What happens if you overstay your 90-day limit in Norway?
In line with European Union (EU) and Schengen Zone rules, people who do not need a visa to visit Norway can stay in the country for up to 90 days within a time span of 180 days. Here's what happens if you overstay the 90-day period.
Currently, many non-EU citizens do not need a visa to visit Norway or Europe. For a full list of persons who do not need a visa to visit Norway (the so-called "visa-free" group), kindly consult the Norwegian Directorate for Immigration's (UDI) website here.
Under the current allowance period, visitors to Norway from certain non-EU states can stay in the country for up to 90 days during a period of 180 days.
However, significant changes are planned for 2023, when these non-EU citizens will need a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) visa waiver to visit Norway and will also be required to comply with the new European Entry and Exit System (EES) system rules.
The ETIAS visa waiver program is designed to enhance the border security of the Schengen Area by registering non-EU citizens who plan to visit Norway and the rest of the Schengen Area.
It's different from a travel visa; under the program, all visa applicants are screened before they can go to Norway. If approved, they can move freely throughout the Schengen Area for up to 90 days. You can find out more about the upcoming changes here.
You can find more information on what the new European EES system means for travel to Norway here.
What happens if you overstay your 90-day limit?
As a rule of thumb, non-EU citizens who stay in Schengen area countries for more than 90 days without the necessary documentation (such as a residence permit) are usually subjected to penalties.
Generally speaking, Schengen member states apply some of the penalties for overstaying the permitted period below:
1. Deportation: If you're caught staying in Norway or Europe illegally, you will generally be deported to your home country. The procedure varies based on the country where your case is processed.
Note that deportation resulting from overstaying the 90-day limit is often accompanied by other penalties, such as stricter screening and inspection for entering the Schengen area on future trips.
2. Fines: Fines are the most common form of penalty for people caught overstaying the 90-day limit. Different Schengen countries enforce different fines, but in the entire area, if you have illegally overstayed the permitted time, a fine will be accompanied by a ban from entering the Schengen Zone for a specific (or even indefinite!) period of time.
3. Bans: People usually get banned from entering the Schengen area if they overstay the allowed time period and are caught working or engaging in other illegal activities. In such cases, you can be banned from entering any Schengen state for a period of three years or more.
However, as senior press advisor Per-Jan Brekke at the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) told The Local, Norway does not impose fines for violations of the Immigration Act.
"In case of an overstay of at least 30 days, expulsion is considered. This applies to 3rd country citizens.
"Overstay for EEA nationals does not exist. However, if they do not meet the conditions for the right of residence, they may be expelled," Brekke told The Local.
Keep in mind that the severity of the penalties can depend on multiple factors, including how long you have overstayed the permitted 90-day period and if you engaged in other illegal activities.
Additional rules to follow as a non-EU citizen
During your 90-day stay in Norway as a non-EU citizen who doesn't need a visa to visit the country, there are a couple of rules that you need to remember. The following rules are accentuated as particularly important by the Norwegian Directorate for Immigration (UDI).
Firstly, know that you can divide the 90 days over multiple trips, entering and exiting Norway as you please. Remember to check whether you're free to enter Norway or the Schengen area if you've already visited the country in the last 90 days.
You can calculate the number of days you can stay in Schengen with the digitally available visa calculator here.
Norway is an expensive country. Usually, authorities will verify whether you have at least 500 kroner available per each day of your planned stay in Norway. Expect officials to request proof, ranging from credit cards and cash to bank slips and other information. However, the necessary daily amount will be lowered if you plan to stay with family or friends.
Make sure to inspect the validity of all of your travel and residence documents. If your residence permit in Norway expires, you will be forced to leave the country.
Furthermore, you must ensure your passport is valid for at least three months longer than the date you plan to exit Norway. Also, you need to be able to travel back to your home state or the country where you're a resident after your stay in Norway.
Remember that if you want to work in Norway, you must apply for a residence permit. In general, you're prohibited from working in the country during your 90-day stay.
Rules that apply for EU/EEA citizens who plan to visit Norway
Norway has a different set of visa rules in place for EU and European Economic Area (EEA) citizens. They do not need a visa to visit the country and can stay there for up to three months. However, they must register with the Norwegian police if they want to stay longer.
You do not need to register with the Norwegian police during your three-month stay unless you become a considerable burden to the country's public welfare systems.
Remember that you can leave Norway and then re-enter the country at a later point in time for another three months. Officials will ask you to prove that you have left the country, but there are no other restrictions on how long you must stay away before revisiting Norway – as long as you have valid travel documents.
Note that Norway will require special passports (such as biometric passports) for some countries. You can find a list of countries affected by this rule here (in Norwegian).