Visas For Members

Schengen visa to visit Norway: What you need to know about cover letters

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected] • 21 Feb, 2023 Updated Tue 21 Feb 2023 15:40 CEST
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In itself, the cover letter isn’t mandatory for your visitor visa application to be approved; however, it can make the work of the personnel handling your case much easier. Photo by Amit Rana on Unsplash

If you’re travelling to Norway, you might need a Schengen visitor’s visa. While the process of getting such a visa usually involves extensive documentation, in this article, we will be focusing on only one of the necessary documents – the cover letter.


Do you need a Schengen visa to visit Norway? That depends on several factors, including your nationality, the duration, and the purpose of your intended stay in the country.

Norway is a part of the Schengen Area, a group of 26 European countries that have relinquished border control at their mutual borders, which means that citizens of Schengen countries do not need a visa to enter Norway or any other Schengen country for short-term stays.

You can find more information about the visit duration limits, requirements per different visit purposes, and additional conditions that apply here.

However, if you are a citizen of a non-Schengen country, you’ll likely need a Schengen visa to enter Norway, even for a short-term stay.


Short stay and airport transit

There are several instances under which you’ll need to apply for a Schengen visa. The official website of the European Union (EU) points to two common cases - short stays and airport transit.

In the case of short stays, the EU has a common list of countries whose citizens must have a visa when crossing the external borders (available here) and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (you can find it here).

Whether or not you need to apply for a Schengen airport transit visa depends on your nationality. Citizens of some countries are required to hold an airport transit visa when transiting through international parts of airports located in any of the Schengen States, while citizens of other countries are required to hold an airport transit visa when transiting through international parts of airports in only some of the Schengen States (several exemptions apply – you can check them out here).

Just to make sure, check the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration’s (UDI) website or the Norwegian embassy in your country to get the latest official information on whether you need a visa to visit Norway.

What is a Schengen visa cover letter?

While applicants need to provide extensive documentation (including the appropriate form, proof of travel and accommodation expenses, proof of insurance coverage, etc.) along with their Schengen visa application, in this article, we will focus on the cover letter.

In itself, the cover letter isn’t mandatory for your application to be approved; however, it can make the work of the personnel handling your case much easier (meaning that a well-written cover letter can also increase the odds of your application being approved).

The cover letter’s primary purpose is to provide the relevant authorities (usually embassy staff) with all the information related to your trip and the visa application – note that the letter should also include your plans to return to your home country after your visit to Norway is over.


What is the added value of writing a cover letter to support your Schengen visa application?

The cover letter allows you to showcase information that can’t be found – or isn’t clear enough – in the other documents that you’ll be handing over to the authorities.

It allows you to put forward your travel history in a more detailed manner and, by doing so, helps paint a more complete picture in the mind of the processing officer.

If you manage to put together a truly great cover letter, you might even end up accelerating the entire process.


What to include in a Schengen visa cover letter?

The key to a good cover letter is to provide a comprehensive overview of the general information you want to communicate, along with the details that will ensure that the document is well-rounded.

Generally speaking, you will need to describe and support the reasons for travelling to Norway.

The standard information you should list includes a detailed itinerary and plan of activities (include reservations and tickets if possible), the purpose of your trip (if it’s a tourist trip, make sure to accentuate that fact), your schedule, accommodation, and flight information (make sure to include tickets for your arrival and departure), proof of finances that shows you can support your trip and stay, and – finally – proof that you intend to return to your home country.

If you have any special circumstances that are related to your trip or visa application, make sure to list them and explain what these are in detail.

Visa requests can be rejected due to insufficient information provided, so prepare accordingly and be thorough.


Where to submit your visa application – and your cover letter?

You can usually submit your visa application at a Norwegian embassy or consulate in your country. In case of doubt, you can also contact the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) for more information.

You can find out more information about the current application processing times here.

The UDI also has a useful wizard for visitor visas - use it to find out which rules apply to your country and case.



Robin-Ivan Capar 2023/02/21 15:40

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