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Reader question: When will waiting times for Norwegian residence go down?

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Reader question: When will waiting times for Norwegian residence go down?
The UDI has said it expects several measures to lead to quicker case processing times. Pictured is Bergen. Photo by Miguel Ángel Sanz on Unsplash

Several readers have been in touch with The Local regarding long case processing times at the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI). Here’s what the UDI has said about when waiting times could decrease. 

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Question: I’ve been waiting for my residence application to be processed for more than a year, and every time I check, my waiting time increases. When will it end? 

Do you have a burning question about Norway you want answered, 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! 

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). 

The long waiting times have been a source of incredible frustration, and many have been in touch to share their experience of being left in limbo while they wait. 

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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. 

Several factors such as the pandemic, Brexit and the introduction of dual citizenship have led to increased waiting times for applicants. Some cases have even been pushed back to the queue due to a new workflow. 

“The waiting times for applications for residence permits and citizenship are still affected by the situation in 2020 and 2021 where the work with entry restrictions required a lot of resources, and where both the UDI’s and the police’s work was also affected in different ways by the Corona situation. An important factor was also the opening for dual citizenship from January 2020, which resulted in a large increase in the number of citizenship applications,” Karl Erik Sjøholt, director of residence at the UDI, told The Local. 

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When will waiting times decrease? 

This is a million-dollar question for many. The UDI has said that it has implemented several measures to reduce case processing times in the long run. Among these are increased automation and a new workflow

“The aim is to work more efficiently so that, in the long run, all applicants will experience more predictability and get their decisions faster,” the residence director of the UDI said of the new workflow. 

However, and the real kicker for those facing long waiting times, the UDI is unsure when it can expect waiting times to 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 informed The Local. 

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