Continues with free-of-charge visas for Barents cooperation
This is VFS.GLOBAL's new visa-center in Murmansk for handling Norwegian visa applications . Photo: Marit Egholm Jacobsen
Visa to Norway will be more expensive for most travelers from Barents Russia when the VFS.GLOBAL takes over applications handling. Some categories of travelers will, however, still get visa without charge.
The private visa service company VFS.GLOBAL starts to receive applications in Murmansk for Norwegian Schengen visas from January 25th. Finland has already for some months been channeling visa applications through VFS.GLOBAL’s office in the northern part of the city center.
The new Norwegian visa-center will be located at Ulitsa Zelenaya 78.
With the new visa-center applicants get better service; the opening hours are from 9am to 5pm five days a week.
The price tag will, however, be higher than earlier. In addition to the normal €35 in visa fee, an additional service fee to VFS.GLOBAL of €21 will be added. If you do not sign up and fill in the application online first, and instead do it on the available PCs at the center, the service fee will €23. If you fill in a paper version and pay at the center the price will be €25,5. So in total, a new visa to Norway will cost you a minimum of €76.
Then you can get a one-year valid multiple entry visa for first time travelers, next time three years and finally five years multiple valid visa.
The Norwegian Consulate General in Murmansk will continue to facilitate for free-of-charge visas to special categories of travelers. Marit Egholm Jacobsen is head of the visa section.
“Those groups of applicants that today are excepted for the fee will also in the future get off with the fee, but will have to pay the service charge,” says Marit Egholm Jacobsen to BarentsObserver.
People that can get exception for the €35 visa fee are those involved in Barents projects with a Norwegian partner, near relatives of Russian citizens living in Norway, members of official delegations and participants in meetings and exchange programs. Also students, pupils and their teachers traveling for the purpose of training or education get free visas. The same goes for participants in international youth sports events and persons accompanying them as well as scientific, cultural and artistic activities and people taking part in official exchange programs organized by twin cities.
There will also be an option for those who don’t want to pay anything. “We will continue to keep the Consulate itself open for receiving of applicants, but then with limited opening hours and likely longer waiting time,” says Egholm Jacobsen.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.
Sports in the Barents region have joined forces and established Barents Games. This weekend athletes from all over the region met in Oulu to compete in 14 differents sports during the Barents Summer Games. See our slide show from the competitions.
People participating in culture-, sport and Barents cooperation projects can from October apply for visa to Norway without paying a single ruble, says Marit Egholm Jacobsen with the Norwegian Consulate General in Murmansk.