Frequently asked questions about the new Immigration Act

Many people have questions about the new Immigration Act. Here, you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions, with links to further information.

The subsistence requirementin relation to family immigration:

My husband is going to apply for family immigration with me. Are there any changes to the subsistence requirement that will apply to us?

Yes, there are some changes to the subsistence requirement. The most important change is that we will now generally take the previous income of the sponsor (you) into account, as well as your future income (which we also previously took into account).

Own funds will no longer form part of the basis for the subsistence. In addition, it has now become slightly more difficult to make exemptions to the subsistence requirement.

The four-year rule:

Will the new four-year rule apply to our family immigration case?

If you want your spouse, cohabitant or fiancé to be granted a family immigration permit to come and live with you in Norway, you may be required to have worked or studied here for four years first. This requirement is dependent on two factors: what type of residence permit you hold, and when you set up a family.

The scheme does not apply if you as the sponsor are a Norwegian or Nordic citizen, if you hold a residence permit on the grounds of work, studies or similar, or if you have right of residence pursuant to the EU/EEA/EFTA regulations. Nor does it apply if your family members applied before January 1, 2010, or if you are over the age of 67.

The requirement for four years’ employment or education in Norway does not apply if you and your family members were already established as a family when you came to Norway.

Registration of right of residence pursuant to the EEA Regulations:

I have been told that I no longer need to apply for a residence permit pursuant to the EEA Regulations to be able to stay in Norway. Is this correct?

It is only partially correct. It is no longer necessary to apply for a permit pursuant to the EEA Regulations, but a scheme has been introduced in which the police register EEA nationals or their immediate family members if they wish to stay in Norway for more than three months.

Family members who are not EEA nationals themselves but who are closely related to an EEA national can apply for a residence card.

The person in question must register online and then go to the police with proof of his/her identity and receive a registration certificate.

Permanent right of residence pursuant to the EEA Regulations:

I have heard that those of us who held residence permits pursuant to the EEA Regulations may be entitled to permanent residence in Norway. Is this correct?

Yes, that is correct. Previously, only persons who had been granted residence permits pursuant to the general regulations could be granted a settlement permit, which is now called a permanent residence permit.

Now, it is also possible for persons who hold EEA permits or have a registered right of residence pursuant to the EEA Regulations (as of 1 October 2009), and persons who have had continuous legal residence in Norway for the past five years, to apply for a so-called permanent residence permit. You can apply for a document certifying permanent legal residence (if you are an EEA national) or a permanent residence card pursuant to the EEA Regulations (if you are not an EEA national yourself but have lived in Norway with a close family member who is an EEA national).

Permanent residence permit:

Are there any changes relating to settlement permits in the new act? Settlement permits are now called permanent residence permits.

The most important change is that you no longer need to hold a residence permit on the same grounds for the whole three-year period for it to count as a continuous period of residence. You may have held several types of permits, but all of the permits must nonetheless form the basis for a permanent residence permit, they must be continuous (i.e. no more than three months between a permit expired and you applied for a new permit that you were granted), and the permits must total at least three years.

For example, it is now possible to first have held family immigration permits (that formed the basis for a permanent residence permit) for two years, and then hold a permit as a skilled worker the last year, as long as the permits are deemed to have been continuous.

You may also be granted a permanent residence permit if, for example, you held an EEA permit the first two years in Norway and a permit that formed the basis for a permanent residence permit the third year.

In such case, you must also be able to document that you met the requirements to be granted a permit that formed the basis for a permanent residence permit during the first two years.

Source: UDI

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