Questions and answers for international students

Here you'll find questions and answers for international students.

Questions and answers

[UDI] Do I need a study permit (student visa)?

Study permits for students from outside the EU/EEA area

The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) - is the government authority responsible for issuing permits and visas to enter Norway.

If you are a student with a citizenship from outside the EU/EEA area, you must obtain a study permit before you arrive in Norway, regardless of the length of your stay. Please note: This also includes Non-EU/EEA citizens currently studying in EU/EEA countries. Students need to have a separate study permit studying in Norway when the stay is for more than 90 days.

As soon as you receive a letter of acceptance to study at University of South-Eastern Norway (USN), you should register your application online and make an appointment to the nearest Norwegian consular station (general) consulate or embassy) to hand in your documents. Before you arrive, you must ensure that you have all the correct documentation. You must have a valid passport and the passport should be valid for six months after your study period in Norway has expired.

It is essential that you apply for a study permit well ahead before your semester starts, as we cannot predict the processing time of UDI in these matters. It might take up to four months, as has been the latest experience. It is also important to bring the residence permit letter from UDI upon your arrival in Norway. 

You have to show the following documentation (if applicable):

  1. Confirmation of your ability to meet your living expenses. 
    Please note: SSN (the student welfare services) provides deposit accounts for international students, for disposal, for these matters.                                   
  2.  Confirmation of housing.
  3. Insurance: To apply for a visa and/or residence permit, you will also need to document the purchase of a travel insurance with medical coverage (health insurance). 
  4. Health insurance (before arrival).

The Norwegian consular station in your country will provide you with specific information if necessary.

Please note: '

  • Do not choose the option of asking USN for referral in your E-application. This will just delay your permit.
  • All documentation you bring with you to Norway should be the original documents or official copies.

Study permit renewal

You will need to get your study permit renewed each year or semester (depending on whether you are in Norway for a semester or a full year). This must be done before your current permit expires.

You can renew your study permit by submitting an application for renewal to the police where you live. In order to be entitled to stay on the same conditions until your application has been decided, you must apply at least one month before your first residence permit expires. Read more about this process

Please note: To renew your study permit, you need to book an appointment with the police. It may take months to get available time slots for renewing your visa at the local police station. Please take this into consideration and make plans well ahead to ensure the renewal of your residence permit in time. USN is unfortunately in no position to book a time slot or arrange group appointments for students who are about to renew their permits.

Information about family reunification for students from outside the EU/EEA

Please refer to UDI for all questions related to visa, study permits and family reunification.

Students from the EEA/EU Area

Students arriving from EEA member countries do not need a study permit to study in Norway.
Nevertheless, if your course of study is for three months or longer, you will need to register online at at the start of your semester in Norway.

Afterwards you need to visit the police station to identify yourself and present the documents that are relevant for your basis for residence.

Students from the Nordic Countries

If you are a citizen of another Nordic country (Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland), you do not need a visa or study permit for educational purposes to study at USN.

Visa checklist:

Documents to be shown:

  • Documentation of subsistence
  • Letter of admission with housing confirmation
  • Travel insurance with medical coverage

More information at UDI's web page


Please refer to UDI for all questions related to visa, study permits and family reunification.

Please refer to SSN for all questions related to the payment and use of the deposit account.

Please refer to SSN housing services for all questions related to accommodation and housing contracts.

[UDI] What address do I put as my Norwegian address in the application?

If you have not been assigned housing yet, you may use SSN's general postal address:

Raveien 201
3184 Borre


Once you have been assigned the housing contract please change the address at your home page on UDI. 

[UDI] How long does it take before I get a decision on my application?

This depends on:

  • Where you apply from
  • Your citizenship
  • How long you are staying in Norway
  • The kind of visa you are applying for

Please remember that you are the only one who have insight to your case with UDI, so USN staff members cannot check your case for you. 



[UDI] What kind of financial guarantee does UDI approve?
[UDI] Renewal of Residence Permit

Students from outside of EU/EAA who will stay in Norway for more than one year must remember to apply for renewal of Residence Permit (Visa) well in advance and according to UDI’s instructions. 

We advise you to go to UDI’s website for renewal of Residence Permit. Please note that you will also find the document “statement of study progress” form on this link as well, this must be sent to your student adviser. 

Please note that you must book your own appointment with the police for renewal of your Residence Permit. USN’s group appointments are only available for new students and not for renewal because it is a different procedure. 

[Police registration] How do I register with the police?

If you are a student coming from outside the EU/EEA area, you will need to apply for a visa after you have received your letter of admission.

All EU/EEA nationals (except for nordic citizens) who are going to stay in Norway for more than three months need to register on the UDI (The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration) website prior to coming to Norway.

EU/ EEA citizens need to register with the Norwegian Police and hand in a set of documents. Citizens of Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden do not need a permit to be in Norway. When you turn up to your appointment with the police or embassy/consulate you must hand in a list and copies of the documents on this list. You must also present the original documents. Click here to see which documents you have to bring.

If any of your documents are in a different language than Norwegian or English, you must hand in a translation of the documents into Norwegian or English. It is your responsibility to make sure that you have handed in all documents on the list which are required for your application.

The International office organizes group appointments for students at all our campuses at the beginning of every semester, at the police stations in Drammen, Hønefoss and Stokke.

Family members of students need to organize their own individual appointment with the police.

[Police registration] I cannot find a timeslot for police registration within 7 days of my arrival, what do I do?

International students coming to USN are not required to registert within 7 days of arrival as long as you have an appointment booked, it does not have to be within 7 day of arrival. USN has pre-arranged appointments for International students, this information will be given to you by the International Relations Office. 

[Police registration] What documents am I required to bring to the appointment?

You are required to bring following documents:

  • Passport (If you are an EU citizen you can bring the National Identity Card)
  • Copy of your housing contract
  • Letter of admission (this needs to be in a printed format, this can be found on your student account/studentweb)
  • Visa document


If you are an EU citizen you also need to bring:

  • Statement of finance (This will be provided to you by the International Relations Office)
  • European Health Insurance Card (The card can be in your original language)


[Police registration] Can I bring my family/partner to the group appointment?

Unfortunately the group appointments are only for first time registered students, you will have to book own appointments for your family/partner. 

[Police registration] Where are the police stations located?

If you are a student on Campus Bø, Notodden, Kongsberg, Drammen or Rauland you will normally be going to the police station in Drammen. In your application you can write Sør-Øst politidistrikt, Drammen. Sometimes the police are openinge locally like in January 2024, but you still fill in Drammen (or any of the 3 registration places for South-East Police district in your application).

If you are a student on Campus Ringerike, you will be going to the police station in Hønefoss (Ringerike). 

If you are a student on Campus Porsgrunn or Vestfold, you will be going to Torp Police station. In your application you can write Sør-Øst politidistrikt, Torp. Sometimes the police are opening locally in Skien like in January 2024, but you still fill in Torp (or any of the 3 registration places for South-East Police district in your application).

This is only for the group appointments, and you will be informed about date and time by the International Relations Office. However, if you have to book your own appointment you can book any of the 3 registration places for South-East Police district in your application. Pick the one that is best suited for you within the South-east region. 

[Police registration] How do I get to the police station for the group appointment?

You will receive information about how to get to the police station at the orientation meeting that takes place during your first week at USN. 



[Police registration] What if I cannot attend the group police appointment?

If you cannot make the group appointment, you will have to book an appointment yourself. Please know that this can take quite some time and be challenging. Book an appointment here

[Deposit Account] What is a deposit account?

If you are a student with a citizenship from outside the EU/EEA area, you must obtain a student visa before you arrive in Norway, regardless of the length of your stay.

Please note: If you have not received your housing contract yet, you may apply for the visa, giving the address from SSN as your home address in Norway:

  • Samskipnaden i Sørøst-Norge
  • Raveien 189 b
  • 3184 Borre, Norway

The Student Welfare Organisation in Southeast-Norway (SSN), has opened a deposit account in the bank “DNB” for international students, where students can deposit the needed amount of money from their home country. 

In some cases, there are exceptions from this deposit requirement for exchange students from our partner institutions. Please contact your residence permit processing office for more details. The regional offices are outlined on the site:  

More information and bank account details can be found at SSN homepage.

[Deposit account] Can I transfer the money in a different currency than NOK?

You can transfer your own currency to the deposit account, however, you need to find out the correct amount of money required by UDI in NOK. (e.g UDI requires x amount of NOK, you need to find out the conversion rate of your currency and make sure it is equal to x amount of NOK)  

[Deposit account] How do I get my money back if I don't end up studying at USN?

If you are not coming to USN, you need to send an e-mail to

SSN will need additional information from you, before they can transfer the deposit back to your bank account. 

[Deposit account] Does SSN withdraw the first year's rent from my deposit account before I can access it?

Yes, SSN withdraws  the rent for the first year before you get access to the deposit account. You can read this in the document "SSN - financial deposit slip", and in the contract §5. 

[Deposit account] Can someone else transfer the money on my behalf?

Yes someone else can transfer the money on your behalf.

What you as a student needs to do:

  • Write the full name of the person transferring the money on your behalf in SSN's financial slip (reply slip) in the section called "this person transfers the money on my behalf".

What the person transferring the money on your behalf needs to do:

  • Write the student's (your) name on a message in the bank transfer so that SSN knows who to connect the transfer to. 
[Deposit account] Can I send the deposit in several installments?

Yes you can transfer the deposit in several installments, but please remember to let SSN known how many installments you are planning on sending when returning their financial slip (reply slip). SSN will not send the confirmation that they have received the deposit before they have received all of the installments. 

You may also transfer more than the given amount if needed. 

[Deposit account] What do I do if my transfer does not correspond with the amount that UDI requires?

First you need to contact UDI to ask if you need to transfer more money to SSN's account. If you need to transfer more money, please write an e-mail to to let them know that you are transferring a new amount. 

[Living in Norway] What's the cost of living in Norway?

Norway is a high-cost country. Though USN does not charge tuition fees, it is still quite expensive to get your education in Norway because of high living expenses.

As a student you will need a minimum of approximately NOK 7000-9000 per month in order to cover your basic expenses.

To give you an idea of the living expenses for a student in Norway, we have put together a modest budget for one month (all numbers are approximate):


May vary (more information on tuition fees)


NOK 3400-7000 NOK (incl. elect./heating)


NOK 3000

Student related costs

NOK 500- 3000

Transport (local bus)

NOK 450-500

Bicycle rental (with helmet)

NOK 150


NOK 1000-1500


In addition, all full degree students have to pay semester fee. Exchange students are exempted from paying the semester fee as they will pay to their home institution.


Eating Out

Eating out is quite expensive in Norway compared to other countries.

Main course in a budget restaurant (Chinese or pizza restaurant): NOK 120-200
Main course in a more upmarket restaurant: NOK 200-300
A bottle of beer in a bar: NOK 75-100
A glass of beer (varies between 0.4 and 0.5 l) in a pub/bar: NOK 95-120
A bottle of wine in restaurant: from NOK 350


1l of milk: NOK 17-20
1 l apple juice: NOK 15-35
A loaf of bread: NOK 35-40
A bag of coffee: NOK 40
250 grams of ham: NOK 30-40
1 1/2 l of mineral water: NOK 13-35
A bottle of red wine (from the Vinmonopolet): from NOK 90-200

* Brands like Eldorado, First Price, and Rema1000, usually offers the cheapest choice. 

Discounts can be obtained from providers of these types of goods and services:

- transport companies: express buses and train (VY and Airport Express)
- fitness centres and gyms, outdoor activities (e.g. skiing resorts)
- local cafes and restaurants
- local business community (hairdressers, beauty shops, sports equipment shops, etc.)
- newspaper and magazine subscriptions
- telecommunications services

It's a good idea to always ask if they have a student discount or not.

[Living in Norway] Is it possible to work while studying in Norway?

Please note that it's challenging to obtain a part-time job in Norway, especially around campuses in rural areas. There are a limited amount of jobs available for students without knowledge of Norwegian. Therefore you need to have enough money to live on after UDI's requirements without being reliant on getting a part-time job while studying. 

EEA/EU Citizens: 

  • Do not need a work permit to study in Norway
  • Can apply for part-time work after registering with the police

Non EEA-/EU Citizens: 

If you wish to study or go to school in Norway for more than three months, you must apply for a study permit. 

  • If you are granted a study permit, you are automatically also granted permission to work part-time for up to 20 hours per week in addition to your studies and full-time during holidays.
  • Note: When renewing your study permit, the part-time work permit is not automatically renewed.
  • You must document satisfactory progress in your studies in order to continue to work part-time.

You need a tax deduction card in order to work in Norway. 

[Living in Norway] Do I need insurance while staying in Norway?

All students are advised to have a valid insurance covering the duration of their stay – including travel to and from Norway.

USN strongly emphasizes that it is the student’s own responsibility to make insurance arrangements for any accident, illness, injury, loss or damage to persons or property resulting from, or in any way connected with, the study period in Norway. 

In addition to health insurance (see below), all students must have a valid travel insurance for the duration of their stay in Norway.

Please note that if you are coming with a spouse or family member, it is your own responsibility to make sure that you family member is insured during your stay.

Learn more about insurance for students coming from the EU/EEA

Learn more about insurance for students coming from outside the EU/EEA

[Living in Norway] How do I get a Norwegian National Identity Number?

The procedures for getting a Norwegian National Identity Number will vary according to your nationality and length of stay.

Nationality is divided into:
- Non-EU/EEA citizens
- EU/EEA citizens
- Nordic citizens (Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Finland)

Many students confuse the National Identity Number with the “D-number”. The National Identity Number (called “personnummer” in Norwegian) and D-number are not the same. Here are the definitions of the National Identity Number and the “D-number”:

Important: Students that receive a Norwegian National Identity number must also give their new number to their student adviser upon receipt of the letter so that it can be registered in the USN database. There is an online form for this.        

In most cases, the preference would be to get the National Identity Number if one qualifies.


Non-EU/EEA citizens:

The following information is current as of September 1, 2021.

Non-EU/EEA students studying in Norway for more than nine months will automatically receive a Norwegian National Identity Number after reporting to the police station. Students will receive this by postal mail, normally after some weeks, unless unexpected delays occur.

Non-EU/EEA students studying in Norway for less than nine months will automatically receive a D-number a few weeks after the appointment with the police (unless unexpected delays occur). Students will receive this by postal mail. As mentioned, the D-number is not the same as the National Identity Number.

For more information please visit skatteetaten.  

EU/EEA citizens:

EU/EEA students who are planning to be here more than six months must register their move to Norway and can obtain a National Identity Number (also known as the “personnumer”). In order to do so you must register in the Norwegian Population Registry (handled by the Tax Office) by reporting a move to Norway. In order to do so you must register in the Norwegian population registry by reporting a move to Norway.

Only designated tax offices have the possibility of registering the move to Norway. For the campuses covered in USN’s region, the following tax offices offer these services: Drammen, Sandvika, Skien and Tønsberg.

All visitors to the tax office must book an online appointment prior to visiting the tax office.

Here is a list of the required documents for appointments within 30 days of the police appointment:

1. The form provided online by the Tax Office (must be filled out prior to the appointment, link below)

2. Passport or national ID card with a photograph of you and information about your citizenship and gender. If gender is not listed on the ID card, a passport must be used.

3. Registration certificate issued by the police.

4. A valid house purchase contract or tenancy agreement valid for at least 6 months. If the tenancy agreement is older than 3 months, you need to bring a confirmation from the lessor showing that the contract is still valid. Please note that he housing contract must show the dates of rental and the signatures of you and SSN (or landlord if not SSN).

5. Confirmation that you are a student showing that you will be in Norway for 6 months or more. If the Letter of Admissions is older than 3 months, a new confirmation must be presented.

If a student attends the appointment at the tax office 30 or more days after the visit to the police station then the following extra documents are needed:

  1. Confirmation of finances (self-declaration)
  2. The European Health Insurance Card or a comparative Health Insurance that meets the requirements of Norwegian law


For more information and to find the required form, please visit skatteetaten. 


Nordic citizens:

Nordic students do not need to register with the police, but can follow the same procedure as the EU/EEA-students to obtain a permanent ID number/National Identity Number. In addition, Nordic students will also have to bring the printout from the national population register in the country they are moving from. The printout must be stamped, signed and no older than three months.

For more information and the required form, please visit skatteetaten

Please remember to clearly mark your mailbox with your full legal name as in your ID/passport.

[Living in Norway] Do I have access to doctor and medical services?

Everyone who is resident in a Norwegian municipality is entitled to be registered as a patient with a primary doctor (GP). If you are staying more than 6 months and received your national identity number you are entitled to a personal physician. You should register for a physician as soon as you have your national ID number. Do not wait until you get sick. This could take some time, so make sure you have health insurance from your home country until you get your number. You can choose a GP at a clinic near your home, but sometimes there are no free places so you are assigned to a GP that requires some travel.

The general practitioner (in Norwegian: "fastlege") works as the main doctor overseeing a person’s health. Please notice that there is not a regular system in Norway for being invited for regular checkups.

Primary doctor (GP):

  • See your primary doctor about general health problems or to be referred to a specialist.
  • If needed, the GP will refer you to a specialist or a hospital for further treatment.
  • All patients pay a consultation fee when visiting their GP.


If you are staying less than 6 months, you will not get a personal physician. However, you are still entitled to medical care.

  • If you are an EEA/EU Citizen, remember to bring your European Health Insurance card. 
  • Of you are a citizen from outside the EU, you need to make sure you have private insurance from your home country. 
  • Accident and emergency departments: accept patients in need of immediate help, i.e. treatment of illnesses and injuries that cannot wait until the next day.
  • Emergencies – call 113: for life-threatening and acute health problems.
  • Studentsamskipnaden (SSN) offers a variety of health services for students at USN. 

If you get sick and need to see a doctor, look at this page about primary doctor for more information. If you are a EEA citizen you can also find information here.

All municipalities in Norway offer an out-of-hours medical service for immediate medical assistance 24 hours a day. Call the 6-digit number 116 117 for free to contact your local out-of-hours medical centre. In an emergency, call 113.
Click here to see what the out-of-hours medical service can do for you.

Another option is to use a private doctors like Dr.Dropin.

[At USN] How do I change or correct my name at USN?
[At USN] How do I register my Norwegian Identity Number at USN?
[At USN] Does USN have any offers for spouses or family members?

If you plan to move to Norway with spouses or other family members, please make sure that you are well-prepared ahead of your arrival in Norway. You need to consider the following:

  • Funding
  • Housing with space enough for family members
  • Applying for visas for family members
  • Police registration for family members
  • Insurance for family members

Please note that it is your own responsibility to prepare for taking your family members with you. USN has no responsibility nor capacity for organising family visas, police registration, housing, schools or kindergartens to accommodate family members.

The SSN - student welfare services - only has a few apartments in each campus that are accommodated for couples. These are in high demand. Family units are even more scarce. These are for small families (1 - 2 rooms) and located at campus Porsgrunn and Vestfold only. Please contact the SSN directly for more questions.

[At USN] What do I need to know about privacy?

If you need to identify yourself when contacting USN, you have several options:

  • Use your student ID number- the student ID number is unique for each student
  • Use your student ID number and your name
  • If you have forgotten or lost your student ID number, use your birthdate and your name

You can find your student ID number in the student ID app and in your profile on Studentweb.

If in doubt, contact the reception on campus or your student advisor by phone.


Sign into Studentweb here:

Download the student ID app from:

App Store (iOS)
Google Play (Android) 
Windows store (Windows)

[At USN] Does USN have a housing guarantee for international students?

There are a certain number of housing units available for international students that apply before the deadline. Whether or not you are guaranteed housing depends on how many applications there are for that semester. Some campuses have more available housing than others. Also keep in mind when applying that some types of housing units will fill up quicker than others, and it can be a good idea to apply for more than one if possible.

Keep in mind that SSN and USN are different units, so if you have any questions about housing, please contact SSN directly. 

The SSN contracts lasts at least one - 1 - full semester:
August 1 - December 31
January 1 - June 30

Contracts cannot be terminated before these dates (Dec 31 / June 30)

Private housing options can be found at and Airbnb

[At USN] Does USN offer any Norwegian language courses?

We encourage our international students to subscribe to the online Norwegian class offered by the University of Oslo. More information can be found here.

or the online Norwegian course offered by Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU):

Currently, USN does not offer any language courses for international students, but the institution is working on developing courses for the future.

There are volunteer organizations and private/public organizations that offer language classes to foreign citizens. In general, most providers charge a fee from students.

You may check out Folkeuniversitetet or check with the local community in your area.



How do I get a certificate of good conduct?

Contact your local police station and ask for a Criminal Record Certificate. You will have to print and bring your offer of admission from your web application and a valid ID card.

Find out more about certificate of good conduct.

Download application form



What do I need to prepare before departure to Norway?

There are a few important tasks you should prepare before your departure to Norway. More information can be found in the new student check list.