SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

IMMIGRATION

Why newer Norwegian residence applications are prioritised over older ones

Some residence applications in Norway have seemingly been pushed to the back of the queue, with newer ones being processed first by the UDI. So, why is this being done?

Bodø, northern Norway
The UDI has said that a new workflow has led to some newer applications being prioritised over older ones. Pictured is a cabin in Bodø. Photo by Secret Travel Guide on Unsplash

Soon-to-be and existing residents in Norway face increasingly long waiting times to have their applications approved by the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI). 

In some cases, applicants are left waiting more than 18 months for their application to be processed, while others have said that the waiting time provided to them by the UDI is increasing almost every month. 

To make matters worse, some have experienced that applications submitted after theirs being prioritised while their own is seemingly pushed to the back of the queue. 

READ ALSO: Why some Norwegian residence applications take so long to process

Are some applications being pushed to the back of the queue? 

Some applications have been pushed to the back of the queue due to a change in how the UDI handles applications. 

The UDI has changed its workflow, meaning cases processed in 2022 typically have shorter waiting times than those submitted before this year

“As of 1 January 2022, applications follow the new workflow for case processing. A key factor in the new workflow, is that applications are no longer left to wait before the initial assessment. As a result of the new workflow, many have experienced that 2022 cases have a shorter waiting time, while the waiting time for older cases has become longer,” Karl Erik Sjøholt, director of residence at the UDI, told The Local. 

One applicant who applied for a family immigration permit in 2021 said they had seen their waiting time increase twice since this change came into force, while someone they knew and who applied in 2022 saw their case processed in just over a month.

“The new system is unfair, and moreover, they (the UDI) claim they want families to reunite, but the reality is that due to long waiting times, families are splitting, and lovers are breaking up,” The applicant, who didn’t want to be named, claimed when expressing their frustration with the new system. 

Waiting times to decrease in the long run

The UDI has said that the new case processing system would lead to faster decisions for all applicants in the longer term. 

“The aim is to work more efficiently so that, in the long run, all applicants will experience more predictability and get their decisions faster,” Sjøholt from the UDI explained to The Local. 

However, the UDI is unsure when waiting times overall will go down. 

“We believe that automation and other measures- will help to reduce waiting times, but it is difficult to say when. The large number of applications for asylum from Ukrainians makes it more difficult to predict waiting times,” Sjøholt said. 

Member comments

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

IMMIGRATION

The key things you need to know about Norwegian residence waiting times 

A number of readers have been in touch about long waiting times for residence in Norway. Here are some things you should know about waiting times and your application. 

The key things you need to know about Norwegian residence waiting times 

Whether you’ve already applied for residence in Norway, will reapply for a new permit, or intend on applying in the future, there will be a waiting time to have your application processed. 

Therefore, it’d be good to have an overview of all the key information you need to know about waiting times. 

How to check your waiting time

There isn’t really a catch-all expected waiting time for applications. Instead, it will depend on the permit you are applying for and your own situation. 

The Norwegian Immigration Directorate (UDI) has guides on rough waiting times for your application times, which it updates regularly. 

The waiting time only calculates the time it takes to process your application and doesn’t take into account how long it will take you to get an appointment to hand in your documents. 

The waiting times are updated every month, so it is worth checking regularly. Additionally, it may take longer to process your case than the waiting time provided. 

You can click here to take a look at the UDI’s waiting times for various application types. 

There may be long processing times

Several applicants have gotten in touch with The Local to share their experiences of long-waiting times to have their cases processed. 

In some instances, applicants are left waiting more than 18 months for their application to be processed, while others have said that the waiting time provided to them by the UDI is increasing almost every month. 

The UDI has said that there were several reasons why waiting times in Norway had increased, such as the pandemic, Covid entry rules implemented throughout 2020 and 2021 and the adoption of dual citizenship. 

It added that the influx of refugees from Ukraine has led to uncertainty over when waiting times could decrease. 

READ MORE: Why some Norwegian residence applications take so long to process

Newer applications may be processed quicker than older ones

At the turn of the year, the UDI changed how it handles applications. This means that applications submitted in 2022 typically have shorter waiting times than ones submitted before this year. 

The UDI has done this to decrease waiting times in the long term. However, in the short term, it has meant that some applications have been shunted back in the queue.

Where to complain 

If you have been waiting for your case to be processed longer than the waiting time, or you feel as if you have been treated unfairly by the directorate, then you can always submit a complaint. 

You can complain to the UDI directly. Alternatively, you can complain to an ombudsman. Sivilombudet, or The Norwegian Parliamentary Ombudsman, also handles complaints about the UDI

 Last year the ombudsman received 4,000 complaints from people who believe they had been exposed to injustice or errors from public authorities

The ombudsman noted that it saw an increase in complaints surrounding issues relating to immigration and case processing times. 

The UDI is working to reduce waiting times

Waiting times will eventually go down, the UDI has told The Local previously. It said that it was implementing some measures with the aim of slashing processing times. 

Among the measures is the aforementioned change of workflow and increased automation. 

“The aim is to work more efficiently so that, in the long run, all applicants will experience more predictability and get their decisions faster,” Karl Erik Sjøholt, director of residence at the UDI, told The Local. 

READ MORE: When will waiting times for Norwegian residence go down?

SHOW COMMENTS