Frequently asked questions about visitor visas
I want to apply for a visitor visa
Where should I go when I have questions about visitor visas?
VFS Global is the main point of contact for all public enquiries. You will find the contact information on the VFS Global website (external website). VFS responds to ongoing enquiries, such as questions about practical matters, application procedures, which documents you as an applicant must submit, and where a case is in the case process between VFS and the Norwegian immigration authorities.
If VFS cannot respond to your enquiry and you need further guidance, you must contact the embassy responsible for the country from which you have applied for a visitor's visa. You can find the contact information by searching for the relevant embassy/consulate here (external website). Please note that the foreign stations can only be contacted via e-mail.
If an application for a visitor visa is with UDI, you must contact UDI. If you are going to appeal a decision made by UDI, you must also contact UDI. You will find a description of the appeal procedure here.
How do I apply for a visitor visa?
Please note that the instructions in the video do not apply when Norway is represented by another Schengen member state in the country from which you have applied for a visitor visa.
The application process can be divided into two parts:
PART 1: Online registration of the application and payment of the application fee.
First, you or the person who is going to travel to Norway must complete an electronic application for a visitor visa at the UDI website.
The words "you" and "your" in the application form refer to the person who is going to visit Norway. In most cases, applicants will complete an application for themselves. If, however, you are completing the application on behalf of another person, for example a family member, "you" in the application form refers to that person. It also means that where it says "which country are you applying from", you must state the country where the applicant resides.
When the application form has been completed, you must pay the application fee online. The person who completes the electronic application will then receive a confirmation by e-mail and a document with the file name "Schengen.pdf". This document must be printed and signed by the applicant in person.
PART 2: You as an applicant for a visitor visa must meet in person at a VFS application centre in your home country or the country of residence to submit the application and all your documents there.
After the application has been registered online and the fee has been paid, you as an applicant for a visa to visit Norway must make an appointment with a VFS Global application centre (external website) in your home country or in the country of residence to submit the application documents.
May a person who lives in Norway apply for a visitor visa on my behalf?
No. It is you (the applicant) who must apply for a visitor visa from your home country or the country of residence.
A reference person, i.e. the person you are going to visit, or possibly someone else, can help you with the first part of the application process, which is to register the application online. The second part of the application process, which is to submit the application documents, must be done by you.
You can read about how to apply for a visitor visa here.
How do I apply for a multiple entry visa?
A visitor visa can be issued for one, two or multiple entries. A person holding a multiple-entry visa may visit the Schengen area an unlimited number of times within the visa's validity period.
The first time you get a visitor visa it is usually issued for one entry. If you visit the Schengen area often or have a particular need, you can be granted a visa for multiple entries. If you have a particular need for a visa for multiple entries, you must document this in your visa application.
The application form and application fee are the same for visas for one, two or multiple entries.
You cannot stay in the Schengen area for more than a total of 90 days within a period of 180 days. If you are staying in the Schengen area for more than 90 days during a period of 180 days, this may have negative consequences for future visa applications.
We do not know whether you will receive a multiple-entry visa until you have submitted a visa application. We make an individual assessment in each case.
You will find information on how to apply for a visitor visa here.
I have a residence permit in a Schengen country, but I am going to visit Norway. Do I need to apply for a visitor visa?
If you have a residence permit in a Schengen country, you may visit the other Schengen countries for up to 90 days during a period of 180 days. The amount of time you stay in the country where you have a residence permit is not included in the calculation of the 90 days you can visit the other Schengen countries.
You can use the Schengen calculator (external website) to calculate how long you have stayed in the Schengen area and see if you are within the limit of 90 days per period of 180 days. Please note that you must subtract your stays in the Schengen country where you have a residence permit from the calculation.
Which documents do I need to submit when I apply for a visitor visa?
You will find information on which documents you must submit in the embassy's checklist. You can find all checklists by searching for the relevant embassy/consulate here (external website).
You must bring the documents with you and attend an appointment at your nearest VFS Global application centre (external website) to submit the application and all the documents on the checklist, as well as to provide fingerprints. VFS Global forwards the application to the embassy/consulate for processing.
I would like to invite a person to Norway. Which documents do I have to send to the person who is going to visit me?
You will find information on which documents you must submit with the application for a visitor's visa in the embassy's checklist. You can find the checklist by searching for the relevant embassy/consulate here (external website).
Here are some examples of documents that are usually requested when the visa applicant is going to visit someone in Norway:
- An invitation. An invitation is a letter written by you inviting someone to visit. This letter is submitted together with the other application documents. You will find information about what the invitation must contain here.
Some embassies have a separate invitation form. You can find this in the embassy's checklist. If the embassy has such a form, you may complete the form instead of writing a letter.
- Copy of your passport (the bio page)
- Copy of your residence card if you are not a Norwegian citizen
- For family visits: Documentation of the family relationship between you and the person who is going to visit Norway (e.g. marriage certificate, birth certificate, family book etc.)
- When visiting a girlfriend/boyfriend: Documentation of your relationship. If you have met in person, this may, for example, be a copy of the pages in your passport that show entry and exit stamps from when you visited your girlfriend/boyfriend. You may also submit a couple of photos that show that you have met in person. You may also write in the invitation letter about where and when you met and how much time you have spent together.
What does a "reference person" mean?
A reference person is the person that lives in Norway and that wants to have a visit.
What does it mean to be a sponsor?
People who are going to visit Norway must prove that they have enough money for their stay in Norway and the return journey. If a person who is going to visit Norway does not have enough money themselves, a person who lives in Norway may be a sponsor for the stay. The sponsor must complete a sponsorship form.
You will find the sponsorship form and more information about being a sponsor here.
Previously, sponsors had to present their passports and documentation of income/funds to the police. The guarantee form also had to be stamped by the police. With the new sponsorship form, you do not need to go to the police and get a stamp.
Are guarantor and sponsor the same thing?
Yes. A new sponsorship form was introduced on 1 February 2022. The sponsorship form has replaced UDI's guarantee form for visits.
What does it mean to grant a person a power of attorney?
If you want someone to be able to act on your behalf in connection with your application, you must grant this person a power of attorney. This person may be, for instance, your employer, a family member or another person you trust.
The person you grant a power of attorney must be of legal age, i.e. over 18 years of age.
I cannot find the "cover letter". What should I do?
We have made changes to our electronic application system and you will no longer receive a document called "cover letter". Unfortunately, this may not be reflected in all the relevant checklists yet.
When you have completed and submitted the online application form, you will receive a confirmation by e-mail. Attached in the e-mail, there is a document with the file name "Schengen.pdf". When you open this document, it should state "Harmonised application form" and have a barcode on the front page. This document must be printed, signed and submitted together with the application instead of the "cover letter".
The online application form for a visitor visa must be completed electronically at udi.no. You must select the alternatives that apply to you on the website in order to arrive at the correct application form.
I entered some wrong information in the application form. May I modify the application form?
If you have already submitted the application form online, you cannot go back and modify the form you have submitted. UDI cannot modify the form for you either.
However, the embassy may correct minor errors in the application, such as typos or errors connected to dates of planned travel. If you want the embassy to modify something in the form, you must write a letter with an explanation of what you want to be modified. You must submit this letter together with the rest of your application documents at the application centre. When the embassy receives the application documents and registers the case, they may modify any errors in the application.
When you complete the application form online, you must state which country you are applying from and select the embassy or consulate that will process the application. It is not possible to change the responsible embassy/consulate after you have submitted the application form.
If you have chosen the wrong place of application, you must complete and submit a new application form and, if necessary, contact the embassy and request whether the embassy can refund the fee for the first case.
It is stated on the UDI website that another country's embassy will process the visa application. What does it mean for me?
If your application for a visitor visa is going to be processed by a country other than Norway, you must follow the application procedure for that country. If you have questions about how to apply for a visitor visa, the application process, questions about document requirements or follow-up on your case, you must contact the application centre or the embassy that is going to process your application.
How can I withdraw my application and get a refund of the application fee?
If you want a refund of an application fee, you must contact the relevant embassy (external website) that is responsible for your application. UDI cannot help you with reimbursement.
The application fee may only be refunded if you have not attended an appointment and submitted the application in person.
If you have completed the wrong application form, you must register a new application. To get a refund of the application fee for the first application, you must contact the relevant embassy (external website).
If you want to withdraw an application before you have attended an appointment in person to submit the application documents, you must contact the embassy you selected in the application form and request a refund of the fee.
You will find more information about refund of an application fee here.
When we receive the information that you want to withdraw your application, UDI will dismiss your case and send you a written confirmation of the dismissal.
I have a residence permit in Norway which will soon expire. When can I visit Norway again?
If you have a residence permit in Norway, you must leave Norway and the Schengen area before your residence permit expires. If you want to visit Norway after your residence permit has expired, you can return to the Schengen area at any time after your residence permit has expired, and then stay here as a visitor for up to 90 days. The time you have spent in the Schengen area on the basis of a residence permit is not included in the calculation of the 90 days you may visit without a residence permit.
If you travel out of the Schengen area and return to the Schengen area before your residence permit has expired, you must still travel out of the Schengen area when your permit expires. If you need a visitor visa to visit Norway and the Schengen area, you must return to your home country and apply for a visitor visa there.
What is the difference between C and D visas?
A C visa is a visa for a short stay ("short stay visa"). With a C visa, the total length of your stay in the Schengen area cannot exceed 90 days during any period of 180 days. The rules for C visas are common to all Schengen countries.
A D visa is an entry visa or a visa for long stay ("long stay visas"). A number of Schengen countries issue D visas for stays of more than 90 days. Each individual Schengen country decides the requirements for granting a D visa. This type of D visa gives access to travel in other countries in the Schengen area than the country that issued the D visa for up to 90 days during any 180-days period.
Norway issues D-visas as entry visas, most often to those who have recently been granted a residence permit, or to those who have lost their residence card. This type of D visa allows you to travel in transit through other Schengen countries to Norway.
I have applied for a visitor visa
When will I receive an answer to my application for a visitor visa?
If the application is processed by the responsible embassy in the country where you apply, you will usually receive an answer within 15 days after submitting the application at the VFS application centre, embassy or consulate.
If your application is processed by an embassy in another country, it will take a few more days, because your application must be sent by courier to and from the embassy.
The vast majority of applications are processed by the embassy, but if the embassy is in doubt as to whether you can get a visa, they will send your application to UDI.
We cannot answer whether the case will be sent to UDI, since it is the embassy that decides this. If your case is sent to UDI
- you will be notified by e-mail or SMS
- you will usually receive a response within 45 days of submitting the application at the VFS application centre, embassy or consulate
You will find more information about our waiting times here.
My application for a visitor visa was submitted more than 15 days ago and it is still with the embassy. When will I receive an answer?
My application for a visitor visa is with the embassy, but I cannot get in touch with the embassy or VFS. Could UDI provide me assistance?
Unfortunately, UDI cannot assist you if your case is with the embassy or with VFS Global. They will answer you as soon as possible.
Please note that embassies/consulates can only be contacted via e-mail. You will find contact information for embassies/consulates by searching for the relevant embassy/consulate here (external website). You will find contact information for VFS (external website).
I have been granted a visitor visa
Should I check the information in my visa?
Yes, it is important that you check the information in your visa is correct.
The visa includes the following information
- Whether you can visit all Schengen countries or just some, for example just Norway.
- The earliest date on which you can enter Norway or other Schengen countries.
- The latest date by which you must leave Norway or Schengen.
- The total number of days you can stay in Norway or other Schengen countries. You can only remain in Norway or Schengen for the number of days for which your visa is valid. Remember that both the day you arrive and the day you leave count.
- Passport number.
- How many times you can enter and exit the Schengen area (one, two or multiple entries).
- Your name.
- Remarks. Remarks are given in codes, in the section below you will find a list of the codes and what they mean.
You may have been granted a visa for fewer days or fewer entries than you have applied for. If you believe this is due to an error or a misunderstanding, you must contact the embassy. If you disagree with the decision, you can appeal to the embassy.
Remarks on the visa
Remarks are codes with further information about your visa, listed under the area marked (8) on the picture above. The coded remarks on the visa have the following meaning:
NO 1: The visa is issued under ‘Approved Destination Status’ for China.
NO 2: Exempted from the travel insurance requirement.
NO 3: The visa is also valid for the Faroe Islands.
NO 4: The visa is also valid for Greenland.
NO 5: The visa is also valid for the Faroe Islands and Greenland.
NO 6: The applicant has exceptionally been issued a visa even if the passport is not valid 3 months after the last day of validity of the visa, in accordance with Norwegian Immigration Regulation § 3-9 second paragraph.
Why is the validity period of my visa longer than the number of days I have been granted a visa for (period of grace)?
When we issue a single-entry visa, we always add 15 extra days. This extra period of time is called "period of grace" and is meant to give you more flexibility, not a longer stay. It is important to remember that you cannot stay in the Schengen area for more than the number of days stated on the visa label.
For instance, if you have been issued a visa for 90 days, the to-from date will be 105 days. Remember that you only have permission to be in the Schengen area for up to 90 days during this period.
What is the 90/180 days rule?
If you visit Norway and the Schengen area, you can stay as a visitor for up to 90 days per period of 180 days.
For instance, if you have stayed in the Schengen area for 90 days, you must leave and stay outside the Schengen area for at least 90 days before you can return. The visit time can also be divided into several shorter visits.
The 180 days period is "mobile", which means that in any period of 180 days one cannot have spent more than 90 days in the Schengen area.
If you need a visitor visa to visit Norway and the Schengen area again, you must apply for a visitor visa from your home country.
You may use the Schengen calculator to calculate how long you have visited the Schengen area and whether this is within the limit of 90 days during a period of 180 days.
Please note that your visa may be issued for a shorter period than 90 days. In such a case, you cannot stay longer in the Schengen area than the visa allows.
The embassy has completed processing my application for a visitor visa. When will I receive the decision?
I have received an answer to my application for a visitor visa. How long will it take to get my passport back?
How do I extend my visa?
If you want to stay longer in Norway or the Schengen area than your visa allows, you must apply for an extension of your visa. Extensions of visas are only granted in exceptional cases, for instance if you have become seriously ill or a natural disaster has occurred.
Visitor visas can never be extended to allow a stay beyond 90 days during a period of 180 days.
You can read more about the requirements for visa extensions, how to apply and where you can submit the application here.
My application for a visitor visa has been rejected
How long does it take to get an answer to my appeal?
If your application for a visitor visa has been rejected by the embassy, you must check the relevant embassy's website for information on waiting times (external website). UDI cannot answer how long it will take the embassy to process your case.
If the embassy does not change its decision, and sends it over to UDI for processing, you will be notified of this by e-mail. If the appeal is sent to UDI, it may take up to 13 months for you to receive an answer. The processing time is calculated from when the application for a visitor visa was registered by the embassy or consulate. You can read more about this here.
Please note that the waiting time may change. Here you can read about what can cause the waiting time to change and how you can stay updated.
I have questions regarding the content of the decision. Who can I talk to?
If UDI has made the decision, and you have questions about the content, you can contact us by phone.
If you want someone to be able to act on your behalf in connection with your application, you must grant this person a power of attorney. You will find the power of attorney form and more information about what it means to grant someone power of attorney here.