I'm 23 years old but have established myself as a self-employed person. My income is 12L rupees and the bank balance was 7L rupees when I applied. I booked all the hotels etc.

All the documents were properly provided including business registration papers.

I explained my reason of visit (northern lights) in the cover letter and drafted it properly.

The rejection came today pointing to "no strong ties to country". They said I'm "young, unmarried, and without children".

I'm not sure what could be the reason?

  • 13
    Take a look at the graphic in this question travel.stackexchange.com/questions/49478/… and you’ll see criteria where you likely score ‘high risk’. Even the premise of your proposed trip could have been seen as lacking credibility, especially if you have little or no travel history.
    – Traveller
    Oct 12, 2022 at 22:10
  • 5
    @Traveler Before posting another question you should review all the related questions here travel.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3757/… They cover pretty much every angle
    – Traveller
    Oct 13, 2022 at 6:58
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    @Traveler Greenland has northern lights (with guided tours) and they are not in Schengen. visitgreenland.com/about-greenland/northern-lights
    – MTA
    Oct 13, 2022 at 12:19
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    Let's put the numbers into perspective. 1L = 10^5, 12L rupees (the salary) is ~$14,500, and 7L rupees (the bank balance) is $8,500. The median Norwegian salary is ~NOK600,000 or $56,000 per year. So if the salary is an annual number, this pretty much explains it. The bank balance is approximately one month's average earnings after tax in Norway.
    – abligh
    Oct 14, 2022 at 1:33
  • 6
    @Riwen L would be lakh = one hundred thousand (100,000). Commonly used in India, and another question by OP has the indian-citizens tag.
    – muru
    Oct 14, 2022 at 9:23

3 Answers 3


They have told you the reason. You may be sure that their reasoning is wrong, but the granting of visas is not a "do all the right things you get one" situation. They want to see that you have reasons to return to your country, and that you won't come for a visit and just decide to stay.

Examples of strong ties are owning property or a non-portable business, having a family such as a spouse or children, having a job that might fire you if you just didn't come back from Norway. You are young, unencumbered, self employed, and have enough money for a holiday, but not so much that it's impossible to imagine you leaving your current life behind for a new one in Norway.

As time goes by your ties to your home country will strengthen, and perhaps a visa will be granted later. There are lot of questions on this site related to the topic. You can't fake it up by quickly buying something or whatever. And you can't say some magic words in a letter that will make them believe you are not a risk to stay. Other people lie, and you are judged because of that.

  • 11
    Wow, this was such an excellent answer. Thanks so much. "Have have enough money for a holiday, but not so much that it's impossible to imagine you leaving your current life behind for a new one in Norway." Yes, I can see it now. Thank you so so much!
    – Traveler
    Oct 13, 2022 at 3:44
  • 3
    "having a job that might fire you if you just didn't come back" Wow, this hits close to home for someone whose company is okay with him working from anywhere in the world with a semi-reliable internet connection. Luckily no government knows about this as I'm not fulfilling any of the other criteria, but governments' ignorance about flexible work conditions prevented me from ever getting rejected.
    – UTF-8
    Oct 13, 2022 at 9:37
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    @UTF-8 Probably they do know but just don't care in your case, because probably you have other circumstances that make it unlikely that you would illegally immigrate. (In very broad strokes, if living illegally in the place you are visiting would be generally considered as "worse" than living in the place you currently live legally then you are unlikely to immigrate illegally even if you logistically could.) Oct 13, 2022 at 16:07
  • 2
    In addition Norway's the highest cost country in Schengen. A single night in a hotel easily runs into 100-150€. A meal at a restaurant into 15-20€. What would last you a week in eastern Europe will last you a day in Norway.
    – vidarlo
    Oct 13, 2022 at 19:26
  • 1
    @vidarlo Eastern Europe (particularly countries that use the Euro) is not so cheap anymore. Oct 15, 2022 at 10:32

I'm not sure what could be the reason?

It's the previous paragraph:

The rejection came today pointing to "no strong ties to country". They said I'm "young, unmarried, and without children".

There's absolutely no reason for them to believe that you do not intend to stay in the country illegally. Because you're young, unmarried and without children. You can do whatever you want. You don't even have a job to go back to - you're self employed and your work can presumably just follow you. You have nothing you need to go back for.


Just to fill in the cracks of the other answers: Norway is a wealthy nation with the second highest per capita social spending in the world (as of 2015). A reality of living in any government with high social spending is that they need to control access to the resources. (This is not just Norway. I once applied for a library card in a wealthy suburb in America, and you would have thought I was asking for top secret security clearance. They were not even polite in asking for proof of residence.) So — not knowing anything specifically about Norway — one might expect them to be careful about who they let in to the country.

Probably at least part of the reason behind the response was that it's not really necessary to travel to Norway to see the Northern lights. Russia is more than a little closer.

So those factors, combined with your self-employed status, probably raised some flags. (I don't know if those are Indian rupees. If so, any 23-year-old who commanded that salary in the West would certainly make people ask questions.)

  • 4
    it's not really necessary to travel to Norway to see the Northern lights => I'm not sure that's actually a problem. Norway's own government currently advises against travel to Russia.
    – JonathanReez
    Oct 13, 2022 at 19:35
  • Thanks so much for your answer. Yes, I think I chose the wrong country but overall I do realize now that my profile was really weak. I considered Russia but it's not feasible country. Regarding income, did you mean it should be higher? I'm working on it and hopefully by next application, I should be there
    – Traveler
    Oct 13, 2022 at 21:48
  • @Traveler You know, I miscalculated at first, but yes, it's low enough to raise questions in the minds of the officials. (It's not that it's too low to live comfortably! Taxes, cost of living, etc. make it very hard to compare purchasing power between countries.) Compare $14,500 per year with the median household income of Norway: $76,000. From their perspective, your salary seems low. So they think, “Maybe this guy wants to come to Norway to stay, not just to be a tourist.”
    – adam.baker
    Oct 14, 2022 at 5:01
  • 1
    Even ignoring Russia (likely not the safest place to go to these days), "wanna see the Northern lights" still sounds like a weak justification for a trip to Norway specifically. Even Finland is much cheaper than Norway while having exactly the same aurora. It's likely mostly a question of OP's travel history: if Norway is the last country remaining on their imaginary bucket list, that's much more of a credible reason than if they have never been anywhere in Europe before and now they suddenly want to go to Norway.
    – TooTea
    Oct 14, 2022 at 7:03
  • @adam.baker Yes, it makes SO MUCH sense. I never looked at it this way. In my mind, I had a decent salary by my country's standards, enough to put me in the top 10%. I get it now. Thanks so so much!
    – Traveler
    Oct 14, 2022 at 8:30

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