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Norway to tighten visa rules for Russian citizens

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Norway to tighten visa rules for Russian citizens
The UDI will tighten its rules for visa applicants from Russia. File photo: A general view of the Norwegian border crossing station at Storskog. Photo by Jonothan Nackstrand /AFP

Norwegian authorities will tighten visa rules for Russian citizens due to fears visitors won't return home after their trip.

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Visa rules for Russian citizens visiting friends and partners in Norway will be tightened significantly so that these applications will typically be rejected, public broadcaster NRK reports. 

Russian citizens wishing to visit their siblings in Norway were also likely to see their applications rejected under the tighter regulations.

The reason for the tighter rules is a belief among the authorities that Russians who come to Norway won't return home after their visa expires. 

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"(The decision is based on) the assessment of whether the visa applicant will probably return to their home country after the visit to Norway," Håvard Sæthre from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) wrote to NRK in an email. 

"In the assessment of the emigration potential from Russia, we have made an overall assessment of the political, economic and social conditions in Russia," Særthe added. 

Those visiting from Russia for business and cultural purposes will also have a more challenging time being granted a visa.

Rules for parents, children and spouses who want to visit someone in Norway will not be tightened, however. 

Citizens from Russia will still be able to apply for asylum in Norway. However, to be eligible to apply for political asylum, you will still first need to enter Norway. 

According to the UDI, there has been a nearly ten-fold increase in the number of Russians applying for asylum in Norway. In 2021, 13 Russians applied for asylum, compared to 126 this year already. 

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