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Norsk

UDI circulars

RS 2010-025
Document-ID : RS 2010-025
Case-ID : 09/4468
Last modified : 21.05.2012
Documentdate : 22.02.2011
Receiver :


Chiefs of Police
The foreign service missions
All personnel at the Directorate of Immigration (UDI)

Family immigration with an EEA national – the Immigration Act section 110 and the Immigration Regulations section 19-7

1. Introduction

1.1. Scope

1.2. Definitions

1.3. Requirements for being granted right of residence as a family member

1.4. Family member subject to a visa requirement

2. Who is deemed to be a family member of an EEA national

2.1. Family members

2.1.1. Spouse or partner, cf. the Immigration Act section 110 third paragraph letter a)

2.1.2. Cohabitant, cf. the Immigration Act section 110 third paragraph letter b)

2.1.3. Relatives under the age of 21 in direct line of descent from an EEA national or his/her spouse/partner or cohabitant, cf. the Immigration Act section 110 third paragraph letter c)

2.1.4. Relatives above the age of 21 in direct line of descent from an EEA national or his/her spouse/partner or cohabitant when the relative is dependent upon the EEA national, cf. the Immigration Act section 110 third paragraph letter c)

2.1.5. Relatives in direct line of ascent dependent upon the EEA national, cf. the Immigration Act section 110 third paragraph letter d)

2.2. Other family members

2.2.1. Foster children under the age of 18 whose identities are known, cf. the Immigration Act section 110 fifth paragraph, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 19-7 letter a)

2.2.2. Full brothers and sisters under the age of 18 whose identities are known, cf. the Immigration Act section 110 fifth paragraph, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 19-7 letter b)

2.2.3. Persons who are going to enter into marriage with an EEA national after entry, cf. the Immigration Act section 110 fifth paragraph, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 19-7 letter c)

2.2.4. Persons in need of care, cf. the Immigration Act section 110 fifth paragraph, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 19-7 letter c)

2.3. The term ‘provider’

2.4. Guaranteed subsistence

2.5. Consideration of the best interests of the child

3. The family member’s right of residence

3.1. Right of residence for stays in Norway of up to three months

3.2. Right of residence for stays in Norway exceeding three months

3.2.1. Duty to report for a family member of an EEA nationals who is a job seeker

3.2.2. Registration of family members who are EEA nationals themselves

3.2.3. Residence cards for family members who are not EEA nationals themselves

3.2.4. Documentation requirements for family members

3.2.5. Documentation requirements for other family members

4. The family member’s right to continued residence

4.1. Right to continued residence for family members who are EEA nationals themselves

4.1.1. In the event of the EEA national’s departure or death

4.1.2. In the event of divorce (applies to spouses and registered partners) or termination of a cohabiting relationship

4.2. Right to continued residence for family members who are not EEA nationals themselves

4.2.1. In the event of the EEA national’s departure

4.2.2. In the event of the EEA national’s death

4.2.3. In the event of divorce (applies to spouses and registered partners) or termination of a cohabiting relationship

5. The content and duration of the residence documents

5.1. For family members who are EEA nationals themselves

5.1.1. The content of the registration certificate

5.1.2. The duration of the registration certificate

5.2. For family members who are not EEA nationals themselves

5.2.1. The content of the residence card

5.2.2. The duration of the residence card

6. Power of decision

6.1. For registration certificates

6.2. For residence cards

7. Lapse of right of residence

8. Revocation of residence documents

1. Introduction

This circular concerns family immigration with a national of an EU/EEA/EFTA country, regardless of the nationality of the family member.

The Immigration Act no 35 of 15 May 2008 implements Directive 2004/38/EC on the right of citizens in the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States (the Union Directive) in Norwegian law. One of the most important changes this entails is that the residence permit requirement has been replaced by administrative arrangements for nationals covered by the EEA regulations. EEA nationals who are going to reside in Norway for more than three months are obliged to register regardless of their grounds for residence, while family members who are not themselves EEA nationals are obliged to obtain a residence card within three months of entering Norway.

Another important change resulting from the implementation of the Union Directive in Norwegian law is the introduction of a permanent right of residence for EEA nationals and their family members if they have had lawful residence in Norway for a continuous period of five years. See the guidelines on permanent right of residence in the UDI’s circular 2011-016.

Violation of the registration requirement as mentioned in the Immigration Act section 117 and violation of the duty to apply for a residence card pursuant to the Act section 118 is punishable by a fine, cf. the Act section 108 first paragraph.

1.1. Scope

This circular applies to:

  • Family members of an EEA national (the sponsor) with right of residence in Norway.
  • Family members of workers from Romania and Bulgaria who hold a temporary residence permit pursuant to Act no 64 of 24 June 1988 section 58a (the transitional rules).
  • Family members of a Nordic national who satisfy the requirements for independent grounds for residence in Norway, either as an employee, a self-employed person, a service provider, a person with sufficient funds or a student.
  • Family members of a Norwegian national if the Norwegian national returns to Norway after having exercised his/her rights pursuant to the EEA Agreement in another EEA country. See more detailed guidelines in the UDI’s circular 2011-035 on procedures for cases relating to the EEA regulations.
  • Family members of an EEA national who is a job seeker, insofar as this is relevant.

The circular does not apply to family members of service providers or business starters who are not themselves EEA nationals but who are affiliated to an EEA enterprise, as their right of residence does not form the basis for family immigration or permanent right of residence, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 19-16 second paragraph.

1.2. Definitions

The sponsor is the EEA national whom the family member wishes to accompany to or be reunited with in Norway.

 

The host country is the member state to which the EEA national moves (Norway).

 

Family members as mentioned in the Immigration Act section 110 third paragraph:

  • Spouse, registered partner or cohabitant
  • Relatives under the age of 21 in direct line of descent (children, grandchildren etc.) from an EEA national, or the EEA national’s spouse or cohabitant, or above the age of 21 if the person in question is dependent upon the EEA national.
  • Relatives in direct line of ascent (parents, grandparents etc.) from the EEA national or the EEA national’s spouse or cohabitant who are dependent upon the EEA national.

 

Other family members – family members other than those mentioned in the Act section 110 third paragraph who, on certain conditions, have rights pursuant to the EEA regulations, cf. the Immigration Act section 110 fifth paragraph, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 19-7.

The duty to report arises no later than three months after entry for EEA nationals who are job seekers and their family members. See section 3.2.1 for more information about the duty to report. Job seekers are only registered without being issued a registration certificate. This means that job seekers do not have the same rights as persons who have been registered.

1.3. Requirements for being granted right of residence as a family member

In principle, in order for a family member of an EEA national to come to Norway, the latter must document that he/she has grounds for residence in Norway pursuant to the Immigration Act chapter 13. The main rule is that the sponsor’s registration certificate must be documented, cf. the Immigration Act section 118 second paragraph letter c). On certain conditions, family members may have a right to continued residence on independent grounds, cf. the Immigration Act sections 113 and 114.

The family members’ nationality also has a bearing on their stay in Norway. Family members are treated differently in the Immigration Act in certain areas depending on their nationality: for example, a family member who is not an EEA national must apply for a residence card and has limited rights to continued residence if the EEA national leaves the country or dies.

In the following, we will explain which set of rules can apply to family members. Reference is also made to the UDI’s circular 2011-035 for more detailed guidelines on procedures for cases relating to the EEA regulations.

  • If the sponsor has right of residence pursuant to the provisions of the Immigration Act chapter 13, his/her family members have right of residence pursuant to the same provisions, regardless of nationality.
  • If the sponsor holds a residence permit pursuant to chapter 3 or 4 of the Act, his/her family members must apply for residence permits pursuant to chapter 6 of the Act.
  • If the sponsor both has right of residence pursuant to the provisions of the Immigration Act chapter 13 and holds a residence permit pursuant to chapter 3 or 4 of the Act, his/her family members may choose which set of rules to apply.
  • If the sponsor is a worker from Romania or Bulgaria who has not held a residence permit during the past 12 months (covered by the transitional rules), his/her family members have right of residence pursuant to chapter 13 of the Act provided that the other requirements are met.
  • If the sponsor is a Nordic national, his/her family members can choose which set of rules to apply.
  • If the sponsor is a Norwegian national, his/her family members will usually have to apply for residence permits for the purpose of family immigration pursuant to the general regulations.

In exceptional cases, if a Norwegian national has returned to Norway after having exercised his/her right to free movement pursuant to the EEA Agreement or the EFTA Convention in another EEA/EFTA country, a family member who accompanies or is reunited with him/her may choose to exercise his/her right of residence pursuant to chapter 13 of the Act.

Family members who are EEA nationals may have right of residence on independent grounds if they meet the requirements of the Immigration Act section 112, while family members who are not EEA nationals can only be granted lawful residence on independent grounds pursuant to the general provisions of the Act. Reference is made to the UDI’s circular 2011-037 for more detailed guidelines on conditions and documentation requirements for EEA nationals who are going to stay in Norway on independent grounds.

1.4. Family member subject to a visa requirement

As a rule, the foreign service mission shall issue a Schengen visa to family members subject to a visa requirement who hold valid passports and can document their family relationship with the EEA national, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 3-8. The visa shall not be issued if the applicant is registered in the Schengen Information System (SIS), has been expelled or represents a serious threat to the fundamental interests of society. Reference is made to the Immigration Act section 10 on Schengen visas.


EEA nationals and family members who are subject to a visa requirement and who hold residence cards issued by another EEA country are exempt from the visa requirement, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 3-1 first paragraph letters b) and c).

2. Who is deemed to be a family member of an EEA national

Regardless of nationality, the following categories of family members may accompany or be reunited with an EEA national in Norway who is an employee, self-employed person, service provider or has sufficient funds:

  • Spouse or partner, cf. the Act section 110 third paragraph letter a)
  • Cohabitant, cf. the Act section 110 third paragraph letter b)
  • Relatives under the age of 21 in direct line of descent (children, grandchildren etc.) from one or both spouses or cohabitants, cf. the Act section 110 third paragraph letter c)
  • Relatives above the age of 21 in direct line of descent (children, grandchildren etc.) from one or both spouses or cohabitants when the relative is dependent upon the EEA national, cf. the Act section 110 third paragraph letter c)
  • Relatives in direct line of ascent (parents, grandparents etc.) from one of the spouses when the relative is dependent upon the spouses, cf. the Act section 110 third paragraph letter d)
  • Foster children under the age of 18 whose identities are known, cf. the Act section 110 fifth paragraph, cf. the Regulations section 19-7 first paragraph letter a)
  • Full brothers and sisters under the age of 18 whose identities are known , cf. the Act section 110 fifth paragraph, cf. the Regulations section 19-7 first paragraph letter b)
  • A person who is going to enter into marriage with the sponsor, cf. the Act section 110 fifth paragraph, cf. the Regulations section 19-7 first paragraph letter c)
  • Persons in need of care, cf. the Act section 110 fifth paragraph, cf. the Regulations section 19-7 first paragraph letter d).

For family members of a student who is an EEA national, the right of residence only applies to:

  • Spouse, registered partner or cohabitant, and
  • Relatives under the age of 21 in direct line of descent (children grandchildren etc.) from one or both spouses or cohabitants dependent upon the EEA national, cf. the Act section 113 second paragraph.

When assessing whether other family members than those described in the Act may be granted right of residence in Norway, the immigration authorities must consider their bond to the EEA national, as well as their physical and financial dependence on the person in question. In order for family members as mentioned in the Regulations section 19-7 to be granted right of residence, it is a requirement that subsistence and accommodation are guaranteed and that the person in question is covered by health insurance covering all risks during the stay.

See 3.2.4 below regarding the documentation requirement and 2.3 below for more information about the term ‘provider’.

2.1. Family members

Regardless of nationality, the following categories of family members have right of residence if they accompany or are going to be reunited with an EEA national in Norway who is an employee, self-employed person, service provider or has sufficient funds:

  • Spouse or partner
  • Cohabitant
  • Relatives in direct line of descent under the age of 21
  • Relatives in direct line of descent above the age of 21
  • Relatives in direct line of ascent.

For family members of a student who is an EEA national, the right of residence only applies to:

  • Spouse or partner
  • Cohabitant
  • Relatives in direct line of descent under the age of 21.

2.1.1. Spouse or partner, cf. the Immigration Act section 110 third paragraph letter a)

The spouse/partner of an EEA national is covered by the EEA regulations regardless of where and when the marriage/partnership was entered into/registered. In other words, the Directive does not require the spouses to have lived as a family in the sponsor’s home country before the spouse who is not an EEA national can take up residence as a family member of an EEA national in another EEA country. Nor can the family member who is not an EEA national be required to have had lawful residence in the EEA country when he/she takes up residence with the sponsor. This was decided by the European Court of Justice in the Metock judgment of 25 July 2008 (C-127/08). The decision was later supported by the Sahin judgment of 19 December 2008 (C-551/07).

When deciding whether the spouse/partner of an EEA national has right of residence in Norway, the immigration authorities shall consider whether the marriage is a marriage of convenience, cf. the Immigration Act section 120 sixth paragraph. A marriage/partnership is considered to be a marriage of convenience if it was entered into for the purpose of being granted right of residence in Norway. In Proposition No 75 to the Odelsting (2006-2007), the Ministry listed some factors that will be relevant in connection with this assessment (see page 190 and 187). Reference is also made to instructions G1-2010-001 from the Ministry of Justice and the Police on marriages of convenience, cf. the Immigration Act section 40 fourth paragraph.

The factors are not ranked, and the list is not intended to be exhaustive:

  • Contact between the parties – e.g. how long they have known each other and the nature and extent of the contact, whether the parties are familiar with each other’s everyday lives. What they know about each other.
  • Concurring information from the parties – for example about how they met, got married and the contact between them.
  • Whether the parties are able to communicate in a common language.
  • The age difference between the parties.
  • Whether the marriage was paid for without this being possible to explain on the basis of dowry traditions in the home country.
  • Whether the marriage is clearly atypical in relation to marriage traditions in the home country.
  • Whether circumstances exist to indicate that the marriage was entered into as a result of coercion or exploitation, for example that the parties are clearly unequal in their psychological development.
  • Whether the sponsor or close family members of the applicant has a marriage history that gives grounds for suspecting a marriage of convenience.
  • Whether the person applying for residence on the basis of the marriage has attempted to gain right of residence on other grounds, for example by applying for asylum, and whether the marriage was entered into shortly after the applicant received a rejection of another application.
  • Whether the parties have former spouses/cohabitants/partners who are going to live with the couple.
  • The immigration authorities shall make a concrete assessment of each case.

2.1.2. Cohabitant, cf. the Immigration Act section 110 third paragraph letter b)

The Immigration Regulations section 19-6 refers to the Immigration Act section 41 and the Regulations section 9-2 on the conditions for being granted residence permits as a cohabitant pursuant to the general regulations. Pursuant to the Regulations section 9-2 first paragraph, it is a condition that the person who is applying for family immigration with a cohabitant has lawful residence in Norway if parts of the cohabitation took place in Norway. This condition is not deemed to apply to a cohabitant of an EEA national with whom the applicant wished to take up residence in Norway, cf. the Metock judgment, see 2.1.1 above.

It is a condition for being granted right of residence as the cohabitant of an EEA national that both parties are over the age of 18 and are able to document a permanent bond to each other. The requirement for a permanent bond is deemed to be met if the couple have lived together in a permanent and established cohabitation relationship for at least two years and intend to continue their cohabitation.

As a rule, the parties must be formally and de facto divorced from former partners. In exceptional cases, the immigration authorities can confirm the parties’ right of residence in Norway even if one of the parties is married, if the person in question can document that it is not possible to obtain a divorce from a former spouse or to annul the marriage in the country in which the marriage was entered into (permanent impediments to marriage exist).It is not sufficient that it is difficult, expensive or culturally unacceptable to obtain a divorce.

Pursuant to current practice, the UDI shall make an exception from the requirement for two years’ cohabitation if the couple have joint children and it may make an exception if the couple is expecting a child together. The basis for right of residence is the best interests of the child.

2.1.3. Relatives under the age of 21 in direct line of descent from an EEA national or his/her spouse/partner or cohabitant, cf. the Immigration Act section 110 third paragraph letter c)

The relative can be a child, grandchild etc.

2.1.4. Relatives above the age of 21 in direct line of descent from an EEA national or his/her spouse/partner or cohabitant when the relative is dependent upon the EEA national, cf. the Immigration Act section 110 third paragraph letter c)

The relative can be a child, grandchild etc.

When assessing whether a child, grandchild etc. over the age of 21 has right of residence in Norway, the immigration authorities shall consider the bond to the EEA national, as well as his/her physical or financial dependence on the person in question. Reference is made to 2.3 concerning the term ‘provider’.

 

2.1.5. Relatives in direct line of ascent dependent upon the EEA national, cf. the Immigration Act section 110 third paragraph letter d)

The family member must be guaranteed subsistence and accommodation. This means that the EEA national must have sufficient funds to provide for the family member during his/her stay in Norway. Reference is made to 2.3 concerning the term ‘provider’. See the UDI’s circular 2011-037 for a more detailed interpretation of the term ‘sufficient funds’.

2.2. Other family members

Regardless of their nationality, the following family members may be granted right of residence as a family member of an EEA national who has right of residence pursuant to the Immigration Act section 112.

  • Foster children
  • Full brothers and sisters
  • A person who is going to enter into marriage with the EEA national
  • Persons in need of care.

2.2.1. Foster children under the age of 18 whose identities are known, cf. the Immigration Act section 110 fifth paragraph, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 19-7 letter a)

The circular defines a foster child as a child under the age of 18 who applies to be reunited with care providers other than his/her own biological parents.

The immigration authorities shall stipulate stringent requirements concerning the probability that the child is a genuine foster child pursuant to the Regulations. Without sufficient information about this, there is a risk of children being unlawfully removed from their biological parents or care persons and their home country.

In principle, the documentation should state when the foster child relationship was established, the background for transferring care and whether the relationship is of a permanent nature. Information must be provided about who the biological parents or care persons are and whether they are alive. It must also be documented who has exercised parental responsibility and who has had daily care and control of the child in the home country, and that this is in accordance with the laws of the home country.

The foster child must be an established member of the EEA national’s household (must have lived with the foster parents before they moved to Norway), and confirmation that the child may settle in Norway must be provided by the authorities in the home country. In the best interests of the child, it is also a condition for being granted right of residence as a foster child that the Norwegian child welfare services have approved the foster home or will do so after his/her arrival.

The foster child must be guaranteed subsistence during his/her stay in Norway. The family member must also be covered by health insurance that covers all the risks covered by Norwegian law, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 19-7 second paragraph. In this context, ‘all risks’ means the coverage of all expenses in connection with travelling home for medical reasons, necessary medical treatment and hospitalisation. The health insurance requirement is met if the person submits a European health insurance card from his/her home country or documentation of private health insurance.

See the UDI’s circular 2011-037 for a more detailed interpretation of the term ‘sufficient funds’.

2.2.2. Full brothers and sisters under the age of 18 whose identities are known, cf. the Immigration Act section 110 fifth paragraph, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 19-7 letter b)

Full brothers and sisters are siblings who have the same biological parents. For the person in question to be covered by the provision, he/she must also be under the age of 18, have a known identity and be without parents or care persons in his/her home country. It is not a requirement that the care person in the home country is a family member.

Nor is it a requirement that the siblings must have lived together previously, but the sponsor must be approved as a care person by the Norwegian child welfare services.

Subsistence must be guaranteed. This means that the EEA national must have sufficient funds to provide for the family member during his/her stay in Norway. The family member must also be covered by health insurance that covers all the risks covered by Norwegian law, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 19-7 second paragraph. In this context, ‘all risks’ means the coverage of all expenses in connection with travelling home for medical reasons, necessary medical treatment and hospitalisation. The health insurance requirement is met if the person submits a European health insurance card from his/her home country or documentation of private health insurance.

See the UDI’s circular 2011-037 for a more detailed interpretation of the term ‘sufficient funds’.

2.2.3. Persons who are going to enter into marriage with an EEA national after entry, cf. the Immigration Act section 110 fifth paragraph, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 19-7 letter c)

The person in question must substantiate that the parties will enter into marriage in Norway after entry. For fiancés, the right of residence is limited to six months from the date of entry.

It is a condition that both parties are over the age of 18 and that neither of them is married or in a period of separation from their former spouse or is in an unfinished process relating to the annulment of a former marriage.

The family member must be guaranteed subsistence. This means that the EEA national must have sufficient funds to provide for the family member during his/her stay in Norway. See the UDI’s circular 2011-037 for a more detailed interpretation of the term ‘sufficient funds’.

The family member must also be covered by health insurance that covers all the risks covered by Norwegian law, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 19-7 second paragraph. In this connection, ‘all risks’ means coverage of all expenses in connection with travelling home for medical reasons, necessary medical treatment and hospitalisation. The health insurance requirement is met if the person submits a European health insurance card from his/her home country or documentation of private health insurance.

2.2.4. Persons in need of care, cf. the Immigration Act section 110 fifth paragraph, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 19-7 letter c)

Persons in need of care who wish to be reunited with an EEA national in Norway must document that they have serious health problems and that only the EEA national can provide adequate nursing and care. It is also a requirement that the applicant has no other family members or care persons who can provide adequate care in his/her home country or country of residence. If documentation cannot be obtained, it may be relevant to carry out a concrete assessment of whether the person in question shall be granted a residence permit pursuant to the Immigration Act section 38, cf. the Regulations section 19-2 third paragraph.

When assessing whether persons in need of care shall be granted residence, the immigration authorities should take the family member’s bond to the EEA national into consideration, as well as his/her physical or financial dependence on the person in question.

The family member must be guaranteed subsistence. This means that the EEA national must have sufficient funds to provide for the family member during his/her stay in Norway. See the UDI’s circular 2011-037 for a more detailed interpretation of the term ‘sufficient funds’.

The family member must also be covered by health insurance that covers all the risks covered by Norwegian law, cf. the Immigration Act section 112 first paragraph letter c). In this context, ‘all risks’ means coverage of all expenses in connection with travelling home for medical reasons, necessary medical treatment and hospitalisation. The health insurance requirement is met if the person submits a European health insurance card from his/her home country or documentation of private health insurance.

2.3. The term ‘provider’

The requirement that the applicant is provided for applies to groups of family members as mentioned above where specifically mentioned. It must be documented that the family member has been provided for by the EEA national in the home country and that the person in question will have a genuine need for such provision in future. As a rule, the support must be financial, continue over time and be of a certain size. Persons who have received financial support of a more casual nature are not covered by the term ‘provider’.

It must also be documented that it has been necessary to provide for the family member and meet his/her fundamental needs in his/her home country. It is the person’s need for provision and not the sponsor’s ability to provide it that is decisive in relation to the assessment. On this basis, it will be necessary to consider the individual applicant’s situation and needs in his/her home country. Documentation can be provided in the form of regular money transfers to the person in question over time. As a rule, the support must not have been provided on a sporadic basis. Fundamental needs will not include any needs for medical treatment.

Another element in the assessment may be whether the family member is physically dependent on provision from the EEA national. There may be special health reasons that require the EEA national to provide personal care for the person in question. An example of this could be a disabled child over the age of 21 who receives financial support from the authorities in his/her home country, but who needs to be taken care of by the EEA national.

It is the family member’s responsibility to document and substantiate that such provision is necessary and of a nature covered by this provision.

2.4. Guaranteed subsistence

For a family member who is reunited with or accompanies an EEA national who has right of residence on grounds of sufficient funds or who is a student, it is a requirement that the family is guaranteed subsistence. Guaranteed subsistence means that the persons shall not be an unreasonable burden on society.

Unreasonable burden does not include ordinary use of public welfare services, but an unusual, systematic and frequent use of arrangements such as social security benefits pursuant to the Social Services Act. The UDI must carry out a concrete assessment in each individual case. In their assessment, the immigration authorities must consider whether the case concerns temporary difficulties and take into account the duration of the stay, personal circumstances and the size of the benefits granted.

Notwithstanding the duty of confidentiality, the public authorities shall provide such information as the immigration authorities request concerning whether the sponsor has received financial support under the Social Services Act in the year preceding the provision of the information, cf. the Immigration Act section 84 second paragraph first sentence. The social services shall not disclose information beyond what is necessary to consider whether subsistence is guaranteed. The immigration authorities cannot require such information as a matter of routine; the request must relate to concrete circumstances in the individual case. In practice, the local NAV (the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Service) office will be the right place to request information about benefits under the Social Services Act.

2.5. Consideration of the best interests of the child

For cases involving children under the age of 18, the immigration authorities shall carry out an assessment of the best interests of the child, and the child shall be given an opportunity to be heard pursuant to the Immigration Regulations section 17-3 and 17-5. See more detailed guidelines about interviewing children in the UDI’s circular 2010-043 Hearing children’s view in immigration cases with the exception of asylum cases, cf. the Immigration Regulations sections 17-3 and 17-5.

3. The family member’s right of residence

The family member’s right of residence is derived from the sponsor’s right of residence, unless the family member is an EEA national him/herself and meets the requirements for being granted right of residence on independent grounds. If the sponsor loses his/her right of residence, the family member also loses his/her right of residence.

3.1. Right of residence for stays in Norway of up to three months

Family members of an EEA national who wish to accompany or be reunited with the EEA national have right of residence in Norway for up to three months after entry if the family member:

  • has a valid identity card or passport. Family members who are not EEA nationals must have valid passports.
  • will not be an unreasonable burden on the public welfare system in Norway. See the UDI’s circular 2011-037 for a more detailed interpretation of the term ‘unreasonable burden’.

3.2. Right of residence for stays in Norway exceeding three months

3.2.1. Duty to report for a family member of an EEA nationals who is a job seeker

An EEA national who is looking for employment in Norway and his/her family members have right of residence for up to six months after entry, and in some cases for more than six months. Within three months of his/her entering the realm, the job-seeking EEA national and his/her family members must report to the police or a service centre for foreign workers to present proof of their identity and to inform the police that they are job seekers, see the UDI’s circular 2010-028e on procedures and rules. For the sponsor, the duty to register as a worker arises as soon as he/she becomes employed. The same applies to family members, who must either register or apply for a residence card as a family member of an employee. Reference is made to the UDI’s circular 2011-037.

3.2.2. Registration of family members who are EEA nationals themselves

Family members who wish to accompany or be reunited with an EEA national in Norway are, as mentioned above, obliged to register if they intend to reside in Norway for more than three months. The deadline for registering is three months from the date of entry.

See 3.2.4 below for more detailed information about the documentation requirement and chapter 7 about power of decision.

Family members who have a residence permit pursuant to chapter 6 of the Act are deemed to be registered. Family members who have already registered at the time the residence permit is granted may retain their registration certificate, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 19-4 first paragraph.

3.2.3. Residence cards for family members who are not EEA nationals themselves

Family members who are not EEA nationals and who wish to accompany or be reunited with an EEA national in Norway are obliged to apply for a residence card if they intend to stay in Norway for more than three months, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 19-23.

An application for a residence card can be submitted to a Norwegian foreign service mission. If a complete application, as described in the Immigration Act section 118 second paragraph, has been submitted, the foreign service mission shall issue a receipt for the submitted application. The foreign service mission shall ensure that the necessary documentation is enclosed with the application. Applications for residence cards are sent to the UDI for processing. Foreign service missions do not have power of decision in these cases.

Family members staying in Norway must submit their applications to the local police district or a service centre for foreign workers no later than three months after the date of entry. The police shall immediately issue a receipt of submission of a complete application.

The receipt does not entail any rights; it is only a confirmation that a complete application has been submitted. See the UDI’s circular 2011-035 on procedures and rules for further information about application procedures.

Family members who hold a residence permit pursuant to chapter 3 of the Act do not need to apply for a residence card. Family members who already have a residence card at the time their residence permit is granted may retain their residence card, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 19-4 second paragraph.

Reference is made to the rules concerning visas for nationals subject to a visa requirement.

3.2.4. Documentation requirements for family members

The Immigration Act section 118 second paragraph contains an exhaustive list of the documents that must be submitted when a family member registers or applies for a residence card.

 

A. Valid identity card or passport if they are EEA nationals

Family members who are not EEA nationals themselves must present valid passports.

 

B. The sponsor’s registration certificate 

A valid residence permit issued pursuant to the EEA regulations can be submitted if the sponsor does not have a registration certificate.

 

C. Documentation of family relationship: 

Family members mentioned in the Immigration Act section 110 third paragraph can document the family relationship with the sponsor by submitting the following documents:

 

Spouse/partner: Marriage certificate or partnership certificate

 

Cohabitant: Documentation of two years’ cohabitation

Cohabitation (minimum two years) can be documented by submitting tax information, transcripts from the population register, birth certificates for joint children, leases, purchase contracts, documentation of insurance and joint loans, letters delivered to a joint address over a sufficiently long period of time (the list is not exhaustive):

An exception from the requirement for two years’ cohabitation is made in the following cases:

  • If the couple is expecting a child together and the pregnancy can be documented by a confirmation from a doctor in Norway
  • Permanent impediments to marriage exist (for example if one of the cohabitants is from a country that does not recognise divorce or where it is impossible to annul the former marriage). The impediments must be documented.

If the cohabitants have been forced to temporarily interrupt their cohabitation due to work or for other practical reasons, the requirement for a permanent and established relationship of cohabitation shall nonetheless be deemed to have been met if the parties can document regular contact to the extent permitted by their work and financial situation, and the parties have concrete plans to move in together again.

 

Relative in direct line of descent under the age of 21: birth certificate.

If the person who is registering or applying for a residence card is a child under the age of 18 and only one parent will be residing in Norway, the parent in Norway must either submit documentation of consent and a certified copy of a valid ID with a photo from the other parent or a court order showing that the parent in Norway has sole parental responsibility. The documentation of consent must be confirmed by a Notary Public.

 

Relative in direct line of ascent above the age of 21: birth certificate and documentation that they are provided for. See 2.3 concerning the term ‘provider’.

 

Relative in direct line of ascent: the sponsor’s birth certificate or the sponsor’s spouse/partner/cohabitant's birth certificate and documentation that they are provided for. See 2.3 concerning the term ‘provider’.

 

Family member of an EEA national who is a student: when reporting to the police to register or apply for a residence card, such family member must present a statement from the sponsor documenting that he/she has sufficient funds to provide for him/herself and his/her family. Documentation of guaranteed subsistence cannot be required, nor is the student obliged to guarantee a specific amount. The family member cannot be required to submit documentation stating that he/she has sufficient funds at his/her own disposal; a declaration or self-certificate from the sponsor is sufficient.

3.2.5. Documentation requirements for other family members

Family members covered by the Immigration Regulations section 19-7 must document:


A. Valid identity card or passport if they are EEA nationals

Family members who are not EEA nationals themselves must present valid passports.

 

B. The sponsor’s registration certificate

A valid residence permit granted pursuant to the EEA regulations can be presented if the sponsor does not have a registration certificate.

 

C. Documentation of guaranteed subsistence and health insurance

Health insurance must cover all risks. In this context, ‘all risks’ means coverage of all expenses in connection with travelling home for medical reasons, necessary medical treatment and hospitalisation. The health insurance requirement is met if the person submits a European health insurance card from his/her home country or documentation of private health insurance.

 

D. Documentation of family relationship:

Family members covered by the Immigration Regulations section 19-7 must document the family relationship with the EEA national or his/her spouse, partner or cohabitant

a) Foster children must submit

  • birth certificates
  • documentation of parental responsibility for the foster child
  • if relevant, a death certificate for the biological parents
  • information about other biological family members
  • documentation that they are members of the EEA national’s household
  • confirmation from the authorities in their home country that they can settle in Norway.

b) Full brothers and sisters, i.e. persons who have the same mother and father, must submit:

  • birth certificates
  • the sponsor’s birth certificate
  • confirmation from the Norwegian child welfare services that the sponsor is approved as a care person
  • documentation that the person in question does not have a mother, father or other care person in his/her home country and that he/she does not have a mother or father in another country than his/her home country.

c) A fiancé must substantiate that he/she intend to enter into marriage with the EEA national upon entry

  • confirmation that neither of the parties is married, or a divorce certificate or a certificate stating that a former marriage has been annulled
  • documentation of the date and the premises booked for the wedding ceremony/wedding etc. (this is not sufficient as sole documentation of the parties' intention to enter into marriage).

d) People in need of care must submit

  • documentation of serious health problems
  • documentation that the person in question has no other family members or care persons who can provide adequate care in his/her home country or the country of residence
  • documentation that only the EEA national can provide care for the person in question.

4. The family member’s right to continued residence

As a rule, the family member’s right of residence lapses when the EEA national no longer has right of residence in Norway, unless the family member meets the requirements for being granted permanent residence. At the beginning of the Union Directive, it is mentioned that, out of consideration for family life and human dignity, it is necessary to ensure the possibility of continued right of residence for family members when the EEA national dies or leaves the host member state and when the marriage/cohabitation ceases.

Only family members who already reside in Norway may, on certain conditions, be granted continued residence.

4.1. Right to continued residence for family members who are EEA nationals themselves

4.1.1. In the event of the EEA national’s departure or death

Family members retain their right of residence if they meet the requirements for independent grounds for residence pursuant to the Immigration Act section 112 first paragraph (employees, self-employed persons, service providers, students or persons with sufficient funds). See the UDI’s circular 2011-037 for more detailed guidelines on the documentation requirement for residence on independent grounds.

If the family member is the EEA national’s child, this child and the person with parental responsibility will be granted continued residence provided that the child has been admitted to an approved educational institution and that he/she actually attends tuition, cf. the Immigration Act section 113 third paragraph final sentence and section 114 third paragraph final sentence. It is not a requirement that the person who exercises parental responsibility is an EEA national. The consideration behind this provision is to avoid the child having to interrupt schooling in a familiar school system to which he/she has adapted and having to adapt to the school system in another country.

The right of residence applies until the child has completed his/her education, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 19-15 first paragraph. The Union Directive links right of residence to when studies are completed without specifying this in more detail, which raises the question of when the education can be deemed to be completed. Case law from the European Court of Justice’s indicates that the child shall have right of residence until the whole education has been completed, including any university studies. The reasons for this are that the member state’s school systems have different levels and the child’s need to have a care person in the country. Persons with parental responsibility only have right of residence until the child reaches the age of 21, even if his/her education has not been concluded.

However, children of EEA nationals should not be subject to more stringent requirements than children who are granted permits pursuant to the general regulations, and they may therefore be given right of residence on other grounds as long as they meet the relevant requirements.

If the child is not an EEA national him/herself (e.g. a foster child), but the person with parental responsibility for him/her is an EEA national and has right of residence pursuant to the Immigration Act section 113 first paragraph, the child will have permanent right of residence after a continuous period of five years with right of residence in Norway.

Documentation requirements:

§ confirmation that the child has been admitted to an approved educational institution and actually attends tuition.

Typically, this will be a letter from the school where the child is a pupil.

  • A court order stating who has parental responsibility for the child
  • A death certificate for the sponsor or confirmation that the sponsor has left the country.

4.1.2. In the event of divorce (applies to spouses and registered partners) or termination of a cohabiting relationship

In the event of divorce (applies to spouses or registered partners) or termination of a cohabiting relationship, family members who are EEA national themselves retain right of residence if they meet the requirements for independent grounds for residence pursuant to the Immigration Act section 112 first paragraph (employees, self-employed persons, service providers or persons with sufficient funds). See the UDI’s circular 2011-037 for more detailed guidelines on the documentation requirement for residence on independent grounds.

4.2. Right to continued residence for family members who are not EEA nationals themselves

As a rule, family members’ right of residence lapses when the EEA national no longer has right of residence in Norway. In some cases, family members who are not EEA nationals themselves have a right to continued residence.

4.2.1. In the event of the EEA national’s departure

Unlike the situation for family members who are EEA nationals, family members who are not EEA nationals do not have a right to continued residence in the event that the EEA national leaves Norway. An exception is made for family members who have parental responsibility for the EEA national’s children, cf. the Immigration Act section 114 third paragraph final sentence. Family members with parental responsibility for the EEA national’s children have a right to continued residence provided that the child has been admitted to an approved educational institution, but only until the child reaches the age of 21. See 4.1.1 above for more detailed information.

4.2.2. In the event of the EEA national’s death

If the EEA national dies, the family member retains his/her right of residence if he/she fulfils the requirements set out in the Immigration Act section 114 third paragraph. The first requirement is that the person in question must have resided in Norway as a family member of an EEA national for one year prior to the death. The family member must also either meet the requirements of the Immigration Act section 112 first paragraph letters a), b) or c) (be an employer, self-employed person, service provider or have sufficient funds) or be a family member of such person as mentioned in the Act section 112 first paragraph letters a), b) or c).

In such case, the right to continued residence as a family member forms the basis for permanent right of residence, see the UDI’s circular 2011-016 for more detailed guidelines.

If the EEA national’s family member acts as a sponsor for his/her own family members who are not EEA nationals, for example children from a previous relationship or own parents, the latter category of persons may reside in Norway if the following cumulative requirements are met:

  • the family member who is a sponsor meets the requirements for continued residence,
  • the person in question (a child from a previous relationship or a parent) has had residence in Norway for one year before the death of the EEA national, and
  • the person in question (a child from a previous relationship or a parent) has been provided for by the EEA national.

 

4.2.3. In the event of divorce (applies to spouses and registered partners) or termination of a cohabiting relationship

In order to have a right to continued residence following a divorce or termination of a cohabiting relationship, a family member who is not an EEA national must meet the requirements for being granted residence as an employee or a self-employed person, have sufficient funds or be a family member of a person who meets the requirements for residence mentioned above. In addition, one of the following requirements must be met:

  • the marriage/partnership must have lasted for a least three years before the divorce process started, and the parties must have lived in Norway for at least one of these years.

The purpose of this requirement is to avoid misuse of this arrangement and to prevent marriages of convenience.

  • the spouse/ registered partner who is not an EEA national has parental responsibility for the EEA national’s children, by agreement or judgment
  • a particularly difficult situation exists and the spouse/ registered partner who is not an EEA national has been the victim of domestic violence during the marriage/partnership, which has led to the dissolution of the cohabiting relationship
  • the spouse/ registered partner who is not an EEA national has been granted access rights to the EEA national’s minor children by agreement or judgment and the court has decided that the access shall take place in Norway for as long as the access is deemed to be necessary.

If a family member as mentioned in the above paragraph acts as a sponsor for his/her own family members, for example children from a previous relationship or own parents, the latter category of persons may reside in Norway if the person in question (a child from a previous relationship or a parent) has been provided for by the EEA national.

5. The content and duration of the residence documents

5.1. For family members who are EEA nationals themselves

Family members who are EEA nationals are obliged to obtain a registration certificate within three months from the date of entry into Norway, cf. the Immigration Act section 117, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 19-22.

5.1.1. The content of the registration certificate

The registration certificate grants the family member right of residence and the right to work in Norway on the same conditions that apply to Norwegian nationals.

The registration certificate must contain the holder’s name, address and the date of registration.

Family members who have had right of residence in Norway for a continuous period of five years can apply for a permanent residence card. The registration certificate can be used as documentation of five years’ continuous lawful residence. See the UDI’s circular 2011-016 for more detailed guidelines.

 

5.1.2. The duration of the registration certificate

The registration certificate is valid indefinitely from the date on which it was issued and shall not be renewed. New registration is not required if the person changes the grounds for residence.

If the family member loses his/her right of residence because of non-residence, new registration may be required on his/her subsequent entry.

5.2. For family members who are not EEA nationals themselves

Family members who are not EEA nationals are obliged to apply for a residence card when the stay in Norway is expected to exceed three months, cf. the Immigration Act section 118, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 19-23. The deadline for submitting the application is three months after entry. The police will issue a receipt as confirmation that a completed application form has been submitted.

5.2.1. The content of the residence card

The residence card grants the family member right of residence and the right to work in Norway on the same conditions as Norwegian nationals. Family members who hold a residence card are exempt from the visa requirement in the Schengen area. In the event of prolonged stays abroad, the residence card will not replace the visa requirement. This applies when the family member stays outside Norway for more than six months without valid reason as mentioned in the Immigration Regulations section 19-18. In such cases, the family member must apply for a new residence card.

Family members who have had right of residence in Norway for a continuous period of five years can apply for a permanent residence card. The application for a permanent residence card must be submitted before the residence card has expired. The residence card can be used as documentation of continuous lawful residence. See the UDI’s circular 2011-016 for more detailed guidelines on permanent right of residence.

5.2.2. The duration of the residence card

The residence card can be granted for a period of up to five years from the date on which it was issued. Before the residence card expires, an application must have been submitted for a new residence card or a permanent residence card. See detailed guidelines on permanent right of residence in the UDI’s circular 2011-016.

The validity of the residence card is linked to the sponsor’s right of residence and is not affected by temporary periods of non-residence of less than six months per year, or more than six months if the period of non-residence is due to serving military service. A single period of non-residence of up to one continuous year is accepted provided that it is due to special circumstances (for example pregnancy, serious illness, studies). If the period of non-residence is of longer duration, the family member must apply for a new residence card, and the original card cannot be used in place of a visa.

6. Power of decision

6.1. For registration certificates

It is the police in the EEA national’s district of residence or a service centre for foreign workers that verifies submission of the documentation and decides whether a registration certificate shall be issued, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 19-22. Registration certificates are issued free of charge.

In connection with the registration, the police may, if necessary, investigate whether the EEA national who wishes to register poses a threat to public order or security. Such investigations shall not be carried out as a matter of routine, but shall only be conducted in cases where it is deemed to be absolutely necessary, cf. the Regulations section 19-27.

The police’s decision is an administrative decision and not an individual decision, and it cannot therefore be appealed, cf. the Regulations section 19-22 third paragraph.

6.2. For residence cards

It is the police in the EEA national’s district of residence or a service centre for foreign workers that verifies submission of the documentation and issues a residence card. If the police are in doubt as to whether a residence card can be issued, the case will be sent to the UDI for decision. Residence cards are issued free of charge.

In connection with an application for a residence card, the police may, if necessary, investigate whether the EEA national who wishes to register poses a threat to public order or security. Such investigations shall not be carried out as a matter of routine, but shall only be conducted in cases where it is deemed to be absolutely necessary, cf. the Regulations section 19-27.

The police may refuse to issue a residence card if the sponsor, on request, does not consent to the family member being granted right of residence or if it is likely that the case concerns a marriage of convenience, cf. the Immigration Act section 120 sixth paragraph.

The police’s decision is an administrative decision and not an individual decision, and it cannot therefore be appealed, cf. the Regulations section 19-23 third paragraph.

7. Lapse of right of residence

A family members’ grounds for residence lapse when the sponsor no longer has right of residence in Norway and the requirements for a right to continued residence are not met, or in the event of stays outside Norway of more than six months during a twelve-month period. In the event of a new stay in Norway, the person in question must register again or apply for a new residence card.

However, right of residence in Norway will be retained if a stay abroad exceeding six months is due to valid reasons as mentioned in the Immigration Regulations section 19-17. A family member serving his/her military service may be entitled to stay abroad for more than six months. In the event of pregnancy and birth, serious illness, studies or vocational education or secondment to another country, non-residence that does not exceed a continuous period of 12 months is accepted.

The reasons for a period of non-residence of more than six months must be stated. See the UDI’s circular 2011-035 for more detailed guidelines on procedures and rules.

 

8. Revocation of residence documents

The immigration authorities are entitled to revoke a family member’s residence document in the following situations:

  • if grounds for rejection or expulsion exist
  • if the person in question has provided incorrect information or failed to provide information about matters of importance (for example marriages of convenience), or
  • if the document is deemed to be invalid for other reasons.

 

Other reasons include situations where the registration is due to an error on the part of the immigration authorities and the person in question has not provided incorrect information. It also includes cases where an application for a residence card has been processed and a residence card has been issued by mistake, not because the family member has provided incorrect information but because a foreign national from a country outside the EEA area has been registered as a family member of an EEA national by mistake.

The UDI makes decisions on the revocation of residence documents, cf. the Immigration Act section 120 eighth paragraph, but not before the foreign national whose residence document is to be revoked has been given an opportunity to make a statement. Persons covered by the EEA regulations are entitled to free legal advice without means testing in cases that concern the revocation of residence documents, cf. the Act section 92 first paragraph first sentence.

 

Karl Erik Sjøholt
Head of Department

Contact: Department of Managed Migration, Section for Family immigration




Utlendingsdirektoratet
Norwegian Directorate
of Immigration

Postboks 8108 Dep
N-0032 Oslo
Phone: + 47 23 35 15 00

Editor in Chief: Stephan Mo
Kontakt nettredaksjonen