From the Wikipedia article, Visa requirements for Iranian citizens:

Unlimited period under Svalbard Treaty.

Everyone may, in principle, travel to Svalbard, and foreign citizens do not need a visa or a work or residence permit from Norwegian authorities in order to settle in Svalbard.

Also, In the provided sources in Wikipedia (Spitsbergen-Svalbard.com and sysselmesteren.no) I didn't find anything regarding visa-free access.

But in the Wikipedia article Svalbard Treaty Iran isn't among the countries that have signed and ratified the treaty which was made effective about a century ago:


From the same article:

Uniquely, the archipelago is an entirely visa-free zone under the terms of the Svalbard Treaty.

Can Iranians go to Svalbard visa-free?

Note: I don't want to take a Schengen visa.

  • 8
    As I understand it it's not possible to reach Svalbard without passing through the Schengen area, so not wanting to get a Schengen visa could be an insurmountable problem.
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 23, 2023 at 22:50
  • 1
    You may want to check if you can reach Svalbard through Russia, but yes - you don't need a visa to the archipelago, but you'll need a visa for the transit areas you're going through while en route.
    – littleadv
    Commented Oct 23, 2023 at 22:55
  • 1
    @phoog certainly possible to go there by boat from Russia. Not easy to book, but possible.
    – Stian
    Commented Oct 24, 2023 at 10:58
  • 2
    The dead link from the Wikipedia page should be replaced by sysselmesteren.no/en/visas-and-immigration.
    – Per Manne
    Commented Oct 24, 2023 at 19:37
  • @PerManne edited Commented Oct 25, 2023 at 0:45

1 Answer 1


All quotes from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_Svalbard:

Everybody may live and work in Svalbard indefinitely regardless of country of citizenship. The Svalbard Treaty grants treaty nationals equal right of abode as Norwegian nationals. Non-treaty nationals may live and work indefinitely visa-free as well.

"It has been a chosen policy so far that we haven't made any difference between the treaty citizens and those from outside the treaty"

Grounds for exclusion include lack of means of support, and violation of laws or regulations.

So, the Svalbard Treaty appears pretty irrelevant. Everybody may live in Svalbard, as long as they have means of support and don't violate any local laws.

However, travelers who have a visa requirement to enter mainland Norway/the Schengen area must have a Schengen visa if they travel via mainland Norway/the Schengen area. This must be a double-entry visa so they can return to mainland Norway/the Schengen area.

If you find a way to travel to Svalbard avoiding the Schengen area, then you don't need any specific visa whatsoever. In practice however, most flights to Longyearbyen originate from Oslo and Tromsø. Even with a direct connection from a non-Schengen country, as an Iranian citizen, you need at least a transit visa unless exempted for some reason. Tromsø doesn't offer any direct non-Schengen connections, so the only realistic approach there would be via Oslo, for example Tehran - İstanbul - Oslo - Longyearbyen. Most other routes would probably require you do get a full Schengen visa; and it's possible you may need a full Schengen visa anyway (see comments).

Other options are very limited; possibly the occasional cargo ship from Murmansk being one of the few options that do not require traversing the Schengen area. Iranian citizens do not require or can easily obtain a visa for Russia.

  • 1
    @gerrit I do not know. I tried to poke around the Murmansk Shipping Company’s website, but it appears to be defunct. If you’re serious about this option (and I don’t know why you would be, doesn’t sound like the most pleasant trip), then digging up their phone number and trying to call someone would be the next logical step. And, you know… it’s Russia. Things which shouldn’t be possible may well be possible if you’re… convincing enough. 😉
    – deceze
    Commented Oct 24, 2023 at 7:03
  • 3
    I am pretty sure that air-side transit between a non-schengen origin and a plane to Longyearbyen is not possible in Oslo. The planes from Oslo to Longyearbyen depart from the domestic area of the airport and AFAIK, there is just a simplified id check at the gate and no proper exit control. At least in the past, Norwegian citizens were allowed to travel using a driver's license as id and did not need 'proper' travel documents. Commented Oct 24, 2023 at 10:09
  • 2
    Maybe OP is planning to solo sail to Svalbard?
    – jkej
    Commented Oct 24, 2023 at 13:39
  • 2
    How do Russians get to and from Barentsburg?
    – gerrit
    Commented Oct 24, 2023 at 15:41
  • 2
    @Peter Pffsshh… Go in a canoe, and just pick it up and walk over the ice.
    – deceze
    Commented Oct 24, 2023 at 23:04

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