Shadow Walk

The Good News

If you’ve read my last post about what Mari and I are up to now, or if you’ve talked to me since I’ve been here, then you know I’ve been waiting for a response on my application for Norwegian student visa. About two weeks ago I received good news vis-à-vis my visa application: it was approved! All I need to do is to report to the police within a week of my entering the country. They’ll get my biometric information (picture and fingerprints) and then they’ll order my resident ID card, my official proof of residency. After a lot of hullabaloo, our prayers have been answered.


The Bad News

Our return date to Norway was October 16. I received my acceptance email on August 26. I was also told I must travel to Norway within a certain timeframe to activate my residence permit. My last date of entry into Norway would be September 30. By the way, this is before October 16. Which means not only will I have to leave LA earlier than planned, but I’ll have to buy more flight tickets. I could send a request to UDI to extend the date of entry, but I was told they are reluctant to extend the entry date and “incurring extra expenses” was usually not an argument they listen to. Now Mari and I had some options.

Before we bought our flights over here, we paid extra on my tickets just in case the visa wouldn’t be approved in time. In this scenario, Mari would go back to Norway, work, and go to school. I would wait until my visa was approved or until I was out of Norway for 90 days, in which I could then return. Since my visa was approved, I could move my flight to an earlier date and leave early.

  1. I could change my ticket to leave early. But I would be in Norway for three weeks without Mari, and she would be in LA for three weeks without me. Not ideal, but it’s doable.
    • Problem: It turns out that to change my return flight… I would have had to have changed my ticket before I checked into our flight to LA. This is pointless. We paid extra so I could change the ticket, if needed, while in LA. We found out I had to change the ticket before getting on the plane the first time. Hopefully we won’t fall for that one again.
  2. Mari and I could both leave early.
    • Problem: Even if we find cheap tickets, this is more money.

Since choice 1 wasn’t ideal and I couldn’t change my flight ticket, we opted for choice 2. However…

Far Out

The Problem

There was still yet another issue. As I said before, within a 6 month period, I (and you too!) can spend a whole 90 days in Norway. And then you have to leave. Basically this means 3 months in, 3 months out. Well, this go-round, I spent 88 days in Norway. Maybe even 89. This leaves me with 1 or 2 days at best to be in Norway, and it takes 2-3 weeks to process my student visa. Despite that the Oslo border patrol will see on their computers that I have been approved, I still need legal proof to stay in the country.

What then do I need? I need an entry visa which lets me stay in Norway for up to 30 days while my visa is being processed. How do I get an entry visa? I have to take another 5 hour trip and go back to Houston! I go with my itinerary and my passport, and once my passport is stamped I’m good to go.

Barefoot Walk

The Answer

To make this simple, I asked if I could mail in my passport and itinerary. Affirmative. I mailed it in and it was approved and stamped. It’s official. Instead of October 16, we leave on Friday, September 25. We’ll spend the next 10-11 months in Norway. Mari will work and finish her bachelor’s degree, and we’ll see what kind of work I can do. I’ll take a one year course at a university in Oslo along with a Norwegian language course somewhere in there (after I finish my DuoLingo lessons!). Then we’ll attend Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY where Mari will take a M.Div. in Biblical Counseling and I in Biblical and Theological Studies. After that… well, we’ll just have to see.

Hop Skip

[Special thanks to Caelen Weber for our wedding photos!]


  1. Love the pics! Your life shouldn’t be so complicated in your first year of marriage…tell the authorities that one. 🙂 Glad it’s all worked out. You will be in our prayers and we look forward to visiting you in Norway AND Louisville! Love you guys


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