Getting a Visa: One step closer to becoming a Norwegian

Updated 2009-09-23 11:46

Today I am officially a person in Norway. My existence is confirmed through a number and a visa by all the nameless officials that determine who stays and who goes. I no longer walk around with out a "person number" as they call it here (social security number). Specifically, my visa is a work permit-family immigration visa. The great thing about this visa is that after three years I have the right to live permanently in Norway.

How did I get a visa? First, we went directly to the local police station and spoke with the immigration office. Typically, they are only open a couple days a week, so avoid frustration and find out when they are open and when they leave for lunch! There, they told me what and how to apply. Surprisingly, in my case the qualifications were quite simple:

1. Norwegian-born boyfriend with whom I lived with for two years
2. Proof (rental agreement and bills) of our living together
3. My Norwegian-born boyfriend is employed and financially secure with proof
4. Proof of address in Norway
5. My birth certificate and passport

I filled out the necessary form, signed, turned in papers and waited. About 3-4 weeks later (today), I was determined a real person in Norway!

Not all cases are this simple. The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration website provides extensive and detailed information on various types of visas, applications and information on who can apply and what to apply for. Still, it is all very confusing. So the simplest step is to do as I did and talk to the local police station.

Also, during the processing of my visa, I was advised not to travel. Permission back into Norway before your visa is issued is not allowed, so once you leave you can't come back! Good luck to everyone attempting a visa and leave a comment if you have more advice!

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