Visas for seamen

19.07.2013 // This is a clarification regarding transit visas for seamen joining a vessel in a Schengen port outside Norway.

Transit visa for seamen – clarification

A seaman joining a vessel in a port outside of Norway should apply for a transit visa to the Schengen member state where the port is located. This is regulated in the Immigration Regulation section 3-16, and is in accordance with the CCI chapter II, section 1.1. Issuing visas to seamen is also described in UDI circular 2010-107 (in Norwegian only), section 6.2.12. The fact that the vessel is registered in Norway or owned by a Norwegian shipping company is not relevant, as the same regulations apply nevertheless.

Some seamen are exempted from the visa requirements to Norway, as described in the Immigration Regulation section 3-1, but need a transit visa for joining a vessel in a port outside Norway, e.g. in the Netherlands. In such cases you should advice the seamen/ shipping agent to apply for a visa at a Dutch Foreign Service mission. It is not relevant if the seamen wish to transit through Norway on their way to the Netherlands or not, as they are exempted from the visa requirements to Norway.

The mentioned circular does give an example where it has become our practice to issue visas when seamen are joining a vessel in a port outside Norway. However, this only applies when seamen arrive at the Norwegian border/port, and have not had the possibility to apply in advance (emergency visa). In other words, this practice is not relevant when seamen apply for visas at a Foreign Service mission.

 


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