Immigration For Members

How long do applications for Norwegian residence take to process?

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
How long do applications for Norwegian residence take to process?
Here's what you need to know about waiting times for Norwegian residence. Pictured is a Norwegian flag with a fjord backdrop.

Some citizens will be required to have a residence permit to live and work in Norway legally. Here’s what you need to know about how long it could take.


Moving to Norway will, for many, involve going through the residence application process. Depending on the application type and your circumstances, it could be a lengthy wait.

Typically, those from outside the EEA will need to apply for a residence permit to move to Norway as a skilled worker, to be with a partner, spouse or family member or to study, as they don’t have the same freedom of movement rules as EEA residents. 

If you are applying or have applied, it may be helpful to know how long you may have to wait to hear an answer. 

The Norwegian Immigration Directorate (UDI) has provided The Local with figures for the median waiting times for the various application types. 

At the end of September, the median waiting time for a family immigration permit was around 144 days. Meanwhile, the waiting time for a work permit was 50 days, and those applying to study in Norway waited around 64 days. 

However, these are just the median waiting times- you could be left waiting much longer or considerably shorter. 

This makes it hard to give a catch-all answer regarding application waiting times. In addition to the figures provided, the UDI has a list of waiting times for various applications on its website. These waiting times are updated every month, so they are worth checking in on regularly.

Also, if you are applying for residence and haven’t handed in your documents yet, the estimates provided don’t take into account how long it will take you to get an appointment to submit the paperwork. 


You can click here to take a look at the UDI’s waiting times for various application types. When you check your waiting time on the UDI’s website, it will ask for detailed information on your application, such as the type of permit you are applying for and where you will hand your documents in order to give you an accurate time frame. 

However, even then, the time you end up actually waiting may exceed the estimates and figures provided to The Local. For example, earlier this year, we heard from residents who had exceeded their waiting time, saw it increase every month and in some cases, went over 18 months without receiving a decision

This still may be the case for some, as there were just under 3,000 applications from 2021 that were yet to be processed. Unfortunately, this means that thousands of applicants still face exceptionally long waiting times similar to the ones The Local reported earlier this year.


When you submit an application within Norway then the police will typically process the application. If they have any doubts about the application, they will forward it to the UDI as they do not have the power to reject applications. You can click here for an overview of police processing times. 

A lot of this backlog may be attributed to a change in the workflow, which saw older applications pushed to the back of the queue at the beginning of the year

Previously, the UDI has told The Local that the change in workflow, increased automation and ensuring that applications were or less complete when submitted would decrease wait times in the long-term. 

READ MORE: Have long waiting times for Norwegian residence improved?


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