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Information
All or parts of the document is confidential:
Freedom of Information Act section 20 

UDI memos on practices and procedures

PN 2012-005
Document-ID : PN 2012-005
Case-ID : 16/04902-1
Last modified : 20.04.2018
Documentdate : 23.11.2015
Receiver :

The foreign service missions
The National Police Directorate
The Governor of Svalbard
Visa case officers in the UDI

Visa practice for the green group


1. Introduction

2. Concrete, individual assessment of all applications

3. General conditions

4. Stays in a country other than the country of origin

5. Individual circumstances

6. Social and welfare-related considerations

6.1. Visits from family

6.2. Visits from boyfriend/girlfriend

6.3. Business travellers

6.4. Participants at cultural events

6.5. Visits to non-profit, humanitarian or religious organisations

6.6. Tourists/friends

1.         Introduction

When considering visa applications, the case officer must determine whether the conditions in the Immigration Act Section 10 first paragraph, cf. the Visa Code Article 21, are met. Another factor in the assessment is whether immigration regulatory considerations indicate that a visa should not be granted, cf. the Immigration Act Section 10 second paragraph. In that connection, a concrete assessment must be made of general and individual circumstances that affect the applicant's likelihood of returning.

This memo provides guidance for the part of the case processing that concerns the assessment of the likelihood of return, and applies to nationals of the following countries:

Bahrain, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, China, Ecuador, Fiji, Indonesia, Kuwait, Lesotho, the Maldives, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Russia, São Tomé and Principe, Saudi-Arabia, Surinam, Swaziland, South Africa and Zambia

2.         Concrete, individual assessment of all applications

The immigration administration shall consider the immigration regulatory considerations that apply in each individual case. This means that, for each applicant, a concrete, individual assessment shall be made of whether the applicant will return to his or her country of origin/residence after visiting Norway/Schengen. If one or more conditions are not met, for example if there is doubt about the stated purpose of the trip, the application shall be rejected on these grounds, but the decision shall also comment on the return requirement. If all other conditions are met, the application shall nonetheless be rejected if there is reason to believe that the applicant will not leave the Schengen area when the visa expires.

3.         General conditions

The case processing includes an assessment of the general conditions in the country or region the applicant is from or staying in. This assessment is necessary because a country's financial, social and/or political conditions are deemed to influence the population's emigration potential.

Based on the current level of conflict, the number of asylum applications to Norway and Schengen, the living conditions and the practice in other Schengen states, the UDI considers the emigration potential to Norway and Schengen to be generally very low for the countries mentioned above. This is also based on our experience of visa applicants from these countries in recent years. As a rule, visa applications from nationals of these countries will therefore be granted.

4.         Stays in another country than the country of origin

If the applicant is not resident in his or her country of origin, the following must be clarified:

  • the applicant's grounds for residence in the country in which he or she is staying
  • the duration of the applicant's residence permit and whether it can be renewed
  • how long the applicant has stayed in the country and how long the stay is expected to last
  • whether the applicant has travelled to other countries before and during the stay

If it has been documented that the applicant is able to return to his or her country of residence after a visa visit to Norway/Schengen, the assessment of the general conditions shall be related to the applicant's country of residence. This also applies if the applicant's ability to return has only been substantiated, for example if an application has been submitted for renewal of a residence permit and the conditions for renewal are considered to be met.

If it is uncertain whether the applicant wants to or is able to return to his or her country of residence, the assessment of the general conditions shall primarily be related to the applicant's country of origin, or another (new) country of residence. In such case, the general conditions in the applicant's country of residence play a subordinate role, but must not be completely disregarded.

5.         Individual circumstances

The applicant's specific situation in his or her country of origin/residence may further increase or reduce the likelihood of him/her returning after the visit. In this connection, consideration is given to the applicant's age, whether he or she is in employed and has a family, owns property and/or has financial/social obligations. It is also relevant whether the applicant has held a Schengen visa before and met the visa conditions, and whether members of the applicant's close family have emigrated.

Even if the applicant comes from a country where the general conditions indicate a very limited emigration potential, individual circumstances may nonetheless indicate that the applicant will not return after the visit. In such case, it must be considered whether social or welfare-related considerations apply. If that is the case, such considerations may be given more weight than general and individual circumstances affecting the likelihood of return, and a visa may be granted.

6.         Social and welfare-related considerations

If we believe the applicant will return after the visit, social and welfare-related considerations will not be relevant. If there is doubt about whether the applicant will return, the purpose of the visit may nonetheless mean that the visa application will be granted. This requires the purpose of the visit to be documented or sufficiently substantiated. If that is not the case, the application must be rejected pursuant to the Immigration Act Section 10 first paragraph letter (b).

Welfare considerations are usually related to visits from family and friends, while social considerations are related to industry political and cultural interests and thus concern business travellers, tourists and participants at cultural events. How much weight such considerations shall be given for nationals of the above-mentioned countries is discussed below.

6.1.    Visits from family

It shall be possible to receive visits from family. This consideration shall be given weight for visits from close family members and means, as a rule, that applications from this group shall be granted, even if individual circumstances indicate a low likelihood of return. It is not considered a weighty consideration for visits from more distant family members than cousins, aunts and uncles.

6.2.    Visits from boyfriend/girlfriend

In order for welfare considerations to be given weight for visits from a boyfriend/girlfriend, the parties must have met each other in person (not online) and spent at least a total of two weeks together.

6.3.    Business travellers

It is considered important to safeguard the interests of Norwegian business and industry through contact with international business associates. A visa shall, as a rule, be granted when an invitation is presented. If the applicant is not meeting with a Norwegian company but participating in a trade fair or similar, confirmation from the event organiser shall be presented. If the applicant wishes to attend a conference that is open to everyone, this is not considered weighty welfare-related grounds, and the visa application shall, as a rule, be rejected.

6.4.    Participants at cultural events

It must be considered whether the nature of the event indicates that it is important that the applicant can attend it, even if individual conditions indicate a low likelihood of return. In this connection, consideration shall be given to who the event organiser is, whether the applicant is intended to play a special role, and whether the applicant's participation concerns the interests of society.

6.5.    Visits to non-profit, humanitarian or religious organisations

If social considerations apply, depending on the purpose of the visit, a visa can be granted. However, it must be considered whether the applicant will perform work during the visit and whether this will be covered by the rules for exemption from the residence permit requirement, cf. the Immigration Regulations Section 1-1. More detailed guidelines are provided in circular RS 2011-032.

6.6.    Tourists/friends

A visa may be granted even if individual circumstances indicate a low likelihood of return. An invitation must be presented for visits from friends. For tourists, consideration shall also be given to previous visits to other Schengen states and countries such as the UK, the USA, Japan and Australia.

 

Karl Erik Sjøholt
Head of Department


Contact: The Managed Migration Department, the Visa Unit

Latest changes
  • Changed: PN 2012-005 Visa practice for the green group (4/20/2018)

    An updated version of the memo is now available in English.

  • Endret: PN 2012-005 Visumpraksis for grønn gruppe (3/14/2018)

    Visumpraksis justeres årlig med hensyn til plassering av land. Kambodsja, Cap Verde, Comoros og Laos er tatt ut av grønn gruppe. Det er også foretatt en noe større endring av PN for å informere bedre om hvordan returvilkåret skal vurderes og i hvilke tilfeller velferdshensyn skal vektlegges.

  • Endret: PN 2012-005 Visumpraksis for grønn gruppe (6/11/2017)

    Ukraina ble visumfri til EU og Norge med virkning fra 11. juni og er derfor fjernet fra grønn gruppe.

  • Changed: PN 2012-005 Visa practice for the green group (10/19/2016)

    The visa practice memo for the green group has been updated. Kasakhstan and Thailand have been moved from the green group to the yellow group, and Sao Tomé and Principe have been moved to this group from the yellow group.

  • Endret: PN 2012-005 Visumpraksis for grønn gruppe (10/12/2016)

    Visumpraksisnotatet for grønn gruppe er oppdatert. Kasakhstan og Thailand er flyttet herfra til gul gruppe, og Sao Tomé og Principe er flyttet hit fra gul gruppe. Notatet angir praksis for returvurderinger, herunder hvilke velferdshensyn som skal tas.

  • Endret: PN 2012-005 Visumpraksis for grønn gruppe (10/8/2016)

    Salomonøyene ble visumfri til EU og Norge med virkning fra 8. oktober og er derfor fjernet fra grønn gruppe.

  • Changed: PN 2012-005 Visa practice for the green group (9/21/2016)

    Micronesia is exempt from the visa requirement as of 20 September and is therefore removed from the green group.

  • Changed: PN 2012-005 Visa practice for the green group (7/4/2016)

    Tuvalu has been removed from the green group as they are now visa-free.

  • Endret: PN 2012-005 Visumpraksis for grønn gruppe (7/4/2016)

    Tuvalu er fjernet fra grønn gruppe da de ble visumfrie 2. juli 2016.

  • Changed: PN 2012-005 Visa practice for the green group (6/29/2016)

    Kiribati and the Marshall Islands have been removed from the green group as they are now visa-free.

  • Changed: PN 2012-005 Visa practice for the green group (12/9/2015)

    Palau has been removed from the list of countries whose citizens must have a visitor's visa to Norway. We refer to that Palau has been added to the list in Annex 5 to the Immigration Regulations of countries that are exempt from the visa requirement with effect from 8 December 2015.

  • Endret: PN 2012-005 Visumpraksis for grønn gruppe (12/9/2015)

    Palau er tatt ut av listen over land hvor borgerne må ha besøksvisum til Norge. Det vises til at Palau ble lagt til listen over visumfrie stater i vedlegg 5 til utlendingsforskriften med virkning fra 8. desember.

  • Changed: PN 2012-005 Visa practice for the green group (12/3/2015)

    Tonga and Colombia have been removed from the list of countries whose citizens must have a Schengen visa (visitor visa) to Norway. EU signed an agreement on visa exemption for Tonga on 20 November 2015 and with Colombia on 2 December 2015. The EU has given the agreements provisional application as early as one day after signing. Norway implements visa waiver together with the EU's provisional application of the agreements, namely on November 21 for Tonga and 3 December for Colombia. See Appendix 5 to the Immigration Regulations, list of visa-free states.

  • Endret: PN 2012-005 Visumpraksis for grønn gruppe (12/3/2015)

    Tonga og Colombia er fjernet fra listen over land hvor borgerne må ha Schengenvisum (besøksvisum) til Norge. EU inngikk avtale om visumfrihet for Tonga den 20. november 2015, og med Colombia 2. desember 2015. EU har gitt avtalene provisorisk ikrafttredelse allerede fra en dag etter signering. Norge implementerer visumfrihet sammen med EUs provisoriske ikrafttredelse av avtalene, altså 21. november for Tonga og 3. desember for Colombia. Se for øvrig vedlegg 5 til utlendingsforskriften, liste over visumfrie stater.

  • New: PN 2012-005 Visa practice for the green group (11/23/2015)

    The practice memo is now available in English.

  • Changed: PN 2012-005 Visumpraksis for grønn gruppe (7/3/2015)

    The visa practice memo has been updated. Bahrain and the Union of the Comoros have been moved from the yellow to the green group.

  • Endret: PN 2012-005 Visumpraksis for grønn gruppe (11/3/2014)

    Praksisnotatet er oppdatert ved at Kapp Verde er lagt til grønn gruppe.

  • Changed: PN 2012-005 Visumpraksis for grønn gruppe (6/24/2013)

    Adjustments are made to the visa practice memos. The following countries are moved to the green group: Botswana, Colombia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Lesotho, Mozambique, Thailand, Zambia and East Timor.

  • Visumpraksis for grønn gruppe (7/5/2012)

    New structure for visa practices are categorized into groups. Practice for the 126 visa countries are divided into four categories: green group, yellow group, orange group and red group.

Norwegian Directorate
of Immigration
Utlendingsdirektoratet
P.O. box 2098 Vika
NO-0125 Oslo
Norway

Editor in Chief: Stephan Mo