This unique place is located far in the north and is part of Europe, specifically Norway. Everyone has equal rights here, and visitors can count on a comfortable visit without the need for a visa.
Trips abroad usually involve the need to complete many formalities that will allow us to cross the border of a given country. Usually we need an ID or passport, but sometimes a visa is also required. However, there is a place – the only one in the world – that allows citizens of any country to enter without presenting a visa. No matter where you come from, you will get here without any problems. Where did such an unusual law come from?
Svalbard. Everyone will enter here without a visa
Svalbard is a unique place in many ways. It is actually an archipelago of islands that make up Norway. However, they are located far north of the continental part of the country, in the Arctic Ocean. The largest island in Svalbard is Spitsbergen, which is inhabited by more polar bears than people. But that’s not the only curiosity. It turns out that the Spitsbergen Treaty, signed in 1920, gives citizens of other countries great privileges.
Anyone, regardless of citizenship, can enter and stay in Svalbard without the need for a visa or permit. This applies to both people who come here for tourist purposes and for work.
Every citizen is equal
The Spitsbergen Treaty not only specifies that Svalbard is part of the Kingdom of Norway, but confirms that the signatory countries (several dozen countries from around the world, including the USA, UK, France, the Netherlands, Japan, Denmark and others) have an equal right to use the resources natural resources of the archipelago and conducting scientific research there.
Norway and Russia have their coal mines here, and Poland conducts scientific research here. It is worth adding that it is also a demilitarized zone and a neutral area.
However, in practice, the provisions of the treaty also ensure the absence of discrimination on grounds of nationality. Anyone can enter here without presenting a visa. What’s more, he can settle here. The Norwegian authorities cannot refuse entry to any citizen intending to become a resident of Svalbard or favor any particular nationality. Therefore, Norwegian immigration law does not apply to Svalbard. However, all residents of Svalbard must comply with the remaining Norwegian regulations in force in the archipelago.
Since everyone has free access to Svalbard, the archipelago is not part of the Schengen area. However, all commercial transport (by air and sea) to or from Svalbard passes through mainland Norway (Schengen country), so you must comply with Norwegian entry/exit regulations and thus obtain a double/multiple permit/Schengen entry visa if you are a national subject to visa requirements.
Anyone can freely enter Svalbard and stay here as long as they want. However, there is one condition. Life here is possible as long as we can support ourselves here. In other words, you cannot be dependent on the state. If you are no longer able to support yourself, you can no longer live in Svalbard. You will be sent away. This also applies to Norwegians.
You can live here, but you won’t be buried here
If you can support yourself for life, you can live on Svalbard for the rest of your days. However, the problems will start if you die here. The point is that burial in this place is impossible. In such a climate, the body of a deceased person is unable to decompose, so in order to prevent the spread of possible diseases and harm to the delicate Arctic environment, the body of the deceased is always sent to mainland Norway in such a case.