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What is the most common problem for Brits in Norway applying for post-Brexit residency?

Getting post-Brexit residency in Norway has been relatively straightforward, apart from one significant and fairly common issue.

What is the most common problem for Brits in Norway applying for post-Brexit residency?
Here is the most common problem holding up Brexit residence applications.Photo by Ronrons J on Unsplash

Compared to some other countries, the process of securing post-Brexit residence in Norway has been relatively straightforward, according to the Advice on Individual Rights in Europe Centre (AIRE), which is behind the EuroBrits Norway project aimed at helping Brits in Norway.

“In our experience, and compared to other countries in which the EuroBrits project is operating, the process in Norway is overall simple. The fact that UK nationals can apply online for their residence permit minimises trips vulnerable individuals have to undertake to the relevant authorities, and the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) is website is fairly easy to use,” the AIRE Centre told The Local. 

In addition to this, the UDI also provides a checklist of the paperwork Brits need when applying for residence, which helps to make the process more straightforward according to the group. 

So far, the group has helped around 200 or so Brits with issues with their residence applications in Norway. These range from simple enquiries to detailed personalised letters of assistance. 

The group has helped UK nationals with all kinds of permits, from long-term worker permits, student permits and permanent residence. 

Despite the relatively straightforward process, there is one common problem that many Brits wanting to secure their post-Brexit residence have run into. 

“The most common problem, in our experience, is the difficulty in securing appointments with the Norwegian police,” The group told The Local. 

What has made this frustrated for would-be residents stuck in appointment limbo is that this is a crucial part of the application. 

The reason for the long waiting times for applications is due to the pandemic, the group said. 

“Covid-19 measures have placed considerable additional burdens on the police, who are working with limited capacity, and this means appointments in some locations in Norway are now being booked for the end of 2021 or in 2022,” the AIRE Centre explained. 

There have been other problems also in addition to the lengthy queues for permits. The group had heard from some who, when they received their cards, found they were printed with the wrong details.

According to the group, Norwegian authorities are aware of the errors and are working to resolve the issue.

When asked if there were any advice it would offer Brits yet to apply for their post Brexit residence, the group urged people to apply as soon as possible. 

“They need to apply as soon as possible. Even if they have not gathered all documents necessary, they should apply by December 31st 2021, to secure their residence rights. UK nationals will not be penalised if the process has not been completed due to Covid delays. The application for residence permits under the Brexit regulations is free,” The group explained to The Local. 

The AIRE Centre has begun the process of winding down the EuroBrits Norway project and will not be taking on any new requests after the end of August, with the scheme then ending at the end of September. 

 If you need assistance with your post-Brexit residence application, you can get in touch with the AIRE Centre by emailing [email protected]

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The most common reason Norwegian permanent residence applications are rejected

Permanent residence comes with the benefit of living and working in Norway for as long as you wish. The UDI has revealed to The Local the most common reason why people have their permanent residence applications turned down. 

The most common reason Norwegian permanent residence applications are rejected

Norwegian permanent residence allows someone to live and work in Norway as long as they wish. Additionally, it comes with the benefit of no longer having to reapply for residency but instead simply renewing your card every couple of years. 

For those on work permits, the benefit is even greater as those with permanent residence can switch jobs, positions and careers without requiring a new work permit to be issued. 


Last year, around 16,000 people in Norway were granted permanent residence in Norway, according to figures given to The Local by the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI). 

However, permanent residence comes with several requirements which applicants must meet. 

The UDI told The Local that around 10 percent of permanent residence applications in 2021 were rejected as the applicant didn’t fulfil the requirements. 

According to the immigration directorate, failure to meet one particular requirement was the most common reason applicants were rejected. 

“The most common reason for rejection was that the applicant did not have sufficient income. In 45 percent of the rejected cases, the applicants did not meet this requirement,” the UDI told The Local. 

What are the income requirements? 

To be granted permanent residence, applicants must meet the income requirements. This means you must have had your own income within the last 12 months, equal to or more than 278,693 kroner. 

For those on family immigration permits, this must be your own income too. Unlike the application for a temporary family immigration permit, you can’t have the person you moved to Norway to be with meet the requirements for you. 

This income can be from employment, business income, pension payments, or regular income from earned interest, rental income and insurance settlements. 

Sickness benefit, pregnancy benefit, parental benefit, retirement pension, unemployment benefit, work assessment allowance, and single parent’s benefit also counts. Loans or grants received in connection with studies are also permitted. 

These incomes can all be combined to reach the minimum requirement, as outlined by the UDI. 

The rules also stipulate that you must not have received any financial assistance from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV). This rule excludes the benefits outlined above and doesn’t include financial aid from NAV (økonomisk sosialhjelp) which you have received for a short time (maximum of three months) to cover additional expenses which you do not typically have.

Assistance from NAV received while waiting for sickness benefit, pregnancy benefit, parental benefit, retirement pension, unemployment benefit, work assessment allowance, or support for single parents also doesn’t stop someone from qualifying for permanent residency.

Although if you have received any benefits outside of the ones detailed above, then at least 12 months will need to have passed between receiving your last payment and you applying for permanent residence to qualify fully.  

If you don’t meet this income requirement, you can still technically be granted permanent residence. If you earned less than the required amount in the 12 months before your application is submitted, you could still qualify if you had a full-time job in the 12 months leading to your application and were paid the legal minimum wage