All Fulbright grantees and their accompanying family members whose stay in mainland Norway will exceed three months must apply for residence via a “study permit” (grantee) or “family immigration” (grantee family members). Grantees who will be on Svalbard do not need to apply for a permit. (NB: You should not apply for a visa.)
Who must apply for a residence permit?
U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter Norway or any other country that is part of the Schengen Area. However, anyone who plans to stay in Norway or in Norway and other Schengen countries for more than 90 days must apply for a residence permit. Residence permits are different from visas. Everyone, including applicants under 18 years of age, must submit their own individual application.
Scholars whose total stay in Norway (and other Schengen Area countries) is less than 90 days are not required to apply for a residence permit.
If you will be arriving very early, or if you think that your situation differs from the norm in any way, please contact us immediately. Contact us also if you receive contradicting information from other sources.
The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) is Norway’s central executive body for immigration and refugees.
When to apply
You should submit your application as early as possible and, for scholars, absolutely no later than two months before arrival in Norway. Students should apply by no later than July1st.
You may be told that it is possible to apply for a residence permit upon arrival. This is accurate but misleading. We strongly recommend that you apply well in advance, so that you will be able to acquire a personnummer and open a bank account shortly after arrival. Delays in any step of the process might mean delays in receiving disbursements from your Fulbright grant.
Where to submit the application
After completing the application online, you will need to go in person to one of the VFS Application Centres (currently in San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Washington D.C. and New York) or to one of the Norwegian Honorary Consulates in the US to submit your passport and other required documents. Please note that submission to honorary consulates is new as of spring 2016, so the consul you will submit to may not be familiar with the change. Also, as the consuls are single individuals and not full time staff, response times may be slow and office hours limited. Allow plenty of time to get in touch with the honorary consul for an appointment. If going to an honorary consul, you will also need to bring a money order for overnight delivery of your passport to the New York consulate and a self-addressed, prepaid, traceable envelope for return of your passport. Please confirm the details of what to bring directly with the consul.
Since 2016, Norwegian immigration regulations have stipulated that residence permit applications from Fulbright grantees and their dependent family members (spouse, children under 18) are to be free of charge. Whether submitting your application to a VFS service center or an honorary consulate, you will have to pay the fee to apply, but it will be credited back to the card you used once the papers have been forwarded by the service center or honorary consulate. The refund is automatic and will normally take about two weeks.
NB if you apply via a VFS service center, be aware that they charge a filing fee per application submitted. As of April, 2018 this fee is $63.
Before you submit your application:
When you receive notification that your residence permit application has been approved:
* US citizens are not permitted to remain in any country within the Schengen area for more than 90 days within a 180 day period without a residence permit. The US State Department maintains a fact sheet on the Schengen Area, to which you may want to refer.