There’s a beautiful Norwegian proverb which says, “That which is loved is always beautiful.” No wonder that suits pretty well for this Scandinavian country which is full of life and exuberance. Norway attracts millions of tourists every year, some of them are first-time visitors and quite a few are regular visitors who found their inner self here. Now there are several school of thoughts behind getting a visa of Norway for an Indian. Many tourists applied for it and got in the first attempt, and many got rejected even twice. Through this blog post we aim to unravel certain such theories that were formulated out of people’s experiences of applying for a Norway’s Schengen visa.
Did you know: Norway ranked First on the World Happiness Report 2017 and also holds the same position in the OECD Better Life Index.
What is Schengen?
Let’s settle the dust around it first, Schengen Area is a group of 26 European countries. They have abolished all passports and other border controls at their mutual borders to allow free movement of people into countries. They follow a common visa policy and a single jurisdiction for international travel. In whichever country you go in this Schengen region, you are allowed to stay for a maximum of 90 days, if you’re on a short term visa. It allows the tourist to enter the Schengen area from any zone (Country) and leave from any of the 26 Schengen countries. You can visit any Schengen country once you get the visa of Norway or any other Schengen country for that matter.
Now, let’s start off by taking you through the procedure of visa application, its fees, necessary documents etc.
Depending on the duration of your visit and the purpose, there are two types of Visa for Norway. One is a short-term visa that is for a stay of a maximum of 90 days or less, this is when you are visiting the country to meet your relatives, travel with your friends and family or on a honeymoon.
The other visa is long-stay visa which is for a longer duration for people who wants to study or set up a business in Norway.
Suggested Read: Guide To Switzerland Visa For Indians
Indian citizens necessarily need to apply for a visitor’s visa for Norway/Schengen Countries. However, Indian diplomatic passport holders do not need a visa to visit Norway in an official visit.
The visa application process can take a maximum of 21 working days in the peak season.
Trivia: The year 2017 saw the record increase of 18.5% increase from the year-ago in the visa applications from India to Norway. This increased number stood at 17772 visa applications.
Tip: Apply for a visitor’s visa well in advance to avoid the last-minute hassle. At least 15-20 days in advance to avoid the last-minute hassle. You can apply 3 months before from the date of travelling, to be on the safer side.
Recommendation: Don’t book your flight tickets and do hotel bookings until you have your visa in your hand.
Next up is, if you want to apply for a visa from India, you should be a citizen of India, Nepal or Bhutan. If you don’t belong to any of these three countries, then you will have to provide a justification of applying for a visa from India.
If you’re visiting Norway with your family or your friends, then the embassy has initiated a provision to apply together as a group (even if two people are travelling). This will help in saving time for both the parties, you and the authorities. For this, you need to register as a group in the visa application portal of Norway. The pre-requisites for applying as a group are as follows:
- The applicants applying together must share the same itinerary.
- They should submit their application at the same VFS Center (Visa Facilitation Services).
- A minimum of 2 people and a maximum of 16 people can register as a group on the portal.
All the people travelling to Norway (after November 2015) for the first time are required to provide their fingerprint and photograph at the VFS centre while going for documentation. The entire group has to go together on the same day to the same VFS centre for this purpose of documentation and fingerprint scanning.
You can book your group’s appointment by contacting the VFS centre on the coordinates given here: email@example.com or +91 22 67866021.
You can avail the services of a travel agency accredited by Royal Norwegian Embassy, New Delhi. These agencies will help you in the application process and reduce the chances of errors in the application. Some of these accredited travel agencies are Thomas Cook India, Akbar Travels, Cox & Kings, Club 7 Holidays, Bombay Travels etc.
Now comes the checklist of the documents which are very necessary in this entire process of visa application. Failure to provide any of these documents during the process will lead to rejection of your visa application. Here goes the list of documents for the tourist visa.
Norway Visa Requirements
- Original passport which is currently being used which has been issued within previous 10 years, has at least 2 empty pages, and valid for at least 3 months at the date of applying. All the previous passports (if any) are also required.
- The passport size photograph of the applicant with a white background which must not be older than 6 months.
- The signed cover letter received over email from the online application portal Norway.
- Take a print and answer all the questions present in the questionnaire for C-Visa (Short-Term visa) and submit it with the visa application.
- Confirmed booking with travel itinerary of the round trip with a valid travel and health insurance for the stay in the Schengen area.
- Certificate from the travel agency confirming the booking and itinerary of the trip along with confirmation of the payment to the travel agent of the tour package.
- Documents of employment, leave permission, copy of bank statement of the last 6 months. NOC from the employer and ITR form also needs to be carried.
- Proof of civil status is also required which contains marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, death certificate of spouse, ration card etc.
- If a person less than 18 years is travelling alone, then a copy of consent letter from both parents. Copy of this letter from the other parent, if one of the parent is accompanying the person on the trip.
- If you’re travelling as a group and have applied as a group of 2 or more people, then don’t forget to get a front letter from the travel agency. It has all the details of the trip (number of days of stay, travel route, countries etc.) Also, confirmed booking from the hotel, including the name and date of birth of the travellers.
- If you’re visiting on a business trip or for a business purpose, then the invitation letter from the Norwegian company with its address and date of visit is needed. Along with that, proof of previous trade relations between the two companies (if applicable). Business bank statement of the past 6 months also should be provided here.
- If you’re visiting the country for medical treatment, then a local medical report with a medical attestation from the doctor in Norway having the date of appointment and the medical situation.
All these documents (whatever applicable) must be submitted in original and certified copies. The original documents will be verified and returned after diligence and the copies will be retained by the authority. The documents must be in English or Norwegian language and no other language is accepted. If it is not, then the documents must be translated by an authorized translator to either English or Norwegian.
Take print out of all the documents, the checklist and tick off the documents which you have submitted. Attach that document checklist with your application and deliver the application.
Next on Norway visa for Indians, register on the application portal, and for that you need to create an account on the portal if you are registering for the first time. The confirmation mail will come on your registered email id with a cover letter attached with it which confirms your application form and the fees. You need to print this cover letter and submit it together with the above-mentioned documents.
Also read: What is a Sponsorship Letter for Visa?
Norway visa fees
Now comes one of the most important part, which is the application fees. The visa fee for adults is 60 Euros (1 Euro = ₹79.02 is the prevailing exchange rate) and for children falling in the bracket of 6-12 years, it is 35 Euros. Children under 6 years of age are exempted from the visa fees. The following are also exempted from the visa fee: Indian researchers travelling for research related work, holders of diplomatic passport, up to 25 years old representative of a non-profit organization etc. There is also a service fees of 20 Euros to VFS which is an external service provider.
Tip: The applicant must sign the cover letter before submitting it. If there is any error in the form, it can be edited by the embassy. You don’t have to submit the application again.
The visa application processing time is between 15-20 days, depending on the season and number of applications. In some special cases where the applications are sent to the Directorate of Immigration (UDI), it might take up to 30 days for processing. UDI also can take a maximum of 60 days in taking the decision. Also, if you’re based in Delhi, due to courier services, it might take 2 additional days after 15 days and if you’re from any other city, it might take 4-6 additional days. Thus, it is advisable to apply for visa well in advance at least 4 weeks prior to date of travel. You can check the status of your application and track it online on the VFS portal.
Must read: Visa Interview – Questions, Answers, Tips
Now comes the D-Day where the result of your application is declared by the Embassy or VFS. For that, the applicant should give his/her personal contact number and email address in the application. The result can be picked from the VFS Application Centre Office where the application was submitted. It can also be ordered via a courier service at your doorstep by paying additional fees. Check the visa sticker at your passport and the duration of stay granted by the authority. If the application is rejected, you will receive a written explanation citing reasons for rejection of your application.
On arrival into the Schengen area, you need to show your passport with visa sticker, proof of sufficient funds for your stay (cash or credit card), documents showing purpose of your visit, hotel booking confirmation, confirmed return ticket etc.
For your reference, Norway embassy which is the Royal Norwegian Embassy is in the national capital Delhi. The complete address is 50-C, Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, Teen Murti Marg, New Delhi, Delhi 110021. This embassy in New Delhi is responsible for the Norwegian Honorary Consulates in Chennai, Kolkata, and Mumbai.
This is all we had in this edition of Norway visa for Indians. We tried our best to make you aware about all the nitty gritty of applying for a Norway tourist visa for an Indian and also if it’s an official trip. We hope you got a fair bit of idea as to how to go about applying for a Norway tourist visa and what are points to be taken care of while submitting your application.