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Immigration For Members

The rules for moving to Norway to be with a partner in 2024

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
The rules for moving to Norway to be with a partner in 2024
These are the rules for applying for the family immigration permit for partners. Pictured is Bergen harbour. Photo by Ignacio Ceballos on Unsplash

To move to Norway to be with a boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse, some nationals will need to apply for a family immigration permit. Here's what you need to know about the process.

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The family immigration, or family reunification, permit is one of the most common ways for those who want to join their partners in Norway, but who do not have Freedom of Movement across the Schengen zone, to gain residence. 

Typically, only non-EEA citizens will need to apply for family immigration permits, as those from within the EEA can live and work in Norway freely. Some non-EEA nationals can move to Norway to be with their partner if their partner is from the EEA under the Freedom of Movement rules too. 

READ MORE: How many family immigration permits did Norway issue in 2023?

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Married to somebody with residence in Norway 

Family immigration permits refer to two people in the application process. These are the applicant (the person who wants to move to Norway) and the reference person (the applicant's partner). 

For those with a Norwegian husband or wife in Norway, there will be an application fee of 11,900 kroner to cover. Both of you may need to be over 24 too. In addition, you're marriage or partnership must have been legally entered into

However, the age requirements do not apply if you were married, had children together or had lived together as cohabitants for more than two years before either of you moved to Norway

Those from countries where the UDI doesn't believe there is a prevalence of forced marriages can also be made exempt. 

READ MORE: How much it costs to apply for residency and citizenship in Norway

You will also need to plan on living together in Norway, and the marriage must not have been a visa wedding or forced. 

The applicant must also verify their identity and you must not be prohibited from entering the Schengen area. 

The reference person (i.e. the partner) must also have an income of at least 320,274 kroner per year before tax. This figure changes every May. But the salary requirement will not be raised or lowered if it changes after you apply. 

The applicant's significant other will also not have received any financial assistance from NAV (økonomisk sosialhjelp) in the previous 12 months. 

If your partner isn't from Norway or the EEA, the reference person will need to hold a valid residence permit. 

Please note that people applying for the family reunification permits to be with their partner from certain countries will likely have to undergo an interview where visa officers will ask questions about their relationship to determine whether it is legitimate. 

For a checklist of the documents, you need if you are applying for your husband or wife to come and join you in Norway, click here

Fiancés

As with a spouse, you will both need to be at least 24 years old, meet the minimum income requirements, and your relationship be genuine. You must also plan on getting married in Norway within six months. 

You must not be barred from entering the Schengen area and be likely to return home if you do not get married as planned. 

If you get hitched, you must apply for your family immigration permit to be renewed to a spouse one before your current one expires. 

READ ALSO: What paperwork do you need to get married in Norway?

You do not need a family immigration permit to get married in Norway. You just need to be in the country legally for the ceremony to go ahead.  

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As with other applications for those with a non-Norwegian or non-EEA national, the reference person will need to hold a valid residence permit. 

Be sure to check the list of the essential documents you'll need to submit to the UDI for your application here

Boyfriend/girlfriend lives in Norway

As with permits given for married couples and soon-to-be-weds, you will need to be 24 and plan on living in Norway. You will also need to be allowed to enter the Schengen and have your identity confirmed. 

The age requirement can be exempted if you lived together for at least two years before you moved to Norway, or have a child who was conceived before either of you moved to Norway, or have a child who was conceived while you both had a residence permit in Norway or Norwegian/Nordic citizenship.

Neither party can currently be married. 

To be eligible, two requirements will need to be met. First, you will need either have lived together for two years. If you've lived in Norway, you will need to have legal residence. Alternatively, you must be expecting or have a child together. 

The minimum salary requirements apply to the reference person also. 

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Non-EEA nationals who are the reference person will need a valid residence permit.  

A checklist for the essential documents you will need to come to Norway to be with your boyfriend or girlfriend can be found here

How to apply

You'll need to gather all the required documents, register an account with the UDI and complete the online application if applying from Norway. 

If you are applying from overseas, you will need to meet with the nearest Norwegian embassy or application centre. 

You will need to wait for the UDI to process your application and then make an appointment with the police in the part of Norway where you will be living to register as a resident and receive your permit. The appointment is ordered via the UDI website, and if you aren't in Norway already, it should be done within the first week of your arrival. 

What else do I need to know? 

You need to ensure that all requirements are properly met. If they are not, the UDI will reject your application. You can check what applies to your situation here

It's also worth pointing out that the process can be quite long. Some applications can be granted in as little as three months, others will take over a year. 

And finally, if your family reunification visa means you are eligible for permanent residence further down the line, then you may be entitled to free language lessons. 

READ MORE: Who is entitled to free language lessons in Norway?

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