How many Brits in Norway have applied for post-Brexit residency?

With the deadline to apply for residence under the Brexit Separation Agreement just over a week away, the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration has revealed how many Brits have applied to for a post-Brexit residency.

Pictured is an example of a Norwegian residence card.
The UDI has said that more than 18,000 people had applied for a residence card in line with the Separation Agreement. Pictured above is a residence card. Photo provided to The Local by the UDI.

British nationals living in Norway before December 31st 2020, will have until the end of this year to apply for a post-Brexit residency card that will allow them to continue to live and work in the country.

The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) has said that so far, 18,223 British citizens have applied for a permit or residency card according to the Separation Agreement. So far, decisions have been made in 11,652 applications. According to the UDI, only a minimal amount of applications have been rejected, which were primarily applications from family members of British citizens living in Norway.

However, the immigration directorate said it did not have a reliable figure for the total number of British nationals living in Norway.

The UDI said it was processing just over a thousand cases forwarded to them by the police where it is not clear whether the conditions set out under the Brexit regulations have been met.

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

“So far, no British citizen has had their application for a residence permit rejected under the Brexit regulations. Cases where there is doubt as to whether the conditions have been met have been sent from the police to the UDI for processing. The UDI now has 1,060 cases to process,” Karl Erik Sjøholt from the UDI told news wire NTB.

Everyone who has an application pending will be allowed to stay in Norway until a decision has been made, Sjøholt said.

After the deadline, Brits arriving in Norway or those without residency will be treated as third-country nationals meaning the rules to obtain residence will become tighter. 

The process for obtaining residence as a third country resident is a lot more stringent than a resident or citizen of the European Economic Area (EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway). This is because a lot more criteria need to be met, such as minimum income in most cases and an application fee.

READ MORE: How Brits can get a residence permit in Norway post-Brexit 

The UDI said that in some cases, it would be willing to make an exception for those who miss the deadline, providing the applicant had a reasonable reason.

Until you receive your residence card or permit, there are several documents that can be used in their place until they arrive when crossing borders. The receipt for a submitted application will be counted as a suitable substitute until residence is granted and a card or permit issued.

These substitutes for a residence card will be recognised as an alternative proof of residence at EU and Norwegian borders until July 1st 2022.

Member comments

  1. Unfortunately, Brexit has had some major repercussions for expats. I took out citizenship, mainly because I’ve been here since 1986, but also so as to not have that hanging fear of what changes the authorities suddenly can implement with respect to residency. And there have been a number of changes since 1986. What is interesting is that it is your responsibility to check if there any changes. There’s no automatic notification of change of rules.

    1. Which major repercussions are you referring to? I am having a bit of bother to renew my EHIC blue card, I live in Denmark and work in Norway. Did you know that if you still have your UK passport that post Brexit, you are now entitled to vote in UK general elections?

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


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