Residence Permits

All Fulbright grantees and their accompanying family members whose stay in mainland Norway will exceed three months must apply for residence permits (please see the bottom of this page for links to specific instructions). 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 June 30th.

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 book an appointment to go in person to one of the VFS Application Centers in San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Washington D.C. or New York to submit your passport and other required documents and to be photographed and fingerprinted.

Application Fee

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. 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 to the Consulate General in New York. The refund is automatic and will normally take about two weeks.

NB Be aware that VFS charges processing fees per application submitted. As of January, 2020 the total cost for one applicant is $82. Unfortunately, VFS fees are non-refundable.


Before you submit your application:

  • Save a copy of your entire application and keep the copy for your own records
  • Retain certified copies of all supplementary documentation and bring to Norway if your permit is not approved before you arrive
  • Notify us when you have submitted your application

When you receive notification that your residence permit application has been approved:

  • Carefully check birth dates, spelling of names, dates of residence in Norway
  • Notify the Norwegian Consulate AND the Fulbright Office immediately if there are any mistakes.
  • Schedule an appointment to be photographed and fingerprinted for your residence permit card. When going to the appointment bring your passport, your complete address in Norway including the dwelling number, and the letter granting you a residence permit if you have it. Your residence permit card will be mailed to you after you have been photographed and fingerprinted at the police station.
  • The Fulbright Office needs a copy of your residence permit – both for grantees and for their accompanying dependents.

* 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 has published information on the Schengen Area, to which you may want to refer.

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