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Norway bans nearly all Russian tourists from entering the country

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A Russian woman waiting at Moscow airport (Credit: Alexander Nrjwolf)

Norway has decided to bar nearly all Russian tourists from entering the Nordic country, the latest measure in response to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, though loopholes still exist. The new restrictions are taking effect before the end of this month.

Since 2022, Norway has restricted the issuance of tourist visas for most Russian citizens, but some have used visas from other member states of the border-free Schengen area to circumvent those restrictions.

Under the new rules, Russian citizens whose purpose is tourism or other non-essential travel will be rejected at Norway’s external border, according to the Ministry of Justice and Public Security. This also applies to Russians with Norwegian visas issued before 2022 and visas issued by other Schengen states.

Those changes will allow police officers to refuse the entry of Russian citizens at the external border, though exceptions will be made in certain cases. This includes Russians who want to visit close family members or who plan to work or study in Norway.

“The decision to tighten the entry rules are in line with the Norwegian approach of standing by allies and partners in the reactions against Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine,” said Justice and Public Security Minister Emilie Enger Mehl.

Karl Erik Sjøholt, the Director of Residence at the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI), told BNO News that the new measures only apply to Russians who travel from outside Schengen’s external borders. This means Russians are still able to circumvent the ban if they travel to another Schengen state before going to Norway.

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