Norway relaxes border rules for families of residents

Norway relaxes border rules for families of residents
Children and grandchildren of Norway residents can now visit. Photo: Brand Norway
Norway on Monday opened its borders to entry for "most family immigrants", meaning family members of Norwegian residents who live outside the EEA countries can now visit.
As of Monday, the parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren of those resident and Norway can visit, so long as they live in the European Economic Area (which comprises Norway, Iceland and EU member states). 
 
Anyone who has been granted a residence permit on the basis of family immigration can also travel to Norway, regardless of whether the family member in Norway is a Norwegian citizen, an EU citizen or comes from a country outside the EU.
 
Justice minister Monica Mæland told Norway's VG newspaper on Friday that the new rules would mean that Norwegian citizens who want their fiancé or wife to join them from abroad would no longer be at a disadvantage compared to citizens of the EEA. 
 
“We have received inquiries from many who are planning to establish a family in Norway with a partner from a third country. They can now do that,” she said. “The injustice many Norwegians have felt compared to EEA citizens is now disappearing.” 
 
Several cases have been reported of Norwegian citizens unable to bring their loved one to join them, even though they would have been able to had then instead been an EEA citizen living in Norway. 
 
 
 
Those arriving in Norway will still be required to spend ten days in quarantine. 
 
The Norwegian government said on Friday it would provide more details about the new arrangements on Monday. 
 
On the website The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration, the Q&A section for EU/EEA citizens says they can visit family in Norway if they are:
  • A spouse or a partner who is a Norwegian citizen who they they have had a “permanent and established cohabitation relationship” with for at least two years, or if they are expecting a child with them, or someone to whom they are engaged to be married, so long as you are getting married once you arrive in Norway. 
  • Parents, grandparents, children of any age, grandchildren/great-grandchildren of any age, full siblings, if you are under 18 years old. ¨

They cannot visit a Norwegian boyfriend/girlfriend. 

The directorate says that “the relationship between you and your family member must be documented”.

That might mean marriage certificates, birth certificates, a lease contract to document cohabitation, or a pregnancy certificate with both parents' names. 

Those planning to marry can present documents showing the planned time for marriage, a certificate of no impediment, or receipts from the booking of premises for a wedding party.

The Q&A section for citizens of countries outside the EU/EEA says that they can visit family from June 15th if they have a residence permit for family immigration with a Norwegian citizen or foreign citizen residing in Norway. 

Foreigners living in Norway complained that it was unclear whether EU/EEA citizens currently outside Norway could visit family in Norway who were also citizens of the EU/EEA, or whether the relaxation only applied to those visiting Norwegian citizens. 

Others complained that the requirement that spouses of Norwegian citizens who live outside the EU/EEA need to obtain a residence permit meant they were in practice still barred from entry as visa application centres were closed in their country. 


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