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READER QUESTIONS

Reader question: How can I move to Norway to be with my adult children? 

Thinking of moving to Norway to be closer to your children? Depending on your situation, that may be easier said than done. Here’s what you need to know. 

Trolltunga, Norway
If you want to move to Norway to be with family, then you should be aware that there are a number of strict rules. Pictured is Trolltunga. Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash

Question: My adult child lives in Norway, and I want to move to be closer to them. What are the rules? 

Do you have a burning question about Norway you want answering, or maybe there’s something you are just curious about? You can get in touch here, and The Local will do its best to answer your question for you! 

Norway’s immigration rules can be pretty confusing at the best of times. This can make it pretty daunting when wondering what the rules are if you want to move there to be closer to family. 

This is unless, of course, you are an EEA national, then you can move to, live and work in Norway freely, with the only real paperwork being registering with the police and getting an identification number

If you aren’t from the EEA, one of the main things you will need to consider is which permit to apply for.

There’s the family immigration residence card and skilled worker permit, which are both options we’ll go into detail on. 

However, before we delve into more detail, it’s worth noting that having a relative in Norway typically isn’t grounds to be granted a permit, and you’ll need to meet several tight requirements. 

Family immigration permit

Spouses, cohabitants, fiancées, children, parents and other family members of residents in Norway may be eligible to apply for family immigration or family reunification permits from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI).

Before going into the rules, there are a few things you should know. First, 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 person you are moving to Norway to be with). Secondly, there will typically be an application fee of 10,500 kroner.

Generally speaking, it is pretty difficult to move to Norway to be with a child over the age of 18. You will need to be over 60, not have a spouse or partner, and cannot have any parents, children or grandchildren in your home country.

Your child will also need to have a minimum income of at least 287,278 kroner per year and have not received financial assistance from NAV in the last 12 months. The applicant will also be subject to an ID check. 

A less permanent but more attainable solution could be a visitation permit.

READ MORE: What are the rules for moving to Norway to be with family

Skilled worker visa

To be granted a residence permit for work, you’ll most likely need to have been offered a job first, and the type of permit you apply for will depend on your line of work. 

You can qualify as a skilled worker if you have completed higher education or vocational training. A skilled worker must also have shown they have work experience in their specific field before applying for the skilled worker permit. 

Note that your job offer/contract must be for a full-time position for this type of permit. If it is for 80 percent of full-time hours, then it will be accepted. But anything less, and your application will be denied. If you are lucky, your employer will help with the application process. 

There will also be an application fee of 6,300 kroner to pay. You can find more detail on who is a skilled worker here

READ MORE: How to get a work permit in Norway

Child is an EEA national, but you aren’t 

If your child is an EEA citizen registered in Norway, you can also move to be with them. However, you must not be barred from entering the Schengen zone and be supported financially by your child. 

The reference person must have moved to Norway as an employee, be self-employed, or live with sufficient funds. In addition, the child will need to meet the registration requirements and be able to show that you can support both themselves and the parent. 

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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?

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