Hello incoming international students! If you’re like me, you want to be prepared for the red-tape that you may encounter as a student coming to Bergen from a country outside of Norway. Of course, there will be all sorts of ‘business’ to attend to in your first weeks as a UiB student (for the student checklist, that includes registration information and more, click here), but the part I was most concerned about when I first arrived was getting my student residence permit from UDI. So – I thought I’d write you guys a blog about it (so fun, right!?). Here we go:
Students from EU/EEA/EFTA countries.
So I’m not an expert in this by any means, as I am sadly not from an EU, EEA, or EFTA country. But if you are, you do have to go through the process below, unless are from a Nordic country. If you are from a Nordic country, you are a lucky duck that doesn’t have to do this at all!
A lucky Nordic Duck. Image: http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Nordic-expression-Hans-Hans-Danish-original-carvings-puppet-series-classic-ornaments-Wood-Duck-2/32401696832.html
1. Register to visit the Hordaland police online at selfservice.udi.no
2. No appointment is necessary, show up on Thursday 25 August or Friday 26 August between 09:00-14:30 at the Service Centre for Foreign Workers (SUA). Nonnesetergaten 4, 5050 Bergen.
3. Bring copies your Passport, Letter of Acceptance, and your European Health Insurance Card/other health insurance documentation.
Students from countries outside the EU/EEA/EFTA.
If you are from a country outside the EU, EEA or EFTA, then you’re in the same boat as me (I’m American). You have to apply for the Norwegian residence card, similar to a credit card, except that it proves you have a residence permit in Norway. Be forewarned, it apparently is not proof of much else. Although your birthdate is on it, it will not get you into a bar here in Bergen, as it is not considered ‘legal identification’ of that type. It does, however, come in handy when you want to come back to Bergen after Christmas break or a trip outside the Schengen area.
Heading into the Immigration Office inside the Police Station at Nestun. Photo: Stand Hiestand
1. You may have already applied at the UDI site and paid the fee of NOK 3,200. If not, you’ll need to register at udi.no (‘Want to Apply’).
2. After submitting your application online, you may be able to book an appointment online to go to the Police Station (Nesttunbrekka 95, 5221 Nesttun. Get off Bybanen at Skjoldskiftet) and turn in your documents. But, UiB has arranged a time for students to go: Tuesday 16 August or Tuesday 23 August between 09:00-12:00.
The Skjoldskiftet stop being announced on bybanen (upper) and the stop itself (lower). Photos: Stand Hiestand
3. According to UiB’s information, if you applied prior to departure you just need to bring your passport. However, if you applied after you arrived in Norway, you need to bring copies of your passport (and the original probably), your letter of Acceptance and documentation of your finances. In my experience, although I applied online before I arrived, I needed to bring everything that the ‘applied after arrival’ group would have brought, but perhaps things have changed at UDI.
Walking to the Nestun Police Station starting from the Skjoldskiftet platform (top), taking a left on the foot/bicycle path (bottom far left), continuing until the next intersection (bottom middle left), taking a right (bottom middle right) and proceeding straight until you come to the Police station (bottom far right). Photos: Stand Hiestand
4. Bring your patience, a book, your phone…
As with anything bureaucratic, this can take time. Be prepared to wait. Photo: Stand Hiestand