To start page
  • Use of cookies
  • Archive
  • Sitemap
  • Contact
  • Print
  • Print
  • Change text size
Norsk

UDI circulars

RS 2010-101
Document-ID : RS 2010-101
Case-ID : 15/10313
Last modified : 28.04.2016
Documentdate : 01.01.2010
Receiver :

Chiefs of Police
The foreign service missions
The Directorate of Immigration (UDI)

Residence permits for students – the Immigration Act section 26 first paragraph letter b, cf. the Regulations sections 6-19 first paragraph and 6-33 second paragraph


Editorial comment: The circular (sections 2.3.2, 4.1.1 and 8.1) is being revised (March 7, 2017).

1. Introduction

2. Conditions for a first-time residence permit for students

2.1. The purpose must be full-time education

2.2. Admission and the significance of previous studies in Norway

2.3. Approved educational institutions and study programmes

2.3.1. Universities, university colleges and technical colleges

2.3.2. Norwegian courses and tuition in the Norwegian language

2.3.3. University and university college summer schools

2.3.4. Upper secondary schools

2.4. Requirement for assured subsistence

2.5. Accommodation requirement

2.6. Age requirement

2.7. Return conditions and the requirement for good conduct on the part of the applicant etc.

3. About research fellows in particular

4. The content and duration of the permit

4.1. The content of the permit

4.1.1. Students’ right to full-time work for a limited period

4.2. Duration of the permit

5. Application and case-processing procedures

5.1. Place of application

5.1.1. Main rule: the student shall submit the application from his/her home country

5.1.2. Exception: Entitled to apply for a residence permit from Norway

5.2. Fees

6. The application form and other documentation

6.1. The application form, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-2 first paragraph

6.2. Other documentation

6.3. Procedure

7. Power of decision

7.1. Notification of the decision

8. Renewal of resident permits for students

8.1. Conditions for renewal

8.1.1. Conditions for continued right to work part-time

8.1.2. Conditions for renewal when staying abroad (excursions, fieldwork) or similar in connection with studies

8.2. Documentation requirements for applications for renewal

8.3. Application procedures

8.4. Power of decision in renewal cases

8.5. The duration and content of the renewed permit

9. Appealing a decision

10. Revocation of a residence permit

1. Introduction

This circular concerns residence permits for foreign nationals for whom education is the purpose of and grounds for their residence in Norway.

Residence permits are not required to study in Norway for up to three months, cf. the Immigration Act section 55 second paragraph.

Foreign nationals who plan to study in Norway but have other grounds for residing here (for example, a residence permit for family immigration, a residence permit on humanitarian grounds, protection or a permanent residence permit) are not covered by the circular.

Nor are foreign nationals who plan to study at a folk high school or religion/belief-based school covered by the circular, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 6-19 second paragraph. Reference is made to circular RS 2010-124 in this context.

Furthermore, the circular does not apply to foreign nationals who are covered by the EEA Agreement or the EFTA Convention. Separate rules apply to these foreign nationals, cf. the Immigration Act chapter 13, cf. the Regulations chapter 19.

2. Conditions for a first-time residence permit for students

2.1. The purpose must be full-time education

It is a condition that education is the purpose of the stay and that it concerns full-time education, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 6-19 first paragraph third sentence. At university/university college and technical college level, this means that the foreign national must take subjects or courses that qualify for full support from the State Educational Loan Fund (Lånekassen). This applies regardless of whether the foreign national intends to finance his/her stay through the State Educational Loan Fund.

2.2. Admission and the significance of previous studies in Norway

The applicant must have been admitted to an approved educational institution, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 6-19 first paragraph first sentence. Which educational institutions are approved in this context is described in 2.3 below. The fact that a study programme qualifies for support from the State Educational Loan Fund does not necessarily mean that it is approved.

Note that it is not a requirement that the study programme to be taken in Norway is a continuation of an education that has already been completed in the applicant’s country of origin.

If the applicant has previously held a residence permit for studies in Norway, and is applying for a new first-time residence permit for studies, it is required that the applicant has had satisfactory academic progress in his/her previous studies in Norway, and that the planned studies are a continuation of these previous studies. See section 8.1 of this circular for what is considered satisfactory academic progress and continuation of previous studies, and the required documentation.

2.3. Approved educational institutions and study programmes

2.3.1. Universities, university colleges and technical colleges

Residence permits can be granted to study at a university, specialised university institution, state university college or national academy of the arts, cf. Act no 15 of 1 August 2005 (the Norwegian Universities and Colleges Act) section 1.

A residence permit may also be granted:

  • for studies at an educational institution approved pursuant to the Act relating to private schools (Act No 84 of 4 July 2003 relating to private schools entitled to government grants)
  • for studies when the course of study offered is approved pursuant to the Act relating to private schools, or
  • for a study programme at a technical college when the study programme is approved pursuant to the Act relating to technical colleges (Act no 56 of 20 June 2003).

It is NOKUT (the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education) that approves higher education institutions, as well as courses of study pursuant to the Act relating to private schools and the Act relating to technical colleges. See www.nokut.no.

2.3.2. Norwegian courses and tuition in the Norwegian language

A residence permit may be granted for an introductory Norwegian language course for up to one year prior to commencing a study programme for which Norwegian language skills are required.

It is a condition that the applicant has been offered admission (conditional admission) to an approved educational institution/ approved study programme following completion of the Norwegian language course.

The course in the Norwegian language must be held at university college or university level at an approved educational institution. As a rule, residence permits are not granted for an introductory Norwegian language course prior to a study programme at technical college level.

Otherwise, residence permits are not generally granted for tuition in Norwegian. Exceptions can be made on exceptional grounds, for example if the course of study is part of an already commenced study programme in Norwegian or Nordic studies in the applicant’s home country.

2.3.3. University and university college summer schools

Residence permits are not required for participation in summer schools for up to three months, cf. the Immigration Act section 55 second paragraph. In such cases, students can stay in Norway on the basis of a visa or stay on a visa-free basis.

Students who have held a residence permit in Norway or a visa for three months or longer, can be granted a residence permit to attend summer school at university or university college level.

2.3.4. Upper secondary schools

As a rule, residence permits are not granted for attending upper secondary schools.

Exceptions may be made in the following cases:

  • in connection with the internationalisation of schools under the auspices of county authorities or international student exchange programmes under the auspices of not-for-profit organisations (exchange students). In such case, it must be documented in the form of a cooperation agreement/ friendship agreement for the reciprocal cultural exchange of students between the county/ not-for-profit organisation in question and regions/counties in the applicant’s country of origin. This applies to both public upper secondary schools and private upper secondary schools approved pursuant to the Act relating to private schools (Act No 84 of 4 July 2003 relating to private schools entitled to government grants) for students at the Red Cross Nordic United World College, Skagerak International School and other schools that offer the IB study programme (IB = International Baccalaureate).
  • for foreign nationals permanently resident in another Nordic country in accordance with the ‘Agreement on Nordic educational cooperation at upper secondary level between Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden’ of 4 March 1992.
  • if the applicant is a Russian citizen from the target area (the Barents Region), who will not be studying at a vocational upper secondary school.
  • Residence permits may also be granted to study at upper secondary schools provided that the school in question bases its admission of students on specified abilities/skills on the part of the individual applicant, and that the student has been admitted based on his/her possessing such abilities/skills. The abilities/skills concerned must be something other than purely theoretical knowledge. Residence permits can be granted pursuant to this rule for studies at the Norwegian College of Elite Sport (NTG), the Barratt Due Institute of Music and the Bårdar Academy. The list is not exhaustive.

2.4. Requirement for assured subsistence

It is a requirement that the applicant has assured subsistence, cf. the Immigration Act section 58. The applicant must have funds corresponding to full support from the State Educational Loan Fund (Lånekassen, www.lanekassen.no), see appendix 1.

If the applicant is to pay tuition fees that exceed the amount normally granted by the State Educational Loan Fund, the amount in question will come in addition to the above-mentioned subsistence requirement.

In addition to an educational loan/grant, subsistence may be ensured through funding from the authorities in the applicant’s home country or through own funds.

If the applicant has own funds at his/her disposal, the general rule is that the applicant must transfer the amount to an account in a Norwegian bank in his/her own name. Alternatively, the applicant can deposit the amount in an account that the educational institution has opened for this purpose, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-7 first paragraph letter c).

If the stay in Norway is to be financed by public support or a grant from the applicant’s country of origin, documentation of this must be enclosed with the application. It must be clearly stated where the money comes from, the amount in question (converted into a negotiable currency) and how the money is to be transferred to Norway (including whether as monthly amounts or as a one-off transfer).

Expected income from any part-time or full-time work during holidays can be included in the assessment of whether the subsistence requirement is met. The applicant must present an offer of employment in which the scope of the job and pay per month in NOK is stated. For a student who is financing his/her studies through income from employment, the subsistence requirement is NOK 20,000 higher than the full support amount at all times (this is because the income will be taxed). If the foreign national is only partially financing his/her studies by means of income from employment, the funds required over and above the amount corresponding to full support will be reduced proportionately.

As a rule, third-party guarantees are not accepted, cf. the Regulations section 10-7 fourth paragraph. This applies regardless of whether the guarantor is in Norway or elsewhere.

In exceptional cases, however, it may be accepted that parents living in Norway can guarantee that an applicant will receive board and lodging. The value of board and lodging follows from Appendix 2. The applicant must document that he/she has the remaining amount in a Norwegian bank account in his/her own name, or that he/she has paid the amount into the educational institution’s deposit account. A guarantee from the parents that the applicant will also receive this amount during the school year will not be accepted.

It is a condition that parents who guarantee board and lodging can document income at least corresponding to 82 per cent of pay grade 19 in the pay scale for Norwegian state employees. See Appendix 2.

A financial guarantee from a spouse/cohabitant may be accepted if he/she is living in Norway. A joint account is not a condition. The marriage must be documented with a marriage certificate. If the applicant and the guarantor are cohabitants, an established and continuous cohabitation of at least two years must be documented. The guarantor must document an income equivalent to at least 82 percent of pay grade 19 in the pay scale for Norwegian state employees.

As a rule, the educational institution in question cannot guarantee that the applicant will have means of subsistence at his/her disposal.

For some bilateral students (i.e. students who are to study in Norway under a student exchange agreement between an educational institution in the student’s home country and an educational institution in Norway), subsistence can be deemed to be guaranteed if the Norwegian institution declares that the student has the funds required for his/her subsistence. In such case, it is a clear condition that the Norwegian institution knows for certain that the student has a financial arrangement in his/her home country that will cover the entire period during which he/she is to study in Norway. Furthermore, the duration of the student’s stay for educational purposes in Norway should not be more than one year. The Norwegian educational institution must declare in writing that subsistence is guaranteed, either in a separate letter or in the student’s acceptance letter, and it should be stated in the application which financial arrangements the student has.

It is assumed that exchange students mediated via AFS Norway, American Scandinavian Student Exchange (ASSE), Fulbright, Youth for Understanding (YFU), STS High School Foundation (STS), Explorius or Rotary, and students who are going to attend the Red Cross Nordic United World College, who have a scholarship from NOMA (NORAD’s programme for Master’s studies) or who are going to study at a higher education institution under an exchange scheme under the auspices of the EU, have sufficient means of subsistence. The same applies to students participating in the programmes ‘North2North’ and ‘BarentsPlus’.

2.5. Accommodation requirement

The student must be ensured accommodation during the period covered by the application. Accommodation is deemed to be ensured when the foreign national has the use of a house, apartment, bed-sit, room in halls of residence etc. that satisfies official requirements. If the student is going to rent, he/she must submit a written lease approved by the landlord, housing cooperative or other person responsible for the accommodation, cf. the Immigration Act section 58, cf. the Regulations section 10-12 first and second paragraphs.

If the student’s educational institution states in its letter of acceptance that it will find housing for the student, then this is satisfactory documentation.

If a third party is to guarantee accommodation, it is a condition that a lease between the parties is presented in which it is stated that the applicant will not pay rent. The value of the housing/lodgings will be set at half the value of board and lodging (see Appendix 1).

2.6. Age requirement

The applicant must have reached the age of 15 at the time of the decision in order to be granted a residence permit. Applicants between the ages of 15 and 18 must have the consent of their parents or other person with parental responsibility. This follows from the Immigration Regulations section 6-32 first paragraph.

2.7. Return conditions and the requirement for good conduct on the part of the applicant etc.

A residence permit granted to a student pursuant to the Immigration Regulations section 6-19 is a permit of limited duration and it does not form the basis for a permanent residence permit. This entails a clear requirement that the applicant must leave Norway when the permit expires. The immigration authorities shall assess the conditions for the applicant’s return.

The probability of the applicant leaving Norway when the permit expires if he/she does not have other grounds for residence in Norway is therefore a key factor when assessing whether to grant a residence permit. Both individual circumstances relating to the applicant and general conditions in the applicant's home country will be important in this assessment.

It is also a condition that education is the purpose of the applicant’s stay, cf. section 6-19 first paragraph.

If, on the basis of information about the applicant and general experience with certain regions and countries and groups of applicants, the immigration authorities find it probable that the applicant will not return to his/her home country at the end of the stay and/or that he/she has a different purpose for applying for a permit than being a student, the application will be rejected.

Emphasis will be placed on matters such as:

  • whether the applicant has previously applied for protection or a residence permit on other grounds
  • the applicant’s plan for his/her education in Norway and whether it seems realistic
  • previous experience of students in the same situation from the applicant’s home country
  • previous experience of any sponsors in Norway
  • whether it will be legally and practically possible to deport the applicant from Norway
  • the level at which the applicant plans to study and whether the applicant already has a degree from a university or university college.

Moreover, an applicant who otherwise satisfies the conditions for a residence permit can be denied a permit if there are circumstances that constitute grounds for denying the applicant entry to or residence in Norway pursuant to other provisions of the Act, cf. the Immigration Act section 59.

Foreign policy concerns or fundamental national interests may dictate that the application be rejected, cf. the Immigration Act section 126.

3. About research fellows in particular

Doctoral students who are employed at an educational institution (research fellows) shall not be granted a residence permit pursuant to the Immigration Regulations section 6-19 first paragraph. In labour law terms, they are deemed to be employees and are assessed pursuant to the Regulations section 6-1 (skilled workers).

Doctoral students who are not employed at an educational institution will be assessed pursuant to the Regulations section 6-19 first paragraph.

4. The content and duration of the permit

4.1. The content of the permit

The permit entitles its holder to be a student at a specific educational institution, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 6-33 first paragraph. That the applicant is a student, which study programme he/she has been admitted to, and the name and address of the educational institution shall be stated in the decision.

Students who are granted a first-time permit pursuant to the Immigration Act section 26 first paragraph letter b, cf. the Regulations section 6-19 first paragraph, are granted a permit at the same time for part-time work for up to 20 hours per week and full-time work in ordinary holidays, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 6-33 second paragraph. The permit does not entitle its holder to work more than this.

It shall be stated in the decision whether or not the application can be expected to be renewed, and that the applicant, in connection with an application for renewal, must provide confirmation of his/her bank balance (bank statement) on the first day of each of the preceding six months. This is to ensure that the applicant is ensured subsistence for the entire period covered by the permit.

Furthermore, it shall be stated that the permit does not form the basis for a permanent residence permit, cf. the Regulations section 6-19 fourth paragraph, but that it may form the basis for family immigration, cf. the Immigration Act section 49, cf. the Regulations section 9-6 first paragraph.

4.1.1. Students’ right to full-time work for a limited period

People with permits pursuant to the Immigration Regulations section 6-19 can be granted a permit for full-time work for a limited period if

  • documentation exists that the work is part of the education, cf. the Regulations section 6-33 second paragraph first sentence, or
  • the work is a completely necessary precondition for admission to further education within the same programme option, and a concrete offer of employment has been made, see the Regulations section 6-33 second paragraph second sentence.

The application is submitted either at a Norwegian foreign service mission (embassy/consulate) together with the application for a residence permit pursuant to the Regulations section 6-19, or to the police.

Applications must always be accompanied by a statement from the educational institution about the value the work will have in relation to the education or about whether the work is a completely necessary precondition for admission to further education in the same programme option (see appendix 4).

The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) decides applications, cf. the Immigration Act section 65.

A permit cannot be granted for longer than the duration of the applicant’s residence permit, cf. the Immigration Act section 60, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-16.

4.2. Duration of the permit

The main rule is that:

  • permits granted up to and including the spring semester are granted until 31 August
  • permits granted up to and including the autumn semester are granted until 28 February.

Deviation from the above-mentioned dates is permitted if the circumstances so require. The duration of the permit shall not extend beyond the period applied for nor beyond the duration of the study period, cf. the Immigration Act section 60, cf. the Regulations section 10-16 fifth paragraph.

Pursuant to detailed guidelines issued by the UDI, a residence permit as a student granted pursuant to the Regulations section 6-19 first paragraph can be granted for up to three years if this is in accordance with a submitted study plan and it is clear that subsistence is ensured for the whole period, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-16 third paragraph.

As a rule, a first-time permit for quota students is granted for the whole study period in accordance with the nominal length of study. This means that a permit is given a duration of three years for quota students at Bachelor level, a duration of two years for students at Master’s level, and a duration of three years for quota students at doctoral level.

Following a concrete assessment, the UDI can also grant a permit with a duration of up to three years for other students when this is in accordance with a submitted study plan and subsistence is ensured for the whole period.

As a rule, the earliest date of entry is three weeks prior to commencement of the study programme, or earlier if necessary due to participation in courses etc. in connection with the studies.

As a general rule, the final entry date shall be set no later than two weeks after studies have commenced, cf. the Regulations section 10-17 first paragraph.

In principle, the duration of the permit is calculated from the date of reporting to the police. If the application is submitted in Norway, the duration of the permit is calculated from the date of the decision, cf. the Regulations section 10-17 second paragraph.

5. Application and case-processing procedures

5.1. Place of application

5.1.1. Main rule: the student shall submit the application from his/her home country

As a rule, a first-time residence permit must have been granted prior to entering Norway, cf. the Immigration Act section 56 first paragraph.

The application is submitted by the applicant in person to the Norwegian foreign service mission (embassy/consulate) in the country of which the applicant is a citizen, or at a Norwegian foreign service mission in the country where the applicant has had a residence permit for the last six months, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-2 third paragraph.

As a rule, an applicant is not permitted to travel to and submit an application from Norway. Nor is he/she permitted to submit an application at a foreign service mission and then travel to Norway and wait for the result of the UDI’s consideration of the application.

Pursuant to the Immigration Act section 56 sixth paragraph, cf. the Regulations section 10-1 fifth paragraph, if the applicant does not meet the conditions for applying from within Norway, the application shall be rejected on those grounds. The sole basis for the decision in such case will be that the proper application procedure was not complied with (rejection on formal grounds). It will not be considered whether the foreign national otherwise fulfils the conditions for the permit he/she has applied for. After departure, the foreign national must submit a new application through a Norwegian foreign service mission in his/her home country.

The above-mentioned rules mean that a foreign national who intends to first attend a summer school (see 2.3.3 above) and then immediately continue on an ordinary study programme is obliged to apply for a residence permit on both grounds prior to entry. It is not permitted to begin summer school and then submit an application for a residence permit for further studies from within Norway.

5.1.2. Exception: Entitled to apply for a residence permit from Norway

  • Certain groups of education-related applicants are exempt from the requirement that a residence permit must have been granted before entering Norway, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-1 second paragraph. This applies to applicants who: have been mediated via programmes organised by the AFS Norway, American Scandinavian Student Exchange (ASSE), Fulbright, Youth for Understanding (YFU), STS High School Foundation (STS), Rotary, Explorius or the Research Council of Norway (NFR), or
  • have a scholarship from NOMA (NORAD’s programme for Master’s studies) or other Norwegian public institution
  • are to study at an higher education institution under an exchange scheme under the auspices of the EU or under a bilateral agreement between a Norwegian and foreign higher education institution.

In addition, students who have competence as skilled workers, cf. the Regulations section 6-1, can submit an application from Norway, cf. the Regulations section 10-1 first paragraph letter a. See the circular about skilled workers for information about who meets the criteria for skilled workers (RS 2010-113).

To be entitled to submit an application from Norway, it is a condition that ‘the applicant has legal residence and that he/she is not staying in Norway in connection with an asylum application or pending departure after rejection of an asylum application’, cf. the Regulations section 10-1 third paragraph.

For applicants staying in Norway who have residence permits on other grounds, the provisions of the Immigration Act section 61 seventh paragraph apply.

Applications from Norway must be submitted in person to the police in the district where the student lives, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-2 fourth paragraph.

Please note in particular that the police cannot grant a residence permit to skilled workers who submit an application from Norway. They can, on request, only consider whether to grant a residence permit during the case processing pursuant to the Immigration Act section 57.

5.2. Fees

To have an application for a residence permit processed, the applicant must pay a processing fee when the application is submitted, cf. the Immigration Act section 89, cf. the Regulations section 17-10 first paragraph.

For applications submitted after 1 June 2016, students participating in the Fulbright program are not required to pay a fee, cf. § 17-10 second paragraph letter i.

6. The application form and other documentation

Applicants who document that they will be studying under an exchange scheme under the auspices of the EU, have been mediated via American Field Service (AFS), American Scandinavian Student Exchange (ASSE), Fulbright, Youth for Understanding (YFU), STS High School Foundation (STS) or Rotary, have a grant/scholarship from NOMA (NORAD’s Programme for Master Studies) or will be attending the Red Cross Nordic United World College, do not need to document subsistence. This also applies to students who are covered by the programmes ‘North2North’ and ‘BarentsPlus’.

If the applicant has been mediated via AFS, ASSE, YFU, STS or Rotary, it must be documented which organisation has acted as intermediary.

If a residence permit is applied for on the basis of the agreement on Nordic educational cooperation, it must be documented that the agreement forms the basis for admission to the educational institution.

If the basis for the application is an international student exchange programme, documentation must be provided showing that the exchange is organised by a not-for-profit organisation or school.

If the application is based on the internationalisation of schools, a letter from the county authorities must confirm this.

If special circumstances exist that the applicant or the applicant’s educational institution believe can have a bearing on the application (for example, in relation to the assessment of the conditions for the applicant’s return), they should be described in a separate letter/enclosure with the application.

6.1. The application form, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-2 first paragraph

If the documentation is insufficient, the foreign service mission or the police will notify the applicant:

about what kind of documentation or what information is lacking, and

that the application will not be processed until the documentation or information has been provided, and that the application can be rejected if this takes a disproportionately long time.

The foreign service mission shall not send the application to the UDI until the necessary documentation has been provided, unless the applicant specifically requests this, cf. the Immigration Regulations sections 10-2 first paragraph and 10-6 first paragraph. When sending the application to the UDI, the foreign service mission shall state whether the applicant has been informed of the consequences of an application being incomplete.

6.2. Other documentation

The body that receives the application must ensure that the applicant has filled in the relevant document list and submitted all the documents on the list. The applicant shall be given a stamped copy of the document list as a receipt for submission of the documents.

The document lists are available on the UDI website:
English: Study permit - Students with admission to studies in Norway
Norwegian: Studietillatelse - Studenter og elever på videregående skole

Applicants who document that they will be studying under an exchange scheme under the auspices of the EU, have been mediated via AFS Norway, American Scandinavian Student Exchange (ASSE), Fulbright, Youth for Understanding (YFU), STS High School Foundation (STS), Explorius or Rotary, have a grant/scholarship from NOMA (NORAD’s Programme for Master Studies) or will be attending the Red Cross Nordic United World College, do not need to document subsistence. This also applies to students who are covered by the programmes ‘North2North’ and ‘BarentsPlus’.

If the applicant has been mediated via AFS, ASSE, YFU, STS, Explorius or Rotary, it must be documented which organisation has acted as intermediary.

If a residence permit is applied for on the basis of the agreement on Nordic educational cooperation, it must be documented that the agreement forms the basis for admission to the educational institution.

If the basis for the application is an international student exchange programme, documentation must be provided showing that the exchange is organised by a not-for-profit organisation or school.

If the application is based on the internationalisation of schools, a letter from the county authorities must confirm this.

If special circumstances exist that the applicant or the applicant’s educational institution believe can have a bearing on the application (for example, in relation to the assessment of the conditions for the applicant’s return), they should be described in a separate letter/enclosure with the application.

6.3. Procedure

If the documentation is insufficient, the foreign service mission or the police will notify the applicant:

  • about what kind of documentation or what information is lacking, and
  • that the application will not be processed until the documentation or information has been provided, and that the application can be rejected if this takes a disproportionately long time.

The foreign service mission shall not send the application to the UDI until the necessary documentation has been provided, unless the applicant specifically requests this, cf. the Immigration Regulations sections 10-2 first paragraph and 10-6 first paragraph. When sending the application to the UDI, the foreign service mission shall state whether the applicant has been informed of the consequences of an application being incomplete.

7. Power of decision

As a rule, the UDI has power of decision and decides applications, cf. the Immigration Act section 65 first paragraph.

However, if there is no doubt about whether the conditions are met, cf. the Immigration Act section 65, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 13-1 first paragraph letter g, the police may grant applications for residence permits from applicants who:

  • have been mediated via AFS Norway, American Scandinavian Student Exchange (ASSE), Fulbright, Youth for Understanding (YFU), STS High School Foundation (STS), Explorius, Rotary or the Research Council of Norway (NFR);
  • have a scholarship from NOMA (NORAD’s Programme for Master Studies) or other Norwegian public institution;
  • are to study at a higher education institution under an exchange scheme under the auspices of the EU or between a Norwegian and foreign higher education institution.

As mentioned above, such applicants are entitled to submit an application from Norway, and this is also a condition for the police deciding the application, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 13-1 first paragraph letter g.

Note that in such cases the police have power of decision even if the applicant is required to have a visa. The police will not need to consider the return conditions, however, as they are deemed to have been assessed by the foreign service mission when issuing the visa.

7.1. Notification of the decision

When the UDI grants an application for a first-time permit, the decision will be sent to the foreign service mission in English. If a person has been authorised to represent the applicant in the case, the decision will be sent to him/her in Norwegian/English. If the applicant wishes to appeal the decision, the authorised person can submit the appeal, cf. the Public Administration Act section 12. The foreign service mission will inform the applicant by giving him/her the decision. The applicant must sign a receipt confirming that the decision has been received.

The police shall:

  • inform the applicant about the content of the decision made by the directorate or the police
  • inform the applicant about his/her obligation to leave Norway following completion of the study programme if the decision is in the applicant’s favour
  • inform an applicant who is going on a stay abroad (for example, on fieldwork) and whose residence permit will expire before he/she returns to Norway, that he/she must submit an application for renewal before departing. The application must contain information about the planned date of return, and which Norwegian foreign service mission the decision is to be sent to (if the applicant is to spend more than six months abroad in connection with the study programme, see 8.1.2 below).
  • urge the applicant to submit an application for renewal no later than one month before the expiry of the previous permit.

If the application is rejected, the foreign service mission and the police will inform the applicant about his/her right to appeal and the deadline and procedure for appealing, cf. the Public Administration Act chapter 6.

8. Renewal of resident permits for students

8.1. Conditions for renewal

A permit will be renewed if the conditions for a residence permit as a student are still met, cf. the Immigration Act section 61 first paragraph.

The applicant must have made satisfactory progress in his/her education, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-21 sixth paragraph. The educational institution shall issue a statement in connection with the application. It is not sufficient that an individual professor/supervisor expresses an opinion. The immigration authorities recommend using the form Statement on study progress and continued permit for part-time employment (Appendix 3). The statement can, however, also be made in another written form, as long as the same information is included.

For quota students, universities and university colleges must send lists to the police of quota students and NOMA (NORAD’s Programme for Master Studies) students who satisfy the requirement for study progress. The information in the lists shall normally be accepted. Individual statements will only be submitted for quota students who are more than a year behind in their studies or are deemed to be incapable of completing their studies.

Residence permits for attending upper secondary schools can be renewed within the nominal length of study provided that the conditions for the original permit are still satisfied and the student’s progress is satisfactory.

A permit granted to attend a Norwegian language course cannot be renewed, however. An applicant who has taken a Norwegian language course and applies for renewal of his/her residence permit to take further studies must have passed the course in order for his/her application for further studies to be granted. Resitting an exam will be accepted provided that the course is passed before the study programme starts.

If the applicant is behind in his/her studies, he/she must state the reason for the delay in the application. The reason for the delay must be documented as far as possible. As a rule, a delay of more than one year that is not due to sickness certified by a doctor’s certificate or to maternity leave, will not be approved, and the application will be rejected.

As a rule, applications for the renewal of a permit for the purpose of retaking a completed degree will not be granted. The student can, if applicable, be issued a visa in connection with a new exam.

If the study plan has been revised, the residence permit will as a rule only be renewed if the new study programme is a continuation of the one already started, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-21 sixth paragraph. In such case, a new study plan must be submitted. A firm offer of admission must also be documented.

A new study programme will, in principle, always be deemed to be a continuation if the student is admitted to a higher level than previously (for example if the student proceeds from a Bachelor degree to a Master’s degree).

A study programme at a level corresponding to the previous study programme, but which entails in-depth studies in a subject area and which will clearly increase the student’s chances of finding relevant employment at a later date or, if applicable, of being accepted for study at a higher level, will also be deemed to be a continuation. It is a condition for the permit being granted, that the applicant has completed his/her previous degree and has not been significantly delayed in his/her earlier studies. As a rule, documentation must also be provided in the form of a statement from the new and/or old educational institution that the new study programme can be deemed to be in-depth studies in the subject area and that it will clearly increase the applicant’s chances of subsequently finding employment/being accepted for doctoral studies.

Certain supplementary studies can also be deemed to be a continuation. As a rule, however, it is not permitted to take several such stand-alone courses in succession, and a permit for such studies will not normally be renewed beyond the nominal study period.

Financing (subsistence) must still be ensured, cf. the Regulations section 10-20. In addition to the documenting funds for the coming academic year, the applicant must provide confirmation of his/her bank balance (bank statement) on the first day of each of the preceding six months. Guarantees will be accepted to the same extent as for first-time applications, see 2.4 above.

The return conditions will not be assessed in connection with applications for renewal.

8.1.1. Conditions for continued right to work part-time

A renewed residence permit for education purposes does not automatically entitle its holder to work. It is a condition for continued permission to work that the applicant’s study progress is satisfactory. The educational institution must issue a statement about whether part-time work is considered to be a disadvantage in relation to completion of the study programme, including whether limitations should be set regarding the number of hours per week, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-21 sixth paragraph. The right to part-time work can be limited in whole or in part. The educational institution shall specify how many hours a week it recommends a student being allowed to work.

As a rule, the immigration authorities use the statement from the educational institution as the basis for deciding whether the part-time work is considered to be a disadvantage. If the applicant is significantly behind in his/her studies, the immigration authorities will consider limiting the right to part-time work regardless of the educational institution’s statement. The study programme shall be the main purpose of the stay in Norway, and it is a condition that it is not affected by working.

A permit for part-time work confers a general right to work for up to 20 hours per week and full-time during ordinary holidays. A separate application is not required and a fee is not charged.

If the student is granted a limited right to work part-time or is denied this right, and the educational institution, during the course of the academic year, nonetheless wishes to consent to part-time work, it must submit a statement to this effect the police. A separate application is not required and a fee is not charged. It is a clear main rule that the police shall use the statement from the educational institution as the basis for its decision and grant a general part-time work permit in accordance with the institution’s statement. If they are in doubt, however, the statement and the applicant’s case file must be sent to the UDI for further processing.

8.1.2. Conditions for renewal when staying abroad (excursions, fieldwork) or similar in connection with studies

In principle, a residence permit will only be granted for the period during which the foreign national will actually be staying in Norway, cf. the Immigration Act section 55, cf. section 2.

In principle, this means that a residence permit will not be granted for any period during which the foreign national will be staying abroad in connection with fieldwork etc.

However, residence permits are granted for the whole academic year if the stay abroad does not exceed six months. If the stay abroad will exceed six months, the permit will only be granted up until the date of departure from Norway. The foreign national will have to apply for a new permit (from abroad) if he/she is to return to Norway to complete his/her studies.

The UDI endeavours to prioritise such applications provided that they contain the necessary documentation.

8.2. Documentation requirements for applications for renewal

The body that receives the application must ensure that the applicant has filled in the relevant document list and submitted all the documents on the list. The applicant shall be given a stamped copy of the document list as a receipt for the submission of the documents.

The document lists are available on the UDI website:
English: study permit
Norwegian: studietillatelse

Applicants who document that they will be studying under an exchange programme under the auspices of the EU, have been mediated via AFS Norway, American Scandinavian Student Exchange (ASSE), Fulbright, Youth for Understanding (YFU), STS High School Foundation (STS), Explorius or Rotary, have a grant/scholarship from NOMA (NORAD's Programme for Master Studies) or will be attending the Red Cross Nordic United World College, do not need to document subsistence. This also applies to students who are covered by the programmes ‘North2North’ and ‘BarentsPlus’.

If the applicant has been mediated via AFS, ASSE, YFU, STS or Rotary, it must be documented which organisation has acted as intermediary.

If a residence permit is applied for on the basis of the agreement on Nordic educational cooperation, it must be documented that the agreement forms the basis for admission to the educational institution.

If the basis for the application is an international student exchange programme, documentation must be provided showing that the exchange is organised by a not-for-profit organisation or school.

If the application is based on the internationalisation of schools, a letter from the county authorities must confirm this.

If special circumstances exist that the applicant or the applicant’s educational institution believe can have a bearing on the application (for example, in relation to the assessment of the conditions for the applicant’s return), they should be described in a separate letter/enclosure with the application.

8.3. Application procedures

Applications for renewal are submitted to the police district where the applicant lives. As a rule, the applicant is required to report in person, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-27 second paragraph.

The foreign national can be granted continued residence on the same conditions until the application for renewal has been finally decided, and he/she is entitled to such continued residence provided that the application is submitted no later than one month before expiry of the permit, cf. the Immigration Act section 61 sixth paragraph.

In such cases, the applicant can continue on the same study programme for as long as the application for renewal is being processed.

If the police are in doubt about whether the application should be granted and therefore do not have power of decision in the matter, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 13-2, the police – after having checked that all necessary documentation is enclosed – shall send the application to the UDI.

8.4. Power of decision in renewal cases

As a rule, the UDI has power of decision in connection with renewals, cf. the Immigration Act section 65.

However, if there is no doubt about whether the conditions are met, the police can grant an application for renewal, cf. the Immigration Act section 65, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 13-2 first paragraph letter b. This applies to the following applicants:

students at a university or university college

student at the Red Cross Nordic United World College, Skagerak International School or another school that offers the IB study programme.

If the educational institution’s statement indicates that renewed permission to work part-time is deemed to be a disadvantage in relation to completion of the study programme, the police will send the case to the UDI for processing.

8.5. The duration and content of the renewed permit

The permit is in principle valid from the expiry of the previous permit, see the Immigration Regulations section 10-24 second paragraph. As a rule, it is a condition that the application for renewal is submitted before the previous application expires. Furthermore, the same rules apply regarding how long the permit will be valid in renewal cases as in connection with first-time permits, see 4.2 above.

In principle, a renewed permit does not entitle its holder to work. The student can nevertheless be granted a general part-time work permit upon renewing a residence permit provided that the educational institution agrees that continued permission to work part-time is not detrimental in relation to completion of the study programme, cf. the Regulations section 10-21 sixth paragraph. See 8.1.1 above.

9. Appealing a decision

Rejection of an application for a residence permit for educational purposes can be appealed pursuant to the rules in the Public Administration Act chapter 6. The applicant must submit the appeal himself/herself. Alternatively, another person can submit the appeal if the applicant has authorised him/her in writing to do so, cf. the Public Administration Act section 12.

The appeal shall be submitted to the body (Norwegian foreign mission or the police) that informed the applicant about the decision. The appeal shall never be sent directly to the UDI.

10. Revocation of a residence permit

A residence permit for educational purposes can be revoked if the foreign national deliberately provided incorrect information or omitted to provide information about matters of material importance to the decision or if it otherwise follows from general provisions of administrative law, cf. the Immigration Act section 63 first paragraph.

Decisions to revoke a permit are made by the UDI, cf. the Immigration Act section 65 first paragraph. The immigration authorities shall give advance notice that it is being considered whether to revoke the permit. The foreign national shall be given an opportunity to comment, normally within three weeks, cf. the Public Administration Act section 16.

Karl Erik Sjøholt
Head of department

Contact: Department of Managed Migration, Section for Visa, Work and Study Permits

Latest changes
  • Endret: RS 2010-101 Oppholdstillatelse til studenter – utlendingsloven § 26 første ledd bokstav b, jf. forskriften §§ 6-19 første ledd og 6-33 andre ledd (3/7/2017)

    Rundskrivet regulerer vilkårene for oppholdstillatelse for utlendinger som ønsker å studere i Norge. Gjennom endringene tydeliggjøres praksis i fornyelser når det gjelder kravet om videreføring i studiene - blant annet vil studier på samme nivå som tidligere studier kun unntaksvis godtas, og bare om det er studier på masternivå eller høyere. Kravet om betinget opptak for å ta innføringskurs i norsk er fjernet da dette er i strid med opptaksforskriften. Det er ellers gjort noen endringer i hjemmelshenvisningene.

  • Changed: RS 2010-101 Residence permits for students – the Immigration Act section 26 first paragraph letter b, cf. the Regulations sections 6-19 first paragraph and 6-33 second paragraph (4/28/2016)

    Section 5.2 in the circular regarding processing fees has been changed. From 1 June 2016 students participating in the Fulbright-program are not required to pay a processing fee.

  • Endret: RS 2010-101 Oppholdstillatelse til studenter – utlendingsloven § 26 første ledd bokstav b, jf. forskriften §§ 6-19 første ledd og 6-33 andre ledd (4/28/2016)

    Rundskrivets punkt 5.2 om søknadsgebyr er endret. Fra 1. juni 2016 skal studenter som deltar i Fulbright-programmet ikke betale søknadsgebyr.

  • Changed: RS 2010-101 Residence permits for students – the Immigration Act section 26 first paragraph letter b, cf. the Regulations sections 6-19 first paragraph and 6-33 second paragraph (1/27/2016)

    Section 2.2 is updated. If an applicant has previously held a residence permit for studies in Norway, it is a requirement when applying for a new first-time residence permit for studies that the applicant has had satisfactory academic progress, and that the planned studies are a continuation of these previous studies.

  • Endret: RS 2010-101 Oppholdstillatelse til studenter – utlendingsloven § 26 første ledd bokstav b, jf. forskriften §§ 6-19 første ledd og 6-33 andre ledd (1/26/2016)

    Rundskrivets punkt 2.2 er endret. Hvis en søker tidligere har hatt oppholdstillatelse i Norge for å studere, er det et vilkår ved søknad om en ny førstegangs studietillatelse at søkeren har hatt tilfredsstillende studieprogresjon, samt at studiene det nå søkes oppholdstillatelse for er en videreføring av tidligere studier. Formelt sett er disse sakene å anse som nye førstegangssøknader og det er derfor behov for en presisering av dokumentasjonskravet.

  • Changed: RS 2010-101 Residence permits for students – the Immigration Act section 26 first paragraph letter b, cf. the Regulations sections 6-19 first paragraph and 6-33 second paragraph (11/6/2014)

    Several chapters in the circular, and the appendixes, have been updated in accordance with the Norwegian version.

  • Changed: RS 2010-101 Residence permits for students – the Immigration Act section 26 first paragraph letter b, cf. the Regulations sections 6-19 first paragraph and 6-33 second paragraph (10/30/2014)

    Chapter 2.4 tenth paragraph is now updated in accordance with the Norwegian version.

  • Changed: RS 2010-101 Residence permits for students – the Immigration Act section 26 first paragraph letter b, cf. the Regulations sections 6-19 first paragraph and 6-33 second paragraph (10/9/2014)

    Chapter 2.4 tenth paragraph is now updated in accordance with the Norwegian version.

  • Changed: RS 2010-101 Residence permits for students – the Immigration Act section 26 first paragraph letter b, cf. the Regulations sections 6-19 first paragraph and 6-33 second paragraph (5/28/2014)

    The circular has been updated in accordance with the repeal of the Immigration Regulations Section 6-19 third paragraph.

  • Endret: RS 2010-101 Oppholdstillatelse til studenter – utlendingsloven § 26 første ledd bokstav b, jf. forskriften §§ 6-19 første ledd og 6-33 andre ledd (5/21/2014)

    Rundskrivet er oppdatert i tråd med opphevelsen av utf. § 6-19 tredje ledd, om norskkurs til faglærte.

  • Endret: RS 2010-101 Oppholdstillatelse til studenter – utlendingsloven § 26 første ledd bokstav b, jf. forskriften §§ 6-19 første ledd og 6-33 andre ledd (1/1/2014)

    Rundskrivet er oppdatert i forbindelse med ny prosessordning i sikkerhetssaker. Under punkt 2.7. henvises det nå til utlendingsloven § 126.

  • Changed: RS 2010-101 Residence permits for students – the Immigration Act section 26 first paragraph letter b, cf. the Regulations sections 6-19 first paragraph and 6-33 second paragraph (6/24/2013)

    The Norwegian version of the circular is updated with regard to which foreign exchange organizations that are approved. There are also some minor adjustments regarding practice.

  • Changed: RS 2010-101 Oppholdstillatelse til studenter – utlendingsloven § 26 første ledd bokstav b, jf. forskriften §§ 6-19 første ledd og 6-33 andre ledd (11/1/2012)

    Minor linguistic addition to chapter 4.1 in the circular's Norwegian version.

  • Endret: RS 2010-101 Residence permits for students – the Immigration Act section 26 first paragraph letter b, cf. the Regulations sections 6-19 first paragraph and 6-33 second paragraph (10/16/2012)

    The circular is updated due to changes in the state pay scale for Norwegian state employees. Changes are made to chapter 2.4 ninth paragraph and annex 2.

  • Endret: RS 2010-101 Oppholdstillatelse til studenter – utlendingsloven § 26 første ledd bokstav b, jf. forskriften §§ 6-19 første ledd og 6-33 andre ledd (10/16/2012)

    Rundskrivets punkt 2.4 niende avsnitt og vedlegg 2 er oppdatert som følge av endringer i hovedlønnstabellen.

Utlendingsdirektoratet
Norwegian Directorate
of Immigration

Postboks 8108 Dep
N-0032 Oslo
Phone: + 47 23 35 15 00

Editor in Chief: Stephan Mo
Kontakt nettredaksjonen