Tim Claydon emphasises the difficulty he faces applying for a Norwegian visa.
Over To Tim:
I’m a freelance choreographer and movement director specialising in opera. Like most operatic contracts my contract with the Norwegian Opera and ballet company was agreed and signed some 12 months ago. At that time, although Norway was outside the EU (but inside Schengen) and the UK was inside the EU but outside Schengen I wouldn’t have needed any form of visa to have worked for the required 6 weeks.
Since Jan 1st 2021 this has all changed.
I was informed by the company on 13th Jan 2021 that I would now need to apply for a Long Stay Visa Residence Permit. They have been incredibly helpful and I have been extremely lucky in the fact that they have paid for the application NOK6300 (GBP £561) I’m sure that this is because I’m part of the creative team and not a singer. I was able to get an interview at the Norway Visa Application Centre, in London within 10 days. I filled out a series of forms, which I have to say, were far more convoluted than even the US visa applications that I have filed on several occasions. I was asked to list, with dates, all the times that I had ever visited an EU country!! Must admit that I gave up on this section.
Went along to the interview armed with:
Photo copies of all used pages within it
Document showing my education
Documents showing my work experience
2 new photos
Signed copies of contracts
Housing reservation letter (with check in and out times and proof of payment) from company
A letter of Employment form, from company
Pay table-showing that fee meets payment required by Norwegian gov, from company.
I was very lucky to be working with a company that could provide all this for me within such short notice and that I had time to be able to pull all this together.
So now we wait, I had an email last week to say that my case was being processed but due to various reasons (mainly COVID I think) that there is still a min processing time of 8 weeks. Due to fly out to start my 10 day quarantine on 26th March
I was able to take my passport away with me which is some comfort and the company are being very cool about me possibly arriving after the start of rehearsal.
Let’s keep on making as much noise about this as we can. My biggest fear is that next time I will be over looked in favour of EU passport holding artist as company’s can’t keep shelling out visa fees especially if I can’t be relied upon to turn up on day 1.
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