This circular describes in more detail the guidelines on how the immigration administration is to practice the three-year rule in the Immigration Regulations section 10-14.
Definition of term:
‘Sponsor’ means the person with whom the applicant wishes to be reunited or to establish family life in Norway, cf. the Immigration Act section 39.
This circular does not apply to foreign nationals covered by the EEA regulations.
2. General information about the Immigration Regulations section 10-14
The general provisions on the duration and content of permits are stated in the Immigration Act section 60.
The Immigration Act section 10-14 is a special provision about the duration of family immigration permits for spouses and cohabitants who have joint children with the sponsor, cf. the Immigration Act section 39.
The Immigration Regulations section 10-14 state that spouses and cohabitants who have joint children with the sponsor can be granted a residence permit for three years. The grounds for this provision is that there are very few control considerations that indicate that a three-year permit should not be granted when the applicant and sponsor are spouses or cohabitants who have joint children. However, this provision does not mean that the applicant has a legal claim to be granted a permit with a three-year duration.
Below are guidelines drawn up for the duration of permits for various categories of sponsors and applicants. We emphasise that three-year permits can also be granted in other cases than those listed below if control considerations do not indicate that the immigration administration should carry out an annual control of the basis for the permit.
3. Permits with a three-year duration
As a rule, spouses and cohabitants who have joint children with the sponsor can be granted a residence permit with a three-year duration in the following cases:
- If the sponsor is a Norwegian or Nordic national.
- If the sponsor holds a permanent residence permit, cf. the Immigration Act section 62.
- If the sponsor holds/is granted a permit with a three-year duration.
The principle that the permit should not exceed the expiry of the sponsor’s permit, cf. the Immigration Act section 60 first paragraph third sentence, will always apply. See section 4 of this circular for more information.
There could be grounds for granting permits of shorter duration for the listed categories for control considerations, see section 5.
4. Permits with the same duration as the sponsor’s permit for up to three years
As mentioned above, the permit should not exceed the expiry of the sponsor’s permit, cf. the Immigration Act section 60 first paragraph third sentence. The provision states the principle that the person granted a family immigration permit cannot be granted a better permit than the sponsor. If the sponsor holds/is granted a permit with a duration of one year, the spouse/cohabitant and any joint children should also be granted a permit with a one-year duration.
Some sponsors hold permits that were originally granted for a three-year period, for example a residence permit as a skilled worker pursuant to the Immigration Regulations section 6-1 or as a resettlement refugee. If less than three years remain of the sponsor's permit when the spouse/cohabitant is granted his/her permit, then the duration of that permit must correspond to the sponsor's permit. This means that if, for example, two years remain of the sponsor's permit, the spouse/cohabitant and any joint children are to be granted a permit with a duration of two years.
5. Permits with one-year duration due to control considerations
There are various grounds for some permits to be granted with a shorter duration than they could have had due to various types of control considerations.
There may be information in the case that necessitates control after a certain period of time. This could be e.g. issues relating to bigamy, a marriage of convenience or a false maintenance claim. In such cases, the case officer should limit the duration of the permit to one year.
6. About case processing
If the immigration authorities grant a permit with a three-year duration on the basis of the Immigration Regulations section 10-14, it will be particularly important that the applicant is made aware that the basis for the permit granted will lapse in the event of a breakdown of cohabitation/ separation/ divorce that occurs before the permit expires, and that in such cases, a decision to revoke the permit will normally be made. The foreign national must then be informed that continued residence in Norway following a breakdown of cohabitation/ separation/ divorce requires the foreign national to submit an application for residence on new grounds.
If the Directorate of Immigrations feels that control may be required after a certain period of time, it must make the police/ alternatively other players in the immigration administration aware of this.
Karl Erik Sjøholt
Head of department
Contact: The Managed Migration Department