Covid-19, visa and residence applications

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected our services to applicants for visas and residence permits. Rules and procedures are subject to change, and we will update this article with relevant information for applicants from West Africa.

Update: Norway introduces its strictest entry rules since March 2020.

After 00:01 Friday 29 January, Norway has introduced strict entry restrictions. The main principle is that only citizens and foreign nationals already resident in the country can enter Norway now, but there are a few exceptions. The Government website describes in more detail who can and who cannot enter the country. More information will be available at the website of the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI). Please note that even some holders of previously issued visitor's or entry visas will be affected by the new restrictions.

General information for applicants:

VFS Global: The VFS Global visa centres in Accra, Abidjan, Abuja, Lagos, Yaoundé and Dakar are all open for business. Some centres have reduced opening hours, or require that you book an appointment in advance. Please visit the web site of VFS Global for more information.

Visiting the Visa Section: To protect both our staff and applicants from the risk of infection, we do not accept visitors to the Visa Section in Accra. If the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) has asked for an interview in a family immigration or educational case, we will schedule a telephone interview with the applicant at one of the VFS visa centres. The Visa Section is staffed each working day, and we will answer e-mails within 1-3 days.

DNA: The Embassy resumed DNA testing in family immigration cases 4 January 2021. Our staff will contact applicants and their families. Applicants and their family can also make enquiries with the Visa Section, preferably by e-mail. Please note that for the time being, DNA testing only takes place in Accra.

Representation: Until recently, embassies of some other Schengen countries handled visa applications on behalf of Norway in several countries in West Africa. All these agreements on visa handling by representation are now suspended. The Embassy in Accra will now handle visa applications from Cameroon, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, Mali and Burkina Faso. Applicants from these countries must submit their applications for a short stay visa through one of the VFS Global visa centres listed above.

Additionally, Norway no longer handles Schengen visa applications from residents of Nigeria that wish to visit Iceland. Residents of Nigeria that wish to visit Iceland must contact the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration in order to obtain information about how they currently should apply. The Embassy still issues entry or D visas to holders of Icelandic residence permits, upon request from the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration.

Eligible to apply for a visa: Please note that currently only certain groups can visit Norway, and only specific categories of applicants can apply for a visa. From 15 July 2020, certain family members and relations living in Norway can apply for a visa. The list of family members was expanded 21 October. The list was modified again 29 January 2021. Please see the web site of the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) for information in full. If you are in one of these categories, you can apply at a visa centre without conferring with the Visa Section in advance, but you may have to book an appointment.

Some other groups can also apply for a visa now. Among them are members of certain professions, persons travelling in connection with an extraordinary event or for a special purpose. Please see the web site of the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) for information in full. If you believe that you are in one of these categories, please consult with the Visa Section before applying.

Until further notice, no visas will be granted for the purpose of tourism. 

Applications for a residence permit can still be submitted and will be forwarded to the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) as usual.