2. Scope of the guarantee
2.1 Requirements of the guarantor
2.2 Issuing guarantees for visits from close family members
2.3 Issuing guarantees for visits from others than close family members
2.3.1 The requirement for sufficient income
2.3.2 The requirement that the guarantee must appear credible
3. How to submit the guarantee form
3.1 The visitor is a national of a country subject to a visa requirement
3.2 The visitor is a national of a country not subject to a visa requirement
4. Concluding comments
This circular replaces the Directorate of Immigration’s (UDI) Circular 2010-056 Issuing guarantees for visits; see the Immigration Act Section 10, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 3-5.
The circular was prepared in connection with the entry into force of Regulation (EC) No 810 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code of Visas (the Visa Code) on 5 April 2010.
The circular provides guidelines on the immigration authorities’ processing of cases where a visa applicant or a national of a country not subject to a visa requirement does not have sufficient means to cover subsistence during their visit to Norway and/or their return journey to their home country, and wants a person resident in Norway to take financial responsibility for this. The circular also concerns cases where the guarantor is a company.
The circular does not apply to the issuing of guarantees in residence cases, including cases where the purpose of the stay in Norway is medical treatment. Guarantees in residence cases are the subject of UDI Circular 2010-118. We have also limited the circular so that it does not address failure to fulfil a guarantee and any enforcement of claims.
The circular specifies and supplements the provisions of the Immigration Regulations Section 3-5 on sufficient financial means to cover subsistence and return, and must be seen in conjunction with UDI Circular 2010-057 Bank guarantees as a condition for being granted a visa; see the Immigration Act Section 10, cf. the Immigration Regulations Sections 3-6 and 3-7.
It is a condition for being granted a visitor’s visa that the visa applicant has sufficient means to cover subsistence during his/her stay in Norway, and for his/her return journey and (if applicable) transit. If the applicant does not have sufficient means, it is possible to use a guarantee from a person resident in Norway; see the Immigration Regulations Section 3-5. A foreign national not subject to a visa requirement who does not have sufficient means to cover subsistence and the return journey is also entitled to use such a guarantee; see the Immigration Act Section 17 first paragraph (f) and the Immigration Regulations Section 5-1 fourth paragraph.
The guarantee includes expenses for board, lodging and the return journey. In addition to the visitor’s return ticket, return travel expenses may include plane tickets (both ways) for up to three companions if the visitor refuses to leave Norway when the visa expires, and must be deported; see the Immigration Regulations Section 3-5 final sentence.
The guarantee applies throughout the visit. In cases where a visa has been granted on the basis of a guarantee, the applicant must bring a completed and signed copy of the guarantee form when entering Schengen/Norway. The foreign service mission shall keep the original document in the case file.
A claim under the guarantee is enforceable by execution; see the Immigration Act Section 91 second paragraph. If the visitor does not leave Norway voluntarily when the visa expires or when the visa-free period expires, he or she will be deported. The authorities may demand that the guarantor covers the expenses of the return ticket for the visitor and a return ticket for up to three companions, as well as board and lodging in connection with deportation; see the Immigration Regulations Section 3-5 final sentence.
Only a person resident in Norway can be a guarantor in visa cases or for a national of a country not subject to a visa requirement who is to stay in Norway during the visa-free period; see the Immigration Regulations Section 3-5 first sentence.
If the guarantor is not a Nordic national, his/her residence permit in Norway must be valid for at least as long as the guarantee is valid. See also requirements of the guarantor’s ability to provide for him/herself in sections 2.2 and 2.3. below.
If the visitor is a close family member of the guarantor, no stringent requirements apply to the guarantor’s income. The immigration authorities preparing the case or making the decision shall take into account how many people the guarantee applies to, and how long the visit is intended to last, in addition to the guarantor’s living situation and income level.
It is also accepted that a person who in whole or in part lives on social security benefits can issue a guarantee for close family members. In such cases, and in cases where the guarantor’s income is on the same level as the benefit rates, the visitor must have a return ticket, unless he or she travels by car.
Close family members include:
- spouses, children, parents and siblings
- and their spouses and children, when they arrive together with relatives as mentioned under the first bullet point
If the guarantee applies to others than close family members, requirements apply to the guarantor’s income, and it is also a requirement that the guarantee must appear credible.
The guarantor must have sufficient financial means to be able to support the visitors during their stay in Norway. When the immigration authorities preparing the case or making the decision consider the guarantor’s income, account shall be taken of his/her income, social security benefits and assets/wealth. A person who in whole or in part lives on social security benefits cannot be accepted as a guarantor in such cases.
In the assessment of whether it is deemed to have been substantiated that the guarantor can provide for the visitor, the following factors shall be emphasised:
- the visitor’s own means
- the guarantor’s income
- the duration of the stay
- whether the visitor has a return ticket
- whether the guarantor issues a guarantee for several visitors
As a rule, the guarantor and the visitor must have met each other before the planned visit. Following a concrete assessment, however, previous oral or written contact may nonetheless be sufficient. This can for example be relevant in connection with company visits.
The following factors can also be emphasised:
- Information about how well the visitor and the guarantor know each other
- Whether the visitor will be staying with the guarantor
- Has the guarantor issued guarantees for the visitor or other persons before? In such case, did the visitor leave Norway when the visa expired or when the visa-free period expired, pursuant to the provisions of the Immigration Regulations Section 3-3?
- Whether the guarantor has regular employment.
A person who has previously failed to fulfil a guarantee shall not be accepted as a guarantor unless previous claims have been settled.
In principle, the guarantor’s criminal record shall not be taken into account. However, if there is information in the case about criminal offences on the part of the guarantor, for example because an expulsion case has been opened against him or her, this can be given weight in an overall assessment of his/her credibility as a guarantor. In such case, the nature of the offence and how long ago it took place will be of importance, in addition to the purpose of the visit.
The guarantee form is attached as an appendix to this circular.
The guarantee form shall be completed and signed by the guarantor and the visitor before, or in connection with, the visitor’s entry into Norway. Foreign nationals subject to a visa requirement shall present the original of the guarantee form in connection with their application for a visa to Norway. The guarantor must go to the police, where he or she must present ID and complete and sign the guarantee form (or just sign it, if he/she has completed it in advance). The police shall inform the guarantor that the guarantee covers board and lodging and return expenses and inform him/her that, in the event of deportation, the transport expenses may include the applicant’s plane ticket and return plane tickets for up to three companions.
The guarantor must document his/her income, for example in the form of pay slips, bank statements or documentation of social security benefits. If the guarantor in whole or in part lives on social security benefits, the police shall note this on the guarantee form. Information shall be provided on the guarantee form about the relationship between the guarantor and the applicant, and about where the applicant is to stay, the duration of the stay etc.
If the guarantor is a company or another type of organisation, the company or organisation’s number shall be provided in a separate box on the form. The enterprise’s representative must be able to document that he or she is authorised to issue guarantees on behalf of the company/organisation. The police shall check that the form has been correctly completed and signed and that the guarantor has documented his/her income. The stamped guarantee form and the documentation that was presented shall be returned to the guarantor.
The question of whether to issue guarantees for nationals of countries not subject to a visa requirement usually arises when the person, on his/her arrival, is unable to substantiate that he/she has or is ensured means of subsistence and for the return journey; see the Immigration Act Section 17 first paragraph (f). In principle, the person will be denied entry. The police may in such cases permit the use of a guarantor.
The visitor and the guarantor shall each complete their part of the guarantee form. The guarantor shall document his/her income in the form of pay slips, bank statements or documentation of social security benefits. An exemption can be made from the requirement when the guarantor in whole or in part lives on social security benefits, and when the visitor is a close family member.
In cases where visitors wish to use a company guarantee, the name and organisation number of the enterprise shall be provided in a separate box on the guarantee form. The enterprise’s representative must document that he or she is authorised to act on behalf of the enterprise.
Nationals of countries subject to a visa requirement and nationals of countries not subject to a visa requirement shall be treated equally with regard to their right to make use of the guarantee arrangement. When considering guarantees in visa cases, the UDI, the foreign service missions, the police and the Governor of Svalbard shall comply with the guidelines set out in this circular.
The foreign service missions and the Governor of Svalbard shall ensure that the original guarantee form is submitted in connection with the visa application and placed in the case file.
It is important that the immigration authorities explain to the visitor and the guarantor that submitting a guarantee form does not necessarily mean that the applicant will be granted a visa.
Karl Erik Sjøholt
Head of Department
Contact: The Managed Migration Department, the Visa Department (OVAS1)