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?
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.
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.