Norway - Consular Information Sheet
October 30, 2000
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Norway is a highly developed stable
democracy with a modern economy. The cost of living in Norway
is high, and tourist facilities are well developed and widely
available. Tourism to Norway is increasing, and outdoor activities
(especially hiking, cycling, skiing, skating, boating, and fishing)
are popular. English is a popular second language in Norway. Additional
information about Norway is available at http://www.usa.no.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A valid passport is required. U.S.
citizens may enter Norway for tourist or general business purposes
without a visa for up to 90 days. However, in accord with provisions
of the Scandinavian Passport Union, the 90-day period begins with
an entry into, and includes any time spent in, the following countries:
Iceland, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faeroe Islands),
Sweden, Finland, and Norway. Tourists who have stayed in Norway
for more than 90 days without a visa are usually not permitted
to re-enter the country until six months have passed. Tourists
who enter without a visa cannot usually change status in Norway
in order to reside or work. Travelers planning a long-term stay,
marriage or employment in Norway should seek the appropriate visa
before departing the United States.
For information concerning entry requirements, travelers can
Royal Norwegian Embassy at 2720 34th Street, N.W., Washington,
D.C. 20008-2714, tel. 1-202- 333-6000, or the nearest Norwegian
consulate; and on the Internet at http://www.norway.org. Norwegian
consulates are located in Houston, Miami, Minneapolis, New York
City, and San Francisco.
CRIME INFORMATION: Norway has a relatively low crime rate.
Most crimes involve the theft of personal property. Residential
burglaries, auto theft, and vandalism to parked cars can also
occur on occasion. Most high-end value vehicles, especially in
Oslo, have visible alarm system indicators to discourage joy-riders
or thieves. Persons who appear affluent or disoriented may become
targets of pickpockets and purse-snatchers. Thieves frequently
target tourists in hotels, particularly lobby/reception and restaurant
areas, as the would-be victim is registering or enjoying a meal,
typically buffets. The thieves tend to work in pairs, and use
distraction as a method to steal purses or briefcases. While passports
are frequently stolen in the course of these thefts, money, credit
cards and jewelry are the actual objects of interest. In many
cases, passports stolen in such a manner are subsequently found
in the vicinity of the theft. Violent crime, though it can exist,
remains the exception; weapons are almost never used by thieves
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported
immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or
consulate. U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's
pamphlet, A Safe Trip Abroad,
for ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. The pamphlet
is available by mail from the
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs,
or via the
Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical facilities are widely available
and of high quality, but may be limited outside the larger urban
areas. The remote and sparse populations in northern Norway, and
the dependency on ferries to cross fjords of western Norway, may
affect transportation and ready access to medical facilities.
The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of emergency clinics in major
MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always
valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs
do not provide payment for medical services outside the United
States. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment
for health services. Uninsured travelers who require medical care
overseas may face extreme difficulties.
Please check with your own insurance company to confirm whether
your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical
evacuation, and for adequacy of coverage. Serious medical problems
requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United
States can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Please ascertain
whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor
or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you
incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric
treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas
insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau
of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via
the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations
and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international
travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX
(1-888-232-3299), or via CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ
significantly from those in the United States. The information
below concerning Norway is provided for general reference only,
and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Good
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Good
Availability of roadside assistance: Good
Public transportation in Norway is generally safe, the maintenance
and condition of urban and rural roads are generally good to excellent,
and the availability of roadside assistance is also generally
good. However, the roadway system beyond Oslo's limits and other
major cities tends to be simple two-lane roads. In mountainous
areas of Norway, the roads also tend to be narrow and winding,
and there are many tunnels. The northerly latitude can also cause
road conditions to vary greatly depending on weather and time
of year. Many mountain roads are closed due to snow from late
fall to late spring.
Automatic cameras placed by the police along roadways help to
maintain speed limits, which are often lower than in other European
countries. Frequent road checks with mandatory breathalyzer tests
and the promise of stiff jail sentences encourage alcohol-free
For additional general information about road safety, including
links to foreign government sites, please see the Department of
State, Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html.
For specific information concerning Norwegian driver's permits,
vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact
Tourist Board office located at P.O. Box 4649, Grand Central
Station, New York, New York 10163-4649 (tel. 212-885-9700; fax
- 212/885-9710) or visit their web site on the Internet at http://www.norway.org/travel.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) has assessed the Government of Norway's Civil Aviation Authority
as Category 1 -- in compliance with international aviation safety
standards for oversight of Norway's air carrier operations. For
further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation
within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the
FAA's Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/. The
U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign
air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services.
For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers,
travelers may contact DOD at tel. (618) 229-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Norway's customs authorities may
enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into
or export from Norway such as firearms, antiques, etc. It is advisable
to contact the Embassy of Norway in Washington or one of Norway's
consulates in the United States for specific information regarding
Norway's customs authorities encourage the use of an ATA (Admission
Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission
of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for
exhibitions and trade fair purposes. ATA Carnet Headquarters located
at the U.S. Council
for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the Americas, New
York, N.Y. 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet in the
United States. For additional information, please call (212) 354-4480,
or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://www.uscib.org
Travelers with pets should note that Norway is a rabies-free
country and seek advance information about the strict quarantine
requirements for all incoming pets.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S.
citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which
sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States
and may not afford the protections available to the individual
under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe
than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating
Norway's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or
imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal
drugs in Norway are strict, and convicted offenders can expect
jail sentences and heavy fines.
Substances that are legal in some European countries, such as
khat, are prohibited in Norway. The possession of small amounts
of drugs (e.g. marijuana, hashish) even for personal use - which
may not result in arrest in neighboring countries - can result
in arrest in Norway. If drugs or controlled substances are discovered
upon one's arrival in Norway, the result can be a charge of importation
rather than simple possession. Penalties usually include detention,
a hefty fine and deportation, usually back to the United States.
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: For information
on international adoption of children and international parental
child abduction please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html
or telephone (202) 736-7000.
REGISTRATION AND EMBASSY LOCATION: Americans living in
or visiting Norway are encouraged to register at the Consular
Section of the U.S.
Embassy and to obtain updated information on travel and security
within Norway. The U.S. Embassy is located in Oslo near the Royal
Palace at Drammensveien 18; tel. (47) 22-44-85-50, consular fax
(47) 22-56-27-51. Information about consular services can be found
in the Consular Section of the Embassy's home page at http://www.usa.no.