completed your studies, and circumstances in your home country must also indicate that you will be able to return.
How to apply
Check where to hand in your application
- If you are outside Norway you hand in your application at a Norwegian embassy or consulate in your home country or the country where you have held a residence permit for the last six months. In some countries you will hand in the application at the Swedish or Danish embassy instead. Check here where to hand in the application.
- If you are in Norway, you can apply from here if you have held another type of permit for the past nine months. You can also apply from Norway if you have skilled worker qualifications or are a family member of a EEA citizen with the right of residence in Norway.
Learn more about who can apply from Norway
If you do not meet the conditions for applying from within Norway, you cannot submit an application at a foreign service mission and then travel to Norway while you wait for the result of the UDI’s consideration of the application.
Find out if you should apply online
You should register your application online if you apply from Norway or through a Norwegian embassy You cannot register your application online if you hand in the application at a Swedish or Danish embassy.
If you hand in the application at a Swedish or Danish embassy you must fill in a form on paper and hand it in at the embassy. You can find the form here. The form is also used for renewing a permit
What must you hand in with the application?
Both applicants who register their applications online and those who hand in a paper version need to hand in their passport and other necessary documentation.
- If you apply online, you will at the same time book an appointment for handing in your documents to the police or an embassy. You will not have to wait in line when you turn up for your appointment.
- If are not applying online you need to contact the embassy to find out when to hand in the documents along with the application form.
When you have visited the embassy or police station and handed in your passport and other necessary documentation we will start to process your application.
In addition to the completed application form (online or paper version), you must enclose:
- a copy of your passport
- a passport photo/ photo that meets specific requirements
- a letter of admission from the educational institution containing your name, the study programme you have been admitted to and the duration of your studies
- documentation of financial maintenance (subsistence), for example in the form of documentation of support from the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund, a transcript of your bank balance or a confirmation from an educational institution that the money is deposited in its account
- documentation that you have somewhere to live
- documentation of paid application fee
- a translation of the documents into Norwegian or English.
As a rule, it is sufficient that you enclose a copy of the documents with your application, but you must present the original documents when you hand in your application.
When you are granted your first student residence permit, you are automatically granted a permit to work part-time in addition to your studies and full-time during holidays. Read more about your rights and obligations in part-time work for students.
Case processing times
See the list of the UDI’s expected case processing times here.
The Directorate of Immigration’s (UDI) goal is to process all educational cases well before the start of the school year. This requires you to apply as soon as you have been admitted to an educational institution, enclosing all necessary documentation.
If your application is granted, you must get yourself a residence card. This is a proof that you have the right to live in Norway. You will receive a letter which informs you that you must visit the police to have your fingerprints and photo taken. About ten days later the card will be sent to you by post.
Read more about residence cards
The content of the permit
Is the permit renewable?
Your study permit is renewable. To be entitled to stay on the same conditions while we process your application, you must apply for renewal at least one month before your permit expires. Read more about how to apply for renewal of your study permit, and what documentation must be enclosed.
You can be granted a residence permit after you have completed your studies
Persons who have recently completed their studies or researchers can be granted a residence permit for up to six months (a jobseeker period) to seek employment as a skilled worker.
In order to be granted such a permit, you must apply and be able to document that:
- you have become qualified as a skilled worker during your stay in Norway, or
- you had specialist training before your stay in Norway and took further education in Norway
You must also meet the requirement for financial maintenance (subsistence) for you and, if relevant, your family. This must correspond to 82 prosent of salary grade 19 in the pay scale for Norwegian state employees. At the moment this corresponds to kr 112 955 for six months and equivalent to kr 18 826 per month
You can take unskilled work during the jobseeker period, but you must have obtained employment as a skilled worker before the permit expires. If you fail to find work during the jobseeker period, you have to return to your home country when you permit expires.
You can appeal a rejection
Read more about how to appeal a decision here
If you have more questions about this topic, contact your nearest Norwegian embassy or consulate, the nearest police district or the UDI’s Information Service.