In order to be granted a family immigration permit, all the conditions in the regulations must be met. The most common reason for UNE's rejection of a family immigration case is that the subsistence requirement is not met.
People with family members living in Norway can apply for a permit for family immigration with them. Some people apply for family immigration with a spouse or cohabitant, others with a child living in Norway. There are different rules depending on what type of permit the application concerns.
In order to be granted a family immigration permit, all the conditions in the regulations must be met. As long as one condition is not met, UNE can reject the case without considering whether all the other conditions are met. For example, this means that a case can be rejected because the income is not high enough, without UNE having considered whether the marriage was validly entered into.
When the UDI forwards a case to UNE, it has often only considered one condition. If UNE finds that this condition is met, we must also consider whether the other conditions are met. This could result in us granting the application, but also in us rejecting it because the other conditions are not met. In some cases, we return the case to the UDI so that it can consider the conditions it did not consider the first time.
What do we consider?
The most common reason for UNE's rejection of applications for a family immigration permit is that the subsistence requirement is not met. The person living in Norway (reference person) must have a certain level of income in order for this requirement to be met (external link). We consider whether the reference person has had sufficient income in the past year, and whether it is likely that he/she will have sufficient income for the year to come. This means that it is not enough that the reference person will have sufficient income in future, if he/she did not have sufficient income in the past year. We always consider the income situation at the time we make a decision.
Another reason for UNE rejecting applications is if we believe that a marriage is a pro forma marriage (marriage of convenience). That means that the main purpose of the marriage was probably to establish grounds for granting a residence permit to the applicant. In such cases, we make an overall assessment of all available information. Among other things, we may consider how well the applicant and reference person know each other, how they met and married, and whether there is a big age difference between the spouses.
We reject some applications because we believe the marriage was not validly entered into. For a marriage to form the basis for family immigration, it must be valid pursuant to the regulations in the home country or the country in which the marriage was entered into. For example, we reject cases where the applicant was below the minimum age for marriage in the country the applicant comes from, where the applicant was not present at the marriage ceremony or where the applicant is married to someone else.
UNE also rejects some cases where the application was not submitted correctly. The main rule in family immigration cases is that the applicant must apply for a permit from his/her home country. If the application was not submitted correctly, we reject the case without considering whether the conditions for the permit have been met. You can read more about how to apply correctly on the UDI's website (external link)
Everyone who applies for family immigration, must present documentation of their identity. The main rule is that the applicant must present a passport. UNE will reject the application if the applicant's identity has not been substantiated.
Parents can apply for family immigration with children they do not live with on a permanent basis. We receive many cases from applicants who have gone through the breakdown of a relationship and then apply for family immigration with their children. In such cases, it is among other things a requirement that the parent has contact arrangements of a certain scope with the children. We reject some of these cases because the parent cannot document sufficient contact with the children. We can also reject an application if the applicant has not held a residence permit in Norway for the past year, as this is also a requirement in such cases.
In cases where a child applies for family immigration with a parent who lives in Norway, the other parent has to consent to the child settling in Norway. We reject some cases because the parent in the home country has not given his/her consent, or because the consent is not reliable. There are strict requirements for such consent because we have to be certain that the consent was given by the right person, that it is genuine and that the information is correct. Read more the consent requirements on the UDI's website (external link) If the parent in Norway has sole parental responsibility, we must receive documentation of this.
We reverse some cases. The most common reason is that new circumstances have arisen after the UDI decided the case, for example that the subsistence requirement is met when the case is considered by UNE.
We rarely reverse cases due to health problems or difficult living conditions. Even if the applicant or a reference person is seriously ill or is living under difficult conditions, we can only grant a residence permit in exceptional circumstances. The regulations state that strong humanitarian considerations shall always be weighed against immigration regulatory considerations. Among other things, this means that the applicant's case must be so special that few other people will be in the same situation.
UNE takes the best interest of the child into account in all cases concerning children. Even if we believe that granting a permit would be in the child's best interest, other considerations may be given more weight, and the result is that a permit is not granted.
The family immigration regulations include some words and concepts that may be unfamiliar to some people. We explain some of them below.
The reference person is the family member living in Norway whom the applicant wants to be reunited and granted a family immigration permit with.
The subsistence requirement
This is the requirement that the reference person must have a certain level of income to provide for the person applying for a residence permit. The subsistence requirement is also called the income requirement. Visit the UDI's website to see the current subsistence requirement (external link).
Considering an application on its merits
UNE always checks whether the application was submitted correctly. The main rule is that the person applying for family immigration must apply from his/her home country. If the application was not submitted correctly, we reject the case without considering whether the conditions for the permit have been met. That means that we do not consider the case on its merits. Considering a case on its merits means that we actually consider whether the conditions for granting a permit are met.